Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Photos

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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Photos

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Photos

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu easily ranks up there with the best travel experiences and treks of my life. The high back country scenery brought back amazing memories of trekking in Nepal. Finishing the five-day trek at Machu Picchu was an incredible way to complete the journey. The Salkantay Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail.
 

Typically I trek independently, but for this trek I joined Valencia Travel Cusco, which I highly recommend. They provided all the equipment and took care of everything down to the last detail. The food prepared on the trek was delicious. Follow along on the journey through my photos below.

 

Photos from the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

 

salkantay trek to Machu Picchu

Looking back toward the village of Mollepata where we started the trek at 2,900 meters above sea level. Bringing up the rear with our heavy equipment on horses.
 

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This is just a small taste of the varieties of colorful wildflowers we saw along the way.
 

salkantay trek to machu picchu

The scenery just kept getting better the further up the trail we went.
 

salkantay trek to machu picchu

No complaints about the first night’s accommodation!
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

And woke up to this the next morning.
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

The calm before the storm. After this relatively flat section would be the toughest part of the climb–the route through Salkantay Pass!
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

If the altitude got to be too much, there was a horse to help up get through.
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

Almost to our high point along the trek.
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

We made it! Salkantay Pass sits at 4,650 m or 15,256 feet.
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

It’s all down hill from this point.
 

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Day Two

Another magnificent view from night two’s campsite.
 

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We were supposed to go farther than this on the second night. Thankfully we were slow and got to stay in this magnificent valley.
 

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We didn’t forget to turn around to see a last glimpse of Salkantay. What a beauty!
 

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After you descend from the alpine, you reach the cloud forest.
 

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A small village in the cloud forest used to support trekkers.
 

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The route on day four took us along the railway tracks.
 

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We got a tiny view of a small edge of Machu Picchu about 1000 meters above this bridge looking up to the right.
 

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Getting closer to Aguas Calientes.
 

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The tourist village of Aguas Calientes exists only to support the thousands who visit Machu Picchu daily.
 

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On the final morning we got up before dawn and hiked up vertically for about one and half hours to reach the base of Machu Picchu. Inside, we found a good vantage point and waited for sunrise to burn off the morning clouds. We were not disappointed.
 

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 15 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Google +, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Alejandra says:

    Final Day I would like to recommed hiked up Machu Picchu heraly . 4:00 am . less people in the Morning.

  2. Luis says:

    Beautiful photos and a beautiful route, for the next you have to go the route of Vilcabamba, in my opinion is much better.

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