Hiking to the Ancient Empire of Machu Picchu
Imagine yourself in the hiking boots of these adventurous teenagers on the Global Leadership Adventures Peru program trek from base camp to Machu Picchu. While the hike is long and the day is longer, the breathtaking scenery and incredible spirit of your fellow GLA students keep you on your toes until you finally – wonderfully – arrive at the ancient empire.
“Today we woke up at 5 am and commenced travel on our 3-day hike at 6 am. We headed to our trail head, which we began to hike at 9am. The hike started with two hours of ascent. This included walking on frozen waterfalls and visiting a highland farm. When the group reached the peak of the mountain we were met with breathtaking views, 14,725 ft of elevation, as well as a hearty and delicious lunch. GLA members then began the one hour descent to our campsite; during this we saw wild llamas, horses and bulls/cows. When we finally arrived at our campsite we found it all set up, so we chose our tents and got settled in. While everyone settled in, we decided to explore a nearby mountain and came across two waterfalls and another great view. When we returned from our climb we came to tea time and the whole group stuffed their faces with popcorn, crackers and of course tea.”
– Zev Lee
“As we all know, “what goes up, must come down”, which meant that we had to begin our descent towards a valley that would serve as our camping location. This descent provided impeccable views as well as a significant amount of knee pain, which was to be expected when having to climb down such a steep mountain. Despite our pain, the sight of our blue tents provided us with the motivation to continue moving forward.”
– Alex Brown
“We hiked a total of 45km towards Machu Picchu. We hiked uphill and downhill and took amazing pictures during our long hours of walking. From the bright stars at night to the ice caps on the mountain tops we were amazed by the scenery. We walked through loose rocks and dusty trials. Even though one of our own had hurt her ankle we all still managed to stay strong and hike though the misty clouds to our campsite. After two nights of camping at high altitudes, the group hiked the rest of the way down the mountain and took a few buses towards the town of St Teresa. After we arrived, the rest of the group hiked an extra, epic 9km! Though long and tiring, were were able to see the back side of Machu Picchu! And the next morning we saw the ruins of the amazing Machu Picchu, which made the hiking worth it all.”
-Ashley, Yaseen, Felix, Diego, Michelle, Isaac, Brian, Kamran, Nick, and Lisa
The hikes and the climbs are all worth it in the end. The things to see – to experience – in a way most high school-age students can only dream of, makes this service and adventure in the sacred valley one to take with you for a lifetime.
Volunteering in Peru and making the trek to Machu Picchu is a rare experience for high school students, but one that’s worth the travel. Check out the GLA program Guide for Peru Service in the Sacred Valley to learn more.
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