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New Salkantay Route To Machu Picchu

Salkantay seems closer to the sky than the earth, it is the first thing you will see the start this route. Here you live one of the greatest cosmic experiences, the sky changes color at dusk, is when it spreads a vast and infinite canvas with stars, which inspires and establishes immense tranquility and peace to every viewer.

Salkantay routes are alternatives arrival at Machu Picchu. In special, the route through the Ahobamba river basin, promises to take you through wonderful and incredible landscapes; places such as: mountains, snow-capped mountains, lagoons, waterfalls, flora and fauna. On this route you can see one of the highest waterfalls in Cusco, which is over 160 meters high.

If you have the opportunity to do this route, you can enjoy and connect with each of its wonders, it is certainly the best route to get Machu Picchu.

The proposed itinerary for this route is 5 days

FIRST DAY: Cusco - Mollepata - Soraypampa - Japanese Pampa

Is the beginning of this beautiful experience, you depart by a transport from Cusco (3300 m.a.s.l) to Soraypampa (4650 m.a.s.l), this takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes of trip, usually the transport stop in Mollepata (2900 masl) to have breakfast. When you arrive to  Soraypampa we can rent horses and horsemens to make the walk lighter, we can also enjoy the view of Salkantay, Humantay lake and many mountains. The goal for this day is to reach the Japanese Pampa (4650 masl), where is the first camping are to rest.

SECOND DAY: Japanese Pampa-Inkachiriaska Pass - Sisaypampa –Palqay Pass – Palqaypampa

This day is the longest and most extensive, the road is on the edge of Salkantay, where according to the season, you can appreciate the mountain ranges and see the flight of condors is an exceptional sensation, after all this experience, we started to go up until you arrive to the beautiful and wide pasture of Sisaypampa (4200 masl) here you can have lunch, it is important to eat lightly and rest. The next destination is Palqay (4750 m.a.s.l.) This path is a 500-meter climb up a rocky mountain between Salkantay and Mount Palqay. This part of the walk is heavy, but you will have a unique experience, when you arrive at Palqaypampa, according to the weather, you will see the most starry sky. You will rest and spend one of the most intense nights in your life.

THIRD DAY: Palqaypampa - Llaqtallactayoc (Inca archaeological center) - Ahobamba family house

After the rest and a good breakfast, this day you will have many experiences, ranging from the most beautiful landscapes of Puna to a cloud forest, we have a trekking for 7 kilometers go down. At the meeting of two rivers, you will arrive to an archaeological pre-Inca settlement, located deep in the valley, when you arrive its posible to explore and there will also be time to relax and take many photos. You will also be able to appreciate the most awesome of the trip: one of the longest waterfalls in Cusco, with more than 160m high. The trekking down is continuous as you traverse the sides of the valley, well above the Ahobamba river, the road becomes more rugged, as you go, the weather becomes warmer between the hanging forests and bamboo thickets. After several hours of walking, we find a self-sufficient farm, where they grow a variety of products such as: coffee, cassava, oranges, limes, and others. Here is where we rest, there will be time to enjoy the warm climate and the sound of many species, including birds, insects, rodents and the river.

FOURTH DAY: Ahobamba family house - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town)

On this day after the respective meals, we have a last walking down towards Hidroeléctrica for approximately 1 hour, as we continue the trekking you can see the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. For arrive to Aguas Calientes we will walk for around of 3 hours and 30 minutes Aguas Calientes is also known as Machupicchu Town, where you have lunch and rest, after some free time to get to know a little of this town.

FIFTH DAY: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu town - Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Is the last day we’ll ready to know Machu Picchu, wonder of the world. You start to walk up to reach the mountain, here you can see one of the most beautiful sunrises in the region. There is strict control, but everything gives us the opportunity to have a great 2-hour tour, the Inca citadel always surprises with all of this awesome view, the experience is comforting to enjoy by yourself. In the afternoon, according to the train departure time we will descend to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where we will have the last transfer to Cusco.

What is the weather of Salkantay route to Machu Picchu during the year

  • January to March: At night the rains are persistent most of the time, however, there are nice and sunny days, during these months the landscape is green because is consider the regional spring.
  • April: Rainy season end, the weather begins to be cool and offers you another fantastic view.
  • May and October: Weather is warm and cool, with very little rain, sunny days and quite a bit of brightness.
  • June, July, August and September: the best months to do this trekking, during the day the landscape is clear and you will be able to see a beautiful landscapes, however, the nights are the most cold.
  • November and December: Is when start the rain season, the days are sunny, but at any time it can rain, just some days are cloudy but with little rain.

For this route, it is important to consider some details:

How much luggage to carry?

It is necessary to carry only the essentials, we recommend carrying a bag that does not exceed 8 kilos.

What is essential to bring?

  • Passport and / or ISIC card
  • A backpack suitable for trekking days
  • Personal sleeping bag
  • Walking shoes with broad ankle support and water resistance
  • Light clothing for the walk (shorts, shirt or light polo and a hat)
  • For the cold night a warm sweater, waterproof jacket, hat and gloves
  • A small cartridge case with cleaning items
  • An insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • A small flashlight
  • A camera with batteries and extra memory
  • Medicine and / or personal items


  • What does Salkantay mean? SALKANTAY means wild mountain, it is the union of Salqa: wild and Antay: producing clouds.
  • Where is Salkantay located? Salkantay is located in the north of Cusco’s city, in Vilcabamba mountain range, the Convencion’s province and Cusco’s department.
  • How high is the Salkantay? The snowy Salkantay is high 6271 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.), it also has a prominence of 2540 m.a.s.l
  • How is the weather on Salkantay route? This route presents extreme weather, at days can be up to 15 ° C and nights to -10 ° C with a humidity of 63% and winds of 11 km / h.
  • How is the flora and fauna on this route? This route has a big variety of flora and fauna. From the Andean highlands, through cloud forest that contains: Hanging bamboo forests and thickets. Among the flora are: the erodiun cicuraty, ichu, orchid, tegete, salicornia ramosissima; also include orchids and mosses. The fauna is also very diverse that includes: condors, alpacas, llamas, vizcachas, chinchillas and birds like the cock of the rock.

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