The Apu Salkantay

Salkantay Horizon

Peru's Mythical Salkantay Peak

If your future travel destination is Peru, you’re not alone. Many travelers choose to visit this ancient and historical land for its unmatched natural landscapes, surrounded by the Andean mountain ranges and their majestic peaks. 


Among the most iconic and remarkable snow-capped mountains the Apu Salkantay stands out due to its connection with the most popular destination in Peru, (and probably in South America) the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The hike has been recommended by National Geographic's Magazine and today we’ll be giving you our own take on this mystical destination.

Apu What?


“Apu” is a Quechua word that translates into “Master” or “Lord”, this meaning has its reason based on Incas cosmovision. According to the Inca beliefs, nature’s most drawing manifestations, such as the mountains, water bodies (lakes, rivers and so on), caves and such are considered sacred (this general conception means “huaca”), so much that the most impressive ones are even considered gods, this is the case for Salkantay’s mountain.

Ancient civilizations spanning the Andean ranges (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile) may have lacked biological comprehension of ecosystems, yet they bore witness to a mountain's power to nurture their existence.

Lore depicts Salkantay as a "fertilizer" of Pachamama – the Earth Mother goddess due to its role of being the origin of lakes and water fluxes that scatter through the region.

The Myth and the Feat

What is the Apu Salkantay? This snowy mountain revered as a "God" by the Andean religion, owes its name to two Quechua voices. Salqa (wild), Antay (producer of avalanches or precipitation).

Soaring 6,271 meters (20 574 ft.), Salkantay is deemed as one of the world's most formidable climbing feats, its precipitous slopes and challenging ascent to the summit offset by breathtaking vistas rewarding the adventurers that decide to climb it.

This impressive mountain contributes to the natural flora and fauna of its surroundings.

Location


Where is this sacred mountain located? This unique destination is found over the Vilcanota range, some 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco in the Santa Teresa district, La Convención province within Cusco's region.

How to Reach the Apu Salkantay? To approach Salkantay's realm, our odyssey commences in Cusco, whence a two-hour route leads us to Mollepata village. Here, we can secure accommodations and quality traveler services to prepare everything before departing for the adventure.

However, the trek itself is no simple undertaking – proper gear and expert companions are essential prerequisites. Underestimating Salkantay's challenges could render the experience a regrettable ordeal. Enlisting a seasoned local outfit ensures all necessary details are handled for satisfactory experience.

The Ideal Salkantay Trekking Season


To savor Salkantay in its prime, one must consider the dry season spanning March's end to November when rains are scant, and sunny skies prevail. Daytime temperatures average 25°C, while nights dip to around 5°C.

Humantay Lagoon: An Andean Jewel


Salkantay proffers adventures tailored for every Cusco visitor's tastes and proclivities without the chance of spending 4 days on an adventure through the Andean range. You could consider visiting the famed Humantay Lagoon to experience Salkantay's most famous day tour related to its environment.

The Trekking Odyssey: From Salkantay to Machu Picchu


Peru's fifth-highest peak offers one of the most popular alternatives to hike to Machu Picchu by embarking on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu – a five-day, four-night tour unveiling novel facets of Cusco. Commencing at Salkantay's base, we marvel at the turquoise Humantay Lagoon, scale the apu's apex, revel in thermal springs, and ultimately explore the global wonder of Machu Picchu. An unforgettable traverse rapidly gaining cult status among thrill-seekers.

Conclusion


Being a rugged natural realm, the Apu Salkantay is best savored through an experienced, responsible tour operator adeptly catering to the thousands globetrotters flocking to Cusco yearly to immerse themselves in this snow-crowned glory.

Don't hesitate any more and let's begin with your hike's arrangements, we're only one click away from you.

 

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