I don’t even know where to begin… so I guess I’ll start here 🙂
Arion and I just returned from 12 days in Peru. We spent a few days in Cusco, then hiked the Salkantay Trail through the Andes for 6 days, finally arriving at one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu.
We hiked with a company called Mountain Lodges of Peru and it was incredible. Our guides, Leo and Whilder exceeded all of our expectations and really made the trip. We had perfect weather for Peru’s “end of the rainy season”, filled with blue skies and lush landscapes – it was the perfect time to go.
We trekked approximately 45 miles and reached the summit at 15,213 feet. Each day was a new adventure surrounded by 18,000+ peaks. We covered lush mountains, alpine terrain, mountain lakes (that Arion was brave/loco enough to swim in), and cloud rainforests.
At the end of each day of trekking, we approached a 5-star lodge nestled in a new valley (valley being around 12,000 feet). Upon entrance, we were greeted with a cup of muna tea (mint) and a hot/cold aroma-filled towel, depending on the weather. Each lodge had a gorgeous hot tub overlooking the view and massage rooms waiting. Each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) was a 3-course gourmet collection of Peru’s freshest vegetables, fruit, and meat. I even tried Alpaca (delicious)! Avocado was growing all around us and we even stopped mid-trek one day to eat passion fruit directly from the vine. At bedtime, we were surprised with chocolates on our pillows and hot water bottles under the covers to warm our toes. It was pure luxury, to say the least.
Our group consisted of 12 incredibly interesting people, 2 guides, 1 mule driver (Manuel) and 10 horses. Our group clicked immediately, which only added to the experience, and also made it incredibly hard to say goodbye at the end.
Then, after we had almost forgotten what the ultimate goal was, we arrived at Machu Picchu. Our private tour continued, as we learned about the Incan community and their Sacred Valley. Upon reaching the Sun Gate, another few hours of trekking, we were greeted with a view of the entire “city”. It was breathtaking and that wasn’t only due to the altitude. Peaceful doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I could go on and on about one of our best vacations to date, but I think you get the idea 🙂 For more photos, please email me and I can forward the entire Kodak album.
*I was not asked to / or compensated for this review of the Salkantay Trek with MLP – it was just that great.*