Salkantay snow-capped mountain in Cusco

9 de May de 2023

The Nevado Salkantay is one of the best destinations to visit and do adventure trekking in Peru.

It is a route that allows you to encounter nature, culture and history at the same time. Considered as another alternative to reach the Machu Picchu Sanctuary,

Snowy Salkantay description

It is a snowy mountain that is part of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, is a highly recommended trail to walk through the incredible nature that accompanies it, where you will see unique landscapes that show you some dry grass and abundant vegetation in areas.

On the way of this adventure, you will have the opportunity to see part of Cusco, passing through Mollepata, the landscape of Soraypampa, visit the magnificent Humantay Lagoon, the snowy Salkantay, pass through the Rosalinas Beach, reach the town of Aguas Calientes and conclude the visit with a view of the wonder of Machu Picchu.

Meaning of the name Salkantay

The word Salkantay originates from the Quechua language which translates as "Wild mountain", this name from "Sallqa", which means wild.

Cultural and religious importance of the Salkantay snow-capped peak

Within the Andean cosmovision, the Apu Salkantay is named as the protector of the towns of Mollepata, Limatambo, Machu Picchu and Choquequirao.

Being one of the most important and revered deities in Inca times for its great natural contribution, water, an essential element for humans, animals and plants that deserves all the respect and honor. At present, the villagers continue with the offerings and rituals to ask for protection to the snowy Salkantay asking that it continues to fertilize the mother earth.

What is the Salkantay snow-capped mountain like?

It is a sacred place that offers the best views that you can appreciate during an adventure, where the snow will be one of the most outstanding attractions that will catch your attention.

Nothing compares to the feeling of being present in this destination, where at dawn the first rays of the sun will attract your sight instantly and along the way the clouds and the fog will accompany you. The passage through stone paths is a challenge that is worth the effort to get to know these peculiar landscapes that the Nevado Salkantay presents you.

Location of the Salkantay snow-capped mountain

The Nevado Salkantay is located in the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, in the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención in the Cusco region.

How to get from Cusco to Nevado Salkantay?

To visit the Nevado Salkantay you can take the following options:

  • Transportation service: take a vehicle at the Arcopata bus stop in the city of Cusco to travel to the district of Mollepata, when you are already at the site, you can take another car to Soraypampa and from this point begin the trek to the Nevado Salkantay. This way of getting to the destination is not recommended if you do not have company with a group of travelers.
  • Travel agency: to have the best expedition to this wonderful snowy mountain is preferable to have the services of a tour company that organizes and guarantees your entire tour. It is undoubtedly the best option you can take and thus share your best travel experience.

Geographical characteristics of the Salkantay snow-capped peak

It is the second highest mountain in the region of Cusco, after the Ausangate. The climate reaches 16 °C during the day and at night down to -10 °C, however, in the special case of the Salkantay trekking, you will notice how the climate varies by zones, where you can have an intense sun at noon and at night feel too cold, so it is important to have warm and light clothing at the same time.

Trekking to the Salkantay snow-capped mountain.

In Illapa Culturas Andinas, we have a 5-day trekking to the Nevado Salkantay along with the visit to Machu Picchu, which includes the following visits:

  • Day 1: Cusco-Mollepata- Soraypampa-Laguna Humantay.
  • Tag 2: Soraypampa- Salkantay- Chaullay
  • Tag 3: Chaullay-Playa Rosalinas-Lucmabamba
  • Tag 4: Lucmabamba-Llactapata-Aguas Calientes
  • Tag 5: Machu Picchu-Cusco

Tips for trekking

To enjoy the trekking to Salkantay, you must first know that it will be a fun adventurous style activitywhere having a good state of health is essential to fully enjoy everything the trail has to offer.

After that, you have to choose the date of the trip, where you will plan and organize all the necessary requirements for the days of your stay. This part is essential and the best option is to count on the services of a reliable travel agency that provides that security.

Recommendations for camping near Nevado Salkantay

If you visit the Nevado Salkantay, you have to consider the rest and camping during the journey. In this part it is essential to have a good tent that has its own Sleeping, warm blankets, energy food, water, flashlight, a lighter and more than one battery.

Why travel with Illapa to Nevado Salkantay?

In the travel agency, Illapa Culturas Andinas we have the best professionals in tourism, who work with the commitment of offering unique and personalized experiencess to every traveler who trusts us. We work with social responsibility in sustainable tourism for all.

Fauna and flora of Nevado Salkantay

This tourist attraction welcomes us with plenty of vegetation and magnificent landscapes such as the visit to the Humantay Lagoon, entire pampas, snowy, streams, among others that will surprise you throughout the tour.

The following are among its flora: .

  • Ichu, known as a type of grass native to the Andean highlands.
  • Variety of Orchids.
  • Erodium Cicutarium, is a plant known as "clock" for having small tips that manage to rotate during the day.

In its fauna you will find: .

  • Condor, if you are one of the most observant people you could appreciate the flight of one of these animals considered the kings of the Andean sky.
  • Diversity of birds, no doubt on the way you will see a lot of birds that will keep you company at all times.
  • On the trekking route you will also catch the attention of herds of sheep, some llamas, alpacas and local vizcachas.
  • Chinchilla is a small animal with soft fur. They are more nocturnal, but you can see them during the first hours of the morning or when the sunset begins.

Tips and recommendations for visiting the Salkantay snowy peak

  • It is important to acclimatize the body a day before, because in this way we avoid possible stomach ailments or colds that may complicate our trip.
  • To be in good health for the long road ahead.
  • Carry enough materials and equipment in our trekking backpack such as clothing, sun block, batteries, among others.

When is the best time to visit Nevado Salkantay

The best time to visit this snow-capped mountain is during the dry season, from April to November, because the temperature ranges between 25 °C during the day and drops to 5 °C at night. In these months the rain is not continuous and the trails are more accessible to all visitors.

How to prepare for the visit to the Salkantay snow-capped peak

To start with our adventure, we have to know that the Nevado Salkantay is located at 6,271 meters above sea level, with 20,574 feet of altitude.

It should be noted that we do not pass the snow-capped mountain itself, but the altitude is one of the main aspects that we must take into account when traveling and therefore it is important to have some time to eat before leaving directly to the destination, as well as to prepare the body with a good exercise and the mind ready to start the hike,

The altitude sickness is one of the most common symptoms that can affect your trip, to avoid this fact you can carry alcohol, take a hot coca tea to take care of the body and have moments of rest.

What to bring when visiting Nevado Salkantay

From Illapa Culturas Andinas we recommend a list of items to bring:

  • Personal identity documents will be of great importance all along the way.
  • Large backpack for trekking, where we can group all our necessary elements.
  • Wear hiking shoes and trekking pants that give us comfort for walking.
  • Take into account the time of the trip, to determine whether to take warmer clothes, raincoats, gloves and polo shirts.
  • Bolsas de dormir para acampar durante el camino.
  • Protect the skin with sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
  • Bring personal hygiene materials.
  • Carry a canteen to refill water and hydrating food.
  • Bring a camera to capture the best moments we will spend in this adventure.
Salkantay snow-capped mountain
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