Salkantay Trek in Cusco
Salkantay Trek: Salkantay ice mountainis 6271 meters above sea level and usually very sunny during the day and cold at night. So temperatures can fluctuate from 0º to 18º during the daytime. The best time this hike is during the months of June to September before the rainy season.
Snowy hike the “Salkantay”
Salkantay Route, also known as the “new Inca Trail” is located north of the city of Cusco.
During this adventure tour you can wonder at the the beautiful Andean landscapes and have the chance to see condors and alpacas in their natural habitat. See different high altitude plants and a variety of orchids. Savor a delicious coffee and take a bath in natural hot springs.
The Salkantay is located in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, beautiful and quiet. It has many summits like Tucarhuay (5,910 m), Veronica (5,682 m) and the Huacayhuilca (5,361 meters) amongst others. The Salkantay is surrounded by deep valleys and ravines so the route is attractive and exhausting at the same time.
It is perfectly possible to do this trek alone if you have experience. You will have to spend at least one night at 3,900 m above sea level or above and you will need camping equipment good enough for freezing temperatures.
Bring some water purification pills. There are many streams, but also many animals around. Some travellers drink from the streams without purification, but it is better to be on the safe side.
You can rent a mule in Mollepata and other villages along the way.
You will need to carry food for at least two and a half days.
Normally this trek takes 4-5 days. The super fit ones can do it in 3. It is also possible to hire a taxi for the first part (from Mollepata to Soraypampa) as this is along a road.
The first day of hiking from Mollepata to Soraypampa will be gently uphill and mostly along a road (there are a couple of places selling drinks and snacks). There are some short cuts you can take to reach to Soraypampa which will probably be the highest and coldest sleeping place on this trek. There is a camp site, you can also freedom camp in the bush.
Take it easy on the pass the next day, especially if you are not acclimatized.
When to go
The dry season is the best time for this trek. In Cusco, 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 do the trek, due to summer vacations in Europe and the US. It is generally thought that May and October offer the best weather conditions.