Salkantay

Salkantay Mountain

Salkantay: 6,271 meters (20,574 feet), Cordillera Vilcabamba

Nevado Salkantay (or Salcantay) is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba (or Willkapampa) in the Cusco Region of Peru. Salkantay is located less than 20 km directly to the south of Machu Picchu, and about 65 km west-northwest of the city of Cusco. Its proximity to these important Inca sites made it one of the most sacred mountains in the Tawantinsuyu, or Inca Empire.

Salkantay is an imposing and technically difficult peak to climb. Many climbers and trekkers (the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is extremely popular) begin their expeditions in the village of Mollepata just to the south of the mountain.

(photo Bill Damon, flickr.com)