Hi there! I just got home from all my traveling and can’t wait to share with you how amazing it has been to visit Peru and Machu Picchu!
Since Machu is one of the wonders of the world (in 2007 more than 100 million people voted for the modern 7 Wonders of the World and Machu Picchu made the final cut) I wanted to make my experience as special as possible. So I decided to take the 5 days Salkantay trail and fully experience the diversity of the Andes landscape as I trekked mountains and jungles.
Machu Picchu is located 2,430 meters above the sea level, which means most people require a few days of acclimatizing before starting an adventure. The acclimatizing happens in Cuzco, a small town high up in the Andes known for its colonial buildings and being the capital of the Inca empire. After 3 days in Cuzco, I signed up for a hiking tour and we started our journey before dawn at 4:30 am heading to Mollepata by bus, from here we started our hike. The first stop after a 7 km uphill walk was in Soraypampa, where a delicious homemade Peruvian lunch was waiting for us, followed by an arduous afternoon hike to one of the most beautiful spots you could imagine, a glacier lake with crystal clear water where you could literally see the snow melting to feed lake! The second and hardest day took as to the highest point in our hike, known as Abra Salkantay at 4,600 meters, a place where the vast environment and the altitude take your breath away. We spend the rest of the day heading down the mountain, through some of the most spectacular Andes views going from snow top mountains to the deepest jungle, YES the jungle!!
The hike continued with two days through the jungle where we finally reach some populated areas and learn about the local vegetations, including coca plants, coffee beans, banana trees and delicious passion fruit trees. On our second day in the jungle and after being mauled on by mosquitos and sand flies we reach the natural hot spring water pools overlooking the mountains, a spectacular scene that will remain etched in my memory for the rest of my life. The following day we arrived in Aguas Calientes after lunch, a town at the foot of Machu Picchu, this small but thriving settlement is filled with high and low-end hotels and restaurants. Seeing a city after all those days of vast nature was like seeing civilization for the first time, everything looks incredible…
Finally it was time ascended to the pinnacle of our special journey, we started at 3:30 am in order to beat crowds of tourist arriving that morning, we walked from Aguas Calientes to the base of Machu Picchu mountain and from here you can either take a bus or walk up the 1,700 steps which take 45 mins without breaks, I opted to walk so that I could see the sunset over the Ciudadela. After an exhausting uphill walk, we arrive at the most amazing place I have ever seeing in my life. Machu Picchu leaves you speechless, it is much better than any picture could show. Walking through the city you discover how advanced the Incas were, water flows through hidden underground channels around the whole construction and still to this date they haven’t discovered the pipe system that brings the water there. Some say this place was an ancient university, where academics and leaders came to teach and learn new knowledge. In one building you can discover an astrological center where the Inca’s would watch the sun through a reflection in the water so not to damage their eyes. I could keep going for hours, but I don’t want to reveal much, as I think you should go there and experience it for yourselves. My experience has been extraordinary and I will recommend everyone to visit this magical wonder of the ancient!