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Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek

Lodge to Lodge Salkantay Trek

Example 11 Day Tour
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Your journey along the Salkanty trail will take you through varied terrain both challenging and awe-inspiring. Up-close views of glacier mountain peaks, mysterious mist surrounding fields of boulders, and cattle drives through the most remote of mountain areas. Such sights will enhance the spectacular topography, lush vegetation, and intriguing archaeological areas that so few have encountered. Meet locals, still proudly connected to their Andean heritage, who will greet you along the way and give you a glimpse into their rarely seen world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lima
Day 2 : Fly Cusco | Walking City tour
Day 3 : Sacred Valley Exploration
Day 4 : Cusco to Salkantay Lodge
Day 5 : Hike to Lake Humantay
Day 6 : Cross Salkantay Pass
Day 7 : Descend into the Cloud Forest
Day 8 : Hike through Santa Teresa River Valley
Day 9 : Hike along the Llactapata Pass
Day 10 : Arrive Machu Picchu | Explore Ruins
Day 11 : Fly Lima | Fly home

Highlights

  • Explore the cathedrals, markets, and ruins of Cusco
  • Trek through high mountain passes and cloud forest to experience the Andes
  • Stay in luxury lodges built to match the cultural and physical surroundings
  • Explore the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu

Places Visited

  • Colpa Lodge
  • Lucma Lodge
  • Peru
  • South America
  • Wayra Lodge
  • Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)
  • Cusco
  • Lima
  • Machu Picchu
  • Salkantay Lodge
  • Salkantay Lodge Trek

Activities

Trip Type

Activity Level

Challenging

Trip Snapshots

Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek

Day 1 Arrive Lima

Arrive Lima. Spend the night in Lima. 

Day 2 Fly Cusco | Walking City tour

An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua speaking descendents of the Incas bustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors. The church walls have fallen many times throughout the years, but the Inca walls remain. The morning explore Cusco's narrow streets and bustling markets on foot with your guide.

Day 3 Sacred Valley Exploration

This morning, journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your trip and you will soon see why! The day is flexible based on your interests, market days, and the weather. You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may also hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate today. Visit the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Return to Cusco for the evening.

Day 4 Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an early breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco. The first stop will be a visit to the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo. Next, stop in the mountain village of Mollepata for a short break before ascending a winding mountain road to a site called Marcoccasa. Here begin the hike to Soraypampa along a picturesque path called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path), which is also a good opportunity to acclimate to the higher altitude. As you round the final turn of the Camino Real, the Salkantay Lodge will come into view. Standing like a sentry behind the lodge is the glacier peak of Mt. Salkantay, among the most sacred in Inca mythology and the highest in the region (6,270 m/20,600 ft). After a warm welcome from the Soraypampa staff, settle in to your room and recharge before meeting with you guide in the lounge for refreshments and a briefing of the next day’s activities.

Trekking Time: Approximately 3 hours (excursion 6 hours in total including picnic lunch en route)
Hiking level: Moderate
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft)

Day 5 Hike to Lake Humantay

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, head out for another altitude-acclimatization with a half-day hike to Lake Humantay. Begin you ascent up the slopes that border the plateau behind the Salkantay Lodge. An hour and a half later, after making your way over the final hill, you will be stunned to see the turquoise water of the lake, made even more spectacular by the sight of the Humantay glacier looming behind it. Upon arrival, you will have a chance to relax, enjoy a snack, meditate in the tranquility of this magical spot, and participate in a traditional ceremony to honor “Pachamama” (Mother Earth). After your descent back to the lodge, the Salkantay staff will be waiting with a hot lunch. Afternoon at leisure to relax, enjoy a massage, or soak in the outdoor hot tub for a spectacular view of the Salkantay Peak at sunset.

Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
Hiking level: Moderate

*Optional activity available this day: Horseback riding (at an additional cost)

Day 6 Cross Salkantay Pass

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an early start, the ascent toward the Salkantay Pass begins. You will circle Humantay Peak, gradually making your way along expansive plateaus connected by enormous boulders, remnants of the Rio Blanco Valley that was once bisected by a fast-flowing river. The last and most challenging part of the ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that lead you to the pass, the highest point on the trek (15,213’ / 4,636m). The journey continues with a dramatic descent through fields of large boulders and natural stone formations often shrouded in fog, followed by a very welcome hot picnic lunch. After lunch, you will have some time to rest before the final hike through the area’s bucolic countryside; its rolling hills will eventually lead you through marsh-like plateaus to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay. The most remote of the lodges, Wayra sits on a promontory that offers a spectacular view of Mt. Humantay, a reminder of how far you have journeyed that day

Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch) - crossing a 4,640m/15,200 ft mountain pass
Hiking level: Challenging
Overnight: Wayra Lodge (3,906 m/12,812 ft)

Day 7 Descend into the Cloud Forest

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a leisurely breakfast at the Wayra Lodge, continue your descent along the banks of the Salkantay River through increasingly verdant scenery. The warm air begins to rise from the edge of the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. More local people will join you on the trail as it passes homes and fields. At lunchtime you will arrive at Colpa Lodge by an amazing zip-line, located on a high promontory at the confluence of three rivers. For the less adventurous there is an alternative path to take to the lodge. Once at the lodge, you are greeted with a Pachamanca lunch, a traditional Peruvian meal cooked in the earth by hot stones that create a natural underground oven. After lunch, spend the afternoon lounging in the sun or relaxing in the outdoor Jacuzzi while you take in the panoramic views of the lush green mountains that surround you.

Trekking Time: 3–4 hours
Hiking level: Easy to moderate
Overnight: Colpa Lodge (2,870 m/9,414 ft)

Day 8 Hike through Santa Teresa River Valley

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today's hike travels along the Santa Teresa river valley where you will hop over small streams fed by waterfalls descending from the glaciers and pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards. After breaking for a hot picnic lunch by the river, walk for one hour before we meet your vehicle for a short drive to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail" that leads to Lucma Lodge. On the way visit an organic coffee plantation, one of many in that area that produces some of the best organic coffee in the world. Here in Lucmabamba, the hot air and increased humidity signal that you are even closer to the edge of the Amazon Jungle

Trekking Time: 5–6 hours (including lunch)
Hiking Level: Moderate/Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)
Overnight: Lucma Lodge (2,135 m/7,003 ft)

*Optional activities available for an additional cost:  Zip Line in Santa Teresa - Full day activity that replaces the trek. 

Day 9 Hike along the Llactapata Pass

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, depart from Lucma Lodge and embark on a 2-3 hour climb through the cloud forest up a path mostly comprised of original Inca steps. A lush tree line creates green canopies overhead and the constant sound of rushing water suggests that the river is nearby. Your first milestone today will be the top of the peak, the last one before you descend to the Aobamaba River Valley that connects you to Machu Picchu.  Upon arrival at the Llactapata Pass (8,974’ / 2,736m), you will delight in a southeast view of Machu Picchu, a sight few travelers get the chance to admire. After exploring Llactapata, the Inca tambo (fort) that marks the pass, enjoy a picnic lunch at a mountain lookout point with panoramic views. The final descent along a trail that zigzags down to the roaring Aobamba River will take you through lush bamboo forests, varied fruit orchards, and more coffee plantations.  Celebrate as you cross the bridge over the river and take your final steps of the trek en route to the Hidroelectrica train station for a scenic one-hour train ride to the town of Aguas Calientes, on the banks of the Urubamba River at the base of Machu Picchu.

Trekking Time: 4–6 hours
Hiking level: Moderate to challenging
Overnight: Aguas Calientes (1,900 m/6,232 ft)

Day 10 Arrive Machu Picchu | Explore Ruins

Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with an early morning rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the ‘sanctuary’ (as locals refer to it), prepare to be awed by the imposing, skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among others. After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own, including a hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms over the citadel, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River Valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle.  At some point, be sure to take a moment and sit quietly–listen to the wind, meditate, and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before a scenic Vistadome train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and vehicle transfer to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours). As night falls and you arrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation that will linger long after your journey home. 

*Entrance time - Huayna Picchu:  10am

Day 11 Fly Lima | Fly home

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the Cusco airport for you flight to Lima and connect with your international flight home.

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Colpa Lodge

Cusco - Hotels

Lima - Hotels

Lucma Lodge

Salkantay Lodge

Wayra Lodge

Per person starting at
$3,522

Notes

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Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
    • 5 Nights Hotel
    • 5 Nights Lodge
  • 9 Days Guide Service
  • Park Entrance Fee
    • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Passes are included - Let us know if you want to hike Huayna Picchu!

Excluded

  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights
  • Internal Flights
    • Lima-Cusco-Lima

Budgeting

  • $100 Meals not Included
  • $80 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

When to Go

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Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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