6 Curiosities and Facts To Know Before Visiting Mt. Salkantay

[:en]Perhaps you’ve heard of snow-capped Mt. Salkantay, an imposing peak along the trail to Machu Picchu? Get to know some of the stories and facts that surround this snow-covered mountain. Just maybe it will inspire you to take a trek into its shadowy foothills on your next trip to Peru.

Salkantay Snowfall

The snowy summit of Mt. Salkantay touches a height of 6,271 meters above sea level and receives the second highest snowfall in the region (the first being Jatun Ausangate).

Where Does the Name “Salkantay” Come From?

The name “Salkantay” comes from the words salga, or savage, and antay, or avalanche-producing. The locals call it Apu Salkantay, which means “Holy Lord above the valleys.”

The Summit of Salkantay

The snowy summit of Salkantay contains two peaks, positioned to the east and west. In the past, the west summit was slimmer and more attractive than the one to the east however, after many years both peaks are now about the same size.

Activities En Route to Salkantay

The route to Salkantay includes a series of fun tourist activities including:

  • Camping
  • Tours
  • Prime Opportunities for Photography and Film-making
  • Hikes
  • Stunning landscapes

Popularity of the Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay Trek is the second most crowded route to Machu Picchu due to the fact that there are currently no daily limits to the number of trekkers allowed on the trail (like there is for the Inca Trail).

Difficulty of the Salkantay Trek

In the past, the Salkantay Trek was given the nickname “the indomitable” for its unpredictable avalanches and dangerous snowy crossings. The route taken by tourism agencies is quite secure, reaching a maximum altitude of 4,549 meters above sea level. Even so, it’s best to give yourself a couple of days before the trek to acclimatize to the altitude and of course arrive physically fit for the trek ahead.


Making the Salkantay Trek is undoubtedly one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences you can have in Peru. The landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. On your trip to Peru and the Cusco region, consider an adventure to snowy Salkantay. For more information and prices for the Salkantay Trek, please contact us.


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