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The Salkantay Mountain Trekking (Adventure)

The Salkantay Mountain Trekking (Adventure)

The Salkantay trek is for the purists, treks, for those who know that there is more than the classic Inca Trail or the short Inca Trail to Machupicchu. If you are interested in the Salkantay Trek in wonderful Peru, then you know that the Incas created other beautiful trails and that there are more ways to get to Machu Picchu. One of them is the Salkantay Trek.

If you decide on the salkantay trek 5 or 4 days and 3 or 4 nights you will discover a wonderful little-known side of Peru. Of course, a walk to the Salkantay route is not for cowards. For the Salkantay trek you need to have that adventurous spirit running through your veins of walking and venturing into nature with the mountains. Do you think you are enough for the Salkantay Trail in Peru? Let’s go on an excursion with Okidoki Travel Peru! The Salkantay trekking to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous treks in Cusco and it is undoubtedly the best alternative route to experience the original Inca paths. This trek takes you through many different types of landscapes.

You will have the best opportunity to see the typical Andean landscape up to the snowcapped mountains, down to the tropical forests and finally even venture into the dense jungle. If you are thinking to do a hiking trip to Machu Picchu and you want to be off the beaten path, close to the Andean communities and appreciate the beautiful and diverse nature of Peru, the Salkantay Trekking is highly recommended.

Travel Peru – The Sacred Mountain of Salkantay Trek, its landscape, power and ancestors of Peru – Cusco

For the people of the Andes Peru, the Apus reverence and sacred mountains, converted into local protectors, did not go unnoticed at the time, so, as the Salkantay mountains, including the surrounding ones, assume an important role into the Andean worldview. For example the Waqay Willke snowy peak (5720 m), within the traditional Andean symbolism of dualistic thinking, is considered the complement of Salkantay, that is one of the most powerful and active deities of the place, and it is appreciated by the people, the father of all the mountains in the region and even nowadays is held in great veneration, so Machupicchu and Choquechurco holds an intimate visual contact with the Salkantay and other snowy peaks of the Vilcabamba chain – Cusco – Peru.

Trekking in the Vilcabamba chain:

The sacred and administrative llaqta of Machupicchu is located between important snow-capped mountains of the eastern slope of the Vilcabamba mountain range, «Salkantay Trek, (Humantay Yanantay and Tokorhuay that surround it) and Waqay Willke» whose mountains, an object of worship, enable a social cohesion that revolves around their veneration, for being these providers of water, a vital element, a principle of existence in the Andean world, as well as generating fertility in the animals, protection of its inhabitants and success in harvests and trekking. Religious, political and economic factors are involved in the cult of the mountains in the trekking zone; important within the process of social development of their communities, the same ones that have been present for centuries Cusco – Peru, and that are and were very familiar to the Andean inhabitants of all times. The current vision of the inhabitants of the Sacred Mountain Mollepata, Machupicchu, Santa Teresa, Wayraqmachay, Collpapampa, Totora, Yanama) in force since the time of the Inca society, is shared by Andean peoples, in such a way that the area is known for the Reverence to the sacred mountains, hardly ignored and that undoubtedly play a vital role through time for the Salkantay trekking.

Salkantay Trekking Group Peru Travel Operator:

Salkantay Trek, 6,264 meters high in the mountains of Peru, is the most important snow-capped mountain in the Vilcabamba mountain range and occupies the southern position of the Aobamba valley basin. The Sisaypampa, Orcospampa and Paccha Grande streams are born from its slopes. In 1963, five main glaciers were inventoried as belonging to the Aobamba river basin, located on the northern side of the mountain and oriented northeast and northwest.

From these, four correspond to the mountain type and one to the valley type. The total glacial surface of the snow-capped Salkantay in the area of ​​the Aobamba basin, in 1963 was 8.59 km 2 and in 1998, according to the satellite image, it was 3.98 km 2; brought a reduction of 4.61 km 2 of ice that corresponds to a loss of the glacier area of ​​53.8% for a period of 35 years. Currently the lower edge of the Salkantay glacier area is at ± 4800 meters above sea level, and due to the accelerated deglaciation process, this level will continue to rise in the coming years in Peru Travel. From the geodynamic point of view, five events have been generated in the Salkantay Trekking sector between 1996 and 1998. Three of the four that occurred in the Aobamba river basin and that occurred on July 12, 1996 Peru, March 12 and November 22, 1998 Peru, which originated from the rupture and detachment of hanging glacier masses.

The alluvium of February 27, 1998, which caused the damming of the Vilcanota River and affected the Machupicchu hydroelectric plant, occurred as a result of a solifluction process that originated in the outer slope of the frontal moraine arch that encloses the glacier tongue, whose flow in the initial section where there is a rock step of approximately 80 m of unevenness, increased its speed and destruction capacity. Many parts of the Salkantay mountain where changes in slope occur in the granite-type base rock and the glacial masses have been thin, the latter have already been ablated, leaving increasingly larger surfaces of exposed rock, for which the currents of main ice are subdividing and to the extent that the deglaciation process continues at the rate at which it has been occurring, in the coming years it is inferred that there will be sectors in the lower zone of Salkantay that will appear as isolated ice deposits, with a tendency to Salkantay become extinct – Peru Travel Agency operator.

Regarding the risk aspect, the loss of glacier area and the ostensible decrease in the volume of ice not only in Salkantay, but also in the rest of the glaciers, translates as a favorable situation in the sense that the avalanches and collapses of the masses of ice will be less and less in the mountains and snow-capped mountains of Salkantay. In the same way, it has been observed that the lower zone of the glaciers that belong to the Salkantay trek, and from where the avalanches mentioned in previous lines occurred, are currently not very thick and lie on rock surfaces with a medium slope; only from the terminal front of glacier No. 15, which is located in the upper left part of the Salkantay lagoon (other lagoons such as 7 lagoons of the ausangate trek, the humantay lagoon), there are continuous collapses of ice that fall directly on the glacier mass in extinction process that is generating the formation and development of lagoons in the mountains of the Andes of Peru Travel Operator.


The famous Salkantay Trek was recently named among the 25 best treks in the world. It connects the city of Cusco with Machu Picchu, this being an ancient and remote trail located in the same region as the Inca Trail, where huge snow-capped peaks collide with lush tropical forests with flora and fauna in the mountains. It is situated less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in south central Peru by the Cordillera de Vilcabamba at 6,271 meters above sea level (20,574 feet). The Salkantay trek is a glacier whose summit is worshiped for thousands of years by the Peruvian Indians. Salkantay or salcantay The name is a Quechua word that means “wild mountain”. The Salkantay trek is designed as an alternative route to the traditional Inca Trail. Off the beaten path, this is a cutting-edge experience for adventure-seeking travelers with a little more privacy and authenticity on tour. With more spectacular views, the trek offers a wide variety of climates and microclimates that will be hard to forget.

Adventure Tourism – Hiking to Salkantay

Hiking translated into English is known as trekking and is developed as part of adventure tourism in the Cusco region – Agency Operator. Regarding the concepts, we can see that:

Montipedía Mountain Encyclopedia (2015) mentions: Long-distance hiking mode, spending the night in shelters, tents or bivouac. It is considered an adventure sport, not because it contains risks and physical emotions, but because it participates in the adventure of contact with nature, valleys, mountains, lagoons, snow-capped mountains, the Amazon, and the exploration of new places far from conventional tourism. Originally, the term trekking was used only for long and organized routes, but the generalization of its use has extended its meaning to smaller routes that do not require exhaustive planning. In Spanish, an equivalent term is hiking – Agency operator.

The Trails Committee of the Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing FEDME (1997) states: Hiking is the non-competitive sports activity, which is carried out on preferably traditional paths, located in the natural environment; seeks to bring the person closer to the natural environment and knowledge of the country through the heritage and ethnographic elements that characterize pre-industrial societies, recovering the system of communication routes – Agency Operator.

In Peru – Cusco hiking or trekking is one of the latest trends in tourism in the world. It is mainly treated as a modern form of adventure tourism and geotourism. On the one hand, due to the extreme terrain where it is practiced and a certain dose of adrenaline, it is treated as a form of adventure tourism. The desire to achieve, acquire and reach many of the most difficult places decides the characteristics of a sports competition. Although, it seems that in today’s world all places have already been discovered, new challenges may still appear. On the other hand, the beauty of trekking is based on the fact that it is implemented in an extraordinary and surprising natural and geological environment. Although many challenges, tourists are attracted by geodiversity and fascinating landscapes, changing weather conditions or spiritual survival. It is often associated only with mountains, snow-capped mountains, lakes, lagoons, rivers, but it should be emphasized that eight types of trekking can be distinguished, these are: mountain trekking, desert, tropical, glacial, polar, fluvial, swamp and volcanic (Rozyki & Dryglass, 2014 Agency operator). All this allows a person to come true in very unusual circumstances. People also discover and learn about their own abilities, both mental and physical, on their journey.

The modern trekker has many more opportunities to explore challenging environments with comfortable clothing and equipment ensuring a high level of safety. So, hiking or trekking is understood as an activity of tours through
trails where an adequate physical condition is demanded to do it, as well as adaptation to the different natural environments. In addition, in the tourist development of this activity, it is necessary to have specialized professionals at the service to anticipate the visitor safety and satisfaction – Agency Operator.

Trekking or Hiking in Peru generally takes place in areas close to cities and rural areas, due to the geography that offers landscapes and a natural setting where there is a greater diversity of natural and even cultural resources in the area. path. Although there is no official range for hiking difficulty levels in Peru (Begazo, 2002), it mentions the requirements for each level.

Level 1 Walking: Tour-type activities that involve very little physical effort. It does not require many recommendations or requirements. Example: Cusco city tour, maras moray salt mines (tour), Sacred Valley of the Incas, rainbow mountain (tour), humantay lagoon (tour), south valley (tour), Lachay, Paracas (tour), Puerto Inca (tour ), Lunahuaná and Petroglyphs of Checta – Travel Agency Operator Oki Doki.

Walking Level 2: Activities where some physical effort is required to reach the tourist attraction. Ideal for those beginners in hiking, the routes are short. It does not require many recommendations or requirements. Example: Ausangate trek, Huchuy Qosqo, Valle de Lares trek, Waqrapukara trek, Qeswachaka trek, Inca trail trek 2 days to Machupicchu, Sisicaya, Chontay, Collana, Ucros, Ucros waterfalls, Obrajillo, Inca town, Laguna de Ñahuinpuquio – Travel Agency Operator Oki Doki.

Walking Level 3: Hikes at this level take place at less than 3,500 meters above sea level. The slopes and slopes are larger than the previous level. In some cases, the paths are extensive. Recommendations: have experiences in the activities of the previous level. Example: Salkantay trek 4 days to Machu Picchu, Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu 4 days, Rainbow Mountain trek 2 days, Palacala Waterfalls, Repartition, Ucros Waterfalls, Zárate Forests, Paihua – Travel Agency Operator Oki Doki.

Walking Level 4: this level implies a moderate physical effort over more than 3,500 meters above sea level. In this case, the slopes are greater, with elevation and weather conditions accounting for some of the factors that make this level more risky than previous levels. Travel routes (in some cases) are somewhat extensive. Recommendations: adaptation to altitude, good acclimatization and the requirement have experience at the previous levels. Example: Salkantay trek to Machupicchu 5 days or more, Huacapune, Laguna de Rapagna, Caminos del Inca – Travel Agency Operator Oki Doki.

Walking Level 5: Activities that require excellent physical condition. There are greater slopes and the trails are extensive. Recommendations: good response to altitude, good physical condition and hiking equipment. Example: Hike to the Inca citadel of Choquequirao, Manu National Park Reserve, Ayaviri – Miraflores, Olleros – Chavín de Huantar, Llanganuco – Santa – Travel Agency Operator Oki Doki.

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    Cultural and Natural Landscape Trip of The Salkantay Mountain Trekking (Adventure):

    The natural heritage constituted by elements that nature has created Salkantay for thousands of years and that is represented by the variety of geological, physiographic formations that together are part of the scenic beauty of the heterogeneous area of ​​the Salkantay mountains, in which develop the different ecosystems, plant formations with the diversity of flora species, which in turn are the habitat of the variety of fauna species characteristic of the area and constituted by all those elements and tangible or intangible manifestations produced by societies, resulting of a process; where the reproduction of ideas and material constitute factors that identify and differentiate the Salkantay natural space as a cultural landscape, evidenced in its different manifestations and cultural expressions from a territorial dimension illustrating the evolution of human society and its settlements throughout over time, conditioned by the limitations and/or physical opportunities presented by their natural environment and by the successive social, economic and cultural forces in the mountains and snow-capped mountains of the Salkantay Trek.

    In relation to this territorial dimension of the cultural heritage of salkantay trekking, the existence of a great diversity and complexity of cultural landscape is evident, as a result of a process of transformation, use, and occupation of the natural space of the apu Salkantay (located between the districts of Limatambo trek, Mollepata trek, Machupicchu trek and Choquequirao trek), important space, which was probably constituted from the Late Intermediate in one of the first and most important apus that was honored with offerings in special ceremonies in the mountains. According to Polo de Ondegardo (1575), “it was one of the main apus in the entire kingdom, the oldest that the Incas had, to which they performed ceremonies with honors and sacrifices” (Polo de Ondegardo 1906: 67 Peru Travel). And according to ethnohistorical and ethnological investigations, it has a sacred value in its condition of “apu that protects its territory” The Salkantay Mountain Trekking (Adventure). For the same reason, in colonial times its importance declined, due to the extirpation of idolatries 7 that broke with these ideological practices – ceremonial beliefs and cults of the Andean region. However, the religious cult was not completely eradicated, since currently the Salkantay preserves and persists in its religious symbolic importance among the adjoining populations, considered one of the most important mountains in the invocations of the gratitude ceremonies towards the apu – Cusco – PeruTravel.






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