Salkantay mountain, the tallest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba at 6,272 m/20,569 feet and the second highest in the Cusco area. The Salkantay trek offers more natural beauty, as opposed to ancient ruins. You pass high mountains and sweltering jungle, all in very desolate areas.
The trek usually starts in the town of Mollepata or Soraypampa in the Apurimac Valley to the northwest of Cusco. You can get there by an early morning bus.Then you will visit the Humantay Mountain and the Lake. The first night on this trek is cold, so it is important that you get prepared for this. The camp is beside the snow-covered peak of Salkantay. On a clear night you will see a sky full of stars. Having a good quality sleeping bag is essential if you want a good night´s sleep.
This place is dominated by the turquoise waters of the springs that contrast with the white of the snow and the intense sky. The snowy territory of the Salkantay gives us an unique landscape crowned by snowy peaks, where we feel really tiny. The walk continues and at every step we are surprised by a beautiful scenery, where nature is the main protagonist.
On day two, the trek continues straight up for about half a day. This day is more challenging than the regular trail, but do not let that stop you, many people in their 60s and older have successfully completed it. The amount of time it takes you to complete the Classic Salkantay Trek or Salkantay Inca Trail combodepends on you.
Those with greater physical strengh and determination may finish hours ahead of the rest of the group. Most of all remember that this is not a race, you are here to enjoy this magnificent once in a life time experience.
There are a number of variations of tours that include the Salkantay Trek, the Salkantay 5 days trek to Machu Picchu. There is a shorter Salkantay 4 day Trek version available too, or even a longer 7 day adventure. Some will end in the town of Santa Teresa or in Llactapata ruins, a short walk from the train station at the hydroelectric plant. It's a one-hour ride from there to Aguas Calientes. Salkantay Inca Trail combo is the new alternative route involves Inca Trail hike and Salkantay.
SALKANTAY. That white colossus, which seems to be closer to heaven than to earth, does not accept challenges or guapeos. Anyone does not scale it, nor has the opportunity to touch their skirts. For its name, Salkantay, that in Quechua means "wild mountain". Indomitable. This is defined by Ever Gibaja, 41, owner of the only store in Soraypampa, camp three hours away from the Salkantay apu and from where he leaves for him.
"We have to ask permission to climb and have a lot of respect, we have not climbed yet" says the villager as a warning to tourists who arrive enthusiastically there. Eager to touch it, to walk it, most ignore that snow mountain dies, melts.
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