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Tips to have a perfect trek to Salkantay

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Tips to have a perfect trek to Salkantay

Its step under the majestic Apu Salkantay of more than 6200 meters leaves no one indifferent. You can almost touch the glaciers that fall 1600 meters below its peak. It has absolutely everything: high mountain, height forest, tropical jungle, towns, camps, valleys, peace and tranquility. I know that when you read this article you will have the irresistible desire to perform this trek, to see it live, to feel the environment Andean in your own skin. That is why we have created this blog to advise you on your trip.


3 vital points to organize the Salkantay Trek and really enjoy it: 

  • Training and height
  • The route and its difficulty
  • Equipment

1.- Training and altitude

First of all you need to have in mind the following thing: We do not recommend to realize the trek after landing in Cusco: why? Imagine that you land in Lima (that is at the level of the sea), you fly to Cuzco and, suddenly, you stand firm to 3.400 meters high. You begin the trek, which is wonderful, but with that plan you have few possibilities of success. The reason is the altitude sickness that will beat you from Cusco, so imagine how you will spend the night in the first camp in Soraypampa, at 3.900 meters of high.

How should I organize this route? How should I prepare the acclimatization prior to the height?
First, after landing in Lima and flying to Cusco you need to relax, visit the city and explore the surrounding area. You have a lot of opportunities to see the archeology like the impressive Sacsayhuaman. You also get the chance to enjoy the gastronomy which is exquisite. Then, you go to the trek and enjoy the maximum of it because you will find yourself with more strength to realize it. This does not means that you cannot do the first option, but as you know, the altitude sickness does not depends on training, but on a good acclimatization and each one genetics. 


We do not believe that a special preparation to successfully complete this journey is necessary. We recommend to do some exercise like walking, running, go biking, etc. at least 4 days a week, 30 minutes a day. Why? The reason is because as you ascent, the lack of oxygen will accelerate the heart. That is completely normal, the only thing you have to do is walking on a rhythm that you can take and avoid taking stops whenever the heart accelerates. If you let your heart rate stabilize you will see that you can carry a constant and comfortable rate (faster or slower, depends on the training), even gasping. But it is normal. 


The fact of doing some exercise 4 days a week will avoid the heart acceleration. Remember not to take medicines if it is not completely necessary and leave the body to follow its normal acclimatization.


2.- The route and its difficulty

The trek to Salkantay is a spectacular path that takes you to Machu Picchu in 5 days. Although it is in the shadow of the famous Inca Trail, this road runs through the places of countless beauty to end in the lost city of the Incas. The difference is that it is not a crowded road and it is ideal for tranquility lovers. Here is a brief summary of the trek:

Day 1: From the Mollepata town to the Soraypampa camp.

  • Start point: Mollepata (2,811 meters)
  • End point: Soraypampa (3,916 meters)
  • Length: 19 KM
  • Overpass: +1280 meters
  • Time: 6-7 hours
  • Difficulty: 2/10 due to the altitude.

This day is very important for the acclimatization of the body to the height. You will feel a slight headache overwhelming feeling because you will sleep in height. It is normal, do not medicate yourself if it is not strictly necessary and enjoy your lunch and dinner you are going to have. Look around the mountains because they are going to impress you.


Day 2: From the Soraypampa camp to the Chaullay town.

  • Start point: Soraypampa (3,850 meters)
  • End point: Chaullay (2,920 meters)
  • Length: 21 KM
  • Overpass: +645 meters/-1,670 meters
  • Time: 8 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/10 due to the altitude.

This is the key day since the altitude is of 4,200 which will be the personal record for many people. This is the highest point of the trek.

Day 3: From the Chaullay town to the Santa Teresa town.

  • Start point: Chaullay (2,920 meters)
  • End point: Sahuayaco “La playa” (2,920 meters)
  • Length: 15 KM
  • Overpass: -900 meters
  • Time: 5 hours 30 minutes approx.
  • Difficulty: 2/10

Enjoy the rainforest and the path. Pay attention to the plants, the animals, the spectacular butterflies and enjoy the hot spring at the end of the day.

Day 4: From the Santa Teresa town to Aguas Calientes.

  • Start point: Santa Teresa
  • End point: Aguas Calientes (2,920 meters)
  • Length: 22 KM 
  • Overpass: +950 meters/-790 meters
  • Time: 7 hours
  • Difficulty: 2/10

The second part of the day is amazing, you will see Machu Picchu on the top of the mountains.


Day 5: From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

  • Start point: Aguas Calientes (2,100 meters)
  • End point: Machu Picchu (2,430 meters)
  • Length: 8 KM
  • Overpass: +400 meters/-400 meters
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/10

3. – Equipment 

We recommend you take a lightweight luggage, in this trek you have carriers that will carry all your equipment except your daypack. Keep in mind that if you continue your trip by Peru after the trek, you must carry everything you take. 

This is our recommendation of the material for a trip to Peru that includes the Salkantay trek

  • Sleeping bag
  • Waterproof clothing (technical or poncho, it does not matter because a rain can fall at any moment)
  • Feather coat or something thick. It is very cold at night in Salkantay.
  • 2 thick t-shirts
  • 2 thin t-shirts
  • 4 changes of underwear
  • 1 pair of long thick pants
  • 1 pair of long thin pants
  • 1 pair of shorts 
  • 3 pairs of trekking socks
  • 2 pairs of thin socks
  • Cap or hat
  • Gloves
  • Boots or trekking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Personal medication suggested by your doctor
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper, towel
  • Sterilizing tablets
  • Candies and chocolates
  • Bath clothes
  • Walking canes.

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