Apu Salkantay Sunset
Apu Humantay and Apu Salkantay
Apu Pumasillo from Salkantay Pass
It is important to remember that this trek is classified as challenging, and so it is necessary to be in good physical condition, as well as having two days to acclimatise in the city of Cuzco.
Machu Picchu forever
Crossing the mountain range
Patallaqta and Apu Salkantay
Sun Temple at Machu Picchu
Sunrise at Humantay
Celebrating Happy New Year in Salkantay
The Apu Salkantay (6,264 masl / 20551 ft) is a sacred mountain in the Vilcabamba range, located to the south of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu.
This mountain, together with the Southern Cross, served as a point of reference for astrological observation developed by the Incas (from Machu Picchu), especially during the June and December solstices. Its location supports the concept of “sacred geography”, under which the Incas developed Andean civilisation.
The best time of year to visit the Apu Salkantay is during the Winter, from April to October. Temperatures range from -5º C / 41 ºF to 23º C / 73 ºF; with a scarce chance of rain. The maximum altitude we will reach is 4643 masl / 15233 ft at the Salkantay pass, with the minimum altitude being 2000 masl / 6562 ft in the town of Aguas Calientes.
The ecological levels we will experience will vary from Quechua, Suni, Puna and Janca (inter-Andean valleys and rainforest) with all their characteristic flora and fauna. All of this amid spectacular geography.
We leave Cuzco early in the morning towards the town of Mollepata by private transport for the trip of approximately 4 hours. We will travel to the north west, crossing the Pampas de Anta or Yawar Pampa (Blood Pampa), named for the ferocious battle which took place here between the Incas and the Chancas, for the control of the city of Cuzco. We continue to the town of Limatambo, where we can visit the archaeological site of Tarawasi.
Upon arrival at Mollepata, we will have a short break, and then continue our journey for approximately another 2 hours to Soraypampa (3268 masl / 10722 ft) where we will have lunch.
Our walk begins with a moderate climb to SALKANTAYPAMPA (4153 masl / 13625 ft), where we will have a spectacular view of the Apu Salkantay. We begin our steep climb with a wonderful view of the snow-capped peak, and arrive at our campsite at Soyroqocha (4485 masl / 14715 ft). At this campsite we can expect a very cold night (0º C / 32 ºF or below). The gradient of the climb is moderate. Overnight.
Meals: lunch and dinner
4485 masl / 14715 ft
3268 masl / 10722 ft
5 km / 3.10 ml
We can get up later this morning to avoid the freezing cold early morning. We will climb uphill for about 45 minutes to the Salkantay pass, where we can build apachetas (stone towers), to later begin our descent towards Wayrajmachay (3932 masl / 12900 ft). We then continue towards the Humantay valley and arrive at our campsite at Colpapampa about 5 hours later. The gradient is moderate.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
4650 masl / 15340 ft
2840 masl / 9372 ft
11 km / 6.83 ml
An easy trek today of about 4 hours. We walk along the Banks of the Santa Teresa river crossing a forest of native trees. We will pass a beautiful water fall and coffee and fruit tree plantations. Our campsite at La Playa has some facilities and we can refresh ourselves in the river. The gradient is moderate.
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
2840 masl / 9372 ft
2088 masl / 6850 ft
10 km / 6.21 ml
Leaving early, we walk along the road for about 45 minutes and then turn off onto the footpath leading to the Aobamba valley. The climb will take approximately 2 hours, through a forest of native trees to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where we will have views of Machu Picchu and of the Apu Salkantay. We continue downhill to cross the Aobamba river and arrive at the train station at the Hidroélectica (hydro-electric plant).
Here we take our train, with the possibility of travelling to Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo, or Cuzco.
For those who want to visit Machu Picchu we can stay overnight in a hotel in Aguas Calientes or use the municipal campsite just outside the town.
2800 masl / 9240 ft
1900 masl / 6233 ft
9 km / 5.59 ml
Early in the morning we take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. We have the opportunity to climb the difficult path to the top of the Huayna Picchu mountain, which offers spectacular and different views, it is even possible to see the Apu Salkantay.
The tour of Machu Picchu allows us to appreciate the high level of development achieved by Andean civilisation through the Incas.
A supremely religious site, Machu Picchu demonstrates the superior knowledge achieved in astronomy and astrology. This knowledge of measuring the rainy and dry seasons through the solstices is indispensable for the development of agriculture; the life-source of the Andes. We will try to spend as long as possible in the archaeological complex, depending on what time our train back to the city of Cuzco leaves.
2437 masl / 7995 ft
2070 masl / 6791 ft
1.50 km / 0.93 ml
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Pachatusantrek is committed to following the principles of ecotourism in our operations, and request the understanding and cooperation of trekkers, especially by not contaminating the waters and in the adequate disposal of non-biodegradable waste. We must also respect the customs and traditions of the local people.
“With the protection of mother earth and the permission of the apus …”
design by Gissel Enriquez - development by Jeronimo Design DDS