I’ve been lucky enough to trek all over the world and Peru remains a highlight for me. From the moment you arrive in Cusco, and try to catch your breath in the rarefied air of the Andes, you know you are in for something special. A buzz of excitement fills the city and there is so much to experience, from amazing Inca sites to colourful markets.
Our trek follows a remote Inca highway towards Machu Picchu. Immediately you feel like you are miles away from any other tourist, that we are the only people who have trekked through these remote villages for months or years. You can really immerse yourself in the culture and life of your guides and support crew. Most of them live in the villages we trek through and we have the opportunity to meet their families and visit their children’s schools. These school visits always seem to end in an exchange of songs, the Peruvian children singing beautiful traditional songs while we, rather embarrassingly, only ever have ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ or the ‘hokey-cokey’ to offer in return!
We trek from valley to valley, climbing each morning towards a high pass before we descend in to the next valley. The views from these passes are truly spectacular; rolling hills stretch out for miles in front of you before hitting snow-capped peaks in the far distance. They are the most unbroken views I have ever seen, no roads, no electricity pylons, no telegraph poles.
Day three takes us down the Silque river valley, where rare orchids are found and condors swoop overhead. It’s lush, green and full of life, a real contrast to the scenery we have been trekking through. By the morning of day 5 the excitement is palpable, today is the day we trek though Intipunku (the Sun Gate) and see the magnificent Machu Picchu for the first time.
We have an early start as we take the train to KM104 where we join the traditional Inca Trail for our final day. Climbing through the forest we are within striking distance of our goal by early afternoon. Climbing the final few steps of the Inca Trail and turning through Intipunku, the scene below you is breath-taking. Machu Picchu sits bathed in sunlight, perched on a hilltop, surrounded on all sides by dense forested mountains. The emotions of everything that you have been through to get you to this point, your reasons for doing the challenge, well up inside and tears usually start flowing! It really is a brilliant end to a fantastic trek.
If you would like to join us on one of Peru treks find out more by clicking here.