All treks are quite difficult in Peru and you should be well prepared and healthy before starting the trek, and this applies to Salkantay Trek 5 days difficulty. You have to be moderately fit to complete this trek. The altitude of this mountain is higher than other mountains in Cusco – Peru.
Difficulty of the Salkantay trek by days for the classic 5-day hike
|Day 2||Soraypampa – Salkantay Pass||Challenging|
|Day 3||Collpapampa – Sahuayaco – Lucmubamba||Moderate|
|Day 4||Lucmubamba – Aguas Calientes||Moderate|
|Day 5||Machu Picchu||Easy|
How to prepare for the Salkantay trek?
Try to walk 10 km in one day or go to the gym a month before the hike, because we will cover a lot of distance in the first 2 days. The good news is that everyone who started a hike in the last few years has finished it. If you are really struggling, we have emergency horses that you can ride if you are not in condition to do the walk.
What is the difficulty level of the hike?
The second day of the trek will be the longest and most difficult. After an early breakfast, we will begin the trek on a moderate climb of three and a half hours until we reach the Salkantay Pass (4,600m/15,092ft). From this point, we can soak up spectacular views of Cusco’s second highest peak. At the pass, you can leave a piece of rock carried from the bottom as a gift for the mountain spirit.
Hiking and altitude recommendations
No matter what time of the year, the trail cools off at night (the altitude is over 6000m) until we reach Aguas Calientes. Bring a warm sleeping bag and put on a layer of clothes. You will need a good warm sleeping bag. As far as possible, we recommend that you bring only your best sleeping bag. If you plan to rent a bag it is a good idea to bring a silk lining to use inside for extra warmth and comfort. A four-season (or -10) bag is recommended for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -4/-5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given only as a guide.
On the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu roll mattresses are provided, however for extra comfort and warmth you can also rent Thermo style sleeping mattresses in Cusco for USD $15. If you are travelling in winter and do not wish to invest in a 4 season bag you may consider buying a 3 season bag plus a sleeping bag liner and bring extra clothing.
This mountain in Cusco – Peru is cold all the time, the highest point is the Salcantay pass (The altitude is 6372 m). 4 days trekking is a classic, this trek always goes to Machu Picchu, because it is an alternative to the Inca Trail 4 days, and ends only in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Village).
What is the best time to do Salkantay Trek?
The best time to start a trek to Salkantay is only from June to August, in this month Cusco and also all Peru has many festivities, like the Inti Raymi the main festival of the Incas here in Peru. Also is good due to weather. Read more about Best time to do Salkantay Trek.
I am founder and content creator of Lorenzo Expeditions, since 2006 I started with the Inca Jungle tour, guiding and serving thousands of tourists in a personal way to get to know Machu Picchu in a unique and authentic way.