10 Reason to Hike the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Are you one of those people like me who have always dreamed about hiking to Machu Picchu? Well here is you change, without having to book Month in Advance. A couple of Days in truly enough!!

The Salkantay Trek is an amazing alternative Trek to reach Machu Picchu, leading you through a variety of Landscapes that Peru has to Offer.

What there is more than one Trek to Machu Picchu?

Yeah you got it! You may think that the Inka Trail is the only trail to hike to Machu Picchu. In a way that is correct, as all other Trails will lead to the village of Aguas Calientes, at the bottom of Machu Picchu Mountain. The Inka Trail is the only Trail which will lead you right through the Sun gate of Machu Picchu at Sunrise. However if you are one of those spontaneous travellers, the Inka Trail is not ideal for you. In Order to be able to hike the Inka Trail you have to book the up to 6 month in Advance.

The Reason why there is more than one Trail leading to Machu Picchu.

Lets be Real here for a minute a dip into a little History. The Inka Empire only exited for a total of 50 years, however the realm stretched from Northern Argentina to Ecuador. That over 3000km. So why would there not be more that one trail? The center of the Inka Realm is the Sacred Valley, which contains Cusco and Machu Picchu, so naturally there would be many trails leading here.

10 Reasons why the Salkantay Trail is the way to go!


1. The Salkantay Trail is a Breathtaking Trek leading you though the Andes.

Early on, there is this amazing view of Nevado Salkantay, Salkantay Trek

Early on, there is this amazing view of Nevado Salkantay.

2. No Porter is done any harm. However they are incredibly fit. For extra Luggage, Food Supplies and Camping Equipment Donkey’s are used. And from my Judgement they where treated well. But here is a SHOUT- OUT to all the Donkeys because let’s face it they are perform an amazing job.

3. Although the first day is “only” 12 km, it is a nice warm up for the next day. The Landscape around you, the high peaks makes you forget.

4. With an optional Afternoon Hike (which I highly recommend) to the Humanity Lake, a Glacier Lake, with an elevation of 4270 m. Fancy a Swim, however it might get a little frosty?

5. The toughest challenge, but worth every second is the Salkantay Pass. In roughly four hours, you will climb 800 m elevation. Don’t underestimate this, the air is already quite thin at 3850 m.

6. The highest elevation along the Trek is at 4.650m with an amazing view of the Mountain Nevada Salkantay. (A Sacred Mountain to the Inkas).

7. Once you pass the Salkantay Pass, the Valley opens up and it is like this whole new World. A whole different side. So that makes the 23 km on this day a Challenge, a Fight and a Blessing all in one. Reaching that Camp at the end of the Day, amazing!

8. After the Highest Point the Valley opens, The Vegetation changes in Jungle. You will pass small Waterfalls, see Palm tree, Wild Orchids and even some Coffee Plants.

9. What makes the Salkantay Trek so special is the fact that it goes through many Landscapes. Go to any Tour operator in Cusco, and you will be able to start your trip within a couple of days. It is recommended that you acclimatize to the Elevation for a couple of Days ahead anyways.

10. On the last Morning you can finally visit Machu Picchu. Either take the Bus or challenge yourself one last time and take the Stairs, and walk to Machu Picchu.

Salkantay Trek Machu Picchu

The Backside of Machu Picchu can be seen on the last day of the Salkantay Trek, when it somehow becomes real that you'll visit Machu Picchu the next day.

On of the Things you will really learn however on the Salkantay Trek is to appreciate the Nature and with Stories and legends be told get an impression what was important to the Inkas.

The Inkas believe in Pachamama ( Mother Earth) and are always giving offerings, to the Mother of creation. To this day they still do offerings. Like the Llama skeletons we passed on this trail or when you order a Beer at a Pub, the first sip is for Pachamama, pouring a little sip onto the Ground, as a thank you for this drink. It's these small things that make your trip an Authentic Trip!

A way, to believe of appreciating what we are given, to look at the small things in life instead of always the big picture. These 4 days (the 5th Day) at Machu Picchu is an amazing Trek and worth every minute. What ever Route you choose I am sure you will love it. But to kick start you inspiration of what you might expect here are 43 Photograph's of the Salkantay Trek.

All content, pictures Copyright © 2015 by InkasTour.com • All Rights Reserved. All other content is copyrighted by the respective authors and linked to Origin.

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  1. by Dave on March 14, 2018  10:28 PM Reply

    The Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu is the second most popular trek in the region of Cusco. We do agree when you mention that this route has the best dramatic views and gorgeous snow mountains. This is absolutely a must for those landscape photographers and adventure lovers. We are a group of local guides, working to offer the best experience across the Andes Mountains. Discover the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu with Mapi Tour Peru.

    • by Inka on March 24, 2018  4:20 PM Reply

      Thank you so much for this amazing feedback. I wish you all the best for all the future trips you will offer. Maybe one day the Andes will see me again as well and maybe meet you. :D

  2. by Liana on July 19, 2016  3:11 PM Reply

    I really love your photos and those 10 reasons. I've always wanted to hike the Machu Pichu. It's been a dream of mine and I'm excited to go after reading this!

    • by Inka on July 21, 2016  11:43 PM Reply

      Oh I am glad, you should definitely go.The challenge will be worth it.

  3. by Miriam Ernst on July 19, 2016  12:40 AM Reply

    Lovely pictures. I do consider hiking as one of the best ways to explore places so full of nature, you can really appreciate the amazing landscapes!

    • by Inka on July 21, 2016  11:44 PM Reply

      Yes I could not agree more. When your out "there" everything else becomes less important.

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