5 day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu
If you are in Peru you have to go see the famous Machu Picchu. The question is not if you will go there, but how. There are many options, from the famous (but expensive) Inca Trail, jungle treks or a day visit by train. We decided to book a 5 day hike along the Salkantay trek. This trek is considered one of the best alternatives for the original Inca trail. It is more then half of the price and is considered one of the most challenging treks to Machu Picchu.
arriving in Cusco
Once you have arrived in Cusco you want to find a relaible agency to book your tour with. In the low season you can easily book the salkantay trek a few days before departure. Don't try this during the high season (july-august) though, cause you might be missing out.. In Cusco it seems like everybody is trying to sell you a tour. Make sure to shop around and not book anything at dodgy agencies. We booked at Cusco Viajes and were very pleased by their service.
Your first day you will be picked up at 4.30 at your hostal. From there on you'll drive for about 2h to the start of the trek. At the end of the first day, you'll have the option to go up to a mountain lake. This is quiet though, but worth the effort !
From day three one it all get's a but easier. Mostly downhill from now on. Make sure to apply repellent against mosquito cause today you'll be going down the jungle.
Day four is chill. There is even the option to choose for some ziplining. In the afternoon you'll walk down the train rails up to Aguas Calientes, you're last stop before Machu Picchu.
5 TIPS for Salkantay trek:
- make sure to bring a good sleeping bag. If you don't have one, don't worry, there are plenty for rent in Cusco.
- get at least one hiking pole. It will give you extra balance and energy during steep climbs and descents.
- get a rain poncho or jacket. Don't leave without. Just don't ..
- don't bring to much stuff. You will have to carry it on a certain point.
- book your Waynu Picchu trip ahead. It's really worth going up this mountain.