Venturing into the heart of Peru, the Salkantay Trek became more than a mere quest for design inspiration. It unfolded as a profound odyssey, weaving through the Andean peaks and lush valleys, unveiling not only the secrets of ancient landscapes but also the intricate tapestry of familial connections. As an interior designer, I embarked on this adventure seeking creativity but found, in the process, an unexpected renewal of bonds within my family.
Day 1 to Day 2: Soraypampa Camp to Colcapampa Camp
The inaugural day commenced with a pre-dawn bus ride to Mollepata, offering a taste of the vastness that awaited. A pause at Challacancha allowed for necessary preparations before we began our 3-hour ascent to Soraypampa. The panoramic views of snow-capped mountains laid the foundation for what would be an awe-inspiring journey. Laguna de Humantay, a jewel nestled within the Andes, beckoned us with its tranquil beauty, fostering a sense of wonder and unity. As we settled into our highest campsite, shared laughter and stories under the starlit sky became the backdrop to our newfound closeness.
Day 2 unfolded with a challenging yet rewarding 4-hour trek to the highest pass, positioned between the colossal Salkantay and Humantay. The breathtaking vistas from this point underscored the sheer majesty of nature. Descending for 3 hours, we found ourselves in Colcapampa, a campsite marking the transition to the high jungle region. Amidst the vibrant foliage and warmer climate, the bonds forged on this trek mirrored the warmth of our surroundings.
Day 3: Santa Teresa Town
Day 3 ushered us into the upper jungle, a realm of valleys, waterfalls, and tropical wonders. Our journey led us through picturesque landscapes, each step revealing the beauty of the natural world. Lunch at La Playa was a feast for both body and soul, reinvigorating our spirits for the next leg of the adventure. A car ride to Santa Teresa town brought a change of pace, a respite from the rigors of the trail. The option to visit hot springs became an indulgent reward, fostering shared moments of relaxation and reflection.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes
With breakfast against the backdrop of Santa Teresa, our final trek day unfolded on a relaxing path to the hydroelectric station. A box lunch provided sustenance as we approached Aguas Calientes, a town nestled in the embrace of the Andean landscape. The evening, adorned with dinner at a local restaurant, became a moment of collective anticipation for the grand culmination – Machu Picchu.
Day 5: Machu Picchu
The early morning bus ride to Machu Picchu was a journey into the heart of history. As the morning mist dissipated, the ancient city emerged, bathed in the soft glow of dawn. A guided tour provided insights into the architectural marvels of the Incas, and the freedom to explore independently allowed for a personal connection with the stones that echoed with centuries of history. Climbing Huayna Picchu added an extra layer of accomplishment to this already unforgettable journey.
The Salkantay Trek surpassed the boundaries of a physical challenge, becoming a crucible of self-discovery and familial connection. The shared trials, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural encounters transformed us individually and as a collective. As an interior designer, this adventure taught me that inspiration isn’t confined to walls and curated spaces; it’s a vast landscape waiting to be explored. The Salkantay Trek is more than a trail; it’s a narrative of shared memories, an epic that binds us together and whispers that true growth and inspiration often emerge from the unlikeliest of places. In the peaks and valleys of Peru, amidst the ancient stones and familial ties, we found not only design inspiration but a richer, deeper connection with life itself.
Check out our free Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N itinerary.
Guest post written by Gazini Hennesy
With an insatiable love for travel, Gazini draws inspiration from diverse cultures and aesthetics around the globe.