06 Oct The best way to hike the Inca Trail – the Salkantay Trek
The best way to hike the Inca Trail – the Salkantay Trek
For the first 3 days of the trek you are accompanied by ‘rancheros’ and their horses which carry all of the tents and provisions, leaving you to walk only with what you need during the day. Throughout, this trek is dominated by the mesmerisingly beautiful, snow-capped peak of Mount Salkantay, all 6,264m of her. The trail takes you over glacial moraine and crosses the unforgettable Incachiriaska Pass (4,950m), Salkantay towering above, then follows the river that runs through the hamlet of Pampaccahuana (with more evidence of Inca stonework where they channelled the riverbed into a straight course to protect the pastures) before joining the ‘main’ Inca Trail and continuing towards Machu Picchu. These additional days – to the standard Inca Trail trek – make the ascent to Warmiwañusqa (Dead Woman’s) Pass much easier as you will have gained strength and fitness as well as becoming acclimatised to the altitude.
There are two options for discovering this beautiful area: a 6 day camping trek that takes you close to Salkantay and eventually joins the Inca Trail or, for those who don’t care for camping, a ‘lodge-to-lodge’ trekking option – staying in a series of stunningly-sited mountain lodges – that eventually takes you to Machu Picchu (although not along the traditional Inca Trail trekking route).
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