Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu
Peru, 7 Days From $ 3,240 per person Themes
This is an adventure in which you will be able to experience Peru at its best and like never before: trekking from lodge to lodge, enjoying the comfort and service of 4 top quality mountain lodges located in pristine areas and finally reaching Machu Picchu (the crown jewels) as a final destination.
In this journey you will trek from 3,900m/12,800ft to 2,100m/6,900ft, traversing across magnificent mountain passes, enjoying enormous and mystical snow-capped peaks, seeing nature in its purest form and exploring more than 15 different ecosystems from beginning to end. Moreover, the chances for ethnic and cultural exchange are ever-present with local natives who still remain closely attached to their heritage and are very willing to share it with open minds.
This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience you will not want to miss.
Available from March to December only.
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
Although the company has historically had an active yet private role in the socioeconomic development of the communities to which they neighbor, in 2006 the company sponsored the creation of an NGO named Yanapana Peru.
Yanapana Peru has set two important goals for its first stage of development:
- to elevate the level of education for more than 150 families in the area;
- to give an incentive to the local population to take an active role in the development of tourism in the area.
Given the altitute, it is advisable to arrive in Cusco at least two days before the trek begins. During the evening before your trek commences, there will be an evening briefing in Cusco where you will meet your guide, who will provide you important information for a great trekking experience!
DAY 1 CUSCO to SALKANTAY LODGE
After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 7:00 am at our hotel in Cusco by a guide and vehicle for the drive to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs 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 our 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.
Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route)
Hiking Level: Moderate
Option: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle
DAY 2: Hike to the Humantay Lake
Today we take an acclimatization hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. We return to the lodge for lunch, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. Afternoon at leisure. We spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs us on gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge.
Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Option: Horseback Riding
DAY 3: Crossing the Salkantay Pass
This is the big day! After an early start, we hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 m (15,213 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards Wayra Lodge ("Wayra" means wind; so 'the place where the wind lives') our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch)
Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m (15,200 ft) mountain pass
DAY 4: Descending into the Cloud Forest
On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Then we continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. We can feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca meal, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones, and then covering the whole thing up to bake. Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Trekking Time: 3–4 hours
Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate
DAY 5: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley
Today we hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, we hike another hour before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail" (30 minutes or so). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail we easily make our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Trekking Time: 5–6 hours (including lunch)
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)
DAY 6: First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass
After a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, we check into our lovely hotel for celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing!
Trekking Time: 4–6 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
DAY 7: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary & Return to Cusco
After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the rest of the morning to explore the site on our own—there is a lot to do and see! Afterwards, we return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to meet our train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional hour and a half ). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.), we are dropped off at our hotel. Option: Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Permits have to be purchased in advance.
Equestrian Vacations offer trips on the backs of first - rated steeds, galloping through undulating open vistas, climbing rugged high mountain trails and meandering besides raging rivers, each night returning to the world class accommodations and luxury of an eco-lodge. The finest American Quarter Horses from top farms in Uruguay are the foundation stock of our herd. Breeding programs have introduced Arabian bloodlines that bring passion and loyalty to our steeds, and our training programs have refined the horses to produce unparalleled riding companions, specially suited to our high mountain terrain.
- Massage& Spa Services.
- Laundry Service.
- Optional Activities: Chakana Inca Cross Excursion (for the Trekking Program only), Canopy Zipline, Horseback Riding (For the Trekking program only, subject to change).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Bottled water and sports drinks are not included. In an effort to reduce plastic waste on the trail and at the lodges we encourage guests to use refillable water bottles. For this purpose we provide and ample supply of the highest quality filtered water, available at multiple water stations at the lodges.
- Local taxes (18% IGV) on meals and lodging applicable to Peruvians, foreign residents in Peru and tourists traveling in Peru for 60+ days.
- All services from pick up in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off in Cusco on Day 7.
- Transportation from hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa on Day 1 and from Ollantaytambo back to hotel on Day 7.
- 6 nights lodging (5 nights in lodges and 1 night in Aguas Calientes in a 4-Star hotel)
- All meals except breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 7
- Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English) from Day 1 to Day 7. Tours are led in English.
- Transportation of personal belongings on the trek by pack horses/mules and/or porters
- Guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (includes entrance and transportation to the site)
- Train transportation (Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes, and Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo)
- At the lodges we provide filtered and sparkling water, tea and coffee, juice and soft drinks free of charge. Alcoholic and sports drinks, and natural bottled water are not included. Only filtered water and tea are available free of charge at hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Single Supplement Fee
- Requested Single Room: 50% supplement of the retail cost per person
- If a guest is a single willing to share, we will do our best to pair up the guest with another traveler of the same gender.
- In case ultimately no roommate is found then the guest would only be subject to a 25% supplement of the retail cost per person
Seasonal Pricing Information
The low season is considered to be the months of March, November and the early part of December. The high season is considered to be the months of April through October and the latter part of December.
Not as good for:
Other Necessary Information
The trek is rated as moderate to challenging and covers approximately 63 km / 32 miles on uneven, rocky terrain with steep uphill and downhill sections. Day 3 is the most challenging with an elevation gain of 1000 meters / 3,000 feet in a span of 5 km / 3 miles to reach a maximum alti- tude of 4640 meters / 15,200 feet. Prior hiking experience is recommended.
You only carry a day-pack with everything you may need for a day ?s hike (water bottle, rain gear, cameras, snacks). Additional drinking water is available on the trek. Mules and porters carrying the luggage will not walk with the group. Your luggage will meet you upon arrival at the next lodge.
In cases of emergencies or medical problems we follow a detailed medical protocol. All our guides have a "wilder- ness first aid certification," and carry a full first aid kit, porta- ble oxygen, a portable hyperbaric chamber and radios with them at all times. We have our own company doctor who is always available by telephone for any medical assistance. There is additional basic medical equipment at all lodges. For minor medical attention that cannot be taken care of at the lodges but which requires special medical attention, the nearest medical centers, in the worst case, are one-day distance by horse or mule. We also work with a medical helicopter rescue operation for emergencies.
On 30 Mar 2013, Nancy L. wrote: