All about Salkantay

What is Salkantay?

Salkantay is one of the highest snow-capped mountains in Peru. It is located in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, in the department of Cusco, between the districts of Santa Teresa, Limatambo and Machu Picchu.

Salcantay or Salkantay comes from the Quechua Sallqantay. Its name is a contraction of Salqa, which means wild, and Antay, which means sky or avalanches. But if we add the word Apu (from the Quechua word meaning lord), it is defined as Apu Salkantay.

That is, where the spirits dwell. Apu is generally said to the great mountains of the Andean zones of Peru.

Location and physical characteristics of Nevado Salkantay: It is located in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, between several districts of the Department of Cusco, reaching an altitude of 6264 meters above sea level.

Meaning of the name: “Salkantay” comes from the contraction of “Salqa” which means sullen or wild, and “Antay” which refers to produce celajes or avalanches. It is also added the term “Apu”, which in Quechua means Lord, as a form of respect to the spirits that inhabit the mountains.

Importance and difficulty: Although there are other high mountains in the region, such as Nevado Ausangate, Salkantay stands out for its imposing isolation and technical difficulty for climbing, with six routes open to date on different slopes.