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Salkantay Trek Difficulty level: 5 days and 4 days

Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay Trek is a captivating hiking experience that takes you off the beaten path, offering a unique perspective of the sacred mountains and hidden wonders of the Andean region. Let’s dive into the details of the Salkantay Trek difficulty and what you can expect from this challenging adventure.

Salkantay Trek’s Physical Demands

The Salkantay Trek is a physically demanding adventure that requires a good level of fitness. It’s important to be adequately prepared and in good health before embarking on this trek. The altitude is one of the main challenges, as the highest point reaches 4,600 – 4,800 meters (15,100 – 15,700 ft). Generally, the effects of elevation start to be felt around 10,000 – 11,000 ft. To combat altitude sickness, it’s recommended to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco for acclimatization before starting the trek.

Route Options and Difficulty Levels

The Salkantay Trek offers two main options: the 5-day trek and the more challenging 4-day trek. Both routes provide remarkable experiences, but it’s important to choose the one that suits your fitness level and preferences.

Salkantay 5-Day Trek: Moderate Difficulty

The Salkantay 5-day trek is considered moderately difficult, making it accessible to hikers of various ages and fitness levels. Here’s a breakdown of the difficulty level by day:

  • Day 1: Moderate
  • Day 2: Challenge
  • Day 3: Moderate
  • Day 4: Moderate
  • Day 5: Easy

This trek allows you to pace yourself and gradually adjust to the altitude, providing a rewarding journey through diverse landscapes.

Salkantay 4-Day Trek: Challenging Adventure

If you’re seeking a more intense and challenging experience, the Salkantay 4-day trek is for you. It requires a higher level of fitness and stamina. Here’s a breakdown of the difficulty level by day:

  • Day 1: Moderate
  • Day 2: Challenge
  • Day 3: Moderate
  • Day 4: Easy

The 4-day trek condenses the adventure into a shorter duration, presenting steeper ascents and descents. It’s an exhilarating option for those seeking a more demanding physical and mental challenge.

Terrain and Safety

Throughout the Salkantay Trek, you’ll encounter a variety of terrains, including slightly steep ascents and plains that gradually ascend. It’s important to note that the trek is considered very safe, with clear signage along the way. In case you need assistance or a moment to rest, don’t hesitate to take breaks and savor the stunning landscapes and fresh Andean air.

Choosing the Right Trek for You

When deciding between the 5-day and 4-day Salkantay Trek, consider your fitness level, time constraints, and personal preferences. Remember that both options offer incredible adventures and opportunities to connect with nature and the majestic mountains of the region.

If you want to comparte Salkantay route with Inca Trail, check out our blog: Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail.


Embarking on the Salkantay Trek is a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience. With its breathtaking landscapes and the opportunity to reach the iconic Machu Picchu, this alternative route is a dream come true for adventurous souls. Assess your fitness level, choose the trek that suits you best, and get ready to conquer the stunning Andean

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