THE 7 DAY SALKANTAY TREK LODGE
TO LODGE TO MACHU PICCHU
7 DAY SALKANTAY TREK LODGE TO LODGE TO MACHU PICCHU
Challenge yourself and follow the road less traveled to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Adventure goes beyond deluxe lodges and a great trek. It is also a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Andean culture as you learn about the Inca civilization and the extraordinary legacy that they left for generations to come.
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 Peru Traces Travel & Tours journey.
DAY 0: EVENING BRIEFING IN CUSCO
Meet your guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A.
Location: El Mercado Hotel
Address: Calle 7 Cuartones 306, Centro Histórico de Cusco, Cusco
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes*
*We recommend that you stay for dinner at ‘La Taberna’ in El Mercado, which offers Peruvian and other international cuisine in a cozy, elegant setting
DAY 01: CUSCO – ON THE WAY TO SORAYPAMPA
After an early breakfast, your 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).
Note: Although we highly recommend participating in the hike as part of your continued altitude acclimatization, guests may opt out and continue by transport to Salkantay Lodge.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 3 hours
-Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate
Meals: Lunch (El Pedregal), Dinner (Salkantay Lodge)
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (12,690’ / 3,869m
DAY 02: HIKE TO LAKE HUMANTAY
After breakfast, you begin an ascent up the slopes that border the plateau behind Salkantay Lodge*. An hour and a half later, your hard work will be rewarded with a first glimpse of the lake’s glistening turquoise waters and the Humantay glacier looming overhead. Upon arrival, you will have a chance to relax, enjoy a snack, meditate in the tranquility of this magical spot, and participate in a traditional ceremony to honor “Pachamama” (Mother Earth). After your descent back to the lodge, the Salkantay staff will be waiting with a hot lunch. Afternoon at leisure to relax, enjoy a massage, or soak in the outdoor hot tub for a spectacular view of the Salkantay Peak at sunset.
Note: While the morning hike to Lake Humantay is optional, we strongly recommend your participation in preparation for the strenuous hike on Day 3.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
-Hiking Level: Moderate
- Chakana excursion (subject to additional cost): Horseback/hiking combo up the steep hills adjacent the lodge. The destination—a dramatic lookout point over the Salkantay River Valley
marked by an oversized Inca Chakana (cross). This excursion will replace the hike to the glacier lake.
Duration: Approximately 5 hours (1.5 – 2 hours on horseback)
- Horseback riding (subject to additional cost): After lunch, spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Soraypampa on horseback. | Duration: Approximately 2 hours.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (all at Salkantay Lodge)
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (12,690’ / 3,869m)
DAY 03: CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS
After an early start, the ascent toward the Salkantay Pass begins. You will circle Humantay Peak, gradually making your way along expansive plateaus connected by enormous boulders, remnants of the Rio Blanco Valley that was once bisected by a fast-flowing river. The last and most challenging part of the ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that lead you to the pass, the highest point on the trek (15,213’ /4,636m). The journey continues with a dramatic descent through fields of large boulders and natural stone formations often shrouded in fog, followed by a very welcome hot picnic lunch. After lunch, you will have some time to rest before the final hike through the area’s bucolic countryside; its rolling hills will eventually
lead you through marsh-like plateaus to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours
-Hiking Level: Challenging
Meals: Breakfast (Salkantay Lodge), Lunch (en route) and Dinner (Wayra Lodge)
Overnight: Wayra Lodge (12,812’ / 3,906m
DAY 04: DESCENDING INTO THE CLOUD FOREST
After a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, you will continue the descent toward the cloud forest along the banks of the Salkantay River through increasingly verdant scenery. The warm air will begin to rise from the edge of the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Today you will see more local Andean people as the trail takes you past their simple homes and makeshift fences. At approximately midday, you will arrive at Colpa Lodge, located on a high romontory at the confluence of three rivers. The Colpa staff will greet you with a Pachamanca lunch, a traditional Peruvian meal cooked below ground with hot stones that create a natural oven. After lunch, spend the afternoon lounging in the sun or relaxing in the outdoor hot tub while you take in the panoramic views of the lush green mountains that surround you.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 3 – 4 hours
-Hiking Level: Easy to moderate
Meals: Breakfast (Wayra Lodge), Lunch (en route), Dinner (Colpa Lodge)
Overnight: Colpa Lodge (9,414’ / 2,870m)
DAY 05: FOLLOWING THE SANTA TERESA RIVER VALLEY
Today you will hike through the Santa Teresa River Valley along a rolling trail that crosses fertile fruit orchards and bisects streams originating from glacier-fed waterfalls. After a hot picnic lunch by the river and some time to relax, the group will continue for one more hour before you are met by a transport vehicle for the short drive to the bottom of the Llactapata Inca Trail steps that lead to Lucma Lodge. On the way to the lodge you will visit an organic coffee plantation, one of many in the area that produce some of the best organic coffees in the world. You will also begin to notice another shift in the climate; in Lucmabamba, the hot air and increased humidity signal that you are even closer to the edge of the Amazon Jungle.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 5.5 hours
-Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Meals: Breakfast (Colpa Lodge), Lunch (en route), Dinner (Lucma Lodge)
Overnight: Lucma Lodge (7,003’ / 2,135m)
DAY 06: LUCMABAMBA-FIRST VIEWS OF MACHU PICCHU
After breakfast, depart from Lucma Lodge and embark on a 2-3 hour climb through the cloud forest up a path mostly comprised of original Inca steps. A lush tree line creates green canopies overhead and the constant sound of rushing water suggests that the river is nearby. Your first milestone today will be the top of the peak, the last one before you descend to the Aobamba River Valley that connects you to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at the Llactapata Pass (8,974’ / 2,736m), you will delight in a southeast view of Machu Picchu, a sight few travelers get the chance to admire. After exploring Llactapata, the Inca tambo (fort) that marks the pass, enjoy a picnic lunch at a mountain lookout point with panoramic views. The final descent along a trail that zigzags down to the roaring Aobamba River will take you through lush bamboo forests, varied fruit orchards, and more coffee plantations. Celebrate as you cross the bridge over the river and take your final steps of the trek en route to the Hidroelectrica train station for a scenic one-hour train ride to the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo, on the banks of the Urubamba River at the base of Machu Picchu.
-Trekking Time: Approximately 4–6 hours
-Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Meals: Breakfast (Lucma Lodge), Lunch (en route), Dinner (at hotel)
Overnight: Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel (6,693’/2,040m
DAY 07: THE CITADEL OF MACHU PICCHU -OLLANTA – CUSCO
Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with a morning rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the ‘sanctuary’ (as locals refer to it), prepare to be awed by the imposing, skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among others. After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own, including a hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms over the citadel, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River Valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. At some point, be sure to take a moment and sit quietly–listen to the wind, meditate, and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. After the visit you will have lunch in Machu Picchu Pueblo before a
scenic Vistadome train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and vehicle transfer to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours). As night falls and you arrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation that will linger long after your journey home.
*Entrance time – Huayna Picchu: 10am
Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu are subject to availability. Please consult with your Peru Traces Travel Specialist when you confirm your reservation. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, Mount Machu Picchu (the second peak within the sanctuary) permits will be secured instead.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (at hotel) END OF ITINERARY
5 DAYS-4 NIGHTS AT WASAI LODGES
FROM 3, 4, 5 0R MORE NIGHTS