Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek
Explore the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu and stay in beautifully maintained mountain lodges in Peru with gourmet meals and comfortable beds. Our Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek in the Mountain Lodges of Peru combines adventure and luxury and is our most exclusive trek in the Peruvian Andes!
This Lodge to Lodge Trek takes you on an ancient Inca trail called the Salkantay Inca Trail. This uncrowded route passes by emerald-green glacial lakes at the foot of Salkantay Mountain, one of Peru’s most impressive snow covered peaks. Awe and history unite as you hike in the footsteps of the “chaskis”, the ancient Inca relay runners who delivered messages and goods along the hundreds of miles of Inca trails throughout the Andes.
An experienced trekking guide leads the group and lunches will be prepared by the trekking staff along the trail to keep you fueled for this inspiring mountain adventure. You need only hike with a small daypack to carry water, snacks and clothing for the day, while the rest of your luggage is transported to the next lodge by porters and mules traveling separate from the hikers.
This is your chance to see Machu Picchu, have a fantastic mountain adventure and enjoy the comforts of lodge living without having to camp in a cold tent and sleep on the ground.
The trek consists of 6 days (2 days optional) of moderate to strenuous hiking at elevations of 2,000-4,600m (6,600- 15,000 ft) on diverse types of trails ranging from flat and grassy to steep and rocky slopes. The trek crosses nine different eco-zones in seven days, with the possibility of changing weather conditions.
- Age Limits: The recommended minimum age of participants is 12 years old. However, we may consider exceptions depending on experience and physical conditions.
- Breathtaking views of the Andes
- Exclusive Mountain Lodges
- Historical site tours
- Machu Picchu
- The Inca Trail
- Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay
Green Season Price: US$ 3,300 (March 1st – March 31st, November 1st – December 14th).
High Season Price: US$ 4,400 (April 1st – October 31st, December 15th – December 31st).
Single Occupancy: Requested Single Room: 50% supplement of the retail cost per person. If a guest is a single willing to share, we will do our best to pair up the guest with another traveler of the same gender. If no roommate is found then the guest would only be subject to a 25% supplement of the retail cost per person.
Optional Add-on: Cusco Lodging and Airport Transportation: Round-trip Cusco airport transfers, Three (3) nights lodging at El Mercado Hotel in Cusco before or after your Lodge to Lodge adventure. Price starts at $310 USD per person (based on double occupancy)
- All services from pick up in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off in Cusco on Day 7.
- Transportation from hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa on Day 1 and from Ollantaytambo back to Cusco hotel on Day 7.
- 6 nights lodging (5 nights in MLP lodges and 1 night in Aguas Calientes in a 4-Star hotel).
- All meals except breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 7.
- Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English) from Day 1 to Day 7. Tours are led in English.
- Transportation of personal belongings on the trek by pack horses/mules and/or porters.
- Guided visit to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (including entrance and transportation to site).
- Transportation (Train to Aguas Calientes, and Ollantaytambo).
- At the lodges we provide filtered and sparkling water, tea and coffee, juice and soft drinks free of charge. Alcohol, sports drinks and natural bottled water are not included.
Price Does Not Include:
International flights to Peru, lodging in Cusco, massage & spa services, laundry service, optional activities (Chakana Inca Cross Excursion, Canopy Zipline, Horseback Riding), alcoholic beverages, bottled water and sports drinks, local taxes (18% IGV on meals and lodging applicable to Peruvians, foreign residents in Peru and tourists traveling in Peru for 60+ days).
In an effort to reduce plastic waste on the trail and at the lodges we encourage guests to use refillable water bottles. For this purpose we provide an ample supply of the highest-quality filtered water, available at multiple water stations at the lodges.
Equestrian Treks also available, contact us for dates and prices!
IMPORTANT: You MUST arrive in Cusco at least 1 day before your tour begins, to attend your tour orientation, but we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you arrive in Cusco 2 days before your tour begins to explore the city and acclimatize. Lodging in Cusco is not included before the tour. See extra night optional add-on above, or you can choose to book your own hotel.
Day 1 – Cusco to Salkantay Lodge – 3,869 m/12,690 ft
NOTE: On the evening before this day there will be a briefing with your guide in Cusco. After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 7:00 am at our hotel in Cusco by an MLP guide and vehicle for the drive to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we take a short break to visit the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site on the way to the town of Mollepata where we have lunch at a beautiful organic farm called El Pedregal before we head off on foot.. Here, we begin our 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—Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270 m (20,600 ft), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, we are shown to our 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 Difficulty: Moderate
- Option: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle – 11 miles
Day 2 – Hike to the Humantay Lake – 3,869 m/12,690 ft
Today we take an acclimatization 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. We 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 with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs us on gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge.
- Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours – 4 miles
- Hiking Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
- Option: Horseback Riding (contact us for more info)
Day 3 – Crossing the Salkantay Pass – 3,906m/12,812 ft
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 (15,213 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards Wayra Lodge (“Wayra” means wind; so ‘the place where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
- Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch) – 9 miles
- Hiking Difficulty: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m (15,200 ft) mountain pass
Day 4 – Descending into the Cloud Forest – 2,870m/9,414 ft
On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Then we continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. We can feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca meal, 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 located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
- Trekking Time: 3–4 hours – 6 miles
- Hiking Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Day 5 – Following the Santa Teresa River Valley – 2,135m/7,003 ft
Today we hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee Plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, we 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 our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
- Trekking Time: 5–6 hours (including lunch) – 10 miles
- Hiking Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)
Day 6 – First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass – 1,900 m/6,232 ft
After a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, we check into our lovely hotel for celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing!
- Trekking Time: 4–6 hours – 7 miles
- Hiking Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 7 – Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary
After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the rest of the morning to explore the site on our own—there is a lot to do and see! Afterwards, we return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to meet our train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional hour and a half ). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.), we are dropped off at our hotel.
- Option: Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Permits have to be purchased in advance. (contact us for more info)
- Option: Spend an additional day at Machu Picchu (contact us for more info)