The Salkantay Trail:

Pop Quiz: Which one of the Seven Wonders of the World is accessible by several hiking trails in South America?

Answer: Machu Picchu!

We know you know that this stunning ancient Inca installment in Peru is accessible by the Inca Trail. But it can be overcrowded. Some travelers long for the unbeaten path.

The Salkantay Trail

This hiking trip is also called the Salkantay Trek, and it goes to Machu Picchu. It’s is quickly becoming a favorite among travelers, from beginners to the most seasoned.

We’ve got a short trek guide for adventurers considering the Salkantay Trail. Here are our top three things to know before you take a hike!

Be Prepared for Your Life to Change: The Salkantay Trail is One of the Top Hikes in the World

National Geographic Magazine says the 57-mile hike is more impressive than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

With beautiful views at an altitude of more than 15,000 feet, the Salkantay Trails is not to be missed. Whether you’re an advanced hiker or a couch potato, just a little training will make this route possible.

A Few Practical Things

Logistically, be prepared for beautiful views speckled with difficult moments. You will need food, but there is water along the way. It is important, however, to treat all water before drinking.

Make sure you have some cash with you and that you keep it in a safe place. You will have to buy a ticket to enter Machu Picchu.

Your life will surely change when you see the ancient Inca settlement of Machu Picchu, but you may learn things along the Salkantay Trail that can influence your worldview, as well. Enjoy the beauty in the smallest moments, whether alone or with a group.

Your journey will take, on average, five days.

Be Prepared for Mosquitos and Altitude Sickness

It’s no secret that the Salkantay Trail is the ultimate wilderness — but that’s another reason why you’ve got to be prepared. It’s not as treacherous as some other world famous hikes, but the climbing above sea level can make you feel sick.

Natives will ask you to chew on coca leaves, while more traditional Western remedies, such as Dramamine, can also fit in your pack.

And don’t be fooled: There will be mosquitos.

Lots and lots of mosquitos.

Many hikers use natural insect repellent, and others prefer to douse in DEET. It’s best to ask your hiking guide or group what they prefer, and what works best for the time of year.

More than 95% of Salkantay Trail hikers trek in a group — so you may be able to share medications and insect repellent with others.

Get Your Passport Stamped

One of the best feelings is arriving at Machu Picchu after hiking for almost a week through the Salkantay Trail in Peru. You don’t want to weigh down your trip back (which is typically scheduled by train) with unnecessary souvenirs.

We know you have a camera, so make sure to get the other gift that keeps on giving: A passport stamp.

When you enter Machu Picchu, you can get a stamp saying you’ve arrived at the site. Have them affix it to one of the pages in your passport.

You’ll never forget it, and it’s fun to show this off to your friends back home!

Ready to Go?

If you want to learn more about the best that Peru has to offer, visit our blog. We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to have the time of your life!

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