Peru Adventure: Trek & Climb Nevado Apu Salkantay: 6,272 masl

The Apu Salkantay, known as the wild mountain, rises to 6,272 masl. It’s located, northwest of the city of Cusco, in the district of Santa Teresa. The highest of the Vilcabamba Mountains; and is part of the extensive mountain range of the central Andes of South America.

Follwoing then; it was very revered by the Willak umas or Andean priests, who considered it an APU (protective spirit), guardian of Machu Picchu. There are many legends about its name, which derives from the Kichwa or Quechua language, “Salja Kay” (wild) , due to its constant avalanches and imposing presence.

So then; It is one of the 7 peaks, on the 6 thousand meters at sea level of the Cusco region, the 38th highest peak in the Andes and the 12th highest in Peru. However, it is the second highest in topographic prominence in the country, after Huascarán. This makes it one of the mountains known for its difficult climbing and access for alpinists throughout the world; due to its 4 vertical faces between 55 and 75 degrees of inclination, and risk of avalanches during the year.


Its west face is still a virgin, and has been scaled since 1952, by several expeditions, being the American-French, the first to reach its summit, and Madame Claude kogan, the first woman to do so, Fred D. Ayres, David Michael, Jr., John C. Oberlin, WV Graham Matthews, Austen F. Riggs, George I. Bell, M. Bernard Pierre, and Jean Guillemin. All except for Oberlin, Riggs and Guillemin achieved the summit. The standard route on the mountain was along the Northeast cliff, with vertical ascent, in glacier, snow, ice and rock. The route is in the AD range on the French scale.

This expedition to Salkantay, was recently named by the National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine among the best 25 excursions of the world.


  • Experience the glacial lake of Humantay
  • Cross over the 4,660m Salkantay pass before a descent down into cloud forest
  • Visit the lesser-known picturesque ruins of Llactapata
  • Explore the fabled sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Relax and enjoy the views on the train ride back from Machu Picchu

Fast Facts

  • Maximum Elevation – 5,500m
  • Start/Finish – Cusco/Cusco
  • Trek Style – Camping
  • Best Season – May to October


  • Good health & experience is required for moving across glacial cracks and ravines.
  • Good experience climbing on vertical walls between 60 and 75 degrees of incline.
  • Handling and promoting high-mountain equipment by yourself.
  • Age range: 18 to 65 yrs.
Day 1
Cusco - Corao - Pisaq - Calca - Yucay - Urubamba
From your arrival to the city of Cusco (3,450 masl), this is where you'll start your adventure. Heading Northeast towards the sacred valley of the Incas, where you'll explore the valley with a guided tour of the archaeological site of Pisaq (3,425 masl), and continue by passing through Calca, Yucay, until we reach Urubamba (2,820 masl). Here you'll have some lunch, dinner and rest in accommodation previously chosen for your trip.
  • Overnight: Urubamba
  • Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Day 2
Urubamba - Chinchero - Moray - Salineras de Maras - Urubamba - Ollantaytambo
Continuing with your acclimatization period, you'll leave early at around 8am. Leaving in private transport you'll head to the best archaeological sites in the valley, located on the MARAS plateau (3,600masl), such as CHINCHERO; MORAY, SALINERAS. Stopping for about 45 minutes at each tourist site and 2 hrs in transport until returning to Urubamba, where you'll have lunch. Continuing to Ollantaytambo Pueblo at 2,842masl, where you'll explore one of the mysteries of Inca architecture in the Archaeological Park at 2,892 masl. Afterwards continuing to your accommodation in the vibrant Inca Village of Ollantaytambo.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Accommodation: El Albergue
Day 3
Ollantaytambo - Socma - Rayan - Cataratas de Perolniyoc - Puerta del Sol o Wayra Punku - Choquetakarpo
Starting your adventure at 7am, taking private transport (30 minutes), to the community of Socma (3,190 masl). You'll begin the trek to the Rayan farmhouse, passing through the PEROLNIYOC waterfalls. Gradually ascending, you'll take the opportunity to rest and take photos before continuing the steep ascent for 35 minutes until reaching the archaeological site of pre-Inca and Inca times, called Raqaypata initially and now Perolniyoc, where you'll be exploring, enjoying the views and learning about the history and stories referring to the place. After an hour in Perolniyoc, you'll continue towards the Puka ccasa pass (4,420 masl). After approx. 3hrs, stopping to enjoy our snacks and cold food brought from Ollantaytambo. Once in the pass you'll be able to see the mountains and some peaks of the Andes, the Wakaywillke (Veronica), the most imposing and majestic, below the sacred valley. Then continuing for a further 3 hrs as the terrain undulates to 4,400 masl until reaching the last pass Kuychi ccasa (4,425 masl), and finally descend for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs, to the next archaeological site called Choquetakarpo ( 3,730 masl), not before going to the famous Wayra punku or wind gate (3,890 masl), from where we will see Veronica mountain, enjoying the beautiful sunset and seeing the west face of the sacred mountain or Apu to climb. Then you'll descend to Choquetakarpo.
  • Dinner and overnight.
  • Walking hours: 8-9 hours
  • Distance: 16 km.
  • Maximum height: 4425 masl.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4
Choquetakarpo - Canteras de Cachikata - Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Very early you'll head to the Mirador of Wayra punku or Inti punku (wind or sun gate), to see the sunrise from this portal visualizing the sacred valley and the peaks of the mountains of the southeast Andes, then we will return to the camp, pack and descend to Ollantaytambo, not before, passing through the Inca quarry of Cachikata, where you'll explore a little and see some graves on the rocks, and huge blocks of pink Diorita, in the process of cutting and transport, and it will take us 2 hours to get to one of the bases of the Inca bridge, crossing from there you'll be 20 minutes from the Ollantaytambo station, where you'll board the train for 1.5 hrs to Aguas Calientes (2,020msnm) taking the bus to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (2,410 masl), where you'll have an introduction about the place, and understand about the function of this wonder of the modern world. After a 3-hr tour, returning via bus to Aguas Calientes, then board the train back to Ollantaytambo and finally take our private transport back to Cusco.
  • Hours of walking: 3 hrs.
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Maximum height: 3,890 masl.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
Cusco - Pitumarca - Winikunka (Rainbow Mountain) - Cusipata - Cusco
Leaving very early at 3 am, it will take 4 hrs of travel by private transport, to the Southeast, via Pitumarca Canyon (3,570 masl), until the start point of the expedition. From there you'll be 1hr from Rainbow Mountain (Winikunka 5,080 masl), during the ascent you'll have views of the Apu Ausangate (6,384 masl), the highest in the region of Cusco and the fifth highest mountain in Peru, once you have taken the photos, and enjoyed the view, you'll descend by another route that will take us to the red valley, which will make us feel that we are on another planet. Continuing the descent until we reach 4,630 masl (2 hours), where you'll take another local transport (1 hr), via Cusipata (3340 masl). You'll have some lunch and then return to Cusco for 2 hours.
  • Hours of walking: 3hrs.
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Maximum height: 5,080 masl.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
Cusco - Limatambo - Mollepata - Soraypampa
Leaving early at 5 am, Northwest direction of Cusco, heading to Soraypampa (3920msnm), passing through Limatambo and Mollepata, (2920msnm), and it will be 3 hours of travel in private transport, then start the ascent to the Humantay Lagoon (4260msnm), approximately 2 hours; then descend to Soraypampa, to our campsite, where you'll spend the night.
  • Hours of walking: 3 hours.
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Maximum height: 4,260msnm
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7
Soraypampa - Inca Chiriaska Pass - Palqay Pass - Base Camp
Very early setting off in earnest, beginning the expedition, heading northeast of Soraypampa. Being the first Inca Chiriaska pass at 4980msnm, 4 hours, and then descending for 2 hrs, until 4,310msnm, then ascending for 2 hrs to the Palqay pass, at 4680msnm, slightly steep ascent, then you'll descend for another 2 hrs until reaching the base camp at 4,210msnm.
  • Hours of walking: 10 hours.
  • Distance: 21 km.
  • Maximum height: 4980msnm.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8
Base Camp - Advanced Camp
This day will be a steep climb of regular difficulty, and it will take us 4 hours to the advanced camp, at 4,610masl.
  • Hours of walking: 4 hrs.
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Maximum height: 4,610masl.
Day 9
Advanced Camp - High Camp
This day leaving very early, in order to enjoy the sunrise going to the high field, and you'll start to use after the third hour the technical ice axes, screws, and ropes to continue this vertical ascent between 60 to 70 degrees of inclination for 3 hrs until we reach to the high field, at 5500msnm. • It will depend on the conditions of the glacier and your technical ability to reach 5,500msnm, but camp will be at 5,200msnm.
  • Hours of walking: 3 hrs.
  • Climbing hours: 3 hrs.
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Maximum height: 5,500msnm.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10
High Camp - Base Camp - Raqay Pata
At 7 am, leaving the high camp, rappelling 4 lengths of 60 meters each, taking 1 hour for each rappel, until reaching the rocky morraine area, where we will make a last rappel on rock 20 meters, and leave the base camp, and then continue to Raqay pata, at 3,550 masl, where you'll spend the night (9-10 hours).
  • Rappelling hours: 5 hrs
  • Walking hours: 5-6 hrs.
  • Distance: 20 km
  • Maximum height: 5,500msnm
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11
Raqay Pata - Ahobamba - Santa Teresa - Cusco
Leaving very early, taking into account the distance and state of the road, they will be between ascents and descents, being mostly descent for 9 hrs, until we reach the secondary plant of the Hydroelectric Plant of Machu Picchu, (2020msnm), where we will take a local transport to Cocalmayo (hot springs), located in the town of Santa Teresa, at 1610msnm. After a relaxing bath, we will have lunch and continue to Cusco, (6 hours).
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12
Cusco to Lima
Transfer to Cusco Velazco Astete airport, to board your domestic flight to Lima.


Reception from the airport and transfer to your hotel or private accommodation. • Detailed itinerary information. • Guided tour of Pisaq + lunch (first day). • Guided tour of the sacred valley + lunch (second day). • Tour, round trip transportation (Inca quarry), tent, matress, food, train to Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes round trip, bus to Machupichu round trip, lunch and dinner (third and fourth day). • Round trip transport, Cusco - Rainbow mountain + Guide + breakfast + lunch (fifth day) • Transportation to Soraypampa, food and one night at the Refuge. • 1 mountain cook-guide for 2 people. • Mountain assistant guide + 2 people. • Cook, for more than 2 clients • Porter, + 2 clients (camping equipment only) • Food during the ascent to Salkantay. • Tents. • First aid medical kit (first aid kit, oximeter and oxygen tank)


• International Flights • Domestic Flights (can be included as part of expedition on request) • Insurance, highly recommended. • Water, (we recommend bringing filters or purifying tablets) • Snacks. • Sleeping bag (can be hired on request). • Inflatable mattress (can be hired on request). • Climbing equipment (can be hired on request) (crampons, ice axes, harness, helmet, climbing gloves, climbing lenses, descending gear, rigid boots for high mountains, leggings, expedition backpack, 65-75 liters, and one attack, 45 liters, Daisy chain, safety carabiners) • Canes. (walking poles can be hired on request) • Extra carrier. • Tips.

Tour Info

Breakfast x 5
Lunch x 5
Dinner x 4
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Accommodation in Aguas Calientes – x1 Night
Machu Picchu Entrance Ticket
Round-trip bus tickets
Return Train to Cusco & transfer to hotel
Accommodation in Cusco – x2 Nights
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Extension trips to Machu Picchu
Tips for crew
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
Any additional extras
There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured
Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Peruvian food can be spicy, it can be strong and rich for many European diets. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, so please avoid at all costs on arrival and stick to bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request), and a mountain cook. They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude.
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru.
From June through to the end of September, we’re offering one person free on all of our treks for group sizes of 3+. If you are a group of 2 you can add one person for free, or if you’re a group of 3 the third person joins free and so on.

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Peru Adventure: Trek & Climb Nevado Apu Salkantay – 8 to 12 Days”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Domestic Flights - Lima - Cusco - Lima
  • All Hotels as indicated in the plan
  • All meals as indicated in the plan
  • Private bilingual guide for all activities
  • Private transport for all location transfers
  • Camping equipment, food, mules & crew for the
  • Salkantay trek
  • All entrance tickets required for Machu Picchu
Not Included
  • International Flights
  • Any additional meals required
Inquire about tour