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Salkantay to Machu Picchu – Lodge to Lodge

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7 Days

Tour Type

Customized Package

Group Size

16 people




The pristine natural beauty that envelops you throughout the 7 days of the trip, takes you through 15 unique ecosystems, and will inspire you to challenge yourself, as you navigate changing altitudes (even a 4,572 m/15,000 ft mountain traverse!) and varied terrain.

Along the route you encounter picturesque hamlets populated by Andean families, who maintain centuries-old traditions, while you simultaneously witness environmental and social initiatives created to maintain the integrity of their culture and improve the quality of life.

Our warm staff and enchanting lodges welcome you at the end of each day. Our innovative Andean cuisine and mountain-luxury amenities help to restore both body and mind as you continue your adventure, following in the footsteps of the Incas.

This is your journey, a chance to create your own amazing story. Welcome to The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu!

We offer guaranteed departures from Cusco several times per week from March 1st through December 31st along with lodging and other services for before and after your journey.


Day 0: City of Cusco Pre Trek Briefing (for more information please read our FAQ’s – Notes)
Day 1: Cusco to Salkantay Lodge
Day 2: Hike to Lake Humantay
Day 3: Crossing The Salkantay Pass
Day 4: Descending into the cloud forest
Day 5: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley
Day 6: First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass.
Day 7: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary before returning to Cusco in the afternoon

* Maybe you prefer to do this trek by horse; ask us about the complete Horse ride experience to Machu Picchu


Tailor-made suggestions for this itinerary

* Stopover in the cultural Cusco and stay at some of the beautiful boutique hotels we have to offer.  Ask us about our 3 night Pre and Post Cusco Package which includes a comprehensive Cusco City Tour and more.

* Extend your stay in Peru and explore some of its other highlights including Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca

* Add in a 3 or 4 day trip to an Amazon lodge or upgrade to an Amazon Luxury Cruise

Note: Lodges are closed January and February. Open from March to December. There are up to three departures weekly. Please enquire for exact dates
Low Season: March 1 – 31 & November 1 – December 14
High Season: April 1 – October 31 & December 15 – 31

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Day 1: Cusco - Salkantay Lodge
Day 1:  Cusco - Salkantay Lodge

After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 7:00 am at your Cusco hotel by our guide and vehicle. En route we take a short break to visit the Archeological site of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco).
After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). 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 freshen-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 Level: Moderate
Option: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle

Overnight at Salkantay Lodge at 3,869 m/12,690 ft.

Meals included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Hike to Lake Humantay
Day 2: Hike to Lake Humantay

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 with your afternoon at leisure, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. 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
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Option: Horseback Riding

Overnight at Salkantay Lodge at 3,869 m/12,690 ft.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Crossing the Salkantay Pass
Day 3: Crossing the Salkantay Pass

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”: wind; from the name of the location “Wayracmachay”: ‘the cave 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)
Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,638m (15,213 ft) mountain pass
Option: Horseback Riding

Overnight at Wayra Lodge at 3,906 m/12,812 ft

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Descending into the Cloud Forest
Day 4: Descending into the Cloud Forest

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, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones. Everything is then covered with hot stones, plantain leaves, high Andean grass and local herbs and the contents are baked in this underground oven. 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
Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate

Overnight at Colpa Lodge at 2,870 m/9,414 ft.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley
Day 5: Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

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” (aprox. 30 minutes). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail we easily make our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. On the way we visit an organic coffee plantation where we join the owner on a short tour of the farm and learn how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Trekking Time: 5–6 hours (including lunch)
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)

Overnight at Lucma Lodge at 2,135 m/7,003 ft.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: First views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass
Day 6: First views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass

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 Archeological site of Llactapata, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served at a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. After which we begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations.
We then board a train for a scenic ride (approx. 1 hour) to Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we check into an award-wining hotel for a celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing!

Trekking Time: 4–6 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 1,900 m/6,232 ft.

Hotel Category:
Luxury: Pueblo by Inkaterra

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Visit to Machu Picchu
Day 7: Visit to Machu Picchu

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 an introductory 2 hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu.
Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch our train back.
The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1½ hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional 1½ hour). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.), we are dropped off at your hotel.
Return to Cusco at 3,360 m/11,021 ft.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


  • 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 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.
  • International and internal airfares
  • Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable
  • Optional activities
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Any items not mentioned as included

Salkantay Lodges

Salkantay Lodge:

Located at 12,795 feet, Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the sacred most sacred peak in Inca mythology, which stands tall at a spectacular 20,500 feet. The Lodge features 12 rooms, 1 hot tub, reading room, Trout fishing, horseback riding and fantastic views of an enormous glacier-cloaked mountain, this luxurious weigh station is on a lesser known route to Machu Picchu Located between Humantay Peak and Salkantay Peak, it sits in Peru’s Soraypampa Valley, on an unspoiled landscape of towering peaks and alpine grasslands.

Wayra Lodge:

Located at Huayraqmachay, Wayra Lodge is “the place where the wind lives”. In this a windswept valley, 3,900 metres below Humantay Mountain. Wayra Lodge offers 6 private double rooms; and is fully equipped and serviced, with a cosy reading room, fireplace, outdoor Jacuzzi and central heating.

Colpa Lodge:

Perched on a 1,000 foot bluff above the river, the Colpa Lodge rests in a cloud forest at 10, 3000 feet overlooking the Colpampa Valley, near hot springs and confluence of three rivers; where you can hear the union of the three rivers. As with all the lodges we use on the Salcantay Trail, the 6 private double rooms each with private bathroom are kept at a comfortable temperature. The lodge is fully equipped and serviced and provides a cosy ready room, fireplace, central heating and a wonderful outdoor Jacuzzi with spectacular vista.

Lucma Lodge:

Lucma Lodge is built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard. Near the village of Lucmabamba, it is in a tropical rainforest of an archaeological reserve, at the head of the Inca Trail. Lucma lodge is also fully equipped and serviced. There are 6 private double rooms, each with a private bathroom complete with hot and cold water. There is also a cosy reading room, fireplace, central heating and a relaxing outdoor Jacuzzi to bubble away any aches from your day out trekking.

Inkaterra Pueblo:

Decorated with Andean tapestries, this hotel is supremely serene and cozy, yet full of breathtaking wonder. Inkaterra Pueblo Machu Picchu is located in Aguas Coliente and is just a short distance from the bustling pedestrian-only town of Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). This is a sanctuary in every sense. The vibrant culture of the Andes is ever-present here, in the architecture, the tasteful carvings and textiles, the delicious cuisine, and the mystical vestiges of the Inca. There is a restaurant that that offers Andean cuisine overlooking the Vilcanota River and all rooms offer private bathroom with free wifi.

Tour's Location


How prices are based?
Prices are "from" per person based on twin beds or double share bedroom departing during Low Season: March 1 – 31 & from November 1 - December 14
During High Season trekking dates: April 1 - October 31 & December 15 – 31 an extra surcharge of USD$1,000 per person applies.
Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability.
Rates for solo traveler, triple share or more travellers are available on request - please inquire.
Single Occupancy
Requested Single Room: 25% 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
In case ultimately no roommate is found then the guest would only be subject to a 25%
Notes - Day 0 - Pre Trek briefing
Day 0: City of Cusco - Pre Trek briefing

Tonight you will meet your guides and other travelers for an important but informal meeting held at El Mercado Hotel in Cuso at approx 6pm.
The meeting will run for approximately 45 minutes.
Accommodation and meals not included on this day.
Departure dates?
Lodges are closed January and February.

March to December. There are up to three departures weekly. Please enquire for exact dates

Low Season: March 1 – 31 & November 1 - December 14
High Season: April 1 - October 31 & December 15 – 31
Altitude & Acclimatisation
We recommend that our guests spend at least two nights in Cusco prior to departure. This helps with acclimating to the altitude and also provides an opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Cusco. Everyone’s tolerance to altitude differs and we encourage our guests to make exercise and a healthy diet a part of their training program before their trip.
How do I physically prepare for this trip?
On The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, guests hike 4-8 hours per day on six (6) consecutive days along rugged mountain trails and at various elevations (up to 15,000’/4,500m). Pre-trip preparation should include challenging cardiovascular exercise including regular hikes on varied terrain, and a healthy, balanced diet. Well-worn hiking boots and additional acclimatization nights in Cusco or the Sacred Valley before the trek are both highly recommended. Having said this, please be assured that all guests are encouraged to hike at their own pace and take breaks whenever needed to ensure a successful and enjoyable trek for all.
What variations in terrain should I expect?
Second only to the Himalayas, the Andes rise to over 19,000’/5,800m. The rugged Andean landscape is comprised of dramatic mountain ranges separated by deep vertical canyons and green valleys. The eastern slopes of the Andes are veiled in cloud forests which receive plentiful rainfall as they drop into the Amazon Basin.

All of the trails are well-maintained and safe. Adventurers can expect to cross sections of original Inca Trails in addition to newer paths that may sometimes include steep, rocky, or even muddy terrain. Be prepared for varied ecosystems almost every day!
Are stuff gratuities included?
Gratuities are included in the trip cost for all lodge and logistical personnel except for guides/assistant guides. We generally suggest a gratuity of $5-10/per day, per guide, but we leave this to your discretion.
How much luggage can I take?
Once you have booked your Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu adventure, you will receive a packing list that outlines the items that you will need for the trip. We recommend packing your belongings in a mid-sized soft duffle bag for the duration of the program. You will only need a day-pack during the hikes and your duffel will meet you upon arrival at each lodge. Please be aware that the train to Machu Picchu imposes a baggage weight limit of 8kg/18lbs per person. We offers duffel bags on loan; please request one at the pre-trip briefing in Cusco if you think that your luggage will exceed this weight. Extra luggage can be stored safely at your hotel in Cusco.
Would I have access to phone and email communications during this trip?
Our lodges are located in remote high-mountain locations where a mobile signal can sometimes be difficult to obtain. However, all of our lodges have been set up with Wi-Fi and telephone connections to ensure that our guests can communicate with friends and family. Having said that, we highly recommend disconnecting from your daily routine for an even better opportunity to recharge during your time with us in the Peruvian highlands.
What kind of emergency procedures do you have in place?
We follows a detailed protocol in case of medical emergency. Every guide has completed a Wilderness First Aid certification and carries a comprehensive first aid kit, portable oxygen, portable hyperbaric chamber, and communication radio on the trail at all times. A staff physician in Cusco is always available by telephone. Additional basic medical equipment is stored at each lodge. Your pre-trip information packet will include an emergency contact number in the event that family or friends at home need to reach you.
Do I need travel insurance?
All participants are required to provide valid proof of travel insurance, including specific coverage for adventure travel activities in Peru.
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