Experience Peru's most famous sites on this memorable 10-day adventure. Your trip begins and ends in Cusco, a timeless town dominated by the fine stonework of ancient craftsmen and the evocative remnants of the Inca Empire. 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.
Explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Revel in panoramic Andean views, including Mount Salkantay's dazzling snowfields and ice cliffs
Discover the mist-shrouded wonder of magical Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas
Meet your trip leader at the airport in Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a guided walk through the enchanting former capital of the Inca Empire, taking in its ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets. Choose from one of the many fine restaurants in town and stroll around the central square, where artisans display many fine Quechuan handicrafts.
Depart early for Soraypampa. Along the way, visit the ancient Inca ruins of Tarawasi, a well-preserved archeological site built from impeccably polished granite. Pass through the mountain village of Mollepata for a short break before winding your way up to Marcoccasa. 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 (subject to availability), 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," with a full-day visit. The landscape here is stunning, with orchids on the grounds and a massive cliff face known as Huayna Picchu towering overhead. Take your time exploring the vast city that was once at the heart of one of the world's most powerful empires, and learn the significance of the many temples, sanctuaries, and parks on a tour of the city's three sections: the Sacred District, the Popular District, and the District of Priests and Nobility.
Explore more of Aguas Calientes, take an orchid tour, go back to Machu Picchu (this needs to be booked ahead), or simply relax at the hotel. After lunch, take the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you can take a stroll or do some last-minute shopping.
Explore Cusco in the morning, then bid "adios" to your traveling companions before your afternoon flight to Lima, where you can connect with your homeward-bound flight. If you're traveling on one of our late June departures, we recommend that you extend your stay to enjoy the pageantry of the spectacular Inti Raymi festival, a colorful celebration of the winter solstice. Call us for details.
Free Extra Hotel Night
MTS has been bringing travelers to Peru for over 40 years, and our expertise and local knowledge is second to none.
Our popular Inn-to-Inn itinerary was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's "Tours of a Lifetime."
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 3 to 8 hours a day, following the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.
Nightly stays in comfortable, well-appointed lodges, adobe casitas, and luxurious hotels - no camping required.
April through October expect to see mostly sunny days followed by cooler nights and the possibility of morning frost.
Best time is during the dry season April to October. November & March are also a good option with only occasional showers.
All trails are well maintained but may sometimes include steep, rocky or even muddy terrain. You can expect to cross sections of the Inca Trail in addition to beautiful valleys, mountain passes and cloud forest.
They are cozy 6-room mountain lodges, each designed with traditional Incan building techniques, comfortable goose down-bedding, and outdoor Jacuzzi.
You will only have to carry a day pack for each day's hike. Your duffel will meet you upon arrival at each lodge.
Purified water will be provided during your trek.
We suggest an additional day of acclimatization in Cusco before your trek is recommended.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
Free Extra Hotel Night
"This trip is the perfect way to explore the culture, history, and ecology of the Andes while challenging yourself physically. Expert guides, luxury accommodations, the beauty of Peru, and the majesty of Machu Picchu-what more could you want from an adventure vacation?"
MT Sobek Guest, Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Trek
"MT Sobek provided a well-planned Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Trek which was executed flawlessly by knowledgeable, personable and fun guides. I did not have to worry about anything other than enjoying every step of the way."
MT Sobek Guest, Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Trek