Imagine embarking on a perfect Peru trek, climbing over high Andean passes and through lush valleys by day, and then settling in at night to enjoy the luxury of a mountain lodge, complete with hot tubs, comfortable beds, and delicious meals.
This lodge to lodge trek allows travelers to combine the challenge of a mountain trek with the comfort and relaxation of quality lodging amidst a gorgeous, isolated setting. Discover the best of Peru’s Andean landscapes during this rewarding seven-day trek to Machu Picchu that winds through wonderful ruins, charming mountain villages, lush orchards, and dense forests. The entire journey is breathtaking, perfectly orchestrated to end with a bang at Machu Picchu, one of the Seven New Wonders of the World and Peru’s most treasured historic site.
This unique experience is only available as a private trek and requires at least two trekkers for each departure date.
After an early breakfast, you will be met at your Cusco hotel and start the journey to the starting point of the trek.
The drive will last for about one hour and a half, and along the way, you will stop to visit the beautiful ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo. You will then continue on the route past the village of Mollepata and up to Marcoccasa, where you will meet your trek team and start hiking.
Following the Camino Real (Royal Path), you will first hike for about 6 hours through picturesque scenery. This part of the trail is moderately difficult and therefore a perfect path to ease into the trek and acclimatize to the high altitude.
You will have some time to rest and have lunch on the way (boxed lunch). Your hike will end in Soraypampa at the first mountain lodge, the Salkantay Lodge, named after the majestic Mt. Salkantay, the highest peak in the region at 20,600 feet (6,270 meters).
Spend the afternoon at your leisure exploring the surrounding area. Return to the lodge in the evening to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Enjoy this free day in Soraypampa as you wish. Depending on your level of acclimatization, you can take part in some of the many activities offered by the lodge, or just rest and soak up the spectacular landscape.
One of the most popular activities available is a 3 to 4 hour long hike up to Lake Humantay, a glacial lagoon. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a dip in this icy lake.
In the evening, you will receive a briefing from your trek guide who will give you all the necessary information about your trekking gear and itinerary.
Today you will continue trekking up the Rio Blanco valley and across the Salkantay Pass. The valley circles the impressive Huamantay Peak, and continues up to the pass at 15,213 feet (4,600 meters), the highest point of the trek.
You will have time to rest and take in the stunning view of the snow-capped peaks forming the Vilcabamba range and possibly catch a glimpse of the beautiful condors that can often be seen gliding through the skies here.
From the pass, you will start descending toward the next lodge, the Wayra Lodge.
Enjoy a delicious dinner and quiet evening at the lodge with your team.
Approximate trekking time: 6 to 8 hours
After the high altitude exploration on the previous day, you will enjoy a more relaxed and moderately challenging hike today.
After a filling breakfast at the lodge, you will set off on a 3 to 4 hour long hike downhill, above the roaring Salkantay River and through strikingly lush and green scenery. You will reach the Colpa Lodge in time for a Pachamanca-style lunch. In this type of cooking, the entire meal is prepared in an underground stone oven.
You will have the afternoon free to spend at your leisure, with the option of soaking in the lodge’s outdoor hot tub overlooking spectacular vistas of the surrounding mountains or exploring the nearby orchid trail.
Enjoy a hearty dinner at the lodge before retreating to your comfortable room to rest before the next day’s adventure.
Approximate trekking time: 3 to 4 hours
Gradient: Easy to Moderate
After an early breakfast at the lodge, you will start hiking down toward the Santa Teresa Valley. This is a more populated area and on the way you will pass coffee plantations as well as beautiful orchards filled with bananas and granadillas.
You will stop along the river to enjoy a hot lunch and relax before continuing on the trail for another hour. At the end of the trail, you will meet a vehicle that will take you on the 30-minute drive up to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail.
Your destination, the Lucma Lodge, is only a short 30-minute climb away from the beginning of the trail. Along the way you will stop and explore a local organic coffee plantation where you will tour the farm and learn about the entire process of making organic coffe.
You will have time to rest and relax before enjoying a delicious dinner and evening at the lodge.
Approximate trekking time: 5 to 6 hours
Gradient: Moderate to Challenging
Enjoy an early breakfast at the lodge before heading out for the last leg of your trek.
You will start with a 2 to 3-hour-long hike uphill to the Llactapata pass at 8,974 feet (2,736 meters) from where you will be able to catch your first glimpse of the distant Machu Picchu citadel. You will also have some time to explore the Llactapata ruins before having lunch at the observatory, enjoying views of Machu Picchu and the stunning surrounding valley as a backdrop.
After lunch, you will start your final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, passing more orchards and plantations on the way.
You will then reach the train station from where you will take the short train ride to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here you will check in at your comfortable hotel, before enjoying a celebratory dinner.
Approximate trekking time: 4 to 6 hours
Gradient: Moderate to Challenging
Rise early for your tour of Machu Picchu citadel. Start with a short bus ride up the mountain to the hidden ruins, where your guide will lead you on a tour of this world wonder.
You’ll reap the rewards of a difficult trek with a greater appreciation of the magnificence of this historical site. The smaller ruins you’ve seen along the way will pale in comparison to the beauty and majesty of Machu Picchu. You’ll visit the main zones of the Inca citadel and its most impressive sites, including the Intihuatana, the Sun Temple, and the Royal Temple.
After your tour, you can explore the ruins at your leisure before returning to Aguas Calientes to catch your returning train in the afternoon.
The train will take you as far as Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Alternatively, you can customize this package to spend an additional night in Aguas Calientes and continue exploring Machu Picchu on the following day.