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Slaying the Salkantay: My Odyssey Through Peru’s Majestic Heartland

Welcome, my dazzling darlings, to a tale of glamour, adventure, and the majestic beauty of Peru’s Salkantay Trek! In a world where every step is a strut and every view is a breathtaking backdrop, join me on this fabulous escapade through the heartland of the Andes. 

From the highest peaks to the lush jungles, this journey was not just a trek; it was a runway show of nature’s most spectacular looks. Buckle up those heels, fluff those wigs, and let’s dive into the enchanting saga of “Slaying the Salkantay: A Drag Queen’s Glamorous Odyssey.

Day 1: Soraypampa Camp, Peru

soraypampa camp peru

Darlings, rise and shine! Today marked the beginning of a fabulous adventure as I embarked on the Salkantay Trek. The day kicked off with a glamorous pickup at the crack of dawn, around 5:00 am. We glided through the Peruvian landscape, making a pit stop in Mollepata to stretch our legs and indulge in some delightful snacks. Challacancha was our next destination, where we meticulously prepared for the upcoming glamour-filled days. 

A three-hour walk led us to Soraypampa (3,920m), a spot boasting breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. Lunch was served with the majestic Andes as our backdrop. The highlight? A hike to Laguna de Humantay, offering views fit for a queen. The night was spent in the highest and coldest campsite, surrounded by the enchanting embrace of nature. Dinner was divine, and beauty sleep came early.

Day 2: Colcapampa Camp

Night one of a five day journey through the mountains of Peru, ending at Salkantay. - salkantay trail vs inca trail - bamba trail

Breakfast at 6:00 am, darlings! The day began with a four-hour walk to the highest pass of the trek, nestled between the fabulous Salkantay (6,267m) and Humantay (5,900m) mountains. For those feeling a little extra, there was an option to ride a horse to the high pass – glam on a whole new level! 

The downhill journey led us to Huayracpampa for a well-deserved lunch, followed by a three-hour trek to our campsite at Challhuay or Colcapampa. As we descended into the high jungle region, at 2,900 meters, the scenery transformed, leaving us in awe of Mother Nature’s runway.

Preparing for the Salkantay Trek: Your Ultimate Training Guide

Day 3: Santa Teresa Town

santa teresa peru

After a regal breakfast at 6:30 am, we trekked through the upper jungle, crossing the Santa Teresa River and sashaying past little brooks. Valleys unfolded, adorned with waterfalls, tropical fruits, and plants – a true feast for the eyes. Lunch at La Playa (2,200m) was a midday refuel before hopping into a car bound for Santa Teresa town (1,700 meters). A warmer climate welcomed us as we rested, with the option to luxuriate in the hot springs (extra cost) – the perfect remedy after three days of trekking.

Day 4: Aguas Calientes

aguas clientes river - peru

Breakfast in style at 8:00 am! Our final day on the trail took us from Santa Teresa to the hydroelectric station, with a box lunch served along the way. The path to Aguas Calientes was a three-hour, slightly uphill stroll, promising relaxation and preparation for our grand entrance to Machu Picchu. Dinner was a delicious affair at a local traditional restaurant, setting the stage for the grand finale.

Day 5: Machu Picchu, Peru

machu picchu walls - incan empire - bamba travel

Hold on to your wigs, queens! An early start at 5:30 am had us catching one of the first buses to Machu Picchu, bathing the magnificent city in the early morning light. A two-hour walking tour led by our fabulous guide gave us a glimpse into the mysterious city. The energy-infused could opt for an additional climb to the Huayna Picchu Peak (booked in advance at an extra cost). A bus back to Aguas Calientes, a train ride to Ollantaytambo, and a bus to Cuzco marked the end of this glamorous escapade. We were dropped off in Plaza San Francisco, ready to continue our reign in this enchanting city.

Final Word

Loves, the Salkantay Trek was an absolute dream! From the majestic mountains to the lush jungles, every moment felt like a strut down the runway of nature. This journey has reignited my wanderlust, and I can’t wait to channel the inspiration from this trek into my drag looks. Machu Picchu, you are truly the crown jewel of this adventure, and I’m already planning my triumphant return. Until then, stay fabulous, and keep the wanderlust alive!

Check out our free Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu itinerary

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Guest post written by Asia Rina

Asia Rina is not just a drag queen who rules the stage; she’s a jet-setting diva who thrives on the excitement of discovering new cultures, meeting diverse people, and embracing the beauty of the world.