Salkantay Trek FAQs :

the 18 most frequently asked questions about the hike to salkantay



Question 1: How do i reserve a space for the Salkantay Trek?

You can rely on our dedicated staff to answer any questions you may have and to take care of every detail of your trip from start to finish.

Please email us to: info@salkantay-trek.com to get started.


Question 2: Will the altitude affect me?

When travelling throughout the Andes in Peru some people will suffer some effects of altitude sickness. If you plan to hike the Salkantay Trek we recommend arriving 2 or 3 days before the start to acclimatize and rest.


Question 3: What is the best thing to do in the event of altitude sickness?

Wherever possible "go down". But, if you are staying in Cusco, you may still feel the effects. The best advice is to sleep, take plenty of fluids and you could also try coca tea. The porters chew coca leaves wrapped around a black resin called llipta. When you are actually walking and active (especially on day two of the trail), this may help since it dilates vessels to increase the blood flow to the parts of the body that need it.


Question 4: Do you require a deposit?

Yes. We require a non-refundable booking deposit of US$225 for all treks and US$450 for all other tours.


Question 5: Is the Salkantay Trek difficult?

You know the answer to this one: it depends! You reach 4600m on the second day after climbing for the best part of the day. Especially if you are within your first five days at altitude, this may give you headaches and shortness of breath. Don't forget that even people who live in Cusco (at 3300m) still get short of breath.


Question 6: What do I need to bring on the trek?

Backpack, sleeping bag, mattress (we will provide you with this), rain jacket, strong footwear (walking boots are recommended as they provide support to the ankle which reduces the risk of injury especially when trekking in the wet season (December - March). However it is important that your boots are comfortable and well worn-in and not brand new. Many people prefer to trek in tennis shoes but extra care should be taken. We do not recommend trekking in sandals. One complete change of clothing, sweater, jacket (something warm), water bottle and sterilizing tablets (Micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco), flashlight and batteries, broad-brim or peaked cap, sunblock, insect repellent, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and plenty of film. You also have to bring your original passport with you on the trek.


Question 7: Should I request an extra horse?

It is better to request a horse before you go on the trail rather than realize halfway through that you’re not enjoying carrying your pack at this altitude and want some help.


Question 8: What do we do for water along the Salkantay Trek?

At meal times we will give you teas, coffees etc to drink. You'll come across a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 1½ hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. Take a bottle of at least 1½ liter capacity per person. Although the water looks it is always safer to use sterilizing tablets or a water filter. The sterilizing tablets can be bought in most pharmacies in Cusco. With these tablets you have to wait between 30 and 40 minutes before drinking. Bottled mineral water can also be taken from Cusco or bought at Mollepata or Santa Teresa.


Question 9: What is the best thing to do in the event of altitude sickness?

Wherever possible "go down". But, if you are staying in Cusco, you may still feel the effects. The best advice is to sleep, take plenty of fluids and you could also try coca tea. The porters and horse handlers chew coca leaves wrapped around a black resin called llipta. When you are actually walking and active (especially on day two of the trail), this may help since it dilates vessels to increase the blood flow to the parts of the body that need it.


Question 10: How much money should i take?

Please review what is included in your trek in order to estimate what you should take. Along the way you can buy snacks and souvenirs, mostly of a non expensive nature.


Question 11: How long does it take to get to Peru?

To Lima on a non-stop flight (recommended):
From Miami 5 1/2 hours
From New York 8 hours
From Los Angeles 8 1/2 hours


Question 12: When is the best time to go?

This is a difficult question to answer as Peru has a huge variety of weather conditions. We would say travelers can visit Peru any time of the year !
Dry season runs from May to November and this is typically the time that is most recommended. However, this is also the cooler time of year. Nighttime temperatures can drop to below freezing at the height of the dry season. June, July and August are the most popular months to visit so you will tend to encounter much larger crowds during these months.
In the wet season (December to April), you can expect showers three to four afternoons a week. For travelers that don't mind a little drizzle and muddy trails, this time of year offers smaller crowds and greener hillsides, with wildflowers and orchids often in bloom. The shoulder seasons, April to June or September to November can often provide the best of both worlds. They typically have fewer crowds and warmer temperatures than the height of the dry season, but still tend to have relatively little rain. For more information, check out our Peru Weather page.


Question 13: What entry documents do i need?

U.S. citizens need a valid passport and an entry form-tourist card which is provided by your air carrier either at the ticket counter when checking in for your flight to Peru or once on-board. (NOTE: Other nationalities should check with the nearest Peruvian Consulate to determine correct entry requirements.


Question 14: Is it safe to travel in Peru?

Definitely. We tend to hear the very worst news from Latin America. Helpful people and extraordinary culture. Most crime is opportunistic and not violent buy of course, it is possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Care and common sense will nearly always prevail.
The Sendero Luminoso is no longer active.


Question 15: How do i get from the airport to the hotel on the escorted tours?

All of our escorted tours include arrival transfer services, a Enjoy Perú Holidays representative will be waiting for you at the point of your arrival.


Question 16: What type of transportation is used?

Our escorted tours utilize a variety of transportation including private vans/ cars, comfortable tourist buses, flights, canoes, etc. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Occasionally, we may include non-typical transportation modes (rickshaw, bicycle taxi, "chicken bus", etc.) for short distances to give travelers a sense of local flavor.


Question 17: What happens if I arrive at Machu Picchu and then decide to stay an extra night, can I change my train ticket?

It is still possible to make changes to your return train ticket if you decide to stay an extra night at Aguas Calientes. You will have to take your train ticket personally to the train station in Aguas Calientes and ask them to change the return date of your ticket. You will probably be asked to pay an extra administrative fee and changing the ticket will be subject to availability of spaces the following day. If you change your ticket for a cheaper service then you will not be refunded the difference!.


Question 18: What training do you provide for your staff on environmental practices?

Our guide teams have been trained in first aid and rescue and are regularly updated through seminars and courses in their respective fields. All of our trekking staff receives regular briefings on how to best comply with the Salcantay Trek Trail and Machu Picchu Sanctuary Regulations as well as on environmental awareness.

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