One of the most incredible ways to visit Machu Picchu is through the Salkantay Trail. This 5-day Salkantay hiking route crosses the imposing Salkantay mountain and then reaches the Wonder of the World. Would you like to know Machu Picchu with this adventure surrounded by amazing landscapes? Know everything you need to know about the Salkantay trek.
The Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu passes through stunning landscapes varying from the cloud forest to the high mountains. Along the way you will see the fantastic views of second highest mountain in the Cusco area - Salkantay ("Savage mountain" from Quechua) standing at 20,574' (6,271 m). Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu goes through unfrequented areas and combines culture and tradition with the incredible flora and fauna offered by Peru. You will be in the real Andes and the perfect conditions to get a sense of the life in the area.
The mountain in itself presents an extremely cold climate (several degrees centigrade below 0º). The climate during the Salkantay trail, on the other hand, is varied. The intense sun and the cold night in the first days change for the tropical environment of the last. Now talking about the flora and fauna, the 5 days and 4 nights that the Salkantay trek lasts covers landscapes with a great variety of flora and fauna. Among the species of flowers and plants stand out the orchid and the ichu (Andean grass). Among the species of birds and animals, we should mention the llama, alpaca, vizcacha, condor, spectacled bear and the cock of the rocks (national bird of Peru).
During Salkantay Trail, you will observe many kind of orchids, some of them have a history. It is said that this beauty orchids are tears of an inca princess. The legend is called " The wakankis" Now We will tell you more about this love history:
In the kingdom of the Andes there was a beautiful young princess. She fell in love with a brave and attractive Inca warrior. Once their father found out about the relationship, forbid them to see each other since the princess was destined for the Sun God. When the princess learned of her decision, she ran across the Andes, crying for her forbidden love and became the beautiful "Waqanki" flower. So, every time the warrior found this flower in the Andes, He also cried remembering his lost love. "The spirit of beauty is still there, also expressed in our days in a song that we can hear even now:
"You will cry, my most beautiful flower with your beautiful eyes, for you envy surrounds me, I am committed to you, beautiful Waqanki, flower that you bloom in the heights, How will your song be when I take you In my heart"
This is the only testimony of appreciation that orchids existed in the empire of the Incas and has been preserved to this day orally transmitted from one to another. It is believed that there are about 350 native species in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. More than 100 of these species can be easily seen in these orchid trails in their natural habitat.