Machu Picchu Expedition
All adult survivors 18 and older are invited to join TAPS on the 2019 Machu Picchu Expedition as we find new purpose, gain radical perspective, and remember what it feels like to live with determination.
TAPS Expeditions are outdoor skills-based events that require dedication, preparation and a real sense of adventure. Share a truly fearless journey with TAPS survivors as we trek ancient trails in the Andes Mountains of Peru to Machu Picchu. Every step on this journey will move us farther away from feelings of doubt, fear and insignificance and into a land of discovery. As guests of the sacred Andes, we will be led to consider what we really can control as well as learn to trust our guides, our team, our gear and ourselves. Every day our choices will matter.
Join us as we trek the Salkantay Trail, an ancient path in the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu! We will immerse ourselves in the vast mountains, glacial peaks and Incan history of Peru, as we make the journey to Machu Picchu, the largest of the Incan sites deep in the Andes Mountains. Throughout our experience Peru we will take time daily to honor our loved ones, the land and the people who live upon it.
The trek to Machu Picchu is both exhilarating and exhausting, and we encourage you to learn more about the trek prior to submitting your entry form. You can read first hand accounts and information shared by Alpine Ascents, as well as experiences from previous TAPS survivors as documented in the 2018 photo album, 2017 photo album, and 2016 photo album. While unique and rewarding, this expedition is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. We hope you’ll apply to join us after you’ve taken some time to consider your current physical and emotional strength and resilience.
For more detailed information, read the trip overview on Alpine Ascents’ website.
There will be monthly team meetings via conference calls or video calls that are mandatory for participants in order to form a team bond and gain familiarity with each other. You will have access to our Facebook group, which will include participants from this expedition, as well as those who participated in previous expeditions so you can ask questions and learn from their experience.
Day 1: On August 16, we'll depart the U.S. to fly to Cusco, Peru.
Day 2-3: Once we arrive in Peru, we'll spend our first days acclimatizing while we tour the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Day 4: We'll rise early and begin our trek to Machu Picchu along the Salkantay Trail. On the way to our campsite, we'll learn about the local and traditional lifestyles. Walking: 4-5 hours
Day 5-6: Over the course of two days, we'll cross the highest point of the trail, the Salkantay Pass at 14,993 feet, and descend through a bamboo forest with a great variety of flora and fauna and a gorgeous view of the Andes. Walking: 7-9 hours
Day 7: We'll spend our day hiking in the upper jungle surrounded by even more flora and fauna. We'll be treated to warmer temperatures as we camp in the wet part of the forest. Walking: 5-6 hours
Day 8: We'll continue our trek on the traditional Inca Trail and be treated to our first glimpses of the Machu Picchu citadel. After our long journey, we’ll enjoy a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Walking: 5-6 hours
Day 9: Our day will start early with a tour of Machu Picchu. After our tour, we'll return to Cusco for our final night together at our hotel.
Day 10: We’ll say goodbye and catch our flights back to the U.S.
We fully expect your team members to become your family and an ongoing support network long after the TAPS Expedition is complete. You'll be provided with a directory following the expedition to keep in touch with each other.
International Expeditionary costs are NOT covered by TAPS. The cost of the trip is $3,250 per person for the trek and does not include your international airfare to/from Cuzco, Peru, passport fees or any souvenirs. Once confirmed to attend, we ask that you submit a $50 deposit upon registration to secure your space on the Expedition. Fees for the trip will be paid directly to our trekking guides at Alpine Ascents.
You will need to arrange airfare to/from Cuzco, Peru as well as your United States Passport, but will not need to secure any sort of further transportation.
This rigorous expedition requires no mountaineering experience but does necessitate that you be physically fit and healthy. This expedition is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, and your current health should be taken into consideration before you apply. All climbers are asked to follow, at minimum, a two-month training regimen. This fitness program involves four workouts a week and prepares you for the physical demands and geographical and climate variations for the ascent. The participant roster always varies but has included those with no previous camping experience with a wide range of ages, and both males and females. Prior to the trip, we'll have conference calls and online video meetings to connect as a team, as well as review training regimens, gear lists and more.
Entry requests to attend this expedition is open from April 24 to May 10. Entries will be reviewed every two weeks, so we encourage you to submit your request early.
It’s our goal to ensure that as many survivors as possible have the opportunity to experience healing in the wilderness. If more entry requests are received than we have slots available, we will do a random drawing from qualified entrants. Preference will be given to entrants who haven't participated in a TAPS Expedition within the past year, so long as they are capable of participating in all activities.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).