Peruvian climate is very miscellaneous containing a big variety of climates and microclimates. The climate of Peru includes 28 of the 32 climates of the world!!! This is a result of the presence of the cold Humboldt Current and the Andean mountains.
During the day temperatures can drop to 2°C and the weather is very unpredictable but we do not spend a lot of time up in the high altitude. When we get close to Machu Picchu the weather changes to humid and warmer climate, the usual temperatures in Machu Picchu are between 20°C to 25°C and between December and February it is very rainy.
You must be prepared for anything: for wetness and dryness, cold conditions and warm conditions, it will make your experience be more enjoyable.
There are generally two seasons in Salkantay:
Mountain - Andean Climatic Zone: Andean climate is characterized by moderate to cold weather with rainy summers and very cold and dry winters. During days is usually warm, but nights are cold in summer and freezing in winters. Mountain roads and trails may get impassable during the wettest months (January to March).
The Salcantay or Salkantay is a mountain in Peru, locates in the Vilcabamba mountain range, in the district of Santa Teresa, providence of La Convencion, Deparment of Cusco. It rises up to 6,271 meters above sea level.
According to some authors, the name of this mountain is a contradiction that comes from Salqa (a word in quechua that means unsociable or wild, and Antay that means producing cloudscape and avalanche. People use to call it Apu that in quechua means lord.
The trek to Salkantay is one of the access way to get to Machu Picchu. Unlike the Classic Inca Trail on which is mandatory to hire an agency that has a daily quota as its overcrowding, the trek to Salkantay allows you to trek it by your own without quotas and without overcrowding.
The trek follows the access to Machu Picchu. That is the reason why the main objective is arriving to Aguas Calientes to have the chance to visit Machu Picchu on the next day. The access to Aguas Calientes is made from the Hidroelectrica (a complex energy supply to the Cusco Valley). There are two ways to get to Aguas Calientes from the Hidroelectrica: One in train that costs 15 dollars and it last about 50 minutes, and the other one is walking along the same route of the train, 10 km (2 hours and 15 minutes) approximately.
The start point of the trek takes place in Mollepata. To get there you either hire a private transport or you take public transportation. It takes about 2 hours to get to Mollepata and from there you need to go to Soray Pampa.
Salkantay Trek Weather is sunny during the day, but cold during the night. The temperature drops below 0°C at night during the months of June to September. The rainy season is from December to March. The best weather time to make the trek to Salkantay is from June to September.
If you decide to travel on the rainy season we recommend you bring warm clothes in order to prevent getting sick. The landscapes and the scenes that you can see throughout the 5 days that this trek last are wonderful due to the variety of micro-climates. On the first and the second day you will be between 4,200 MAMSL and 4,600 MAMSL. The predominant vegetation will be the ichu (native plant from the Andes) due to the climate.
The geography is difficult and hard in all the outline of this attractive mountains complex. The Salkantay is surrounded by deep valleys and ravines and this makes its route interesting but exhausting at the same time. Although the difficulty in this trek is superior to the Inca Trail, it is not a high level trek. It is longer (5 days instead of 4), more high more savage but that is the reason why is so interesting.
This trip combines the cultural beauty and the natural beauty, we will enjoy magnificent landscapes of the snow-capped Salkantay Mountain (6,264 MAMSL/20,551 feet), considered the most representative mountain of the Vilcabamba mountain range. This trek takes us to the Inca times and makes us aware of the mountain spirits, The Apus. Finally, our trip ends in one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
This is a fantastic adventure! You will cross one of the most astonishing Andean landscapes and will have the opportunity to observe a very beautiful scenery with mountain ranges. In addition, through a great variety of habitats and environments, you can see the top of the mountains covered with snow and then you will get the chance to see the rain forest.