Salkantay trek to machu picchu, Peru - Dec 28 - Jan 6, 2018

Traveler: Ellen A. - Local specialist: William and Nicole Koch

Thank you, Haku, for arranging this wonderful trip. All aspects of the Salkantay trek were excellent. Our guide, Rubin, was knowledgeable about all of the logistics and provided us with lots of information on local culture and customs, and plants and history.

Our first evening accommodation at the refuge at Soray Pamp was a great start. We were served a delicious lunch and the refuge was rustic but lovely. We could see Mount Salkantay in the distance. We took a day hike to Glacial Lake Humantay which was spectacular. We were welcomed back with a delicious dinner cooked by the gentleman who ran the lodge.

The day 2 hike over the Salkantay pass to Chalullay was grueling but satisfying. We arrived at Chalullay in the late afternoon. Accommodations were a bit chilly but beds were comfortable. Day 3 we hiked through rainforest cloud, a more gentle up and down hike with lush vegetation and views of the river. The evening at the Coffee plantation was a highlight. Fredy the owner and his family were wonderful hosts and the accommodations were very nice. We enjoyed the warmer climate at this elevation. With our guide translating, Fredy showed us the step by step process from growing and harvesting the coffee beans to roasting them for our breakfast. From here we started on an Inca trail with a long but not as challenging hike.

Highlights were the ruins of Llactapata and lunch with views to Machu Picchu. At the end, we took a short train ride to Aquas Caliente and Macchu Picchu. We were very glad to have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu on our visit to Macchu Picchu. At Nicole's recommendation, we added an evening in Ollantaytambo where we enjoyed the lively town square, local activity, and the ruins. On our return trip to Cusco by car, we explored the salt mines and a village were weaving and knitted goods were produced and sold. The knitted goods in Peru are beautiful.

We also booked 3 days in the Amazon rainforest in Puerto Maldonado, also arranged by Nicole and Haku. Our guide Efraim was excellent-- extremely knowledgeable and helpful. And Freddy, the local contact who picked us up by boat, cooked us lunch and carried our luggage through the jungle had endless energy. Our stay at Lake Sandoval lodge was memorable. Great food and service and the setting, overlooking the lake was memorable. The lake was full of otters, caiman, and fish, and at the water's edge, we enjoyed the monkeys and variety of birds.

We would highly recommend Haku to plan a custom itinerary for a Cusco based travel adventure.