Hiking Peru’s Salkantay Trek is an incredible experience that everyone should try at some point in their lives. A long and challenging hike, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days offers stunning views of the Inca Trail, the Nazca Lines and much more. If you’re planning on hiking the trek in the next few years, you’ll want to read this guide. It covers everything you need to know about preparing for the hike, including gear recommendations, tips on cooking and carrying food, and more. So whether you’re contemplating your first hike or looking to take on a tougher challenge, this guide is for you.
What is the Salkantay Trek?
The Salkantay Trek is a popular hiking route in Peru that takes hikers through some of the country's most stunning and sacred mountain ranges. The hike starts out by following the Urubamba River before ascending into the Andes. Along the way, hikers will experience beautiful landscapes, glaciers, and hot springs. The final stretch of the trail leads to Machu Picchu, one of the most famous archaeological sites in all of South America. The total distance for the Salkantay Trek is about 44 miles.
What to expect on the trek
The Salkantay Trek is an incredible journey through the stunning Andes. This trek will take you high into the mountains, past glaciers and snow-capped peaks, before dropping you down into the lush valleys below. The scenery on this hike is absolutely stunning, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the views along the way.
You'll start your trek by boarding a bus at Cusco (or alternatively, you can fly into Machu Picchu) and travelling for around 12 hours to Puno. From Puno, it's a 3-hour journey to Aguas Calientes – your base for the Salkantay Trek. Once you arrive at Aguas Calientes, you'll be met by your trek guide who will take care of everything else while you're away on your adventure.
The first day of your hike will take you up to Lagunas de Ruina National Park where you'll have amazing views across Lake Titicaca. You'll spend the next two days hiking through the park before reaching your first destination – Mount Illimani (also known as “Salkantay”). The climb up to Mount Illimani is a tough one but it's definitely worth it for some of the best views in Peru. Once you reach the top, enjoy some time relaxing in nature before descending back down towards Aguas Calientes on day four.
Day hikes and side trips on the Salkantay Trek
If you're looking for a challenging day hike, the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail is perfect. This 27-mile trail leads you through some of Peru's most incredible scenery, including snow-capped peaks, lush valleys and wildflower meadows. There are a number of side trips you can make along the way, so be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks. If you're feeling ambitious, consider tackling the whole trek in one day!
The best time of year to hike the Salkantay Trek
Peru is home to some of the most spectacular mountains in the world, and the Salkantay Trek is one of the country's most popular hiking routes. The hike starts from Machu Picchu and passes through a number of stunning landscapes before ending up at Mount Yungas, one of Peru's tallest peaks. The best time to hike the 4 Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu is during the dry season (November to April), when the landscape is mostly barren and there are little chances of encountering heavy rain or snow conditions. If you're looking for a longer hike with plenty of breathtaking views, consider hiking the Inca Trail instead.
Tips for safety on
If you are planning to hike the Salkantay Trek in Peru, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. First and foremost, always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when making decisions. If you encounter any dangerous situations on your hike, don’t hesitate to seek help from a park ranger or other locals. Here are some additional tips for hiking the Salkantay Trek:
– Wear proper hiking gear – This includes sturdy shoes that can handle slippery surfaces or steep inclines, sun protection (hat and sunscreen), warm clothes in case it gets cold at night, and a full water supply. Make sure all kit is waterproofed so that you can stay hydrated even in the rainiest conditions.
– Respect wildlife – Keep your distance from animals, especially bears and monkeys, as they may be unpredictable. If an animal does appear agitated or threatening, make yourself as small as possible and back away slowly.
– Carry emergency supplies – In case of an injury or illness while hiking, having basic first-aid supplies handy will make the situation much less stressful. Include snacks, extra water bottles, phone chargers, maps and compass bearings if you plan on spending more than one night out on the trail.