Salkantay Trek – Machu Picchu´s Best Trek

Salkantay Trek – Machu Picchu´s Best Trek

Salkantay Trek

Rated #1 for the 25 Best Treks in the World by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, the Salkantay Trekis the most popular alternative hike to Machu Picchu as it gives adventurers an incredibly different experience than the famous Inca Trail. 

The trail travels through incredible landscapes where lowland jungle gives way to highland alpine settings and glaciated mountains. Just seeing the amazing mixture of both environments alone makes this trek worth it. This is where the famous name comes from. 

Salkantay trek
Nevada Salkantay

Nevada Salkantay is one of the most iconic mountains in the Cusco. For experienced mountaineers, trekkers and hikers Salkantay Mountain is sad to be challenging. In fact the Quechua name, Sallqantay, means ‘Savage’ or ‘Wild’ and it is rarely conquered.

As you hike up to the highest point 15200ft or 4650m halfway between two huge mountains, Salkantay and Tucarhuay.

Salkantay Mountain
View from the Salkantay trek.

 Another amazing feature of the Salkantay Trek is viewing the marvelous Humantay Lake  (Laguna Humantay) one of the most sought out sites in Cusco. The beautiful color disparity in the lake mixed with the beautiful Salkantay Mountain surrounding gives you an unbelievable sensation.

View of the Salkantay Mountain overlooking the Humantay Lake.

The Humantay Lake is said to be sacred to the Incas where people still to this day leave offerings known as Apachetas.

Apachetas are said to be offerings to the deity named “Pachamama” and will find these offerings scattered around the lake shore. 

Apachetas near Salkantay Trek
Apachetas near Salkantay Lake.

After all the breathtaking sites you will get a chance to catch your breath hiking through the peaceful Cloud Forest, this upper jungle crossing the Lluskamayo River and a series of small brooks and creeks is absolutely refreshing. You will pass through valleys and have wonderful views of waterfalls, tropical fruits and plants.

View from the Cloud Forest.

The climate is warm in La Playa which is at(2500m)/(8202ft). After a rest, we will go to the hot springs and enjoy a well-deserved soak in the soothing waters. A real treat after all you´ve seen so far.


“We found evidence that some Inca chieftain had built his home here and had included in the plan about ten or twelve buildings.” – Hiram Bingham 1912

The next hidden gem you will get to see on the Salkantay Trek is LLactapata, which in Quechua means place (village, town, city, country, nation) and elevated above a bank or river which is west of Machu Picchu.

This unique site is a perfect lead to Machu Picchu and it´s unbelievable buildings.

After being blown away by the Salkantay Mountains, amazed by the Humantay Lake, re-energized by the Cloud Forest and finally left wondering about the Llaqtapata, what better way to end your journey than with the amazing Machu Picchu?

You will have seen more in one trip than what people see in two or three. This is why the Salkantay Trek is by far the best option and most amazing experience you can buy. 

Click here to see availability for our 
5 Day Salkantay Trek 
8 Day Salkantay Trek  – including Full Day Sacred Village