The less travelled Salkantay trail

South America Explore Gap Year

Read on for an update from Eleanor and Katie on the South America Adventure.

Omar and Edwin, our guides for the trip gave us our maps which sparked the excitement for our trek ahead which started off properly with a lunch in Mollepata at 3400m. We took the less travelled Salkantay trail which after the initial incline was a flat trail along to the first campsite,  Soraypampa at 3880m beneath the glacier Umantay (some of us were thankful for more than one sleeping bag!). Day two was the most challenging but we were eased in at 5am with our coca tea, courtesy of our amigo, Omar. Some trekked by horse and others took the trickier route of trekking to the highpass at 4630m reaching it in 2hours and 22minutes to be precise, faster than many. Within a few hours, conditions had changed from glacial to tropical as we hiked through rainforest and had the bites to prove it. A hot shower was the reward at our farm house campsite with 25km further distance under our belts. We were greeted with an easier day with flatter terrain and a river running alongside us with hot springs to sooth the sore knees. Most enjoyed an evening of campfires, smores, songs and birthday celebrations. The next morning started with Andy’s face being shoved in a cake as according to Aaron, this is a Peruvian tradition.

Zip-line to Machu PicchuLess walking but more zip lining followed and before we knew it, we were in Aguas Calientes. Bright and early the following morning we took the bus to Machu Picchu (as we had had enough of walking) and after Sam had cleared the mist, we were treated with the incredible Inca ruins and our trek had been thoroughly worth it. Some made it to the sun gate and were rewarded with beautiful views and everyone made it to lunch!

Machu Picchu Peru Gap YearFind out more about our South America Explore program

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Gapforce run independently inspected and award winning expeditions, outdoor training courses, volunteer abroad programs, conservation and aid programs. From 2 weeks to 1 year, your adventure starts here!