The Salkantay trek offers enchanting sceneries and is the best alternative to the world famous Inca trail. The Inca trail is very popular and you have to book in advance, however, if you are traveling on a budget and you are not a fun of booking things over the internet then you will love the Salkantay trek. It takes through almost the same environment as the Inca trail but is never overbook and you don’t have to spend a lot of your money paying for an expensive permit. The trail is beautiful, challenging and a great alternative to reaching the historical Machu Picchu.
The Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu takes you over a 40-mile stretch. You have to climb mountains, cross rivers and spend a number of nights on the trail. This requires proper preparation for the trek. Here are some tips on how to get prepared for the trek:
Get prepared for the start
Unlike the Inca trail which you have to book well in advance, the Salkantay trail is not very popular and you can easily book once in Cuzco. However, this does not mean that you wake up and decide that you feel like hiking so you should take the trail. Once you arrive in Peru you should book with one of the local agencies for the Salkantay trek. This is important because often the agencies take people in groups and they can match you with the right group that will make the trek not only interesting but fun too. You should also remember to arrange for your transportation from your hotel to the starting point. This is important because you need to arrive early so that you don’t keep the others waiting for far too long.
Prepare for the Trail
On the trail, you will need food, camping gear, and guide. If you book the trail through a local agency you will be provided with a guide who will take you through the trail and offer some explanation on some of the historical sites on the trail. You can rent a tent, a mat, and sleeping bags from a number of travel agencies in Cuzco. If you are not certain of the cost, make sure that you ask your guide with help with this. Try and find several places to rent your travel gear as some business tends to over price their tents when renting out to foreigners. To enjoy the trip it is important that you get a porter to help carry your travel gear.
Due to the distance that the trail covers and the amount of climbing you have to do, your traveling gear is likely to be too much for you. There a number of young men willing to work as porters provided that you pay for their services. Unlike the Inca trail, the Salkantay trek does not have lots of restaurants and as such you will need to arrange how you will get your meals. Carry packed snacks for lunch and arrange how you will prepare your dinner on your campsite.
Machu Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Entry
To enter Machu Picchu Mountain or the famous Machu Picchu ancient city you need to buy a separate ticket for what you paid for the trail. So bring some money for the ticket and also to pay the food at the restaurant. If your agency is making the booking for you make sure that they get all the tickets before you start trekking as it can be very inconveniencing to miss out of the two attractions just because you did not pay for your ticket on time.