Machu Pichu Lodge Trek (Team Muchos Piscos) begins the Salcantay Trek!

Today was a very exciting day for our Peru Trekking team for a few reasons. First, we decided on our team name and I would like to introduce; Team Muchos Piscos! * Second, and more importantly we started our journey on the Salkantay trek. We had a few folks feeling under the weather so they stayed back in Cusco for the morning and took a bus straight to the lodge to rest. Always a good option to have when need. The rest of our team took a bus to the trailhead, stopping first at Limatambo, a 14th century Inca stopping post archeological  site and then next at a small sustainable farm in Mollepata where we took a tour and sampled the organic fruits, herbs veggies and coffee. This farm is starting to produce the food that is served at the mountain lodges.

We then drove to the trailhead starting at 11,000 ft (3,354). The Salcantay trek is one of the classic treks in Peru and has been voted one of the top 25 treks in the world. It felt great to put on the (35 L) packs and start walking. The trail gradually inclined and by the time we stopped for our picnic lunch we were around 11,900ft (3,651). From our lunch spot we had our first views of Humantay (5,917m) and Salkantay peaks (6,264m). Both of these mountains are important holy mountains of the Inca and rising above 20,000 ft are stunning backdrops to our trail high up in the Andes. Salcantay is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and the 12th highest peak in Peru. So beautiful and mega eye candy to the mountain lover, sitting just out of reach, tantalizing you to dare climb 🙂

After our picnic we hiked on to Soraypampa. The views of the peaks opened up more and were absolutely fantastic. After about 4.5 hours of hiking we arrived at the Salcantay Lodge (12,690). The beautiful lodge set against the big peaks made for a warm welcome and we were given hot washcloths and tea upon arrival. The views are seriously amazing from the lounge with huge Windows looking right at Salcantay and a fireplace to warm up the chilly night. We settled in and had a lovely meal together before calling it a night to enjoy our cozy rooms and give the body the rest it needs.

Tomorrow we will take a hike up to the lake at the foot of the Humantay glacier where a surprise awaits us. We spend two nights at the charming Salcantay lodge to help acclimatize and tomorrow after our hike I will definitely be trying out the hot tub 🙂

Cheers from team Mucho Pisco’s!

*team has yet to enjoy the Peruvian beverage Pisco Sours together yet as we are all responsible trekkers minding the guides words of wisdom when it comes to adult beverages at altitude, but we do have a Pisco class coming up in a few nights when we are feeling ready to partake in local culture 🙂

-Anna Zajicek

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