The Inca Trail to the old Inca Citadel, Machu Picchu in Peru is by far, one of the most popular treks in the world. Unfortunately, only 500 people are allowed per day, including guides, cooks and porters. This means that the popular trek in Peru gets sold out very quickly. If you want to do the Inca Trail in high season, you might have to make your reservation with a minimum of six months in advance!
Fortunately, there are many awesome, spectacular alternatives! So don’t worry if the Inca Trail is already sold out. There are many other opportunities to do a beautiful trek to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu. Many people that are unable to do the Inca Trail hike as all the spaces were sold out, make the decision to do the Salkantay trek.
Overall, the Salkantay trek was an excellent experience but there are four things that you might NOT like or, that you want to know about so you be prepared. And remember: your 5-day Salkantay hike to Machu Picchu will not just be a hike, it will be an experience.
4 Things you might NOT like about Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
On Day 2 of the Salkantay hike you should expect all four seasons. To begin the day, expect a crisp fall morning to start; then when you reach the Salkantay pass you will feel like you are in winter, with possible snow flurries. After lunch time, when you enter the could forest the weather will feel like spring and then in the lower jungle there was a lot of humidity and it was quite warm. So don’t forget your layers (see: Packing Tips for the Inca Trail) so you can strip down and bundle up when needed.
Mosquitos and sandflies
Thinking back about all the mosquitos and sandflies, it’s sometimes hard to tell the Salkantay mountainous hike apart from the jungle portion of the hike. On day 3 you will stay in Santa Teresa. You’ll be very lucky if you make it out of Santa Teresa without mosquito or sandfly bites.
We’ve seen pretty looking people turn into monsters full of lumps. It gets especially bad at the hot springs. A 15-second walk from the dressing room to the pool can leave you with thirty bites. Take the best repellent and cover up with plenty of clothes with long sleeves.
You will be walking five days, for many hours a day. It would be crazy not to consider the possibility of getting blisters. I got some pretty nasty ones, even though my shoes were comfortable and I had had them for years.
I recommend using sports tape and put them on the critical areas before starting your hike. Usually it’s the heels and the pinky toes that suffer the most.
You will be running out of breath. The highest point you will reach during the Salkantay Trek is at 4,600 meters on day 2, which is by far the most difficult part of the trek as you are walking almost straight up the whole time, especially at the Trail of the 7 Snakes. Don’t underestimate the power of the altitude.
The better you feel, the more you can enjoy the trip. And that is what’s it all about.
6 tips for make the most of the Salkantay Trek
|Apart from all this ‘suffering’, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is, an amazing trek!
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