The Great Apu Salkantay “Salkantay god” is one of the hardest mountains to climb in the region. Salcantay was first climbed in 1952 by a French-American expedition.
The name Salkantay is from sallqa, a Quechua word meaning wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible, and was recorded as early as 1583. The name is thus often translated as "Savage Mountain".
For the Incas, “Apu” mountain gods are associated with high peaks that govern the wild plants and animals, crops and herds, waters, and people in the surrounding region. These beliefs persist in the region today, and communities address to the mountain gods their pleas for good weather and abundant crops and flocks, while individuals look to them for good health and increased prosperity.
Salcantay in the east of Cusco is considered to be the brother of Ausangate another mountain in the south of Cusco, and the two are thought to be equally powerful and the fathers of all the other mountains. Ritual specialists in the area today go to one or the other for their spiritual empowerment.
The route to base camp crosses two passes, one at Incachillaska (5,100m) and the other at Abra Palqay (4,700m) on the eastern side of the mountain. Just crossing Abra Paljay is the base camp to climb Salkantay. The easiest route on the mountain is the NE ridge, but it still quite difficult and presents 1,000m of steep, exposed climbing mostly around 70° but there are several steeper sections of 80 - 90°. Salcantay is for mountaineers who want a challenge and wish to climb the most sacred of the Andean summits.
2 people: $1,700 per person “min 02” Technical mountaineering experience is required. You will need cold weather clothing and some type of rain protection clothing. A pair of mountaineering boots is required. You should be in very good physical condition and acclimatized. For acclimatization purposes it is preferable that you have been to 5,500m recently. Cerro Soray (5,446m) may be climbed beforehand in order to help acclimatize. This climb may also be combined with the Salkantay Base Camp to Machu Picchu Trek. Best months: May to September Time required: 6 days Climbing Grade: Difficult The itinerary is as follows:
4:30 am private transport to the village of Mollepata and have breakfast. Afterwards we arrive to Soray Pampa (3888m) below the south face of Nevado Salkantay. Camping night.
We will have breakfast at 8am and start our trek up to the pass at 5,100m which should take around 4 hours. We may have lunch on either side of the pass depending on our pace and the decision of the group. Arriving at our camp in Sisaypampa (4,200m) around 4pm we can enjoy the last rays of sun before it goes behind the mountain.
We will awake at 6am and have breakfast at 7. We will leave the camp at 8 and start our climb to Camp 1 on the glacier. There is a bit of rock climbing just before entering the glacier. We should arrive between 12pm and 1pm giving us plenty of time to rest before our alpine start.
We will wake up at midnight and leave the tent by 1am. The climb should take about 9 hours in total and then another 4 to get back to Camp 1.
The next morning we will pack up the tent and return to Base Camp for lunch. After lunch we will descend Abra Palqay and Camp in Sisaypampa for the night.
We return to Soray Pampa after about 6 hours of hiking.
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6 Days & 5 Night
Every day of the year (please check availability in our groups).
1950 - 4600m. / 6398 - 15092 f.
Cusco, Soray Pampa - Abra Inkachillaska (5,100m) - Sisaypampa (4,200m) - Abra Palqay- base camp. Sisaypampa - Soray Pampa - Cusco.
- Daily departures are available along the year, the recommended period for this trek is April to October.
- All private service departure dates are adapted to your request any day you choose.
Small groups 4 – 8 people maximun.Average 6 people
The world opens up a little more for a small group, We have the freedom to move around
Due to the altitude of the highest point in Salkantay we recommend a period of at least 2 days for acclimatization in Cusco at 3350m/9840ft.
Vegetarian option at no extra cost. Check our regular menú
DAY 1: easy
DAY 2: moderate
DAY 3: challenge
DAY 4: challenge
DAY 5: challenge
DAY 6: moderate