Setting out for Salkantay

We’re heading out for the Salkantay trail today, so we’re putting our camping gear to a real test in the first multi-day trek! Since it’s not the Inca Trail, we don’t require permits, and because it’s well marked as of 2015, we don’t even need a guide. We’ve spent the last couple of days acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, which is at 3,470 meters above sea level, and we’re feeling pretty good.

We’ll post a detailed guide when we get back (although a few great ones exist, like those here and here), but here’s a rough itinerary:

  • Day 1 (today): Take a bus from Avenida Arcopata in Cusco to the town of Mollepata, where the hike starts.
  • Day 2: Get an early start on the hike and trek to Soraypampa (3,850 m above sea level) – 23 km
  • Day 3: Take on the Salkantay pass (4,650 m above sea level) and hike to Chaullay (2850 m above sea level) – 18 km
  • Day 4: Take a relaxing hike to La Playa or Lucmabamba, looking for hot springs to rest at along the way (there are reportedly some, but they’re not marked on the tourist maps) – 8-10 km
  • Day 5: Hike to Aguas Calientes (1,670 m above sea level), which sits at the base of Machu Picchu. – 12-15 km
  • Day 6: Visit Machu Picchu, then hike or catch a collectivo (bus) back to Hidro Electrica or Santa Teresa, where we can catch a bus all the way back to Cusco

There’s food kiosks available at campsites along the trail, but we’ve prepared our own rations as well.

Hiking rations: Food just like you had in college, but eaten in even worse conditions than your senior year apartment.

Unfortuantely our food rations average out to about 1,600 calories per person per day right now, so we’re definitely going to have to supplement with purchases made along the way. We’ve also packed 4 liters of water, although the hike follows a stream most of the way so we should be able to purify water with our water filter.

In all, two things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t panic if you message us and don’t hear back for the next week. We’re leaving most technology behind.
  2. Wish us luck! This is our first multi-day hike, so hopefully we’ll have some great stories upon return.

Goodbye internet for a week!

– Natalie

2 thoughts on “Setting out for Salkantay

  1. Hi, dears, welcome back.:-) Can’t wait to read your stories and to see the pictures. Today at the comments’ page there is an advertisement of yarn from the store at which I shop often. Have no idea how this works. 🙂


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