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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

  • Small Group

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 and overnight.

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 6 hours (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 our 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. Here take the chance to relax, enjoy a snack, or meditate in the tranquility of this amazing spot. After the descent back to the lodge, the staff will be waiting with a hot lunch. The second half of your day is spent at leisure. You may opt to soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi, indulge in a relaxing massage, or even take a long nap.

Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
Hiking level: Moderate to challenging
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft)

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

Day 6 Cross Salkantay Pass

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today’s the big day, but arguably the most magical day of the trek. After an early start, hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. As you gradually make your way up these mountain trails, encounter expansive plateaus dotted with boulders of varying sizes, the remnants of a valley that was once bisected by a fast-flowing river. The final and most challenging part of your ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that take you to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on the trek (4,636 m/15,213 ft). After all of this work you will be rewarded with a dramatic descent through fields of giant boulders, often shrouded in fog. After a very welcomed hot picnic lunch, continue down through bucolic rolling hills and marsh-like plateaus as you take your final steps to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay. The most remote of our 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)

*Optional activity this day for an additional cost: Afternoon bike ride from Manchayhuaycco to Collpapampa. Descend through a beautiful valley in which you will admire the diverse cloud forest vegetation through the slopes of the valley. Duration: 3 hours. Level: Easy.  
 

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. |  Biking the surrounding mountains: Option #1: 5 hours, Easy to Moderate. Option #2: 3.5 hours, Easy.

Day 9 Hike along the Llactapata Pass

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning climb up a path mostly comprised of original Inca steps through lush, green trees accompanied by the sound of rushing water from the nearby river. Your first milestone today is the top of the peak, the last one before you reach the Aobamaba River valley that connects you to Machu Picchu. When you arrive at the ruins of Llactapata at the Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974 ft), you will be delighted to see a southeast view of the “back” of the Machu Picchu ruins, a sight few travelers ever get a chance to admire. At this point take a short break to explore Llactapata, and then have lunch a bit farther down the trail in a meadow with panoramic views. The final descent toward the roaring Aobamba River takes you through lush bamboo forests, as well as more fruit orchards and coffee plantations, until you end the day’s hike at the Hidroelectrica train station. A one-hour scenic train ride delivers you to your final stop, the town of Aguas Calientes 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

At dawn, you begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short uphill bus ride. As you enter the “Sanctuary” (as locals refer to it), the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with resplendent light. Experience the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Your imagination will soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins. Some may even choose a hike to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. (Travelers can experience a hike up either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain today – permits to Huayna Picchu sell out in advance so please let us know immediately if you are interested in that particular hike!) After the visit return to Aguas Calientes for lunch before taking the train back to Cusco. 

Return to Cusco (3,360 m/11,021 ft)

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
$4,072

Notes

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Included

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

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $425 Lima-Cusco-Lima
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $100 Meals not Included
  • $80 Optional Excursions
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
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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