/ any one done the Salkantay trek to Machu Pichu

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neil9216 - on 09 Jun 2012
My girlfriend and I are currently in Patagonia,on trip round South America,we are planning on doing the Salkantay trek to Machu Pichu.

Has anyone done this trek, we are hoping to do it independantly,
what I want to know is, can you by food on the trek or will we have to take everything with us.
Also we have a tent, I take it camping should be easy enough.
And where is the best place to get the permit for Machu Pichu.

Any info or advive would be greatly appreciated.
kind regards Neil
kamon - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to neil9216:

Did this a couple of years back - probably 2009 when I lived in Peru. It is a nice way to get to Machu Pichu.

Lots of operators offering the trek very cheaply but I understand your wish to do things independently. We did it in a supported group and it was a good laugh plus the cook tent and company was nice on wet evenings.

We sort of adopted an independent hiker who ate with us and camped near us each night.
Camp spots for him were easy enough although there was a compound one night which was "semi-private".

Some trekking operators offered the hike as 4 nights to push up the prices but their first day was just a couple of kilometers along a road...

I think there was just one night where food wouldn't have been available. However, the food in shacks along the way was either just processed snack stuff like biscuits or dubious stews and similar which might make you ill!

You buy the tickets for Machu Pichu in Machu Pichu village which was called Aguas Calientes before. It is quite expensive. If you want to get up Huaina Pichu (spelling!) for the arial view of the ruins then you have to get up very early or bribe someone as it is first come-first served with a limited number of tickets!

Aguas Calientes is not as bad as the guide book says! Train tickets there and away for the link with Cusco are expensive depending on the class but can be booked online.

Lots of great things to see in Peru aside from Machu Pichu. Have fun.

neil9216 - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to kamon:
Thanks for info.
almost sane on 09 Jun 2012 -
In reply to neil9216:
Another alternative trek in the area round Machu Picchu is the Lares trek. Map here

From Ollantaytambo you get the train to Aguas Alientes and from there to Machu Picchu.

I heartily recommend spending time at Ollantaytambo, one of the final lines of defence against the Spanish. I personally prefer the ruins at Pisac to those at Machu Picchu - Pisac is not far from Huaran, the start point of the Lares trek.
Lots of things I like about the Lares trek:
There are different options and branches you can take if you are getting tired or feeling energetic.
There are many non-technical (and technical) peaks round the trek which you can ascend with little or no mountaineering gear (obviously not the technical peaks).
It is a less popular trek. But even so, some of the camp sites have toilets and tea shops (a Good Thing).
You can re-stock in the small town of Lares.
Between Vilcabamba and Lares there are some hot springs that have been turned into a nice wee complex. You can even camp within the hot springs compound, which is a very welcome way to end a day's trek - a hot soak before bed!

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