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A Journey Beyond the Peaks: My Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Embarking on a Salkantay Adventure to Machu Picchu at my age might sound like an unconventional choice, but the allure of the majestic Andes and the promise of reaching the iconic Machu Picchu fueled my adventurous spirit. Little did I know that this journey would not only test my physical limits but also become a source of inspiration for living a fuller life and reconnecting with my family.

Day 1: Soraypampa Camp, Peru

plain part of rainbow mountain in peru

The journey kicked off with an early morning bus ride to Mollepata, a quaint town where we stocked up on snacks and stretched our legs. As we traversed to Challacancha, excitement and anticipation filled the air. The three-hour trek to Soraypampa rewarded us with panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, a breathtaking prelude to the adventure that lay ahead. The highlight of the day was the hike to Laguna de Humantay, a mesmerizing experience that left me in awe of nature’s grandeur.

Day 2: Colcapampa Camp

salkantay peru ranges and clouds

A hearty breakfast fueled our ascent to the highest pass on the trek, nestled between the towering Salkantay and Humantay mountains. The panoramic views from the pass were nothing short of spectacular, a reminder of the immense beauty that nature has to offer. The descent to our campsite at Colcapampa was a mix of challenge and reward, culminating in a well-deserved rest surrounded by the tranquility of the high jungle region.

Day 3: Santa Teresa Town

woman looking at souvenirs in peru

The trek through the upper jungle was a feast for the senses. Crossing the Santa Teresa River, witnessing waterfalls, and indulging in the abundance of tropical fruits marked this leg of the journey. The warmth of Santa Teresa town provided a welcome respite, with the option to soak in hot springs—a luxurious reward for the efforts of the past three days.

Day 4: Aguas Calientes, Peru

aguas clientes river - peru

The penultimate day brought us closer to the grand finale—Machu Picchu. The walk to the hydroelectric station was a gentle prelude to the final ascent to Aguas Calientes. Here, amid the ambiance of a traditional restaurant, we prepared for the awe-inspiring visit to the ancient Incan citadel the next day.

Day 5: Machu Picchu, Peru

huayna picchu urubamba

The early morning bus ride to Machu Picchu set the stage for a magical experience. As the mist lifted, the ancient city revealed itself in all its glory. A guided walking tour provided insights into the history and marvels of Machu Picchu, leaving me humbled by the ingenuity of the Incan civilization. The optional climb to Huayna Picchu offered a different perspective, one that tested both my physical and mental strength.

Here are 10 Tips for Seniors Hiking the Machu Picchu

Final Word

As I reflect on this incredible journey, I realize that age is but a number when it comes to embracing life’s adventures. The Salkantay Trek not only brought me closer to the wonders of nature but also strengthened the bonds with my family who shared in this unforgettable experience. 

It taught me that every step, no matter how challenging, is a step towards a fuller, more vibrant life—one that I intend to continue embracing with newfound vigor and appreciation. Machu Picchu may be a destination, but the journey, both physical and metaphorical, is where the true treasures lie.

Check out the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N itinerary from Bamba Travel.

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Guest post written by Bill Hasan

Bill Hasan loves flying around the world while documenting his travels in engaging articles.