Is hiking Machu Picchu really worth the blood, sweat, and tears???
So, the question is, is hiking Machu Picchu worth it? My answer? … keep reading. Don’t worry it’s a short read. We decided to take the Salkantay trek. There are many great hikes including the more popular touristy Inca trail, there is also the Lares Trek. We chose the Salkantay due to the fact we wanted to be a bit different. We didn’t want the trail overcrowded and wanted it to feel more intimate I guess. It was also the longer trail. It was 5 days, 4 nights. One night was in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, which is the cute little town at the bottom of Machu Picchu. It was extremely hard for me. I consider myself active, healthy, and athletic. I have done extreme hikes before, but never at this elevation. I heard the rumors of the altitude sickness really effecting people, but I was confident that it wouldn’t affect me. Which is where I went wrong. I wasn’t mentally (or physically for that matter) prepared. This hurt my pride more than anything really. I am so thankful my boyfriend was there to take care of me and to push me when I felt like I simply couldn’t go any further. Without him, my memories of this trek would be completely different. I am so glad we were able to share this together. It was an epic experience. Surprise surprise, this was also my first camping experience. I figured I would go with the “Go Big or Go Home” motto. After we dropped some serious cash at REI for some camping gear it occurred to me that maybe we should camp once before we left, but running out of a time and week left before the trip we didn’t have any options. I almost think it made it more fun that way, it added to the WOW factor of Machu Picchu. So before I babble on more… was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
*Give yourself 3 days minimum to acclimate to the altitude ( even if you don’t feel anything at first , just do it)
*Dressing in layers is key! Throughout the day it can change climates fairly quickly and the best preparation is to be layered to take off or put on when hot and cold!
*Make sure to check the season and I would’t recommend the rainy season. We went the second week of June and it was great
*Plenty of hiking socks ( you don’t want to re-wear those stinky thing trust me!)
*The food our trekking company provided was surprisingly great but no where to really buy snacks. So bring a box of your favorite cliff bars, etc.
*Stay Hydrated. Just drink lots of water. Don’t ask why, it should be a no brainer!
*Must Packs: sunscreen , good insect mosquito repellant, tissues ( for the potty breaks on the trail ), Baby Wipes for your “shower” of the day.
Click HERE for more pictures of the trek on my Facebook page.
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