Experience the lodge-to-lodge Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, Peru, in style. The pristine natural beauty that will envelop you throughout the 7-day trek, takes you through 15 unique ecosystems. It will inspire you to challenge yourself, as you navigate changing altitudes and varied terrain. Enchanting lodges and warm service welcome you at the end of each day. The innovative Peruvian Andean cuisine and mountain-luxury amenities will help to restore both body and mind as you continue your adventure. The lodges have thoughtfully incorporated traditional Incan building techniques and sensitivity to the surrounding environment without forgoing comfort or style. Follow the road less travelled to Machu Picchu on this seven day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. During the trek connect with local communities, visit archaeological sites, and hike to the turquoise waters of Lake Humantay.
Salkantay Lodge sits on the flatlands of the Rio Blanco river valley and offers a stunning unobstructed view of the majestic Salkantay mountain peak. Its contemporary, eco-conscious design was the inspiration for all other lodges. At 3,869 masl, the lodge has 12 rooms en-suite rooms. It has a restaurant-bar, internet access, oxygen tank, medical assistance (24 hours), massage upon request, sauna room, public Jacuzzi and laundry service.
Wayra Lodge is a cosy mountain refuge with dramatic views of Mt. Humantay. This is the most remote of all the mountain lodges during this trek. The perfect sight after a long day of trekking over the Salkantay Pass (3,906m). The lodge has 6 standard en-suite rooms with views overlooking the mountain. It features a restaurant-bar, internet access, oxygen tank, medical assistance (24 hours), massage upon request and laundry service.
Colpa Lodge, at an altitude of 2,845mtasl, is surrounded by lush green mountains in a cloud forest. It is located on a promontory at the confluence of three rivers. Sun-drenched in the afternoons, it is the perfect spot to relax or soak in the outdoor hot tub. The lodge has 6 standard en-suite rooms with views overlooking the mountain. It has a restaurant-bar, internet access, oxygen tank, medical assistance (24 hours), and laundry service.
The charming Lucma Lodge is located in a lush avocado orchard at the edge of the Amazon jungle and resembles a contemporary treehouse. The view through the multi-pane windows that stretch almost to the ceiling will give you the sensation of living amidst the beautiful foliage that surrounds you. The lodge is set at 2,135m and features 6 standard en-suite rooms with views overlooking the mountain. It has a restaurant-bar, internet access, oxygen tank, medical assistance (24 hours), public Jacuzzi, and laundry service.
After an early breakfast, you will be picked up starting at 7:00 am at your hotel in Cusco by an MLP guide and vehicle for the drive to the Salkantay Lodge (3,869m) in Soraypampa. En route, 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, pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where you will stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, begin your 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, Mount Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270 mt., the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, you will be shown to your 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 take the van to the lodge.
Today, take an acclimatisation 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. 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 (3,869m) with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs you on gear and the itinerary for the following day. Dinner at the Lodge.
Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Option: Horseback Riding
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. At the pass, we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction. Keep your eyes open for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass, descend towards Wayra Lodge (3,906m; “Wayra” means wind; so ‘the place where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch)
Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m mountain pass
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Continue descending along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. You will be able to feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge (2,870m), you will be greeted with a Pachamanca meal. It is 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 set on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. 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
Hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. You will pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations. A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, 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 your way to Lucma Lodge (2,135m), 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)
After a hearty breakfast, tackle the last day of our trek. Head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m) from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary. This Southeast view is one only a few travellers ever get a chance to admire. Take a short break to explore the recently restored Llactapata Ruins. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. Begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes (1,900m), the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, we check into our lovely hotel for a celebration dinner with your guide and one last briefing!
Trekking Time: 4–6 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). The trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch for your ongoing train ride. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive you back to your hotel in Cuzco (3,360m; an additional hour and a half).