Trekking in Peru and Machu Picchu

Today’s Guest Report: Another Trekking Report by my intrepid brother-in-law and adventurer, Gary Richer (It’s not kayaking, but it sure is an adventure!)

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This is why I call my Brother-in-Law, “Mountainman”.

The Report: Finally getting around to the latest trek report - arrived home last Sunday from a great trek in Peru and Machu Picchu. Flew to Cuzco and spent two days acclimatizing to the altitude (Cuzco is at 11,200) before starting on a four day trek through the mountains of Peru. The first day we actually dropped down to about 9,700 feet for the start of the trek at Pumahuanca. We did a steady climb all 

Small village homestead

morning and stopped for lunch near a small village - they live in stone houses with thatched roofs.....very subsistence type living.  After lunch we continued on to the 14,000 foot level where we made first camp. After a hearty meal and enjoying an absolutely unimpeded view of the stars it was off to bed. It was a very cold night and most of us had bottles of hot water tucked down by our feet....very much needed.


Sunrise came early and after a great breakfast we were off to the next leg. Our goal for that day was to make it to Sicllakasa Pass at 15,850 feet. We went slow and steady as everyone was really starting to feel the elevation. The final push to the pass was pretty icy so some amount of care was taken for this final climb to the Pass. Our group consisted of sixteen trekkers so we were strung out a bit depending on how affected someone was from the altitude. It was great to see that everyone made it....quite impressive. 

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The scale is unbelievable!

After the Pass it was all downhill. The views through the mountains on the way down were don't show how beautiful it was. We finally ended up at the small town of Cunkani where we were going to make camp. We were greeted by the local children and we brought them gifts of pencils and pens (bought prior to the trek). They were very appreciative as they don't have a lot of resources for their schooling. Everyone felt so good and we were a little ahead of schedule so the group decided to march on to the next stop instead of camping here.

Pencils and writing gifts for local children

It took almost four hours of hiking to make the next stop and we had to use our headlamps because it was pitch black the last mile. We arrived at Lares Hot Springs and set up camp for the night. This is actually a hot springs facility and was fairly decent. After dinner several people went into the hot springs… nice!!!  However the walk to the tents after getting out of the hot springs was a bit chilly!!! Because we arrived a day early we had the morning to do what we wanted - more hot springs or small hikes above the springs.

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The Spa - Mud Baths and Hot Springs!

After lunch it was time to head out - the hiking was done and now we had to take a bus for two hours. This was one of those bus rides where you hear about the buses in south America going off the cliffs....lots of seat gripping on this ride. After the bus ride we took a two hour train ride to Machu Picchu city. This is a pretty cool city (small) and the train runs right through the middle of town. We stayed at a nice hotel and had a great dinner at one of the local restaurants. The next morning we got up very early to make the bus (yes, more curvy mountain roads) and made it to Machu Picchu in time to watch the sun come over the mountains and light up the ancient mountain city.

Machu Picchu was much more than I expected.....very impressive. We spent six hours there including a 3 mile (RT) trek and 900 foot gain to the Sun Gate which gives a panoramic view on Machu Picchu and the road up. After Machu Picchu we took another 2 hour train ride and then another two hour bus ride back to Cuzco. A very filling and fast four days. 

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Machu Picchu

We spent a couple of more days in Cuzco enjoying the city as well as doing some white water rafting. Our last night we had some beers in Paddy Pub - the highest Irish Pub in the world at 11,159 feet. We then flew on to Lima, Peru for a couple of days of city life and good meals.

We had 16 hikers in the group from many different countries - U.S.. Canada, France, Moldova, Peru, Australia

Richer clan at Sun Gate

Team Richer: Gary Richer, Anna Peralta, Mark Richer, Len Richer Jr., Len Richer Sr.


 © Don Yackel 2020