KGN X MACHU PICCHU
In 2019, KGN went to Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the modern world. The four-day trek hiking the Inca Trail via the original pilgrimage route to the sacred temple provided the ultimate combination of mountain scenery and archaeological sites.
Below is an insight into our adventurous trip:
Day 1: Arrival
We arrived in Peru and spent the first two days in Cuzco to help with acclimatisation. We went on a half-day city walking tour taking in scenery of large imposing cathedrals and ornate churches in the cobbled streets of the Plaza de Armas bordered by the Inca Walls.
Day 2: Acclimatisation in Cuzco
We continued to explore the city visiting a local market, Mercado Central de San Pedro, filled with everything from handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs to delicious fresh juices, exotic fruits and traditional foods. The atmosphere in the market is captivating, with the charming locals in traditional hats and dress vying for your custom, you could quite easily spend the whole day here.
Day 3: Cuzco to KM 82 to Wayllabamba
We left Cuzco at 5am by private bus to head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, taking a short break for breakfast at Ollantaytambo. At KM 82, we met our crew of porters, registered for the trek and started the Inca Trail. The first day is not too difficult and a good warm up for the following days. After hiking 3000m and passing some beautiful archaeological sites, we reached Wayllabamba where we spent the night.
Day 4: Wayllabamba to Pacamayo via Dead Woman’s passage
We left early in the morning, the first trail was 750m but the first 4km of that are so steep it took approximately 3 hours to complete. This day is the most difficult part of the Inca Trail and should not be underestimated, we passed many people who were literally in tears and giving up but at KGN, we relish a good challenge. Our elite training methods and infectious team spirit got us through with even the lead guide expressing how impressed he was with our group. Another 2 hours of less steep trekking allowed us to reach Dead Woman’s passage, at 4200m this was the highest point of the trek. We took a short break at the summit taking in the phenomenal views before we continued to hike down a long and steep descend to Pacamayo River where we camped overlooking the cloud forest.
Day 5: Pacamayo to Winay Wayna
We woke up to the most beautiful views of cloud-filled valleys; even the mist could not ruin the poetic beauty. One thing this trek ensures is a variety of diverse environments, including cloud forests, jungle and alpine tundra. After breakfast, we set off to ascend to the summit of our second pass, Runkurakay at 3900m, where we were greeted with breath-taking views of the entire snow-capped Vilcabamba range. This was followed by another steep descent, which by know were started to take a toll on everyone’s knee’s – trekking poles are key on this trip. Next, we passed ‘The Town in the Clouds’ overviewing the Urubamba River and continued to descend into a magical orchid-filled cloud forest before we reached our campsite at Winay Wayna.
Day 6: Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu
A super early start with breakfast at 4:30am, after which we hiked for 3 hours to the famous Sun Gate. The weather was very foggy and misty so our views of Machu Picchu from the gate were not the best but as the day went on the skies cleared and we were able to take in the full wonder of the Lost City of the Incas. We were taken on an in-depth and informative guided tour around the site lasting 2-3 hours after which we caught a train to Ollantaytambo, from here, we transferred back to our hotel and our Machu Picchu adventure was complete.
KGN IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE
At KGN we like to tick things off our bucket list in two’s, so what better way to celebrate our Machu Picchu success than venture into the Amazon Jungle!
From Cusco, we flew to Puerto Maldonado, after a 1.5-hour bus ride we boarded a boat on the Tambopata River where we finally sat back and relaxed, soaking up the striking movie-like riverside views. The two-hour boat ride took us upstream to our Eco Lodge. Over the next two days we earned our Tarzan stripes as we were taken on several jungle adventures; a night hike where we experienced a new level of darkness; two mini day hikes where we got spectacular close up footage of tarantula’s that even David Attenborough would be proud of, saw a variety of species ranging from monkeys and reptiles to rare birds and poison dart frogs. We saw walking trees, and even experienced being inside a tree – as strange as that sounds it really did happen. We visited Tres Chimbada Lake, where we fed a lake full of Piranhas and went searching for caiman’s along the river at night. Our fun filled experience in the lush, tropical amazon rainforest is one we will cherish for a lifetime – KGN really does do it different, each and every time!