Since we have arrived in the Sacred Valleys surrounding Cusco, we have really put our kids to the test with hiking! But, this week, we pushed them a little harder. We had the opportunity to take the first part of the Salkantay Trek with the kids. This short but steep climb is the gateway to the Humantay Lake.
Lately, we have been taking the kids on all sorts of hikes in Peru. We have hauled them through many high-altitude ruins and natural landscapes to be sure that we see all the Sacred Valley has to offer. The kids have proven to not only be total troopers but to actually love the excursions!
This hike was a biggie though, as the whole family did a MAJOR walk in the cold and rain. It is the great accomplishment for anyone to complete the initial part of the Salkantay Trek, up to the Humantay Lake. And for the kids, even though they didn’t walk a lot, it was a massive feat.
Of course, we hiked the steep incline (1 hour and 15 minutes up) in the hopes of seeing a magnificent lake that rests at 13,779 feet. Unfortunately, it was a total shutout. The mountain peaks were hidden behind a thick layer of fog. And the vibrant colors of the lake were diluted by a freezing mist.
So, after all that effort, we were greeted with lackluster views, cold, rain, and wind. It was freezing and the kids were nearly at melting point. Luckily, a few lollipops and chocolates in my pocket were enough to make them pause and even smile for photos. Very quick photos!
A few quick clicks and many words of lamentation…and back down we went for 40 minutes of decline in treacherous, slippery conditions. It was scary watching Carlos hike down with Nico on his shoulders, seeing Mabelle far off in the distance with her horse and guide…and with me sliding part way down a bank in the mud.
It was the hardest hike I have done in a very long time, maybe ever. Our daughter rode a horse the whole way, much to our surprise! And Nico, not even 4 years old yet…rode the horse a little bit, insisted on walking parts of it, and ultimately spent most of the hike on top of Daddy’s shoulders.
Even though the views were not what we hoped, the day was a huge accomplishment! It was validation for a little goal we’ve been working toward over the past several weeks. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that we are officially ready to take on Machu Picchu!
In just a few days, we’ll be making our way to the most famous Inca site!
**A special thanks to Chaskana Travel Peru, for sponsoring this hike and our stay at the Chaskana Rural Guesthouse in Cusco. You can read more about the accommodations, hotel recommendations and tours including the Salkantay Trek to Humantay Lake in my Professional Travel Guide as published on Arrivedo.**