Refugios Chalway

Chalway Refuge

Refugios Chalway - Salkantay Trek

We are the “Holgado” family and have lived in this part of the world for many generations. Our community is called Chalway, which is part of the Santa Teresa town in Cusco, Peru.  Traditionally we have been farmers and traders of local products. In the past, we were the middle point between the trading route of Mollepata and Santa Teresa. Typically, Mollepata traded products such as livestock (dried /salted meat), corn and barley products, as well as the famous “agua ardiente “ literally translated as “burning wáter” or more commonly known as “moonshine” which is a delicious alcoholic beverage similar to whisky. They interchanged and bartered their products in Santa Teresa for coffee, cocoa, achuete (annatto), bananas and other fruits that are not cultivated in Mollepata. So historically and for many centuries, our small village was the centre of the Exchange of products and a resting place for the ancient traders who exchanged their products between villages.

Refugios Chalway - Salkantay Trek

In the past, we offered basic lodgings to the neighbouring villagers and with the onset of tourism in the area in more recent years, the travel agencies started to visit the area en massive numbers bringing with them their own team of guides, mulemen, cooks etc from Cusco and we dedicated or time to seling basic snacks and wáter , sodas etc, However now that wehave The Salkantay refuges, we are able to offer our own homes which offer respite, food and services to hikers on the trek in the same way that our ancestors offered a resting place for the weary traders of the time.  We are extremely happy to be able to offer these services to trekkers and at the same time be able to share these meetings with our guests.

What Other Visitors Experienced

An amazing experience with an beautiful family. Like in the description its a small business but there is still very much a loving and family touch. The trek was very well organized and they always knew where you were but we were also independent for most of the hiking which made the hike stress free and enjoyable. There was not a single moment where I felt I was unsafe or unsure where to go. We did have to carry our packs for much of the time but they helped transport our bags during the most difficult days. Each night accommodations were very differnet but surpassed my expectations. Each night we were fed good food and stayed warm with all the blankets provided. The first night was in a lodge with absolutely incredible views, the second night was a lodge in an area that even haf a bar with other campers from various groups. The third night was my favorite, we stayed with a beautiful family on a coffee platation. Although they didnt speak any english they were the sweetest and happiest hosts. They heard it was my husbands birthday so sonia woke up 5am to make him a birthday cake for breakfast!! They made our stay truly special. This is the best way to do the trek I am so happy I found this group. The only thing to keep in mind is that the family speaks no english but added to the experience for us! Thank you refugios for such a wonderful experience! I will be sending my friends your way!!
— Maliha
Our experience on the salkantay was incredible. My wife and I were worried about hiking it in the rainy season cause we didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night soaked. After finding this place on airbnb we couldn’t have been more excited. It is affordable, and it seriously makes the hike so much better! We didn’t have to haul/rent a tent, pads, sleeping bags, or food for the trek. Each night we slept in a comfortable bed with lots of blankets for the cold. Very clean as well. In our opinion is is hands down the best way to do the hike. The family doesn’t speak English so you get fully immersed in the Peruvian culture. The food was excellent as well. All the other hikers who were camping got soaked during the cold nights and just seemed miserable compared to my wife and I. This is the ONLY way to hike salkantay! If you are thinking about it then book it!
— Patrick