When is the best time to trek?
June, July and August are the most popular months to start this trek. As a result, you will encounter much larger crowds during these months. As an alternative, you can hike from March to December.
During the months of December to April, you can expect rain showers three to four afternoons a week. If you do not mind a little drizzle and muddy trails, hiking during the rainy season should not be a problem. During the rainy season, there are smaller crowds and greener hillsides. Frequently you will see wildflowers and orchids in bloom.
Do I need to make a trek reservation?
On July 15, 2011, the National Institute of Culture in Cusco announced that the number of visitors allowed into MachuPicchu is restricted to 2,500 per day. Given this limit, we highly recommend that you book your tour far in advance, especially if you are interested in going during the peak toursit season (May to September). MachuPicchu entrace tickets and train tickets are often sold out weeks in advance.
How do I book a trek?
If you are interested in booking a trek with us, please e-mail with your interest. We require a passport number at the time of your booking so that we can purchase your MachuPicchu ticket which requires your passport number. To avoid any troubles, please send us a high resolution copy of your passport.
If you are a student you will need to scan your ISIC card and email it to us because we need to present a copy of your cards to buy your entrace ticket. Also, you will be required to show your original ISIC card at the enterence of MachuPicchu.
If for any reason, you do not have your original card when you are going to enter MachuPicchu, please let us know as soon as possible. The MachuPicchu authorities are extremely strict and will not allow you to enter MachuPicchu if you have registered as a student and you do not have your original card.
Note: Scans of your ISIC card must be provided at the time of paying the trek deposit in order to qualify for the discount. International Youth Travel Cards (IYTC) or other forms of student identification are not acceptable.
Is the Salkantay trek difficult?
All of the treks are fairly difficult and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting the trek. You have to be moderately fit to complete this hike. Try walking 10km in a day or go to the gym a month before the trek because we will cover a lot of distance in the first 2 days.
The good news is that everyone in the last few years who started a trek has finished it! If you are really struggling, we have emergency horses that you can ride if you are not fit for the trek.
The second day of the trek will be the longest and hardest. After an early breakfast, we will start hiking up a moderate climb for three and half hours until we reach the Salkantay Pass (4,600m/15,092ft). From this point, we can soak in spectacular views of Cusco’s second highest peak. At the pass, you can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a present for the mountain spirit.
How cold are the Salkantay trek campsites?
All of our former trekkers agree that the coldest campsite along the trek is the first basecamp: Soraypampa basecamp. During the nighttime, temperatures can drop below freezing. This is especially true during the months of June, July, and August. However, the second and third campsites are also fairly cold.
How many days do I need to acclimate prior to starting the trek?
It is really important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. This is why we require everyone to be in Cusco for a minimum of 2 days prior to starting the trek. However, the more time you have to aclimate the better! You can use this time to visit the city of Cusco, nearby Inca ruins, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
What about altitude sickness?
To avoid altitude sickness on the trek, we recommed that you spend time in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley. If you have never been in high altitude, we recommend that you spend a day in the Sacred Valley because it is at lower altitude than Cusco city.
Are there toilets on the Salkantay trek?
At all of the major campsites, there are toilets that flush. Each toilet stall has cold running water. However, along the trail there are few toilets available and you will need to just go behind a rock or bushes. You will need to pack your own toilet paper.
We recommend that you bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting the toilets.
Do I need to bring hiking boots and walking sticks?
Hiking boots are highly recommended, as they provide ankle support that reduces the risk of injury, especially when trekking in the wet season (December to March) as you will encounter a lot of mud and rocks. It is also important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in.
Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals, using new boots, or renting boots prior to the trek. Make sure the shoes are sturdy enough for the duration of the trek and will not fall apart.
Can I use trekking poles on the Salkantay trek ?
Many people like to hike with trekking poles or walking sticks as they provide stability and support when treking on rocky terrain. Recently, government authorities have stopped trekkers from using wooden sticks that could have come from local forests to prevent deforestation of the protected Andean region.
What is the difference between the 4 day Salkantay trek and the 5 day Salkantay trek?
The 4 day will use a bus on the 3rd day from La Playa campsite to Hydroelectric train station. Then, you will take the train to Aguas Calientes. This use of transportation is reflected in the price of this trek.
The 5 day trek does not use extra transportation to get to Aguas Calientes. This trek walks the distance that the 4 day trek avoided