Is Salkantay Trek worth it? Salkantay trek Peru is an adventurous trek in the Cusco region. It leads to Machu Picchu and the town which is situated nearby, Aguas Calientes.
The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is no less than any other trek. It is amongst the few adventurous treks in the Cusco. National Geographic Travel Magazine considers this as one of the best 25 treks in the world. It is one of the popular treks in South America. You will also see some Inca sites.
Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is much more affordable than the esteemed Inca Trail. You can also book this trek just two days prior to the day of the visit. This makes this trek even more appreciable. This is the best alternative for Inca Trail. Inca Trail demands a booking six to seven months in advance.
Salkantay Trek is gaining more popularity day by day and people are finding it more convenient because of its availability.
Salkantay trek is not very difficult and challenging. It is slightly less chosen by the people because of the altitude factor. The hike begins at about 3800 metres; the night stay is at 4000 metres and ultimately leads to the highest point of the trek, Salkantay Pass.
The hiking at the highest altitude of 4630 metres might be difficult for people to bear. You will require keeping your pace slow so that you do not go breathless.
Be sure to carry water and hydrate yourself throughout the trek. You can chew coca leaves if you do not want to feel altitude sickness. Also, avoid alcohol.
Check out our post on dealing with altitude sickness on your trek to Machu Picchu.
The trek offers captivating views of the Sacred Andean Peak or Apus Salkantay Mountain which is a part of the Andean mountain range of Peru.
Salkantay trek will amaze you by the beautiful Humantay Lake and Humantay Lagoon. These are turquoise blue in colour and looks very magnificent amidst the entire setting.
Humantay Lake is situated just below the Humantay Peak. The turquoise lagoon has been loved by the tourists as it is very pleasing to the eyes.
There is a ridge to the best of the Humantay Lake. You can climb it up and get the chance to see the panoramic view of the place.
Locals who visit Humantay Lake perform the Andean ritual called, Apacheta. It is a process of piling stones each on top of the other to thank the mother earth (Pacha mamma) for safeguarding them through the trek.
Andean people have many traditions and customs and getting the chance to witness these rituals is a very different feeling in itself.
They place three leaves of coca which represents the Andean trilogy. They offer prayers to Pachamama by doing this. The main motive behind doing this is to ask mother earth for protection during the hike.
Salkantay trek has all 5 different types of climate. This means that you will see all the four seasons in these 4-5 days. Be sure to pack your bags accordingly and remain updated to the changes.
The trek is popular for offering the trekkers views of a diverse landscape. It starts up in the Andes and takes you down to the cloud forest.
You must have heard about coffee production in Peru. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu will give you the rich coffee sightseeing moment also. Santa Teresa is the main coffee-producing region in Peru. You will stand the chance to see this area in between the trek.
If the season is appropriate, you will also get to taste the cherry from which the coffee beans are extracted before roasting them. The plant, flowing pattern, cheery, beans, roasting and many more exciting experiences await you.
If you have reached here, you should definitely get deep red coffee cherries and taste them. You will be surprised to see how different it tastes from the coffee which you have at your home. Also, see the beans closely.
Most of the trek managers offer amazing activities of chilling in the hot springs. You also have the option of doing a Zip line. It is beyond imagination. It consists of 4 lines, and one of the lines is 1 km long. Every zip line has different positions which make it apt for giving a thrilling experience.
You will feel all your tiredness and fatigue shed away as soon as you step in the hot spring. After the tedious walk of 4 days, you are going to love the hot spring experience.
Salkantay trek is very convenient as it will fall under your budget. You can buy the tour from Cusco or even online. You can also explore a few agencies and compare their price and offerings.
You can see-guide yourself for the Salkantay trail. It is definitely not going to curb your expenses. But you will be your own boss throughout the trek.
You can haunt wherever you desire. You can also rent a horse if you do not want to carry your bag on your own. However it is highly recommended to sign up for a guided tour as it will be more secure.
Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu will give you an enriching experience. The high altitudes, different weather conditions, all the 4 seasons, the turquoise blue lake and the hot springs are a completely different experience.
It is best to experience Salkantay Trek Peru during the dry season from April to November. During the rainy season the trail gets a bit slippery and also there is a risk of landslides.
Check out our detailed Salkantay Trek itinerary to Machu Picchu.