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Salkantay Horseback Ride

Salkantay Ride To Machu Picchu

Example 7 Day Tour
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Set off on a 7-day horseback riding tour from Salkantay to Machu Picchu, taking in the breathtaking scenery and ancient culture. Begin by visiting the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site before heading to Mollepata village for a farm-to-table lunch and insights into local agriculture. Meet your trusty horse at Coronilla Ranch, and set off towards Soraypampa, acclimatizing to the altitude during a scenic 3-4 hour ride to Salkantay Lodge. Explore Humantay Lake, surrounded by glaciers, and visit the mystical Chakana viewpoint. Witness a shamanic offering to Mother Earth before continuing to Machu Picchu, passing through the Rio Blanco Valley and Salkantay Pass with its snow-capped peaks. Descend through the cloud forest to Colpa Lodge, savoring a traditional Pachamanca feast and enjoying panoramic views. 
Horseback ridingMachu PicchuExploring Machu PicchuHorses on Salkantay RideColpa Lodge on Salkantay TripWayra Lodge on Salkantay TripLucma Lodge on Salkantay TripWayra Lodge on Salkantay TripSalkantay Lodge on Salkantay TripSalkantay Lodge on Salkantay TripSalkantay Horseback Ride
  • Explore Quillarumiyoc archaeological site and learn about local culture
  • Enjoy a scenic horseback ride to Soraypampa, acclimating to the altitude
  • Ride through the Rio Blanco valley, witnessing snow-capped peaks
  • Journey through the Santa Teresa river valley, passing coffee plantations
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive at Cusco | Salkantay Lodge

Following an early morning meal, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. Your journey commences with a visit to the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site on the way to the mountain village of Mollepata. At El Pedregal, a lovely farmhouse tucked in the town, enjoy a delicious meal while learning about local agriculture and livestock.

Afterward, a picturesque drive takes you to Coronilla Ranch, where you will be introduced to and acquainted with your horse. Accompanied by the equestrian team, you will embark on a ride to Soraypampa, a remarkable opportunity for everyone to adapt to the altitude while savoring a splendid 3-4 hour journey to the Salkantay Lodge. Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology, inspired the lodge's name. It sits at a towering elevation of 6,270 meters (20,600 feet). Upon arrival, the friendly staff will extend a warm welcome and guide you to your room, allowing you to freshen up before tea time. Subsequently, a comprehensive briefing about the upcoming excursion will be conducted by your guide beside a cozy fireside. In the evening, indulge in aperitifs and a delectable dinner before retiring for the night, rejuvenating yourself for the adventures of the following day.

Day 2: Horseback Ride to Humantay Lake and Chakana

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today's excursion begins with a ride to Humantay Lake, which is fed by glaciers high up on Mt. Humantay. The ride takes about 1 hour, and then have a short 20-minute walk to reach the lake. It's worth the effort because the view is incredible, and if you're brave enough, you can even go for a swim! After a quick snack break, hike back down to where you left the horses and ride for about 30 minutes to your next stop, the entrance to the "Chakana" (the mystical Inca Cross) located on a high viewpoint above Soraypampa. From there, take a one-hour walk to reach the actual "Chakana," where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Soraypampa Valley, Mt. Salkantay, and Mt. Humantay. This is a highlight of your journey that shouldn't be missed! To conclude this unique experience, a local Shaman performs a mystical offering to Mother Earth (or "Pachamama") in front of the majestic Mt. Salkantay.

Return to the lodge for lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax. You can choose to soak in the outdoor jacuzzi instead of swimming in the glacier-fed lake. If you're up for it, there's also the option to go horseback riding in the surrounding area for a couple of hours. In the evening, the guide will brief you on the necessary gear and the itinerary for the next day. All meals will be provided at the lodge.

Day 3: Cross Salkantay Pass

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, continue the journey towards Machu Picchu by riding through the Rio Blanco Valley and going around Humantay Peak, which is across from Salkantay Peak. The Salkantay Pass, at 4,638 meters (15,213 feet), is the highest point of the trip. When you reach the pass, pause to admire the breathtaking views of the snow-covered peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, with the majestic south face of Salkantay towering above you.

Also keep a lookout for Andean condors, as they are often spotted in this area. After the pass, descend toward your evening destination, the Wayra Lodge. The name "Wayra" means wind, and it comes from the location's name, "Wayracmachay," which translates to "the cave where the wind lives." Along the way, enjoy a hot lunch, and dinner and overnight accommodation will be provided at the lodge.

Day 4: Descend toward the Cloud Forest

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, indulge in a leisurely morning meal at Wayra Lodge, followed by a descent towards the Salkantay River, meandering through the enchanting cloud forest. The scenery becomes increasingly lush and vibrant, accompanied by the gentle wafts of warm air rising from the jungle. Delightful butterflies flutter around and encounter breathtaking orchids along the way. As you reach Colpa Lodge, a delightful surprise awaits—a Pachamanca, a festive Peruvian feast prepared by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones. The mixture is then covered with plantain leaves, high Andean grass, and local herbs before being baked in an underground oven. Colpa Lodge, situated on a spacious plateau where three rivers converge, offers panoramic vistas of the verdant mountains. Unwind in the outdoor jacuzzi, taking in the lush green surroundings. The afternoon can be spent at leisure, either relaxing or embarking on a captivating exploration of the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided at the lodge.

Day 5: Ride Along the Santa Teresa River Valley

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On this day, the ride leads alongside the picturesque Santa Teresa River valley and traverses through more densely inhabited rural regions. Along the way, pass by flourishing orchards of bananas, passion fruits, avocados, and sprawling coffee plantations. The coffee cultivated in this area is renowned as one of the finest organic coffees in the world. As you continue your ride, reach the starting point of the revered "Llactapata Inca Trail," bidding farewell to your trusty horses and equestrian companions. A brief and pleasant 30-minute stroll amidst an avocado orchard brings you to your destination—Lucma Lodge. Here, delight in a satisfying dinner and spend the night in the comfort of the lodge.

Day 6: Hike to Llactapata Pass

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Following a satisfying breakfast set off on the ultimate day of your trek. Here, bid farewell to your magnificent equine companions and prepare yourself for a three-hour hike toward the awe-inspiring Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974 ft). From this vantage point, you are treated to a distant yet magnificent panorama of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, a view that few visitors get to see. Taking a brief break, take the time to explore the recently restored Llactapata Ruins. Then, enjoy a delightful lunch at a picturesque viewpoint, overlooking the grandeur of Machu Picchu. With renewed energy, commence your final descent towards the Aobamba River, traversing through lush bamboo forests, orchards, and fragrant coffee plantations. The journey continues as you board a scenic train ride, lasting approximately one hour, that transports you to Aguas Calientes, the town situated at the foot of Machu Picchu.

Day 7: Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Following a satisfying buffet breakfast at the hotel, proceed to the bus station for a pleasant journey up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Your knowledgeable trip leader provides a comprehensive two-hour guided tour of the captivating ruins, giving you an insightful introduction to the site. Afterward, the freedom to explore the grounds at your leisure for approximately two hours.

Later, regroup with your guide and board the bus for a return trip to Aguas Calientes, where a delightful late lunch awaits. Following the meal, take an afternoon train ride back towards Cusco. The scenic journey from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo spans about 1½ hours. From there, a private vehicle takes over for the remainder of the drive back to Cusco, which adds an additional 1½ hours to the travel time. Upon your arrival in Cusco, estimated to be around 7 or 8 p.m., you will be dropped off at the hotel of your choosing.


Wayra Lodge

Wayra Lodge on Salkantay Trek
Wayra Lodge on Salkantay Trip
Wayra Lodge on Salkantay Trek

Colpa Lodge

Colpa Lodge on Salkantay Trek
Colpa Lodge on Salkantay Trek
Colpa Lodge on Salkantay Trip

Lucma Lodge

Lucma Lodge on Salkantay Trek
Lucma Lodge on Salkantay Trek
Lucma Lodge on Salkantay Trip

Salkantay Lodge

Salkantay Lodge on Salkantay Trip
Salkantay Lodge on Salkantay Trip
Salkantay Lodge on Salkantay Trip

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

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  • 6 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (entrance, transportation to and from the site)
  • Bilingual guide (English-Spanish) for the duration of the standard itinerary
  • Transportation of personal belongings during the trip by pack horses/mules and/or porters
  • Wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) at all lodges and hotels
  • All transportation services for the duration of the standard itinerary
  • All meals and beverages including soft drinks and a house selection of beer, wine, and spirits including pisco
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry Service
  • Massage services
  • Permits for Huayna Picchu Mountain and/or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • All gratuities for the guides and hotel staff outside MLP are not included
  • Bottled water and sports drinks. Guests are encouraged to use the refillable water bottle that is provided to each guest at the pre-trip briefing. The highest-quality filtered water is available at all MLP lodges


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.


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