Similar to our popular Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Trek, this streamlined, seven-day adventure gives you extra flexibility in terms of dates and pre- and post-trip activities. Journey along a lightly traveled trail through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the magnificent Andean mountain range. After days of hiking amid sparkling glaciers, azure lakes, dreamy cloud forests, and ancient Inca ruins, the path finally opens to Peru's star attraction: Machu Picchu, whose mystical ruins and misty peaks have lured humankind for centuries. Join us for this Andean journey that you'll never forget.
Discover the mist-shrouded wonder of magical Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas
Journey through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, whose glittering icy peaks feed the Amazon
Take in breathtaking views of Mount Salkantay, the most sacred peak in Inca mythology
Awake in Cusco and depart at 7am for Soraypampa. Pass through the mountain village of Mollepata for a short break before winding your way up to Marcoccasa, after a brief stop at Hacienda Pedregal, the transfer will take you through a winding mountain road to a site called Challacancha. From there, continue on to the lodge with our driver or acclimate yourself with a mild, four-hour trek on the "Camino Real" (Royal Path). Upon arrival at the lodge, spend the afternoon at your leisure as you adjust to the altitude. After an evening briefing, enjoy aperitifs and a hearty dinner.
Spend the morning at your leisure or join the group for a morning hike. Hikers will enjoy a panoramic view of the high Vilcabamba Range, and the more adventurous can take a dip in the cool glacial waters of Lake Salkantay. (Not only is this an excellent way to acclimate, it's a first immersion into high-mountain trekking.) After lunch back at the lodge, relax on your own or take a relaxing soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Meet up in the evening for a briefing and enjoy a gourmet dinner.
Today your trek to Machu Picchu begins in earnest. Start early on a hike up the Río Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. After reaching an altitude of about 15,200', pause a moment in the thin air and take in the views of the surrounding Vilcabamba Range. From there, descend to Wayra Lodge, where you can wash away the trail dirt and relax in the Jacuzzi.
After a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, head through an increasingly verdant landscape down to the Collpapampa Valley. Enjoy a Pachamanca-style lunch where meats and vegetables are cooked underground with hot stones. Spend the evening resting up or relaxing in the outdoor hot tub at Collpa Lodge, located on an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers with orchids and butterflies all around.
After an early breakfast, continue downhill through the slightly more populated rural areas of the Santa Teresa River Valley. The lush trail winds past tropical fruit orchards, coffee plantations, and dazzling wildflowers of all sorts. Rest alongside the river for lunch, then take a short climb to Lucma Lodge, hidden away in a wooded tropical enclave. If there's time, you can explore the small village of Lucmabama in the afternoon and spend time with the locals.
Begin the final day of your trek by climbing towards Llactapata Pass, where you'll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu off in the distance - a view that few tourists ever get to see. Continue on to the recently restored Llactapata Ruins before enjoying lunch at an observatory with more views of Machu Picchu. Begin your final descent to the Urubamba River through lush bamboo forests and diverse mountain terrain. Then, board the train for the scenic, 30-minute ride to the village of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Discover the secrets of Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." Arrive early to explore the ruins before the train arrives with day visitors. Learn the significance of the many temples, sanctuaries, and parks on a two-hour tour. You'll then have four additional hours to explore the vast city that was once at the heart of one of the world's most powerful empires. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch, then take the three-hour train ride to Cusco, where you will say goodbye to your group.
MTS has been bringing travelers to Peru for over 40 years, and our expertise and local knowledge is second to none.
Our Inn-to-Inn itinerary was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's "Tours of a Lifetime" - join this MLP departure offering an alternative with flexible dates.
Enjoy the challenge of a high-altitude trek with the full support of our staff and the comfort of well-appointed lodges.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderate to strenuous high-altitude hiking from three to eight hours a day, following the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.
Nightly stays in comfortable, well-appointed lodges - no camping required.
April through October is mostly sunny days followed by cooler nights and the possibility of morning frost.
Yes, you will have WiFi in the lobby of each lodge.
Expect to hike upon paths that may sometimes include steep, rocky or even muddy terrain, and at elevations that might be higher than you are used to.
Trekking poles are recommended - the lodge has wooden poles, but it would be best if you brought your own.
We recommend soft-sided duffels. If you bring a suitcase or duffel with wheels, let us know in advance to request a soft duffle from the lodges.
You will only have to carry items for your day's hike. Your duffel will meet you upon arrival at each lodge.
We suggest a minimum of one day. Additional acclimatization nights in Cusco before your trek are recommended.
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
"This is a luxurious way to hike among the Andes and enjoy the historic ruins of Machu Picchu. Every little thing was taken care of by our guides and personal chef."
MT Sobek Guest, Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Express Trek
"An extraordinary trip, in beautiful, remote areas, with wonderful accommodations and top quality international level cuisine, but with distinctively Peruvian flavor. I will remember this trip all my life."
MT Sobek Guest, Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Express Trek