The Salkantay Mountain is at the top of the heart of the Andes. This mountain stands out as one of the 25 best treks in the world according to National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. However, the main enigma of the mountain is that it is considered sacred and has been worshipped for thousands of years by the locals. To this day it is widely explored by adventurers from all over the world. What does the mountain hide that makes it so attractive?

Salkantay Mountain

Neither its snow-capped peaks, nor its valleys, nor its breathtaking views, nor its natural beauty can be compared to any other trekking. The only tour that can give it a fight is the Classic Inca Trail trek. The salkantay trek vs. inca trail have divided opinions on which one to choose as their preferred route. What is extraordinary is that both take you to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

To embark on a hike to the Salkantay mountain is to encounter a world untouched by time. Where ancient trails will be waiting for you. You will go through challenging terrains where you will need to know some important aspects before trekking. For example you need to know when is the best time, what is the altitude, what you have to carry or have knowledge of the map to the Salkantay Mountain.

All about Salkantay

What is Salkantay Mountain?

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.

Did you Know: 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.

Facts About its History

  • The Incas venerated the Salkantay mountain because they considered it as a protective deity. They also believed that the deity could control the weather and fertility in part of the Cusco region. 
  • The Salkantay mountain could be seen from the sundial in Machu Picchu. That is why the Incas considered it as one of the main deities.
  • The first time someone tried to reach the top of the mountain was in 1950. Where an Italian expedition reached near the southeast face at 5600 m (18,373).
  • In 1952 two people gave up but the other members of the team reached the summit. A French-American group were the first to reach the summit successfully. 
  • Luis Crispin reached the top of the mountain in 2013. And he is recognized as the first Peruvian to reach the summit. Nathan Heald and Thomas Ruyan, two Americans, accompanied the Peruvian.
  • On July 31, 2013, Nathan Heald climbed the summit again with another group formed by James Lissy (USA).