Mountain Lodges of Peru Trek to Machu Picchu

Itinerary in Brief:  A Spectacular Lodge Based Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Acclimatize in Cusco, the former Incan capital
  • Trek from glaciers down to the jungle
  • Lesser known Incan ruins and roads
  • Remote, comfortable lodges
  • A first class journey from start to finish
  • Can be customized and extended
  • See below for day by day details.
  • Please call or email with questions

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1       Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district.  This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2       Cusco

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel upon arrival. Cusco is a fascinating city, with many colonial buildings constructed on top of the remains of Incan palaces. Cusco also has a variety of excellent restaurants.
Palacio del Inka (upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas available) (B)

Day 3       Cusco and Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights. Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you will enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area.

This afternoon you will meet your fellow hikers and have a brief orientation to prepare for your trek.
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 4       Arrive to Soraypampa

After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel to start your voyage into the Vilcabamba mountain range. As Cusco disappears behind you, the landscape will continue to change as you pass through small towns dotting the roadside on your way to Soraypampa.  You will make a visit to the little-known Inca ruin of Tarawasi before switching to a dirt road leading to the first lodge.  You will have the opportunity to hike the last few miles to the lodge (about 4 hours) or continue by vehicle right up to the door.
Salkantay Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5       Local Hikes for Acclimatization

You have the day free at your leisure as you acclimatize to the altitude.  One good option is a half day hike up to a small glacial lake, which serves as a good initiation into hiking at this altitude.  For the brave there is the option of taking a dip in these chilly waters.  There is also the option of relaxing in the Jacuzzi back at the lodge, with the peaks of Humantay and Salkantay in the background.
Salkantay Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6       Vilcabamba Range

After an early breakfast you will start hiking up the Rio Blanco Valley toward Mount Salkantay. In a few hours’ time the trail starts up a series of switchbacks offering great views down the valley to the lodge you left behind. You will soon find yourself passing the highest point of the trek, just over 15,000 feet, with the south face of Salkantay towering over you. You then start down to the second lodge, Wayra, passing by an ancient Inca road and rural settlements.
Wayra Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7      Cloud Forests

Today you will start trekking down the valley, following the flow of the Salkantay River. As you leave the rocky and shrub-filled highlands, the vegetation will grow increasingly dense as you drop in elevation into this beautiful cloud forest. Colpa Lodge is situated on a bluff overlooking the confluence of three rivers and has excellent views of the surrounding mountains.
Colpa Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 8      Santa Teresa River Valley / Rainforest

In the morning you will start with a short climb up the hill opposite Colpa Lodge before heading down the Santa Teresa River Valley. You will pass by coffee plantations and passion fruit trees, following the river. The trail ends at a dirt road, where you will be transferred by private vehicle to the Llactapata Inca Trail, finishing with a 30 minute hike up to Lucma Lodge.
Lucma Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 9      Llactapata Pass

From the lodge you ascend along the ridgeline toward the Llactapata Pass. After tackling the final summit of your trek, you will begin your descent to Machu Picchu. This trail offers some spectacular views of Machu Picchu from vantage points seldom seen by tourists. You pass by the Llactapata Ruins, and then cross the Aobamba River and make your way to the train station. From here you will board the train to Aguas Calientes and transfer to your hotel for the night.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 10      Machu Picchu

Today you will make a guided visit to Machu Picchu with the guide and group from your trek.  After visiting the ruins you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel.
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 11      Fly Home

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home.

Some Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary:

  • Spend some time before or after your trek in the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu. There are plenty of things to see and do in the Sacred Valley: explore Incan ruins, visit local villages and markets, go mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding, and more.

  • Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Lake Piuray.

  • Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon or Lake Titicaca, both easily accessible from Cusco.

  • Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.