Lena and I decided to attempt the Salkantay Trail, a 56 km trail beginning in the small town of Mollepata, passing through a 4,800 meter pass next to Apu Salkantay, and finally ending in Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. We made the trek in five days, with no guide, and have put together this report to document our journey. There is a lot of information (and photos!) here, and I have tried to include as much information as possible for someone who wishes to attempt this trek on their own, as well as portray our personal journey on this trail. This post is divided into sections, beginning with an introduction to the trail, followed by a day-by-day summary of our adventures.
The famous Salkantay Trek, named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek open to everybody, with no limitation on spaces or permits (at least for now). Connecting the city of Mollepata with Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath located in the same region as the Inca Trail where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests.
Located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south central Peru by the Cordillera Vilcabamba and rising to 6271 meters above sea level (20574 ft) Mt. Salkantay is an outstanding glacier-capped summit worshipped for thousands of years by local indians. The name Salkantay is a quechua word meaning “Savage Mountain” (From www.salkantay.org)
Day 1 – Cusco to Mollepata
Day 2 – Mollepata to Soraypampa
Day 3 – Soraypampa, Abra Salkantay, Huaracmachay, Chaullay
Day 4 – Chaullay, La Playa, Lucmabamba
Day 5 – Lucmabamba, Llactapata, Hydro Electrica, Aguas Calientes