Road to Machu Picchu - The Salkantay Trek

This is a once-in-a-lifetime physical, epic and spiritual journey through the stunning Salkantay trail as we trek through some of the most inspiring landscapes on our way to Machu Picchu. For the intrepid traveller, this has to be the ultimate trekking experience to witness the magic of Peru. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in exceptional mountain lodges at the end of your track each day

Experience inspiring landscapes on the road to Machu Picchu

Savour the finest Peruvian cuisine

Encounters with the faithful locals of the mountains

Salkantay - Road to Machu Picchu

Along the Salcantay trail, you will journey through varied terrain both challenging and awe-inspiring. Up-close views of glacier mountain peaks, mysterious fog surrounding fields of boulders, and cattle drives through the most remote of mountain areas are sights that will only enhance the spectacular topography, lush vegetation, and intriguing archaeological areas that you will encounter. Locals, still proudly attached to their Andean heritage, will greet you along the way and give you a glimpse into their rarely seen world. Led by well-respected and extremely knowledgeable MLP guides, you are guaranteed personal attention and a commitment to safety. The staff at the mountain luxury lodges, situated in pristine locations along the trail, will welcome you warmly at the end of each day with the utmost in service and amenities.

Let the adventure begin...

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE CUSCO

On arrival at Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete Intl Airport, visit the  UNESCO-listed Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an amazing huge stone Inca construction overlooking the city of Cusco and served as an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish conquistadors in 1536. Thereafter, we head into the city and check in at the beautiful Inkaterra La Casona, a colonial 16th century manor house that has been meticulously restored in a fusion of timeless period setting and modern contemporary comfort. This evening, enjoy a dining experience at the Quinta Eulalia, a "picanteria" traditional eatery where we will taste one of the most appreciated dishes of Peruvian Andes; the guinea pig. 

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: CUSCO

We take things slowly in Cusco (minding the altitude) as we make a visit to the vibrant bazaar and historic centre walking through the main streets with their characteristic Inca walls. Visit the UNESCO-listed Cusco Cathedral in Plaza de Armas admiring the intricate holy Christian artifacts and artwork derived from the "Escuela Cuzquena" (Cusco art school). We then continue to "Qoricancha" Temple of Sun, one of the most worshipped Incan sites where we learn about its historical past of how its walls were once covered in gold and after the invasion of the conquistadors. Next, head to the San Pedro Market where we get a glimpse of daily lives passing by the different stalls showcasing a wide variety of goods, local snacks and street food. This evening, you will meet your expedition team and fellow trekkers for your adventure briefing. 

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 3: CUSCO / SALKANTAY LODGE

We begin our adventure visiting the Inca ruins and the mountain village of Mollepata before embarking on your first trek on the Camino Real. Your destination: the welcoming Salkantay Lodge, named for the majestic peak at the head of the valley, where you will find jacuzzis, aperitifs, and a cracking fire in the fireplace. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 6hrs (including picnic lunch en route)

Hiking Level: Moderate

Elevation: 3,869m/12,690 ft

Overnight: Salkantay Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 4: HIKE TO HUMANTAY LAKE

Whet your appetite for trekking and scenery with an acclimatization hike from the lodge to the glacier-fed Lake Humantay with views of Mount Salkantay, a sacred mountain in Incan mythology. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 4hrs 

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

Elevation: 3,869m/12,690 ft

Overnight: Salkantay Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 5: CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS

A big day today as we reach the trek's highest point on the Salkantay Pass (4,638m/15,213 ft). Take in views of the snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction and the glaciated south face of Mount Salkantay towering above. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 6 - 8hrs (including lunch)

Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m/15,200 ft mountain pass

Elevation: 3,906m/12,812 ft

Overnight: Wayra Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: DESCENDING INTO THE CLOUD FOREST

We begin our descend along the Salkantay River, where warm air starts rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. At Colpa Lodge, we will be greeted with a Pachamanca, a traditional Peruvian meal. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 3 - 4hrs 

Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate

Elevation: 2,870m/9,414 ft

Overnight: Colpa Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: FOLLOWING THE SANTA TERESA RIVER VALLEY

Today we hike through more populated rural areas, passing through banana, granadilla and avocado orchards. Picnic by the river and later visit a coffee plantation before arriving at Lucma Lodge, surrounded by its own avocado trees. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 5 - 6hrs (including lunch)

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)

Elevation: 2,135m/7,003 ft

Overnight: Lucma Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8: FIRST VIEWS OF MACHU PICCHU FROM LLACTAPATA PASS

On our last trekking day, we hike along the Llactapata Pass and come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travellers ever get a chance to admire. We then make our way to the train bound for our ultimate destination: Machu Picchu. 

 

Trek duration: Approximately 4 - 6hrs 

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

Elevation: 1,900m/6,232 ft

Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 9: MACHU PICCHU

Rise early today to catch a breathtaking sunrise over Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins where you will learn about the Inca's impressive construction feats and day to day life in the ancient city. Thereafter, spend the rest of the day at leisure to fully immerse yourself in the spectacle of this astonishing citadel. 

Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: MACHU PICCHU / SACRED VALLEY

Spend the morning at leisure where you may consider a climb to the Sun Gate or the Huayna Picchu. In the afternoon, we hop onboard the Vistadome train to the Sacred Valley where we will visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, which displays the best example of city planning by the Incas where its excellent construction with strong walls was both a temple and a fortress. Then, arrive at the Hotel Sol y Luna, a Relais & Chateaux lodge. 

Overnight: Hotel Sol y Luna, Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11: SACRED VALLEY / CUSCO

This morning, we visit the impressive Inca archaeological site of Pisac, with terraces built on its hills. To visit the site, you must walk along winding paths along a mountain cliff. Amongst the most important buildings are Pisaq, which is a curved wall; the Intihuatana, a solar clock among a group of temples and the military zone called "Q'allaqasa". Thereafter, worth a visit is the Pisac Market where locals parade their handicrafts and fresh produce and is a colorful spectacle to capture your last moments before transferring to Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete Intl Airport for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Inkaterra La Casona is an exquisite 16th century manor house that has been carefully restored to retain its historical heritage and offering guests contemporary luxury without sacrificing authenticity. It is rated and featured in Hot Listed Best New Hotel by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine US and UK as well as Travel + Leisure. 

The Salkantay Lodge at Soraypampa has 12 private double or twin rooms with private bathrooms. Located at 11,800 ft, this luxury lodge welcomes you with a stunning view of Mount Salkantay, the region's highest peak. 

Salkantay Lodge

Wayra Lodge

Located at Huayraqmachay, Wayra Lodge is "the place where the wind lives" Enjoy a hot tub soak here at 12,000 ft. 

Colpa Lodge

Colpa Lodge rests in a cloud forest at 10,300 ft in the Colpapampa Valley, near hot springs and the confluence of three rivers. 

Lucma Lodge

Lucma Lodge is located in Lucmabamba. Savor spectacular views from this lodge, built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard. 

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is an intimate 81-casitas luxury hotel in sprawling Andean style village within the secluded 12 acres of exquisite beauty. Follow stone pathways along the terraced hills, melding with the sacred energy of the mountains. Indulge in its spa services which uses sublime natural essences. A first class restaurant boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River. 

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Hotel Sol y Luna is a charming hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens in Peru's magical Sacred Valley of the Incas. The hotel is located near spectacular Inca ruins and has been built in the local rustic style reflecting the spirit of the Andes. 

Hotel Sol y Luna, Sacred Valley

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