A while ago we traveled to Peru to discover Machu Picchu, but we wanted to do it in a different way. So with our SIM card and our backpack, we booked the Salkantay Trek on the Howlanders website and off we went to experience the adventure. Here you have our review of the Salkantay Trek and how Howlanders’ management was.
Booking and trekking preparation with Howlanders
Booking the Salkantay Trek online with Howlanders was very quick and easy. You add the tour to your cart, book, and within 48 hours you receive a confirmation email.
Also, before booking they were advising us on the phone both with the tour and with our trip in Peru. Good customer service? Check ✅
Salkantay Trek Review
It is a 4-day route where you travel 58 km through one of the highest mountains in Cusco, Salkantay, and in which you get to be at 4615 meters of altitude.
The stops that characterize the tour are the Humantay Lake, the village of Colpapampa, the Salkantay Passage, the Santa Teresa Valley and the famous Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Mollepata, Challacancha, Lake Humantay
The Salkantay trek with Howlanders started with snowy views of Salkantay and Humantay by car. We were picked up at the hotel at the expected time (4:30 am) and dropped off at the starting point of the trek. It was the whole group together with the guide who was going to accompany us all the way.
We started walking through valleys around 9:30 am, towards Soraypampa, where the base camp was. After a while we saw the incredible Humantay Lake.
After 11 km of walking, we arrived at the camp and we could rest while the guide told us anecdotes and stories.
Day 2: Soraypampa, Salkantay Passage, Huayracmachay and Colpapampa
The second day we reached the highest point of the trek (beware of altitude sickness). After 19 km, we had lunch in Huayra Mackay and visited the village of Colpapampa.
The second night was spent in another base camp that was also set up upon arrival. It is important to note that during the first two nights there is no bathroom, you are in the middle of nature, so take towelettes and hygiene products.
Day 3: Sahuayaco, Santa Teresa, Hidroelectrica, Aguas Calientes
This day we hiked 3 km more than the previous day (22 km) but the elevation gain was much less, the highest elevation we were at was 2800 meters.
The views on the third day were still beautiful: the valleys of Santa Teresa. The final destination for this day was Aguas Calientes, where we slept in a hostel that this time had a private bathroom.
Day 4: Machu Picchu, Cusco
The last day was the shortest: 6 km to Machu Picchu. To go up to Inca city you have two options: walk up or take the bus for $12. We preferred to walk up, and once there, a 2 hour guided tour included in the tour was waiting for us.
To return to Cusco we had to get to Aguas Calientes again to take the train to Ollantaytambo (included in the tour) where we were then transferred to the city center. As for the descent, we could either walk down or take a bus and this time we chose the second option for $12.
Our review of the Salkantay Trek with Howlanders in general
Getting to Machu Picchu in such a different way is an incredible experience. Here we leave you a summary table with our pros and cons to help you.
|Accommodations||-The camps for the first two nights are already set up when you arrive.-The hostel for the last night has a private bathroom and is very well equipped.||– No showers the first two days||8/10|
|Booking||-Online-You can book in the currency of your choice.-It’s easy and fast-You don’t need to be a group, you can book a single person and Howlanders will join you to a group already formed.||-It is not immediate (it takes a maximum of 48 hours to confirm your reservation because they have to manage the hostel and the groups).||9/10|
|Cancellation Policy||-If you cancel 48 hours in advance, you will pay only $30 and the rest will be refunded-||-The entrance fee to Machu Picchu and the train is not refundable ($30).||9/10|
|Customer Service||– They gave us advice on how to prepare for the trek and plan the rest of our trip in Peru.-They recommended activities we could do after the trek.-They have 24 hour traveler assistance by phone.||It is not possible to leave part of the luggage in the Cusco office before the trek, but we were recommended to leave it in the left-luggage service of our accommodation in Cusco.||10/10|
|Tour||-A different way to visit Machu Picchu.-Includes hotel pick up in Cusco-It has more availability than other tours of this style to Machu Picchu.-You go with a guide during the whole trek.||-The camps for the first two nights do not have toilets.-You may suffer from altitude sickness||9/10|
The truth is that our Howlanders Salkantay Trek final review is very good. It was an experience of 10, not only for the journey or the adventure that was to cross the Andes and reach Machu Picchu but for the good organization and management of Howlanders.