The Apu Salkantay, known as the wild mountain, rises to 6,272 masl. It’s located, northwest of the city of Cusco, in the district of Santa Teresa. The highest of the Vilcabamba Mountains; and is part of the extensive mountain range of the central Andes of South America.
Following then; it was very revered by the Willak umas or Andean priests, who considered it an APU (protective spirit), guardian of Machu Picchu. There are many legends about its name, which derives from the Kichwa or Quechua language, “Salja Kay” (wild) , due to its constant avalanches and imposing presence.
It is one of the 7 peaks, one of the 6 thousand meters at sea level of the Cusco region, the 38th highest peak in the Andes and the 12th highest in Peru. However, it is the second highest in topographic prominence in the country, after Huascarán. This makes it one of the mountains known for its difficult climbing and access for alpinists throughout the world; due to its 4 vertical faces between 55 and 75 degrees of inclination, and risk of avalanches during the year.
This expedition to Salkantay, was recently named by the National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine among the best 25 excursions of the world.
Its west face is still a virgin, and has been scaled since 1952, by several expeditions, being the American-French, the first to reach its summit, and Madame Claude kogan, the first woman to do so, Fred D. Ayres, David Michael, Jr., John C. Oberlin, WV Graham Matthews, Austen F. Riggs, George I. Bell, M. Bernard Pierre, and Jean Guillemin. All except for Oberlin, Riggs and Guillemin achieved the summit. The standard route on the mountain was along the Northeast cliff, with vertical ascent, in glacier, snow, ice and rock. The route is in the AD range on the French scale.
Experience the glacial lake of Humantay
Cross over the 4,660m Salkantay pass before a descent down into cloud forest
Visit the lesser-known picturesque ruins of Llactapata
Explore the fabled sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Relax and enjoy the views on the train ride back from Machu Picchu
Maximum Elevation – 5,500m
Start/Finish – Cusco/Cusco
Trek Style – Camping
Best Season – May to October
Good health & experience is required for moving across glacial cracks and ravines.
Good experience climbing on vertical walls between 60 and 75 degrees of incline.
Handling and promoting high-mountain equipment by yourself.
Age range: 18 to 65 yrs.
Breakfast x 11
Lunch x 11
Dinner x 10
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Trekking Poles)
Accommodation in Aguas Calientes – x1 Night
Machu Picchu Entrance Ticket
Round-trip bus tickets
Return Train to Cusco & transfer to hotel
Accommodation in Cusco – x2 Nights
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Tips for crew
Any additional extras
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
Crampons, Ice Axe, Harness, Helmet (can be hired as part of trip)
|Joining Arrangements||There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured.|
|Food & Water||Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, please only consume bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.|
|Special Diets||We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.|
|Trekking Crew||We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, mountain cook, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request). They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.|
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude. Altitude Preparation
|Machu Picchu||An excursion to Machu Picchu is included as part of your trip, including professional bilingual guide, entrance tickets, return trip bus tickets, Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains (mountain climbs to be confirmed on reservation) & your return train ticket to Cusco. To be confirmed on reservation.|
|Covid-19 (Coronavirus)||We are working with the latest protocols issued by the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) to ensure our operations are safe and compliant for the future. We also have access to on-call health services for your time with us.|
|Covid-19 (Useful Links)||World Health Organisation | World Health Organisation – Peru | Covid-19 Data – Peru | Covid-19 Daily Statistics|
|Available Discounts||Throughout 2022 we’re offering a 15% discount for each member of a group larger than 4+|
|Reservation||Please contact us to reserve your trek and we will send you our deposit & payment options.|
|Customer Service||Please feel free to contact us at any point before your trip for any queries or problems.|
From your arrival to the city of Cusco (3,450 masl), this is where you’ll start your adventure. Heading Northeast towards the sacred valley of the Incas, where you’ll explore the valley with a guided tour of the archaeological site of Pisaq (3,425 masl), and continue by passing through Calca, Yucay, until we reach Urubamba (2,820 masl). Here you’ll have some lunch, dinner and rest in accommodation previously chosen for your trip.
Continuing with your acclimatization period, you’ll leave early at around 8am. Leaving in private transport you’ll head to the best archaeological sites in the valley, located on the MARAS plateau (3,600masl), such as CHINCHERO; MORAY, SALINERAS. Stopping for about 45 minutes at each tourist site and 2 hrs in transport until returning to Urubamba, where you’ll have lunch.
Continuing to Ollantaytambo Pueblo at 2,842masl, where you’ll explore one of the mysteries of Inca architecture in the Archaeological Park at 2,892 masl. Afterwards continuing to your accommodation in the vibrant Inca Village of Ollantaytambo.
Starting your adventure at 7am, taking private transport (30 minutes), to the community of Socma (3,190 masl). You’ll begin the trek to the Rayan farmhouse, passing through the PEROLNIYOC waterfalls.
Gradually ascending, you’ll take the opportunity to rest and take photos before continuing the steep ascent for 35 minutes until reaching the archaeological site of pre-Inca and Inca times, called Raqaypata initially and now Perolniyoc. Here you’ll be exploring, enjoying the views and learning about the history and stories referring to the place. After an hour in Perolniyoc, you’ll continue towards the Puka ccasa pass (4,420 masl).
After approx. 3hrs, stopping to enjoy our snacks and cold food brought from Ollantaytambo. Once in the pass you’ll be able to see the mountains and some peaks of the Andes, the Wakaywillke (Veronica), the most imposing and majestic, below the sacred valley. Then continuing for a further 3 hrs as the terrain undulates to 4,400 masl until reaching the last pass Kuychi ccasa (4,425 masl), and finally descend for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs, to the next archaeological site called Choquetakarpo ( 3,730 masl), not before going to the famous Wayra punku or wind gate (3,890 masl), from where we will see Veronica mountain, enjoying the beautiful sunset and seeing the west face of the sacred mountain or Apu to climb. Then you’ll descend to Choquetakarpo.
Very early you’ll head to the Mirador of Wayra punku or Inti punku (wind or sun gate), to see the sunrise from this portal visualizing the sacred valley and the peaks of the mountains of the southeast Andes.
Then you’ll return to the camp, pack and descend to Ollantaytambo, not before, passing through the Inca quarry of Cachikata, where you’ll explore a little and see some graves on the rocks, and huge blocks of pink Diorita, in the process of cutting and transport, and it will take us 2 hours to get to one of the bases of the Inca bridge.
Crossing from there you’ll be 20 minutes from the Ollantaytambo station, where you’ll board the train for 1.5 hrs to Aguas Calientes (2,020msnm) taking the bus to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (2,410 masl).
Here you’ll have an introduction about the place, and understand about the function of this wonder of the modern world. After a 3-hr tour, returning via bus to Aguas Calientes, then board the train back to Ollantaytambo and finally take our private transport back to Cusco.
Leaving very early at 3 am, it will take 4 hrs of travel by private transport, to the Southeast, via Pitumarca Canyon (3,570 masl), until the start point of the expedition. From there you’ll be 1hr from Rainbow Mountain (Winikunka 5,080 masl), during the ascent you’ll have views of the Apu Ausangate (6,384 masl), the highest in the region of Cusco and the fifth highest mountain in Peru.
Once you have taken the photos, and enjoyed the view, you’ll descend by another route that will take us to the red valley, which will make us feel that we are on another planet. Continuing the descent until we reach 4,630 masl (2 hours), where you’ll take another local transport (1 hr), via Cusipata (3340 masl). You’ll have some lunch and then return to Cusco for 2 hours.
Leaving early at 5 am, Northwest direction of Cusco, heading to Soraypampa (3920msnm), passing through Limatambo and Mollepata, (2920msnm), and it will be 3 hours of travel in private transport, then start the ascent to the Humantay Lagoon (4260msnm), approximately 2 hours; then descend to Soraypampa, to our campsite, where you’ll spend the night.
Very early setting off in earnest, beginning the expedition, heading northeast of Soraypampa. Being the first Inca Chiriaska pass at 4980msnm, 4 hours, and then descending for 2 hrs, until 4,310msnm, then ascending for 2 hrs to the Palqay pass, at 4680msnm, slightly steep ascent, then you’ll descend for another 2 hrs until reaching the base camp at 4,210msnm.
This day will be a steep climb of regular difficulty, and it will take us 4 hours to the advanced camp, at 4,610masl.
This day leaving very early, in order to enjoy the sunrise going to the high field, and you’ll start to use after the third hour the technical ice axes, screws, and ropes to continue this vertical ascent between 60 to 70 degrees of inclination for 3 hrs until we reach to the high field, at 5500msnm. • It will depend on the conditions of the glacier and your technical ability to reach 5,500msnm, but camp will be at 5,200msnm.
At 7 am, leaving the high camp, rappelling 4 lengths of 60 meters each, taking 1 hour for each rappel, until reaching the rocky morraine area, where we will make a last rappel on rock 20 meters, and leave the base camp, and then continue to Raqay Pata, at 3,550 masl, where you’ll spend the night (9-10 hours).
Leaving very early, taking into account the distance and state of the road, they will be between ascents and descents, being mostly descent for 9 hrs, until we reach the secondary plant of the Hydroelectric Plant of Machu Picchu, (2020msnm), where we will take a local transport to Cocalmayo (hot springs), located in the town of Santa Teresa, at 1610msnm. After a relaxing bath, we will have lunch and continue to Cusco, (6 hours).