Trekking in Peru
Trekking in Peru
One of my most mayor bucket list items was to go trekking in Peru and visit the majestic Machu Picchu.
I have spent years craving a visit to Machu Picchu, I blame those pics you see all over the internet as they capture your imagination and fill your thoughts with fantasy, mystery and wonder.
Visiting Machu Piccu was a must and trekking in Peru had to be the best way to get there as I wanted to earn it.
There are some easy option to get there but I didn’t want to get there on a train and take a bus to the top.
I wanted to understand the journey, learn something about the importance of the site, the surrounding area, the culture and the terrain. I wanted to feel and witness the harsh environment for myself.
Machu Pichu is certainly in a hard to reach place but is surrounded by such natural beauty and wonder.
I love the mountains any time of the year and so for me to spend 8 days walking about in them just felt like a dream…
Organising my Trekking in Peru
Like most of you will do before you book a major trip I did a bit of research and looked in to what my best options were.
There are loads of companies offering tours in Peru, companies offering hiking along the various trails and they are often quite similar with just a few variables which impact the price.
At first I found the process quite frustrating,
Firstly I was not able to book the traditional Inca trail (there are only 500 permits for this trail per day) so I looked at other trekking options but also I had some quite specific dates.
Luckily for me, I had a contact from Peru who recommended Machu Picchu VIP tours.
What trekking in Peru did I book?
My trek was due to be an 8 day trek and due to visit Choquequirao on the way to Machu Picchu. This changed to a double trek combining a 4 day Choquequirao trek linked to the better known 5 day Salkanty Trek.
I decided to go to take a lesser travelled trail to Choquequirao a lesser known and larger archaeological site than Machu Picchu while trekking in Peru.
Choquequirao is set high up in the mountains and only 20-40% excavated (depending on who you ask).
These awe-inspiring ruins called Choquequirao is named as such due to its location in the Choquequirao mountain range. With the Incan people only using the spoken word for their language there was no record of the actual name of this Inca settlement.
An american called Hiram Bingham discovered Choquequirao while looking for the lost city of Inca. Hiram had been exploring the mountains of Peru in search of what is now known to be Vilcabamba.
He asked the local villagers near to the Choquequirao mountains if they had seen any Inca ruins and was told of a historical settlement that had been taken by the forest and which is now known as Choquequirao.
Little was known about Choquequirao at the time although the site was very hard to get to much like it is now.
As the trek is more difficult and is a less known route it is far less crowded than the classic Inca trail and this comes with many benefits.
The Salkantay trek is one of the more traditional Trails, considered slightly more difficult than the classic Inca trail. My guide told me that this was a well travelled route in Inca times and used by the Inca to transport goods to Machu Picchu.
Inca people worshipped Apus which are sacred mountains. With the Salcantay mountain a staggering 4650m above sea level and the highest in the vilcabamba range, the Inca believed that this mountain could control the weather.
The highest part of the trail is known as the tourist killer with many tourists unable to cope with the high altitude and tough conditions.
It is common that a tourist from your group could end up needing some help and in this case they will head up and over the highest peek on the back of a horse or mule.
My Trekking in Peru Blog
Taking advice from my tour operator Machu Picchu VIP Travel I booked my trek through the mountains by linking 2 separate treks. Luis organised all the details for me and it meant I would experience the best of both worlds.
I knew it would be tough, particularly when I have not been on a long trek for a very long time but I finally booked my trip and was ready to go on this amazing and exciting adventure.
Check out my other blog posts below that give you much more info on my experience with each trek below:
See how I got on with my 4 day Choquequirao Trek
See how I got on with my 4 day Salkantay Trek
Machu Picchu VIP Tours
Machu Picchu VIP tours gave me a great deal. At the start I booked an 8 day trek with them but found out that despite best endeavours that I would be going on my own, this was because the Choquequirao is a difficult less travelled route.
Luis approached me and told me have could change my trek so that I had 2 separate treks combined into one super trek covering 2 trails and with 2 different groups of people.
This was music to my ears, one of the reasons I wanted to take the trip was to meet some like-minded people travelling through Peru, to chat and share experiences with, this was the perfect platform.
Luis took care of my airport transfers, booked my tours, organised the handover between trails, booked my accommodation in Aguas Calientes, my train ticket back from Machu Picchu and also a transfer back to my accommodation from the station. WOW! this was hassle free travel!
It is surprising how someone going the extra mile has such an impact to your journey. I will explain in my posts about the trekking but when you don’t have to think about it the stresses involved fall away and this allows you to enjoy your time there all the more.
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