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Salkantay Mountain

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SALKANTAY MOUNTAIN


The name of the trek is given by the name of the sacred mountain towards which it heads. The mountain is called Salkantay or Apu Salkantay (6,271 m) expressing its sacred meaning. Salcantay means "Savage Mountain" in Quechua native language while Apu meant powerful mountain spirit in the Incan mythology. It is still believed that each mountain has its own spirit. Moreover, these mountain spirits are alive! The majority of Apus have been male spirits; however, there are some female spirits too. 

 

Apus have been serving as protectors of their surrounding territories as well as nearby inhabitants, their crops and livestock. The Apus were commonly offered small offerings, e.g. chicha (fermented drink made of corn) and coca leaves. In difficult times, the Apus were called upon through offerings. In desperate times, the Incas made human sacrifices. The most important Apus are the highest Peruvian mountains. Cusco has got twelve Apus. Salkantay is the second most important Apu (after the towering Ausangate of 6,384 meters) of Cusco region. The mountain is also the twelfth highest mountain of the country and the second most topographically prominent Peruvian peak (after Huascarán). The Salkantay Mountain is situated in Cordillera Vilcabamba, in the Andes.

 

The Salkantay Trail offers marvelous experience passing places surrounded by snow and ice (Pass, 4,600 m) until places lying 1,700 metres lower where bromeliads and orchids blossom. On the way, you can appreciate views of imposing Salkantay Mountain from immediate proximity. The trek is not much difficult. There is not either snow or ice on the path. Only problem can be the high altitude (the beginning of the trek is at 2,800 metres and the highest trekking point is at 4,600 metres) so acclimatization should not be underestimated.

The name of the trek is given by the name of the sacred mountain towards which it heads. The mountain is called Salkantay or Apu Salkantay (6,271 MAMSL) expressing its sacred meaning. Salcantay means "Savage Mountain" in Quechua native language while Apu meant powerful mountain spirit in the Incan mythology. It is still believed that each mountain has its own spirit. Moreover, these mountain spirits are alive! The majority of Apus have been male spirits; however, there are some female spirits too. 


Apus have been serving as protectors of their surrounding territories as well as nearby inhabitants, their crops and livestock. The Apus were commonly offered small offerings for example: chicha (fermented drink made of corn) and coca leaves. In difficult times, the Apus were called upon through offerings. In desperate times, the Incas made human sacrifices. The most important Apus are the highest Peruvian mountains. Cusco has got twelve Apus. Salkantay is the second most important Apu (after the towering Ausangate of 6,384 meters) of Cusco region. Salkantay is also the twelfth highest mountain of the country and the second most topographically prominent Peruvian peak (after Huascarán). The Salkantay Mountain is situated in Cordillera Vilcabamba, in the Andes.


The famous Salkantay Trek is considered one of the 25th best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. It’s a trek open for all the people and without space limits at least for now. It is an ancient and remote path located on the snowy mountains and it’s surrounded by an exuberant tropical rain forest. It offers marvelous experience passing places surrounded by snow and ice (Salkantay Pass 4,600 m) until places lying 1,700 meters lower where bromeliads and orchids blossom. On the way, you can appreciate views of imposing Salkantay Mountain from immediate proximity. The trek is not much difficult. There is not either snow or ice on the path. Only problem can be the high altitude (the beginning of the trek is at 2,800 meters and the highest trekking point is at 4,600 meters) so acclimatization should not be underestimated.
To get to it you cross beautiful Andean landscapes, open 5,000 meters and you get the chance of observing condors and alpacas in their natural habitat. You can take baths in natural hot springs from the depths of the earth, different fruit plants and great variety of orchids.


The Cordillera de Vilcabamba, where the Salcantay massif is found, is a beautiful and solitary area. Dominated by the same Apu Salkantay has numerous high-rise snowcaps, such as Tucarhuay (5,910 MAMSL), Veronica (5,682 MAMSL) and Huacayhuilca (5,361 MAMSL), among others. All of them are visible from the Puyupatamarca area. Geography is difficult and capricious throughout the outline of this attractive mountain resort. It is surrounded by deep valleys and gorges, which makes this journey interesting but exhausting at the same time.
Although the difficulty of this Trek is slightly higher than the one of the Inca Trail, it is not a high level Trek. Indeed, it is longer (5 days instead of 4), higher, more wild but there is also its interest. This Trek does not disappoint the most demanding or lovers of nature, walks, and emotions. Those same emotions that make you feel invulnerable, only in the world, on the top of the world, in a few words ... feel alive!

 

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