Machu Picchu is definitely the most popular among all Peru destinations and no matter how you reach the old Inca citadel, you’ll be amazed by it. But of course if you are lucky enough to get to the top of the Machu Picchu mountain after a few days of trekking, it will definitely leave you thinking that it was all worth it and also with a memory that you will never forget.
To make your trip to Machu Picchu unforgettable, one of the best Peru itineraries to do, is the Salkantay Trail. It’s one of the most popular Andean treks (the most popular being the Inca Trail) and a few features make it unique and, maybe, more special.
First of all, the name: ‘Salkantay’ in the ancient Quechua language means “Savage Mountain”. During the hike you’ll realize that the name is rather accurate. The trek is a little bit longer than the Inca Trail, as it’s usually a five or seven day trek. It’s also a little bit harder to do, but at the same time more spectacular.
The hike begins at 2,850 meters above sea level. Then you will cross a beautiful valley, slowly going up, until you’ll reach a campsite at 3,850 meters. The day after you’ll reach the highest point of the trail, at 4,600 meters approx. During this part of the Salkantay trek you’ll see a series of glaciers that will take your breath away. Then, a spectacular descent towards the subtropical valley begins and it will slowly lead you to the amazing city of Machu Picchu.
So, by hiking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll get to The Lost City of The Incas after one of the most inspiring treks. The Salkantay Trail was named as one of the best 25 Treks in the World by National Geographic. And after you’ve finished it you’ll know why: the environment that you’ve found along the way is characterized by a unique biodiversity, as it’s located in a wide area where the mountains collide with tropical rain forests.
The diversity of the landscapes that will surround you throughout the trek is incredible and it will guarantee beautiful views at every turn: you will walk through beautiful valleys, you’ll see breathtaking glaciers, small villages, snow, ice and then, magically, tropical vegetation. And after this kaleidoscope of emotions and landscapes you’ll find the wonderful Machu Picchu waiting for you, as a reward.
A remarkable peculiarity of the Salkantay trek is that it’s open to everybody, with no limitation on spaces or permits. So it’s not necessary to book your trek with months in advance, and this a crucial difference with the Inca Trail.
Hiking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu is a memorable experience that we recommend not only to all those travelers who want to reach the amazing Inca Citadel after a fulfilling and challenging trek, but most of all to those who want to do it with more privacy and authenticity: in fact this trek is less crowded and has less limitations than the most popular Inca Trail.