Carlos’ champion hikers

by: , American -
September 02, 2014

The Salkantay Trek was truly amazing. We went the first week of September, 2014. Our guide Carlos was great. He proved to be an all-star hiker as he ran back and forth along the trails at various times on our trip if our group became separated. He also showed us lots of wildlife and plants that we wouldn't have noticed if he wasn't there. The hike was amazing with breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains on the first two days. Dress warm for the first night! I was warm enough with sweatpants and sweatshirt, in the sleeping bag provided. Our tents were set up inside a wind shelter which also helped a lot. Another group was camped out in the open and said they were freezing in the night (I think it got down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, plus wind chill). We hiked to Humantay lake first afternoon, which is at the base of a glacier. The next morning we hiked up through Salkantay Pass, and Carlos brought us to another "hidden" glacial lake at the top of the pass because we made really good time getting to the top.

The next two days were through the cloud forest where we saw lots of unique landscapes as the elevation changed and saw plants such as banana trees, coffee trees, avocados, papaya, cacao, etc. We also saw lots of livestock at the farms along the way and some very cool wild bird species such as parrots and toucans. The hikes are nice, quiet and isolated, however each day there are multiple small villages along the trails where you can stop to rest, or buy snacks, water, beer, etc. The campsites are fun and typically include a small shop, and a few campsites where other tour groups are also camping for the night. Even though the water was freezing, we went swimming in Humantay lake on the first afternoon. There was also a river in Playa on the third night where we went swimming. Showers were available at some of the campsites (I think the second and third nights) and cost 10 soles for a hot shower if you wanted one.

The fourth night we stayed in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. We went to the hot springs and had a fun night out on the last night of the trip, but we had to be at the bus station at 5am for Machu Picchu! We were pretty tired and hungover, so try not to drink too much in Aguas Calientes. In any case, we saw an amazing sunrise over Machu Picchu and had a great day there to walk around and explore, after Carlos gave us a tour of the most significant buildings in the complex. We boarded a train and then a bus from Aguas Calientes that night and got back to Cusco around 10pm. The trip was so worth it!

Special Package:

Machu Picchu Travel

10 Days - A special package including assistance at your arrival in Lima, all accommodation and transportation required...and of course our world famous Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. *