Enjoy this unique and amazing adventure to Machu Picchu by way of the Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek.

Peru is a land of incredible natural beauty, rich cultural traditions and inspiring ancient ruins. The lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is just one of many sites making this a premier destination for the explorer-at-heart. Even amid the natural splendor of the country, it is difficult not to notice the cultural, historical and political roots of Peru, observable in the diverse architecture, food and people.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco Arrival

Cusco Arrival
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: El Mercado Tunqui

Today, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Cusco

Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst.

The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.

Days 2 - 3: Free time in Cusco

Free time in Cusco
Daily Summary
  • Accommodation: El Mercado Tunqui
  • Meals: B

Free Day

Enjoy this free days in Cusco to acclimatize. Immerse yourself in Peruvian culture enjoying the many plazas and historical buildings to explore. You may want to enjoy a coffee on one of the balconies overlooking the Plaza de Armas or wander through the streets of San Blas in the historical district.

Day 4: Cusco - Salkantay Lodge

Cusco - Salkantay Lodge
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Cusco to Salkantay Lodge
  • Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

Early this morning at 7:00am you will be picked up in Cusco by a guide and driver, and you will drive to Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route, you will visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hours from Cusco).

After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, we begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful six hour trek. Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley—Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270 m (20,600 ft), the highest in the region.

After a warm welcome by the friendly staff, we are shown to our rooms and have time to wash-up, before tea and cookies. The trip leader will hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner. Overnight at Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft).

Trek time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route)
Difficulty: Moderate
Option: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 5: Salkantay Lodge

Salkantay Lodge
Daily Summary
  • Tour: A Hike to Humantay Lake
  • Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

A Hike to Humantay Lake

Today you will hike along the slopes above Salkantay Lodge to Lake Humantay, which is fed by the glaciers of Mt. Humantay. Those who are not up to diving into the frigid waters of the beautiful lake can sit back and enjoy the views here. After lunch back at the lodge, you may want to enjoy a soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. Enjoy this afternoon at your leisure.

This evening, enjoy a gourmet dinner while your guide briefs you on the gear and the itinerary for your next day's trek. Overnight at Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft).

Trek time: Approximately 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 6: Salkantay Lodge - Wayra Lodge

Salkantay Lodge - Wayra Lodge
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Crossing the Salkantay Pass
  • Accommodation: Wayra Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Crossing the Salkantay Pass

You will begin your trek up the Rio Blanco valley early this morning, circling Humantay Peak. The highest point you will reach today is along this pass at 4,638 m (15,213 ft). Here you will stop to take in the view of the snowcapped peaks around you. Keep your eyes open for Andean condors, often sighted around this pass. From here, you will descend to Wayra Lodge, your accommodations for the evening. Overnight at Wayra Lodge (3,906 m/12,812 ft.).

Trek time: 6-8 hours (including lunch)
Difficulty: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m (15,200 ft) mountain pass (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 7: Wayra Lodge - Colpa Lodge

Wayra Lodge - Colpa Lodge
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Descending into the Cloud Forest
  • Accommodation: Colpa Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Descending into the Cloud Forest

After breakfast at Wayra Lodge, you will descend farther along the left bank of the Salkantay River. You will begin to feel the warm air rising from the jungle below you, accompanied by more verdant scenery and colorful butterflies. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge, you will enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal, "Pachamanca." This will be prepared by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones underground and letting it bake naturally.

Colpa Lodge sits on a plateau, overlooking the confluence of three rivers. Enjoy this afternoon with a soak in the lodge's jacuzzi, or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Overnight at Colpa Lodge (2,870 m/9,414 ft).

Trek time: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 8: Colpa Lodge - Lucma Lodge

Colpa Lodge - Lucma Lodge
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley
  • Accommodation: Lucma Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today you will hike through the Santa Teresa river valley, through slightly more populated rural areas. Banana, granadilla and avocado orchards, along with coffee plantations will line your way as you trek. After a hot picnic lunch by the river, you will hike one more hour before reaching your private vehicle. You will be driven to the head of the "Llactapata Inca Trail," around 30 minutes away. From here, you will make the easy trek to Lucma Lodge for dinner and overnight. Overnight at Lucma Lodge (2,135 m/7,003 ft).

Trek time: 5-6 hours (including lunch)
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 9: Lucma Lodge - Machu Picchu Pueblo

Lucma Lodge - Machu Picchu Pueblo
Daily Summary
  • Tour: First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass
  • Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel
  • Meals: B, L, D

First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass

After breakfast this morning, you will begin your final day of trekking with an uphill climb of 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft). From here, you will enjoy your first, distant views of Machu Picchu. After a short break at the Llactapata Ruins, you will continue to an area with scenic views of Machu Picchu for lunch. You will then begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations.

You will finally reach Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of the Machu Picchu ruins after a short train ride. Upon arrival here, you will enjoy a celebration dinner at your hotel with your guide, who will go over one last briefing for the tour of Machu Picchu. Overnight Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel 1,900 m/6,232 ft).

Enjoy your overnight stay at the fantastic Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. Rated by Travel + Leisure as ‘one of the ten best hotels in South America’, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is an intimate 85-cottage luxury hotel surrounded by 12 secluded acres of exquisite beauty. With its sublime Spa services and a first-class restaurant that overlooks the stunning Vilcanota River, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel provides a tranquil retreat at the base of Machu Picchu.

Trek time: 4-6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 10: Machu Picchu - Cusco

Machu Picchu - Cusco
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary
  • Transportation: Train
  • Accommodation: El Mercado Tunqui
  • Meals: B, L
Train
Machu Picchu Pueblo - Ollantaytambo
Train: Vistadome
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD

Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will make your way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Your guide will give an introductory 2 hour tour of the ruins, after which you will have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu.

Afterwards, you'll meet back up with your guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch your train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1½ hours, and then a private vehicle will drive you back to Cusco (an additional 1½ hour). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.), you will be dropped at your hotel where you will have the remainder of th evening at your leisure. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 11: Cusco Departure

Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Meals: B

Today, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your departing flight. We hope you enjoyed your time in Peru and we wish you a pleasant flight home.

Accommodation

El Mercado Tunqui

El Mercado Tunqui

El Mercado is a lovely boutique hotel with 32 rooms in the heart of Cusco. It boasts original and eye-catching interiors and exceptional customer service. This three story hotel is equipped with high speed internet. The central, open square integrates seamlessly into the cobblestone streets of Cusco while remaining private and cozy. Modern design meets traditional art in this, one of Cusco's newest and best accommodation options.

Salkantay Lodge

Salkantay Lodge

Named after the peak at the head of its valley, the Salkantay Lodge is the perfect resting place for hikers along the Peruvian "Camino Real." Featuring an outdoor jacuzzi and spectacular dining, this lodge will usually serve as a starting point for much longer treks. However, it remains a magnificent lodge to spend a few days in and explore the surrounding mountain passes and river valleys.

Wayra Lodge

Wayra Lodge

"Wayra" means wind, and this lodge is named as the Place Where Wind Lives or Rests. For most hikers trekking the Andes Mountains, that is what this place will truly feel like after a long day's hike. Clean, comfortable rooms will greet you along with warm and friendly staff, who will prepare delicious dinner and breakfast for you daily.

Colpa Lodge

Colpa Lodge

At Colpa Lodge, the staff is continuously cooking magnificent Peruvian-style meals for any trekkers who might come and go. The outdoor jacuzzi offers stunning views of the surround snowcapped peaks. Nearby the hotel, orchid trails and river walks are available for any hikers that are not fully exhausted from their day's hike!

Lucma Lodge

Lucma Lodge

Set in a beautifully kept avocado orchard, this lodge offers a rare luxury in an alpine environment near Llactapata Pass, on the recently restored Llactapata Inca Trail. This lodge offers warm, comfortable beds for weary travelers, and delicious meals to accompany them.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel

Rated by Travel + Leisure as ‘one of the ten best hotels in South America’, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is an intimate 85-cottage luxury hotel surrounded by 12 secluded acres of exquisite beauty. With its sublime Spa services and a first-class restaurant that overlooks the stunning Vilcanota River, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel provides a tranquil retreat at the base of Machu Picchu. Scattered among lush gardens, accommodations range from the opulent Villas Inkaterra, with private terraces and plunge pools to more intimate lodges that provide a perfect sanctuary for simple relaxation. Overlooking the Vilcanota River, discover Andean cuisine with a contemporary twist at Cafe Inkaterra. Under the traditional Amazonian palm-thatched roof and surrounded by regional crafts, Cafe Inkaterra is as much of a destination as it is a culinary experience.

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