Peru South America Travel

Hiking the Inca Trail

July 13, 2016

“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”- David Suzuki

I wasn’t really sure what to expect on our hike through the Peruvian countryside to Machu Picchu. I have never camped a day in my life, unless you count pillow forts in the living room growing up, and the most I’d ever hiked in one day totaled maybe 5 miles. Plus we were carrying our packs on our back and were told, in no uncertain terms, that we should be wearing at least two pairs of socks everyday to avoid getting blisters (still got them anyway haha).

Luckily we got to sleep in beds at the end of everyday but we did earn our keep! We hiked a total of 6-12 miles everyday as we made our way from Cusco to Machu Picchu, which was quite a feat considering the fact that I tend to be quite the lazy bum most days.

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Over our week in Peru we hiked up into the glacial passes and then back down into the jungle, which meant that we experienced ever-changing weather most days (sometimes to the point where we’d see snow in the morning and then be whacking our way through the jungle in the afternoon!).

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I think that my favorite hike was one of our first hikes, which was actually “trial” hike to make sure that our bodies could handle the colder temperatures and the higher altitude! The weather was absolutely spectacular that day and, as the sun rose higher and higher into the sky, we could see all the way back down the trail we’d hiked the day before to our right and the mountain pass we’d be hiking the next day (which, not going to lie, was so steep that at one point I felt a bit like those goats that hang out on cliff faces). Plus at the top we were promised a surprise that would make the hike all worth it.

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As we made our way up the mountain, we passed through pastures and made a few new friends.

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And so finally after a few hours of hiking, we made it to the pass and to the most gorgeous sight of all–the glacial lake!

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Being the troopers that we are, plus the fact that we’d worked up quite a sweat getting ourselves up the mountain, my mom and I bravely went where few others were willing to go and went for a quick dip in the glacial lake. Emphasis should really be put on the “glacial” part of that sentence because, OH BOY, was that water cold.

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So in conclusion, we came, we saw, and we were utterly conquered by the beauty that is the Peruvian countryside.

And you know what? I really wouldn’t have had it any other way.*

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group pic

*On second thought, the one thing I would have done differently would be to buy a better fitting pair of hiking pants. Mine VERY unflattering haha

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  • kandja sylla

    OMG! Your pictures are all incredible. Its like I’m looking at post cards. That glacial lake is just breathtaking. Nice to know you had the chance to swim there. You really conquered the Peruvian countryside. PS: Still looking cute in those hiking pants. xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com

    • The glacial lake was absolutely gorgeous! Swimming in the lake is definitely one of my favorite memories from our trip!

  • Rachel

    Wow, what stunning views and pictures! I’m with you, I’ve never been camping so that would be a shock for me. That’s so amazing that you guys went in the glacial lake!! I cannot even imagine how chilly that water was! Awesome experience and yay for conquering it!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • The water was so chilly! And I’m from Florida so I have very little tolerance for the cold haha

  • Violette

    Wow!! You can be proud of you, and the landscape is so beautiful!!

    http://violettedaily.com

    • I really am quite proud of myself for not falling off the cliffs while hiking!

  • Biana Perez

    That glacial lake almost looks like a mirage – it’s so gorgeous!! Congrats on that hike – what an experience! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • The glacial lake was beyond gorgeous!! When we were first able to see it over the ridge, the view quite literally took my breath away!

  • This sounds like such an amazing experience, girlie! You should feel so accomplished having hiked that many miles daily, wow, very impressive! I think it’s so cool how you experienced the different weather changes, what a difference altitude makes! Your mom is so beautiful, by the way, you resemble her a lot! Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have the most amazing day ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Changing altitudes was definitely the hardest part of the hike personally, although we had plenty of time to acclimate before we did our two hardest hikes. Plus drinking lots and lots of coca tea also helped!

  • WOW this looks incredible!! I’ve never camped either. I do like to hike but I think you would probably call them prissy hikes compared to this. Such a neat experience!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • The views on our hike were so gorgeous!! I’m still more of a day-hiker but I’m so proud of myself for making it through every hike!

  • Absolutely incredible pictures! What an amazing experience! Best hike ever 😀
    Green Fashionista

  • Oh my god Courtney, this is just so beautiful. I can’t believe a place that exists, you look so happy and gorgeous in all of your pictures!

    My Vogue Style | http://www.myvoguestyle.com

    • Aww thank you so much!! I still can’t get over how gorgeous Peru is and I can’t wait to go back someday to explore the countryside further!

  • what a fun place to go hiking! so stunning! love all the animals you saw!
    kelseybang.com

    • The donkeys were all so cute!

  • This looks amazing! What a cool experience!

    Jamie
    http://treatsandtrendsblog.com/

    • Our hiking adventure was definitely amazing!

  • I loved reading this and looking at all your beautiful photos, Courtney! So much fun!! Most people don’t know this about me but I love to hike! It’s such a free and amazing feeling!!

    Xox Dana Ivy // http://www.iadorewhatilove.com

    • Isn’t hiking so much fun??! 6-10 miles is a little much for me usually but I love getting out into the woods and connecting with nature!

  • Jenessa Sheffield

    are you kidding me!?! this looks fabulous!! thanks for sharing just added this to my bucket list! That water is amazing!!
    XO JNESS
    : JenessaSheffield.com

    • Peru should definitely be on everyone’s travel bucket list! Still can’t get over how gorgeous the views were!

  • Mallory

    Aww these are such lovely photos!! Such an awesome experience!!

    mallory | http://www.the-drifter.com

  • reneejessome

    Wow! Looks like quite the adventure!!

    Renee | Life After Lux

    • You could definitely call it an adventure! Still proud of myself for keeping on the path haha

  • These views are seriously so incredible! What an amazing adventure you must be having!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

    • We had such an amazing time in Peru! Definitely one of my favorite family trips!

  • Your photos are absolutely incredible. I especially love the first photo as well as the second to last one. What an amazing experience. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

  • Rumela Dey

    That hike was totally worth it such beautiful place and lovely pictures.
    My blog: RumelaTheShopaholic

    • Exactly!! Plus I got way over 10k steps every day haha

  • poldo napitupulu

    beautiful picture!!
    love them all

    qqq.callmeponyboy.blogspot.com

  • Wow such a great experience for you and stunning photos. Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    • We had such an amazing time in Peru!

  • TOO cool, lady! Love these shots- what an amazing experience!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Love the quote, so true and definitely something to keep in mind! And how gorgeous isn’t the glacial lake? Looks like perfection! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

    • Swimming in the glacial lake was definitely one of my favorite memories from our trip!

  • Carina Vardie

    The pictures are breathtaking and your hike is impressive! Sounds like an incredible experience.

    xo
    http://www.carinavardie.com

    • Thank you so much! We had such an amazing time hiking through the Andean mountains!

  • Aditi Oberoi Malhotra

    Wow, This looks like so much fun! Beautiful shots!

    Adi xx
    http://www.fancycorrectitude.com
    http://www.instagram.com/fancycorrectitude

  • Candace

    Ahhh…bucket list goals. What a beautiful place and gorgeous pics. Sounds like you had a ton of fun!

    http://www.thebeautybeau.com/nordstrom-anniversary-sale-top-picks/

    • Peru (and Machu Picchu) had both been on my travel bucketlist for so long, that I still almost can’t believe that I went!

  • lovely pictures and the lake is so beautiful.. it must have been so satisfying to finally feast your eyes on a gorgeous view like that after hours of hiking. i’ve never been on a trek (i’m quite an indoors person!) but this has made me want to go on one x

    Life as Aditi

    • The glacial lake was absolutely gorgeous!! I tend to stick more indoors, but I’ve definitely felt more comfortable going out and hiking ever since we got back!

  • Mary

    Courtney,
    These pictures are gorgeous! Are you still coming down off all that beauty? I’m so proud of you for wading into the glacial lake! How could you not experience that?

    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love, Mary

    • Thank you so much! And that glacial lake was absolutely gorgeous. Getting to swim in the lake is definitely one of my favorite memories from our trip!

  • Wow, you’ve taken some really beautiful pictures. Photos not like I’ve seen anywhere else! I didn’t even know there was cacti there haha. Sounds so amazing!

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    • Thank you so much! And I know, the cacti were so random!

  • Wow, incredible landscape photography! It’s environments like this that really open your mind to just how huge the world is and how much more there is to our own concerns 🙂

    Ps. good luck finding your ideal hiking trousers, I’m still searching for a decent pair haha!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • I definitely agree that there’s so much out there to explore and learn! And ugh, finding hiking pants that actually fit is so hard!

  • Andreea Birsan

    That looks like such a stunning destionation. All those pictures are breathtaking. x

    Happy weekend,
    Andreea
    http://couturezilla.com/

  • I had no idea you weren’t a camper and hiker! This is such an awesome feat to have taken on, I am thoroughly impressed. I’m also thoroughly impressed by your gorgeous photos Courtney!

    • I’m kind of an outdoorsy person but this was definitely my most challenging experience out in the wilderness. Can’t wait to hike more with my boyfriend this summer!

  • wow!!
    kisses from dubai ❤️
    http://www.mahryska.com

  • What an amazing trip and pics! That glacial lake looks like heaven. Thanks for sharing this trip of a lifetime. 🙂

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.co

    • The glacial lake really was heavenly! Such a gorgeous sight as we hiked our way up!

  • Wow that lake looks seriously amazing! The water has such a unique glassy quality to it. Stunning!

    xx freshfizzle

    • Thank you! And the water was absolutely gorgeous!!

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