The Week We Climbed Machu Picchu

Climbing Machu Picchu on our gap year

Find out what the South America volunteers have been getting up to over the last week:

We woke up at 5am to pack and embark on the Salkantay Trek with our guide Omar. The first day was the shortest; we hiked for about two hours winding through the towering Andes. We arrived at the campsite, straw huts nestled into the valley. We hiked up to Humantay Lake – a crystal turquoise lake. Cicely and I braved the waters, and it was cold. The next day was the longest day; we hiked through snow capped mountains and reached an elevation of 4,600 meters. Then descended into the jungle. It is incredible how diverse the climates in Peru are. The meals on the hike were awesome. Food always tastes better after a long day of hiking. 

Humantay Lake Gap Year

The Sexy Guinnie group, a name given to us by Omar woke up to hot coca tea in our tents. (Yes, Omar is the man!). We drank our tea as we looked out of our tents and the sun creeped up over the mountain. We hiked through the jungle until we reached the next campsite. As soon as we arrived we went to the hot springs and relaxed after a long few days. The next day we went zip lining down a series of 5 adrenaline-inducing lines that us out and over beautiful valleys and rivers. We went upside down, backwards, Congo, everybody loved it. Then we hiked to Machu Picchu town and slept well. 

Finally, it was time to climb the glorious Machu Picchu! Myself and a few others climbed the thousands of steps steps while others (sensibly) took the bus. Afterwards we spent the whole morning exploring the ancient ruins, guided by Omar. Wow the ruins were incredible.


It’s amazing how untamed wilderness and it’s mountains overwhelm, leaving you feeling small and insignificant in the scope of our vast and magnificent planet; it is really quite humbling.

At the same time it makes you feel powerful, confident and part of something far bigger and more important than yourself. I won’t speak for the group but traveling and conquering some of the world allows you to conquer yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. The hike was challenging and so rewarding, everybody had an amazing experience. 


Click here to find out more about our South America Explore.

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