Wow, what can I say. It was an amazing 4 day experience.
First of all, our guide Andre was incredible. He was intense, but made the trek memorable and meaningful. You can tell he cares deeply about his job, and sharing Inca spiritual beliefs and practices. "Vamos muchachos!"
The food was absolutely beyond our expectations! The best food we ate on our trip. The chef and sous-chef, wow, I don't know how they do it but they managed to beat us to camp, and crank out the most delicious multi-course meals all day.
The camps were super comfortable with thick firm foam mattresses and warm sleeping bags. The wake-up call with tea was bonus for sure.
Truthfully, when reflecting at the end, the cost is INCREDIBLY affordable for what you get. We could never have paid for a hotel for multiple nights, plus 3 meals of amazing food each day, plus the entrance fee to Macchu Picchu AND the train and bus ride back to Cusco for the price we paid for the Salkantay Trek.
I will say, we "trained" for this (by that I mean we hiked with moderately heavy backpacks) each weekend for about 6 weeks leading up to the trek and we were glad we did! We did the 4 day ("short") trek and you definitely need to be ready, both in terms of cardio and leg strength, as they are long days. No need to be hard-core athlete, but this is no stroll along a path. There are some steep inclines and the altitude is an added challenge. I'd recommend doing some hiking, squats, etc. leading up to your trek.
Thanks Salkantay! We wanted a challenge and we got it! But we also got great amenities, food, and a fantastic guide! Our group will remain friends!
PS April was a great time to go in terms of the weather we got! A little rainy for only an hour or so one day, but otherwise very pleasant weather!
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