6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru

08 Feb
6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru
Wednesday February 08, 2017 - Posted by to Adventure Travel, Travel Tips

6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is a great trek to the Inca citadel Machu Picchu. Some people choose this trek when the famous Inca Trail in Peru is sold out (which happens quite often). The Salkantay Trek is indeed a great alternative. Are you worried about the difficulty of the Salkantay Trek? Travelers in Peru say the Salkantay Trek is indeed a bit more difficult than the classic Inca Trail, but, well worth the effort. The scenery is amazing! And with these 6 Practical Tips for Surviving the Salkantay Trek in Peru, you will be fine!

The difficulty of the Salkantay trek is rated by experts at a level of difficulty of 3-4 on a scale that reaches up to 7. Therefore, if you are in good physical health, no special training is needed for this trek. Your guide will give you the most important information during a special briefing in Cusco, a few days before the start of your trek through the highlands of the Andes. He or she will also tell you the essential things to bring on the Salkantay Trek.

6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru

  1. Packing your backpack

Depending on the tour operator and the price you pay, you can give a bag weighing approximately 5 or 6 to the horsemen to carry for the first three days. In your big backpack, pack the essential items for sleeping and other activities like swimming in the hot springs.


6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru


In your daily pack, bring the most important things, such as:

  • water,
  • a poncho,
  • your camera,
  • a pocket knife,
  • gloves,
  • snacks,
  • headphones,
  • sunscreen,
  • sunglasses
  • And other small light personal items.


Insider Tip:
Bring a multi-functional rain jacket, as the weather can change very quickly.
I recommend a jacket that protects against both the rain and cold temperatures during the Salkantay Trek.


  1. Don’t rush – it’s not a competition

This is your vacation in Peru, and it is your free time! Therefore, don’t rush and forget to enjoy the amazing landscape and peaceful time in Peruvian nature. The landscape is so beautiful and each day provides plenty of time for all hikers, even the slow ones! Approach the Salkantay Trek as a fun activity, and then it becomes less of a challenge and more of a fun experience!


6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru


Insider Tip:
Are you worried about the difficulty and the altitude during the Salkantay Trek? Getting acclimatized is the trick.
You can read more it on our blog How to Combat Altitude Sickness while Traveling in Peru

and on this blog about problems with the altitude and altitude sickness in general


  1. Use the layer system

Wear layers to stay warm and also save weight in your backpack. Thermo polos or shirts are recommended, as they can work to either cool you down or warm you up. Also, clothes made out of cotton can become sweaty and really hot after hours of hiking, and they also take longer to dry.


6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru


  1. Be aware of the sand-flies!

During the third day of the Salkantay Trek, you will arrive at the warmer, more tropical campsite of Santa Teresa. The hot springs are a popular destination for travelers and hikers who need to relax their muscles after many kilometers of hiking. Nonetheless, beware of the sandflies! The sandflies attack your skin in a swarm and bite you when you get out of the water! The best recommendation is to dry yourself quickly and get into your long pants and long sleeved shirt. Sandfly bites can be quite uncomfortable and itchy, so do your best to avoid being bitten!


6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru


  1. Get yourself some walking sticks

Walking sticks are the secret to saving your knees in the long stretches of downhill hiking. You can either rent or buy them in Cusco before your trek. You can also buy a wooden walking stick at the first campsite for just a few soles! I thought it was a great investment.


6 Practical Tips for Surviving Salkantay Trek in Peru


  1. Walk in small groups

As every hiker has their own pace, it is sometimes difficult to find someone with the same hiking speed. Nevertheless, it is a better idea to stay together in a group to give you more motivation and some good company. It is a great feeling to arrive with your fellow trekkers at the campsite after a long day of trekking together!


Join us on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu!
Daily Departures!
Included: Guide, camping equipment, transport, meals during the trek,
Machu Picchu
tour & entrance, train back to Cusco

DISCOUNT CODE: USD $ 15 off NOW with code “SLKT15”.


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