Without a doubt, Mount SALKANTAY is one of the most emblematic landscapes of the region of Cusco in Peru, that today everyone knows or has heard about it. This mountain is famous for its continually snowy summit and the picturesque lagoons.
Salkantay is home to network of trails also called the Great Trails to Machu Picchu, an extensive trail system that covers the National park of Machu Picchu. The diversity of trekking cannot be found in any other region of the world. In fact, the lowest point in Salkantay region is 1,450 m above sea-level in the Santa Teresa region while the highest point is the Mt. of Salkantay with 6,271 m above sea-level; the two points are, in a straight line, only 80 kilometers apart.
The majority of visitors to Salkantay come in via Cusco International Airport in the southern Peru. It is in Cusco that trekkers need to acquire their permits and other documentation, either from a trekking agent or from the appropriate offices. These documents will be checked along the trekking route. For those with little time to spend in Cusco there are day tours from Cusco to witness breathtaking views and the treasure of the Inca Culture.
The Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru currently is completely different to that of the 1960s and 1070s. In all the main trekking areas, the National Parks and Conservation Areas lodges have been established where trekkers can find accommodation, food and meet other trekkers and locals along the way. The majorities of the trails are well maintained and in many cases are sign-posted.
For the Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru, which start from the city of Cusco, there are daily domestic flights every hour from Lima the Capital of Peru, The city of Cusco are able to provide different types of Hotels for your accommodation; however we recommended to reserve in advance during the high season, from May to September. Trekkers can find an organized Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu for any time of year.
It is important for tourists to know that the main income generating activity of the people from the hill regions is tourism, and they typically earn wages working as trekking porter, horseman or guide. Hiring a porter does not mean that you are weak, it means you value the Peruvian culture, you are providing an extended Peruvian family with an income and at the same time you are making a friend and trekking with a local person who is well versed in the local cultures, festivals, and all the other issues that can turn a good trek into an outstanding experience of a life time.
The Salkantay Mountain
Salkantay is located in the Vilcanota mountain range which is the eastern Peruvian mountain range; It is the highest peak of the Vilcanota mountain range, part of the Peruvian Andes. It is located in the Cusco Region, about 60 kms or 40 ml. west-northwest of the city of Cusco. It is considered the 38th highest peak in the Andes, and the twelfth highest in Peru. However, as a range highpoint in deeply incised terrain, it’s the second most topographically prominent peak in the country after Huascarán mountain located north of Lima.
The snowcapped Mountain of Salkantay, is a large, steep peak with great vertical relief, particularly above the low valleys to the north, which are tributaries of the Amazon River.
The name of Salkantay is in Quechua which means wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible. The name is thus often translated as “Savage Mountain”.
Salkantay was first climbed in 1952 by a French-American expedition comprising Fred D. Ayres, David Michael, Jr., John C. Oberlin, W. V. Graham Matthews, Austen F. Riggs, George I. Bell, Claude Kogan, M. Bernard Pierre, and Jean Guillemin. All except Oberlin, Riggs, and Guillemin made the summit. Two years later Fritz Kasparek fell through a cornice near the summit on the NE ridge.
On June 17, 2013 Nathan Heald (USA), Thomas Ryan (USA), and Luis Crispin (Peru) made the summit at 10:30am after 9 hours of climbing from a high camp at 5,500mts. On the NE ridge. This makes Crispin the first Peruvian climber to summit the mountain. The team took a reading of 6,279 mts., S 13° 20.027’, W 72° 32.596’, on a GPS device.[On July 2013 a second team led by Nathan Heald (USA), consisting of James Lissy (USA) and Edwin Espinoza Sotelo (Peru) make the summit by the NE ridge. Due to glacial retreat, the route is now calculated to be graded D on the French adjectival scale. This makes Heald the only person to have summited the mountain twice.
Salkantay is located close to Machu Picchu which makes an excellent option for trekking through the base and ending at Inca sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
The mountain of salkantay is most easily accessed through the town of Mollepata, off of the Cusco-Abancay road. The trip is about 3 hour.
Day temperature of Salkantay
Days are usually bright and sunny with temperatures around the 20°C (70°F) mark. If rain falls then often the temperature will drop quite significantly, and combined with the wind chill factor it can actually feel quite cold.
Night temperature of Salkantay
Night time on the Trek is actually quite cold, with temperatures often falling below freezing point. When the sun sets the temperature drops quickly, and you will need to be prepared with warm clothing. We advise that you take thick dry socks, gloves, hats and warm clothing for the evening and for sleeping.
Rainy Season on the Salkantay
The rainy season from Mid October to Mid April is less popular with trekkers, as there is more chance of rain. The dry season which runs throughout the rest of the year have a good climate for trekking with little or no rain at all. However, during the rainy season with the increased amount of rain fall you will find that the mountains are more lush and green, compared to the other months of the year. Also, during the wet months Machu Picchu is less crowed.
The Peak – Savage Mountain – is located within the Vilcabamba mountain range, to the northwest of Cusco. It is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271m/20,574ft).