This first leg of the trek to Machu Picchu via the Salkantay Trail is a pleasant hike which transitions from something more like civilization into more remote parts of the Andes. The trail is generally even, firm, and wide enough in many places for more than one person to walk abreast. This first segment of the trail ends at the Salkantay Lodge, which is the first of a series of four lodges along the Salkantay Trail.
Stunning views of the snow-capped mountains of the Andes are to be seen almost the whole length of this segment, along with rolling green foothills and generally interesting terrain. Much of the trail follows the route of irrigation systems put in place by the Incas, which are still operational.
Flora & Fauna
This is a verdant area, and many varieties of plants are present along the trail. In late March when we traveled, there were wildflowers along the path as well.
We encountered horses during our hike, which is apparently not unusual. The horses are not wild, but they are allowed to roam free. Our guides strongly encouraged us to give them a wide berth, as the horses can be unpredictable, and injuries are possible.