24/05/2017-28/05/2017 The Salkantay TrekMay 28, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
24/05/2017-28/05/2017 The Salkantay Trek
We have returned from 5 days of trekking!
The Salkantay trek was a beautiful trek, in which we walked for over 60 miles over 5 days (the majority of which were pretty steep uphills and downhills).
Our group consisted of 11 people. We were joined by two Canadian couples and a group of 5 girls from the USA. We were so lucky with our group - we all got on so well. We called ourselves "the wet llamas" as the first two days were so rainy and we all got drenched. Our spirits remained high throughout though and we all helped each other through the trek!
On our first day, we trekked to a beautiful lagoon which was overlooked by a glacier. We got to witness an avalanche on the glacier, which was quite spectacular - we were far away enough to not have to worry!
A few of our group walked up higher to get a better view of the lagoon, which was worth it to see it change colour to a beautiful turquoise colour.
That night we stayed in glass igloos, which meant we could see the stars in bed, which was pretty cool!
The following day was one of the hardest. We hiked up to Salkantay Pass, at an elevation of 4630m, it was pretty challenging. Our guide, Ferdinand, promised us spectacular views at its peak - unfortunately it started to hale on our way up, and at the top had a complete white out, so did not get to see this!
This was one of the few things Ferdinand got wrong. We were extremely lucky to have him as our guide. He has been working as a guide on this tour for 8 years and so really knew his stuff! He was positive and encouraging throughout, and had a great sense of humour. We all adored him.
Fortunately, the weather cleared up for the last 3 days of our tour. On the Friday we recovered from our hike the previous day by visiting some natural hot springs in the afternoon to ease some of our aches and pains. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean they were, and all felt refreshed after them. The views of the mountains surrounding the pools were amazing.
The morning of our fourth day we hiked another mountain and at the top there were some inca ruins and Ferdinand taught us some more about the history of the incas. It was from the top of this mountain that we first saw, from a distance, a glimpse of Machu Picchu. In the afternoon we walked along the train line to Aguas Caliente, where we stayed before waking up at 3:30am to walk the 2000 inca steps to Machu Picchu.
Inca steps are not easy - the heights between each step are very inconsistent, and after four days of trekking, we could really feel the burn!
It was worth it though, Machu Picchu was amazing. Ferdinand gave us a tour of some of the important parts for a couple of hours. Then we said goodbye to him, which was sad! Tom and I then climbed Waynapicchu, which had some beautiful views over Machu Picchu.
In our tired state from all our hiking, we stupidly misread the signs when trying to get down. We ended up taking the long route down, which not only took us 200m lower than our starting point, took us back up a lot of stairs. It felt like we had climbed the mountain twice. At the end we took the 2000 inca steps back down to Aguas Caliente and could barely feel our feet!!
It is safe to say that on the train back to Cusco, we were all exhausted. We had had the foresight to book a nice hotel upon our arrival, and had one of the best nights sleeps we have had in Peru.
The following day we met up with 4 of the wet llamas for a walking tour of Cusco - the steps were quite difficult but it was really interesting.
Overall we loved our trek. The group was amazing, the cook made us some incredible meals and we had a lot of fun. It was very challenging at times but the satisfaction when we reached Machu Picchu made it so worthwhile. We would definitely recommend it and it has made us want to do more hikes in the future.Read more