FREQUENT QUESTIONS FOR SALKANTAY TREKS
Here are some of the frequently asked questions from our customers.
Our Salkanay Treks Frequent Questions will help you to pack your personal item as well will answer questions and doubts you might have for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu; obviously that NOT all of your questions you find here; so that fill free to contact us to our e-mail address or you can Skype us; we’ll be so glad to assist you.
Table of Frequent Questions
The Salkantay Trail connects the city of Cusco with the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel and travels approximately 89 km / 55 miles through high Andean peaks, cloud forest, and misty jungle. The walk begins in the town of Mollepata, a few kilometers from Cusco.
The Mountain of Salkantay; is located in the Vilcabamba Mountain range, northwest of Cusco. Salkantay is one of the highest and most spectacular mountains in the Andes (6,271 m / 20,574 ft).
National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine named the Salkantay Treks are the 25 best hikes in the world.
HOW TO BOOK SALKANTAY TREKS?
Please, it is very important to fill the blanks in the attached reservation form, we’ll send you an email with true and updated information so that we can make your reservations with the correct and appropriate information
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO MAKE SALKANTAY TREK RESERVATION?
For Salkantay Treks of 3-Days, 4-Days or 5-Days, we recommended booking at less 1 or 2 months in advance. The government has strictly limited the number of people permitted on Machu Picchu (permits are issued to about 2500 per day). We therefore recommend that you try to make your reservation for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu as far in or as soon as you know the dates of your international flights.
Nov, Dec, Jan: the trek permits for some departure dates were sold out 3 months in advance. we therefore recommend making a reservation at least 5 months in advance, although I am sure there will still be trek permits available for some dates 3 or 4 months in advance. Departures around Christmas and New Year tend to sell out fast.
March, April, May and June: Many trek departure dates during these months have sold out as soon as the trek permits go on sale at the beginning of January so we would recommend making a booking before the beginning of December to allow us time to process your booking.
WHY SHOULD I GO TO THE BRIEFING?
The briefing is very important because that is when you will meet your guide. At this meeting, your guide will provide you with important details about the hike. If you participate in Challenge Salkantay Trek, you will receive a duffle bag for your personal belongings. You will not receive a travel bag for the 2D Inca Trail. During the briefing, you will also pay the balance of your walk. You will receive a map of our offices with your reservation information.
CAN I LEAVE LUGGAGE IN THE TREKKING OFFICES OF SALKANTAY?
Yes. You can leave your luggage at our offices.
You can take it to your briefing, or you can bring it when you are picked up in the morning for a hike. The driver will take you back to our offices. You can also drop it off at your hotel once you return from the Salkantay trek.
HOW FAR DO WE WALK EACH DAY AT SALKANTAY TREKS?
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE SALKANTAY TREKS?
For an average travelers or hikers, Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu is considered a challenging but certainly not impossible hike. Due to the physical demands, anyone who wishes to do Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu should at least be moderately fit. Plus, all trekkers should spend at least 2 days in Cuzco before the trek, to get acclimatized. Being extremely fit does not grant any immunity from altitude sickness.
SHOULD I BRING ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR SALKANTAY TRES?
Yes. It’s very important!!! We recommend that you bring 300-400 Peruvian soles. You may not need this money, but in an emergency you should make sure you have enough money. If you have difficulties on the route, you can use the money to buy alternative means of transport such as: car, horse and train. If you’re on the 5-day hike, there are some additional activities along the way, including the hot springs.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN MY GROUP?
Groups are generally 8-10 people. It also depends on the time of year. The maximum is 12 people and the minimum is 2 people.
WHAT SIZE OF BAG SHOULD I BRING?
We will provide you with a Duffle bag for all Salkantay treks; there you can carry up to 7 kilograms including sleeping bag. These duffle bags will be transported by horses throughout the trek from camp to camp. All you need to do is carry a backpack / small backpack with the items you may need throughout the day, such as sunscreen, bug spray, jackets, or snacks.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRIVATE TOUR AND THE GROUP TOUR? WHY IS IT WORTH PAYING MORE FOR THE PRIVATE TOUR?
If you choose to take a private tour, the tour will suit you. The size of the group depends on you and only you. You can decide exactly who will be with you on the walk. It is perfect for couples, families or groups of friends. You will have your own personal leader and guide, which means the hike is more personalized and able to meet your personal needs.
SHOULD I RENT AN ADDITIONAL HORSE?
If you are concerned about the walk, you have the option of hiring an additional horse. The cost is US $ 60.00. You can only ride the first two days of the promotion. In the last days, you will sometimes have the opportunity to unsubscribe and take a car or train for certain stages of the trek. In addition, you should keep in mind that the first day you will take a different route than those who choose to walk. You do not have to organize this in advance.
CAN I JOIN A SINGLE TRAVELER?
Yes! We have lone travelers who join our walks all the time. I would share accommodation with a person of the same sex. If you want a single hotel room, you can arrange it for an additional US$ 20.00.
IF I DECIDE TO CANCEL, WILL I BE REIMBURSED?
No. Unfortunately, our company has a non-refund policy. All deposits of $ 200.00 are not refundable or transferable. We understand that unexpected events happen beyond your control, but we cannot make exceptions. For more information, see our terms and conditions.
CAN I HIKE SALKANTAY TREKS WITHOUT A GUIDE?
Yes, an individual traveler or a small group may walk alone, without guides. However, the path is not clearly marked at all points, making the loss a great possibility. This is one of the biggest advantages of hiring a travel agency like “SUNRISE PERU TREK”. Our guides know the route very well.
DO YOU PROVIDE WATER DURING THE WALK?
Yes, we will give you clean water with every meal and in the morning when you wake up.
Also, there are small streams and mountain springs along the way. The water here is clean, but to be safe, you need to add a water purification pill. Most pharmacies in Cuzco sell them.
HOW ARE THE GUIDES FOR SALKANTAY TREKS?
Having a good guide is an essential part of a good walking experience. For this reason, “SUNRISE PERU TREK” hires and works with some of the best guides in the business. Our guides have knowledge in the fields of history, archeology, ecology and are from the Cuzco region.
To continue working with our guides, we pay them a higher salary than most agencies and make sure they are treated well. They can use good quality sleeping bags, mats and food for free. The same goes for our porters and our riders.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING SECTION OF THE SALKANTAY TREKS?
At the Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu the hardest part, is the Salkantay Pass, at approximately 4,650 meters above sea level is the most difficult section in the trail. These challenges are a result of several factors: the challenge of uphill climbing, bitter cold winds, low temperatures in general, and the fact that you are trekking at a low-oxygen altitude.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HIKE SALKANTAY TREKS?
The dry season is the best time for Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu. In Cuzco, the dry season lasts from April to November, and the wet season is from December to March. From June to September are the most popular months to hike Salkantay Treks, due to summer vacations in Europe and the US. It is generally thought that May and October offer the best weather conditions.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
Weather is very varied on Salkantay Treks, due to the fact that it winds its way through wildly different terrain at different altitudes.
The only place where weather is a serious concern is the Salkantay Pass, and the nearby areas. Temperatures here, and at the nearby Soraypampa campsite, can fall below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest or the Amazon Jungle.
WHY DO I NEED TO MAKE A DEPOSIT FOR SALKANTAY TREKS?
We recommend making your reservation in advance and we will guarantee your Spaces for this hike.
Each reservation needs 20% of deposit as first payment. The final balance (80%) will be paid in Cuzco (On the Briefing Day).
About Payment you must choose where you would like to make the deposit:
- By Pay Pal or Credit Card
- Western Union
- Peruvian Banking Account
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I MAKE THE SECURITY DEPOSIT?
First, we will send you an email to confirm your payment. Then we will contact you to offer you different hotel or hostel options in Cuzco, as well as inform you of other tours you might be interested in.
Two weeks before your tour date, we will contact you by email to request the final payment. We will also ask you where you will be staying in Cuzco, to be able to pick you up on the day of your hike.
After we receive the final payment, we will send you an email confirming your tour date and informing you of important contact information for our tour agency, as well as some final tips to prepare for the trek.
IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS A PROBLEM? WHAT SHOULD I DO TO AVOID ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
To avoid altitude sickness, give yourself time in Cuzco to acclimatize to the change in altitude. Two days minimum is recommended. Try to avoid alcohol before and during your trek, and make sure you eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Make sure to stay hydrated during the trek, don’t force yourself to walk faster than your body wants to, and take frequent breaks. Drinking coca leaf tea helps a lot, and you may wish to speak with your doctor about Diamox pills.
WHAT IS THE FOOD AND DRINK LIKE AT SALKANTAY TREKS?
There will be a hot breakfast (porridge, eggs, toast, tea and coffee) to start the day, a packed lunch on the mountain or at your camp and a filling hot meal in the evening (soup, followed by rice, potato or pasta and sauce, but fresh fruit is difficult to find.) There will be ample drinking water, as we will be filling up from local water sources. This will need to be treated with iodine drops or tablets to purify the water. The staff will collect water each morning and evening for drinking and cooking. Please let Charity Challenge knows prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
For Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu you will need backpack, sleeping bag (cam be rented in our office; it weighs approx. 2kg), double-thickness foam mattress (we will provide you with this but you have to carry it, it weighs approx. 1/2kg), rain jacket, strong footwear, one complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), water bottle (metal or Nalgene type); flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc. camera and spare batteries (nowhere to charge your camera during the trek).
For your own personal hygiene we also recommend that you bring a small bottle of antiseptic/anti-bacterial hand gel to clean your hands each time after using the camp toilets and before eating any snacks / meals. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek, with the same passport number you originally made your reservation with; otherwise you will be unable to go on the trek. Photocopies are no longer acceptable. We will buy your trek permit using the names & passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application.
You must bring these same passports with you to Cusco and take them on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. If the name or number in your passport is different from the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund. These are government regulations and apply to ALL licensed Trekking tour operators.
IS THERE A MINIMUM OR MAXIMUM AGE LIMIT?
For Salkantay Treks, there is no government restriction on the age limit; However as a responsible trekking company we recommended all of the trekkers must be I a well physical conditions. For children under the age of 14 years old and adults over 55years old we recommended to book through our special program (private service).
You must know that all children under 18 years old must also be accompanied by an adult. We recommended that the trekkers with the knees or relative problems hire the service of an extra porter (6kg). We also recommend that clients over 60 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek (rather than the usual 2 days). If you are over 50 years old you should talk to your doctor well in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that your travel insurance covers such adventure activities.
WHERE CAN I STORE MY BIG BAGS THAT I DO NOT NEED TO TAKE?
Any bags that you don’t need to take on Salkantay Treks it can be left at your hotel in Cusco. Nearly all hotels have a luggage deposit and rarely charge for this service as long as you are returning to the hotel after the trek. You can also leave valuables in the hotel safe, but remember to bring your passport and some emergency money. Or you also can store at our office.
CAN I HAVE VEGETARIAN MEALS?
Our cooks can provide vegetarian meals no problem. Just let us know your dietary requirements when you book your Salkantay Treks to Machu Picchu.
ARE THERE TOILETS?
Recently flush toilets have been built along the Inca trail including all of the major campsites. This has helped a lot to improve sanitary conditions on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu although conditions are still not always perfect. Each toilet block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring from hand-sanitizer to use after visiting the public toilets. Every evening we will provide you with a bowl of warm water to wash with.
CAN I USE TREKKING POLES OR WALKING STICKS?
It helps when you are climbing steps and on various sections of the trail. We normally recommended trekking poles but the spikes should be protected with rubber tips so not to destroy the paved Incan stones. You can purchase trekking poles in Cusco made of dry bamboo wood.