Salcantay (Nevado Salcantay) or Salkantay (Nevado Salkantay), Sallqantay in Quechua is the highest peak of the Willkapampa mountain range, part of the Peruvian Andes. It is located in the Cusco Region, about 60 km (40 mi) west-northwest of the city of Cusco. It is the 38th highest peak in the Andes, and the twelfth highest in Peru. However, as a range highpoint in deeply incised terrain, it is the second most topographically prominent peak in the country, after Huascarán.
Salcantay is a large, steep peak with great vertical relief, particularly above the low valleys to the north, which are tributaries of the Amazon River. Salcantay was first climbed in 1952 by a French-American expedition comprising Fred D. Ayres, David Michael, Jr., John C. Oberlin, W. V. Graham Matthews, Austen F. Riggs, George I. Bell, Claude Kogan, M. Bernard Pierre, and Jean Guillemin. All except Oberlin, Riggs, and Guillemin made the summit. Two years later Fritz Kasparek fell through a cornice near the summit on the NE ridge.
On June 17, 2013 Nathan Heald(USA), Thomas Ryan(USA), and Luis Crispin(Peru) made the summit at 10:30am after 9 hours of climbing from a high camp at 5,500mts. on the NE ridge. This makes Crispin the first Peruvian climber to summit the mountain. The team took a reading of 6,279mts., S 13° 20.027’, W 72° 32.596’, on a GPS device.On July 31st, 2013 a second team led by Nathan Heald(USA), consisting of James Lissy(USA) and Edwin Espinoza Sotelo(Peru)make the summit by the NE ridge. Due to glacial retreat, the route is now calculated to be graded D on the French adjectival scale. This makes Heald the only person to have summited the mountain twice.
Salcantay's proximity to Machu Picchu makes trekking around it an attractive alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail. There are three possible routes starting from Mollepata. All three begin with a day of approach, heading north along a dirt road. Then they diverge:
- The longest route, heads north to the base of the mountain, then turns right, following the east side of the mountain, then heads northeast to eventually join the Inca Trail itself at Wayllabamba. This route takes 4 days to reach the Inca Trail, then another 2 days to reach Machu Picchu.
- The most common route used by trekking companies heads north, then west around the west side of the mountain, over Salcantay Pass at 4600m. It continues as far as the village of La Playa, where buses usually make the connection to Santa Teresa. From here, trekkers walk to the Hydroelectric project then either train or walk to Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. This route takes 4 days in total.
- A more satisfying variation on this route turns right before reaching La Playa, over a ridge and arriving directly at Aguas Calientes two days later. This route takes 6 days in total.
SALKANTAY TREK - ALTERNATIVE INCA TRAIL TO MACHUPICCHU (5D / 4N) Salkantay trek is a new and Amazing Trek!!! Come and see Salkantay Mountain ('the Savage one'). Reach Machu Picchu in a different and spectacular way; trekking through valleys, grasslands, glaciers, cloud forests and jungle!!
Salkantay trek Was Recently Named among the 25 best Treks in the World
by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.
A remote and ancient footpath in the same region of the Inca trail, but less traveled and offering more spectacular views. This Salkantay Trek route provides a magnificent wilderness alternative for those who wish to escape the more congested trekking routes.