Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek | Trip Itinerary
Note: This group tour operated on specific departure dates. Hotels in Cusco can be upgraded, and additional days added for a more leisurely exploration of Machu Picchu, Cusco or any other destination of your choice. Departure dates are listed on the Pricing/Trip Notes Page.
Follow this link for a Map of your Trekking Route/ Days 4-10
Follow this link for a profile of the trekking route containing information on altitude, distance and travel times for each day
Day 1: Travel to Lima. You will need to clear customs and immigration before exiting the airport. Our local representative will meet you outside, and assist you (walking distance) to nearby Costa Sol Airport Hotel.
Day 2: You will be met and assisted (walking distance) to the airport for your morning flights to Cusco. (The cost of flights not included in trip cost, but will be arranged for you by Latin American Escapes). Recommended flights depart 9:30 AM, arriving Cusco 11:00 AM.
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the El Mercado Hotel or similar. You have some free time to rest and acclimatize to the 11,600' elevation. Later this afternoon meet your guide for a private walking tour of Cusco, including visits to Cusco’s Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, and Koricancha—“The Temple of the Sun”. This is a great introduction to Cusco and its easy walking routes, as well as great historical & cultural background of Peru and the Incan Empire. (B)
Day 3: Today you’ll have a little more hiking as you explore the nearby Inca archaeological sites of the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko Puka Pukara and Tambomachay. We’ll hike from Cusco to the first stop, then do some hiking between sites, with van support for the longer distances. We’ve designed this day to give you gentle acclimatizing while enjoying some of the important Inca sites of the area. Return to Cusco for lunch on your own, with the remainder of the day free to enjoy Cusco. Depending on your interests, there are many fine museums, neighborhoods, markets, restaurants and local activities to enjoy. You’ll also have a scheduled orientation with your guide for the trekking portion of your trip, which begins the following day. (B)
Day 4: CUSCO to SALKANTAY LODGE & ADVENTURE RESORT at SORAYPAMPA (3,800 m/12,500 ft).After an early breakfast, your Mountain Lodges Of Peru (MLP) guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco. The first stop is a visit to the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site en route to the mountain village of Mollepata. Enjoy lunch at El Pedregal, a beautiful farmhouse in the village, where you will also have the opportunity to learn about local agriculture and livestock. After lunch comes a scenic ride on the winding mountain road to Challacancha. Here you will begin your hike to our flagship Salkantay Lodge at Soraypampa along a picturesque path called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). *
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, you will settle in your room and recharge energy before meeting your guide in the lounge for refreshments and a briefing of the next day’s activities.
Trekking Time: Approximately 3 hours (including picnic lunch en route)
Hiking Level: Moderate
Optional: Guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge at 3,869 m/12,690 ft.
(B, L, D)
DAY 5: SORAYPAMPA|HIKE TO HUMANTAY LAKE
This day presents another opportunity to gauge your altitude-acclimatization with a half-day hike to Lake Humantay. After breakfast, you begin an ascent up the slopes that border the platau behind the Salkantay Lodge. An hour and a half later, after making you 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 you will have a chance to relax, enjoy a snack, or meditate in the tranquility of this magical spot. After your 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 our Jacuzzi, indulge in a relaxing massage or even take a long nap.
Note: While the morning hike to Lake Humantay is optional, we strongly recommend your participation in preparation for the strenuous hike on day six.
Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours.
Hiking Level: Moderate to challenging.
Optional Activity Available: Horseback riding.
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge at 3,869 m/12,690 ft
(B, L, D)
DAY 6: SORAYPAMPA to WAYRA LODGE at HUAYRACCMACHAY | CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS (3,850m/12,600 ft).
Today is the longest and most strenuous day, but arguably the most magical day of the trek. After an early start, you hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. As you gradually make your way up these mountain trails, you will 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). What follows is a dramatic descent through fields of giant boulders, often shrouded in fog. After a very welcome hot picnic lunch, you will 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 the “other” side of Mt. Humantay, a reminder of how far you have journeyed that day.
Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch).
Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,638m (15,213 ft) mountain pass.
Overnight: Wayra Lodge at 3,906 m/12,812 ft.
(B, L, D)
DAY 7: WUAYRACCMACHAY to COLPA LODGE at COLLPAPAMPA (2,800m/9,200 ft).
After a leisurely breakfast at the Wayra Lodge, you continue the 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. Today you will see more of the local people as the trail takes you past their simple homes and makeshift fences. At lunchtime you will arrive at Colpa Lodge by an amazing zip-line, located on a high promontory at the confluence of three rivers. You are greeted by the staff 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.
Optional Activity Available: Afternoon bike from Manchayhuaycco to Collpapampa. You will descend through a beautiful valley in which you will admire the diverse cloud forest vegetation through the slopes of the valley. Duration: 3hrs approximately / Level: Easy. This activity has an additional cost. Overnight: Colpa Lodge at 2,870 m/9,414 ft.
(B, L, D)
DAY 8: COLLPAPAMPA to LUCMA LODGE at LUCMABAMBA (2,100m/6,900 ft).
Today you will hike in the Santa Teresa River valley where you will hop over small streams fed by waterfalls descending from the glaciers and cross through fruit orchards. After breaking for a hot picnic lunch by the river, you will walk for one hour before we meet an MLP vehicle for a short drive to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail” that leads us to Lucma Lodge. On the way you will visit an organic coffee plantation, one of many in that area that produces some of the best organic coffee in the world. You will also begin to notice another shift in the climate. 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 to challenging (because of distance, not terrain).
Optional Activities: Zip Line: Located in Santa Teresa. This is a full day activity which replaces the trek. It has an additional cost. / Biking: Option a) Yanama pass – Hornopampa – Lluskamayo. You will head downhill almost 8,000 ft. through a dirt road admiring breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Duration: 5 hrs. Level: Easy to moderate. Option b) Descent from Hornopampa to Lluskamayo. Duration: 3.5 hrs. Level: Easy
Overnight: Lucma Lodge at 2,135 m/7,003 ft.
(B, L, D)
DAY 9: LUCMABAMBA-EXPLORING LLACTAPATA PASS to AGUAS CALIENTES (1,900 m/6,200 ft).
During a 2-3 hour climb up a path mostly comprised of original Inca steps, you will get a sense of what hiking through the rainforest would be like. A lush treeline creates green canopies overhead and the constant sound of rushing water suggests that the river is still nearby. Your first milestone today will be 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 you will also 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: Hotel in Aguas Calientes at 1,900 m/6,232 ft.
(B, L, D)
DAY 10: MACHU PICCHU| THE SANCTUARY (2,450m/8,000 ft) to Cusco
At dawn, you begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short and rollicking 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. Prepare to be awed by 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. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before your train/transfer back to Cusco. As night falls and you arrive at your hotel amidst and hustle and bustle of Cusco, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation which will linger even as you journey back home. Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7-8pm) you are dropped off at the El Mercado Hotel for an overnight stay. (B, L)
Note: Huayna Picchu Mountain tickets are subject to availability. Preference for this activity should be noted with your initial trip deposit.
Day 11: Free time this morning in Cusco before your mid-afternoon flight to Lima, connecting to your international departures. Or, continue with further explorations. (B)
B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; BL= Box Lunch; D=Dinner
# of departures
March: 17; April: 16
May: 23; June: 15
July: 16; August: 18
Notes for exact dates
2 people/1 room
From $4000 p/p
4 people/2 rooms
From $3900 p/p