I had an amazing time on this trek. The summits were gorgeous, the locals we met along the way were welcoming, and every person in our group pushed themselves hard to accomplish it.
The good things far outweighed the negatives; our guide Juan Carlos was a delight and extremely knowledgeable about Incan history, Peruvian culture, and the flora and fauna we came across. The food was consistently delicious- much more than I had expected for being on a trek. The sleeping arrangements were generally comfortable, including tents and sleeping pads that were set up and broken down for us each day.
The hiking was difficult, but beautiful and always worth the effort. The negatives to prepare for: the first day was extremely difficult due to the significant altitude we climbed in a single day and below-freezing temperatures. Most of us were not prepared for that kind of chill, and slept badly because of it. Coca leaves and drinking lots of water helped with altitude sickness, and we felt alright again after descending the next day. Comfortable hiking shoes that your toes don´t touch the front of while walking downhill are also a must. Also- tipping the guide, cooks, and horsemen at the end in cash is expected and definitely necessary, prepare for that.
Thank you Salkantay Trek and thank you Juan Carlos! This was a great experience.