Conquering Machu Picchu was such a lifetime experience and am so glad I took a bold step to do this trail having only ever hiked in Hong Kong. It made seeing Machu Picchu on the last day so much better because you earned it after hiking for 4 days 3 nights. I joined Intrepid Adventures (link) in order to guarantee being able to do the hike as they are extremely strict with handing out passes and you must always be accompanied with qualified guides. I also extended my stay beyond the 8 day plan to explore Cusco further as there is a lot you can do!
Tip: People found it helpful to take coca leaves or coca tea to help the altitude sickness. Don’t bother with water tablets or altitude pills! Don’t forget to get a bunch of injections to be safe even though I felt Peru was extremely clean and bug free compared to Asia.
Check out what I visited:
- Lima is the capital of Peru and a key place to visit is the The Plaza de Armas and the 16th-century cathedral at the heart of old Lima Centro. I only managed to see the buildings at night but they were so grand and beautiful regardless. Lima can get a bit intense and busy so always stay alert.
- Cusco. In my opinion, it is the most incredible and beautiful city in the world. Their flag happens to be the rainbow btw. Photos can’t capture what I saw and experienced!
- Inca Trail. The hike could not have been possible without our amazing porters who carried so much to make our lives as comfortable as possible on the tough but doable hike. The views were absolutely breath-taking and changed each day depending on where we were on the path. It definitely got pretty cold when we reached the peak. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level.
- Machu Picchu. The end result of our hike and a memory the group of us will keep forever.
- Saqsayhuaman Horse riding from Cusco. This is actually the town of our assistant tour guide Sebastian. They are famous for horse riding and I can see why! The amount space to ride is huge and the horses are so free with plenty of greens.
- Salinas salt flats and Maras Moray from Cusco. The photos look nice but the tour to get there through a local company we booked through when we were at Cusco was awful. Try grab a cab instead if you can to avoid them trying to fill up a huge bus and go in circles.
- Zip-lining was sick! Definitely a bit dodgy but YOLO. They let you hold your mobile phone to film whilst on the zip-line which I definitely did haha. The views were to die for.
Extra: Fried Quinoa Chicken strips @ Seledonia’s Mesa Cusco. Literally could have eaten here everyday including trying all their other dishes. And of course… why not take a selfie with the lammas and alpacas you’ll see roaming everywhere, they are really cute.