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The reality about the Salkantay Trail, Peru Cusco

Don’t know what the trek to Machu Picchu via Salkantay is like? Well, this blog is our honest review of the Salkantay Trek which includes all the information you need to decide if this adventure is for you!

After searching for all the information we needed, we finally decided on the Salkantay Trek and made our way to Machu Picchu, Peru. By the time we completed the trek, we had no regrets.

In this blog, I will tell you what the expectations are for the Salkantay Trek, for whom I think this wonderful adventure is intended.

The Salkantay Trek is one of the most sought after ways to reach Machu Picchu. Less famous but no less important than the famous Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is easier to book and cheaper. The Salkantay Trek is just as beautiful as the Inca Trail. For these reasons, people from all over the world decide to opt for this wonderful trek.

The hike to Apu Salkantay is about 74 km long and takes between 4 and 5 days (visiting Machu Picchu on the last day).

It also has historical significance and, like the Inca Trail, was a route that the Incas took as part of the Qhapaq Ñan to reach the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The main difference is that the Salkantay Trek passes through mountains and beautiful landscapes that reach almost 5,000 m above sea level, while on the Inca Trail you walk over the remains of the Inca lords for much of the way.

The Salkantay Trek crosses the Salkantay mountain trail (Apu Salkantay). However, it is not only this mountain that you will see during the trek, as the trail offers varied landscapes, such as glaciers and Andean rainforests.

Is the Salkantay Trek better than the Inca Trail part of the Qhapaq Ñan?

The Inca Trail offers the opportunity to see more Inca vestiges, while the Salkantay Trek is more adventurous, as you may notice the presence of mountain animals as well as spectacular scenery.

Is it worth doing the Salkantay Trek?

Of course it is. The Salkantay Trek is undoubtedly one of the best treks in Latin America and is completely breathtaking. Although challenging, because you climb to over 4,500 metres above sea level, the route offers fascinating views of glacial lakes and tropical forests.

How many days does the Salkantay trek last?

The Salkantay trek is 74 km/46 miles long and most travellers take 4 days to complete, spending the fifth day in Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco.

How difficult is the Salkantay Trek?

It is a moderate to difficult trek. It is a long trek, which most people take about 4 days to complete. The entire trek is at high altitude, so it is not suitable for those suffering from altitude sickness. That said, people of all ages with a good level of fitness can complete this trek, as can people who would do a little preparation as an acclimatisation to the climate of Cusco.

Why choose the Salkantay route?

After carefully learning about all the options for adventuring to Machu Picchu and completing the Salkantay trek myself, there are a few reasons why you should consider this route:

Incredible scenery, including the highest trail and views of the Apu Salkantay.
Humantay Lagoon (Head of the Gods)
The authentic priestly path to Machu Picchu walked by spiritual leaders as it “brought them closer to God”.

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