Peru Cusco & Machu Picchu Trek

A Full Service Lodge to Lodge Adventure in the Andes

 

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 lodge-to-lodge along the lightly traveled Salkantay Trail through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the magnificent Andean mountain range. After days of hiking amid sparkling glaciers, azure lakes, dreamy cloud forests, and snow-capped peaks, enjoy ample time to explore 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

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Cusco, Peru

Depart:

Cusco, Peru

Price: from $5,595

Duration:

10 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

4-12 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 4

Moderate to strenuous high-altitude hiking 3 to 8 hours a day on 6 consecutive days over rugged mountain trails with a high altitude pass above 15,000\'
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Cusco

    Day 1

    Meet your MT Sobek representative at the airport in Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an early afternoon 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. Also stroll around the central square, where artisans display many fine Quechuan handicrafts. This evening, gather for a a pre-trek orientation, followed by a welcome dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in town.

    Accommodation: Palacio del Inka

    Housed in a 500-year old mansion, the exquisite Palacio del Inka is located in the historic center of Cusco, just a five-minute walk from the main square. The rooms are beautifully appointed, decorated with Peruvian art, handcrafted furnishings and modern conveniences and comforts, such as LED TV, high-speed Internet access, and comfortable beds.

    Meals: Dinner

  • Journey to Salkantay Lodge

    Day 2

    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 a winding mountain road to Challacancha. Here you will begin your hike along a picturesque path called the "Camino Real" (Royal Path), to the Salkantay Lodge at Soraypampa.

    Note: Although we highly recommend participating in the hike as part of your continued altitude acclimatization, those who prefer to continue in the van to the lodge are welcome to do so.

    Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge-Peru

    Nestled in the Andean valley of Soraypampa, Salkantay Lodge is designed as a harmonious blend of nature and comfort. The lodge has 12 guest rooms with private facilities, an expansive living area and bar, and a separate dining room. Enjoy mountain views from the large outside Jacuzzi and star gaze around the fire pit at night.

    Activity: 3 hours/5 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Humantay Lake

    Day 3

    After breakfast, begin an invigorating morning hike, following a trail that ascends steeply to Humantay Lake, at 13,780 ft above sea level. As you ascend, marvel at ever-closer views of the high Vilcabamba Range, capped by the Salkantay and Humantay peaks. 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, and enjoy the tranquility of this magical spot, and participate in a traditional ceremony to honor "la Pachamama" (Mother Earth). After your descent back to the lodge, a hot lunch awaits you. The afternoon is at leisure to relax, enjoy a massage, or take a soothing soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Enjoy spectacular views of the Salkantay Peak at sunset. Meet up in the evening for a briefing and savor a gourmet dinner.

    Note: While the morning hike to Lake Humantay is optional, we strongly recommend your participation in preparation for the strenuous hike on Day 4.

    Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge-Peru

    Nestled in the Andean valley of Soraypampa, Salkantay Lodge is designed as a harmonious blend of nature and comfort. The lodge has 12 guest rooms with private facilities, an expansive living area and bar, and a separate dining room. Enjoy mountain views from the large outside Jacuzzi and star gaze around the fire pit at night.

    Activity: 4 hours/3.5 miles hiking with 1,100' elevation gain and loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek over Salkantay Pass to Wayra Lodge

    Day 4

    Today your trek to Machu Picchu begins in earnest. Start early on an ascent toward the Salkantay Pass. 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'). Pause a moment in the thin air and take in the views of the surrounding Vilcabamba Range.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, where you can wash away the trail dirt and relax in the Jacuzzi.

    Accommodation: Wayra Lodge-Peru

    This charming lodge with six lovely guestrooms is managed with care by a local family, giving it the feeling of a private mountain home. Feast on Peruvian fare cooked in the kitchen's impressive wood oven and enjoy candlelit dinners at night. Take a welcome dip in the courtyard Jacuzzi, and admire views of the mountains and cloud forest.

    Activity: 5-7 hours/8 miles hiking with 2,500' elevation gain & 2,400' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike in Dramatic Cloud Forest Scenery to Colpa Lodge

    Day 5

    After a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, continue the descent toward the cloud forest along the banks of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery down to the Collpapampa Valley. 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 homes. At approximately midday, arrive at Colpa Lodge, located on a high promontory at the confluence of three rivers. Enjoy a Pachamanca-style lunch, a traditional Peruvian meal cooked below ground with hot stones that create a natural oven. 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.

    Accommodation: Colpa Lodge-Peru

    Perched on a bluff across from a local village, this adobe lodge has lovely views of green hills and rolling fields. Relax in one of the six guestrooms or the large public areas that open onto the grass. While you're there, take a tour of the orchid garden and unwind in the relaxing outdoor Jacuzzi.

    Activity: 3-4 hours/6 miles hiking with 3,400' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Follow the Santa Teresa River Valley to Lucma Lodge

    Day 6

    After an early breakfast, continue downhill, hiking through the Santa Teresa River Valley along a rolling trail that winds past tropical fruit orchards and bisects several streams originating from glacier-fed waterfalls. Rest alongside the river for a hot picnic lunch, then continue hiking for one more hour before you are met by the transport vehicle for the short drive to the bottom of the Llactapata Inca Trail steps. Take a short climb up the steps to Lucma Lodge, hidden away in a wooded tropical enclave. Stop on the way for a visit to 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.

    Accommodation: Lucma Lodge-Peru

    Located at the head of the Inca trail, this elegant lodge sits amid avocado and coffee orchards and has six comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. Soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi or relax in the large circular living room. The walls of windows in the sitting area and dining room showcase the grandeur of the rainforest.

    Activity: 6-8 hours/14 miles hiking with 2,400' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Final Trek to Aguas Calientes with First Views of Machu Picchu

    Day 7

    Begin the final day of your trek by climbing 2-3 hours 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 Llactapata Pass (8,974'), you'll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu off in the distance - a southeast view of the site that few travelers ever get to see. Continue on to Llactapata ruins, a recently rediscovered Inca fort that vegetation is starting to reclaim, before enjoying a picnic lunch at a mountain lookout point with panoramic views. Begin your final steep descent along a trail that zigzags down to the roaring Aobamba River, 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 Aguas Calientes, on the banks of the Urubamba River at the base of Machu Picchu.

    Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

    A village in its own right, Inkaterra Machu Picchu comprises 83 whitewashed casitas set among 12 acres of cloud forest complete with terraced hills, waterfalls, and lush gardens. The individual casitas feature inviting beds and rustically elegant decor. Diners in the first-class restaurant can indulge in Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist, while admiring views over the Vilcanota River.

    Activity: 4-6 hours/6 miles hiking with 1,900' elevation gain & 3,100' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1-hour train ride

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Machu Picchu

    Day 8

    Discover the secrets of Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas," with a full-day visit. Your journey to the site begins with a rollicking uphill bus ride on a switchback road. Take your time exploring the vast city that was once at the heart of one of the world's most powerful empires. The landscape here is stunning, with orchids on the grounds and a massive cliff face known as Huayna Picchu towering overhead. Take a challenging climb up either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu's Old Mountain (optional and based on availability for the date) and be rewarded by breathtaking views of the citadel and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and learn the significance of the many temples, sanctuaries, and parks on a tour of the Machu Picchu citadel's three sections: the Sacred District, the Popular District, and the District of Priests and Nobility. Return to the hotel in Aguas Calientes in the late afternoon, and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

    Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

    A village in its own right, Inkaterra Machu Picchu comprises 83 whitewashed casitas set among 12 acres of cloud forest complete with terraced hills, waterfalls, and lush gardens. The individual casitas feature inviting beds and rustically elegant decor. Diners in the first-class restaurant can indulge in Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist, while admiring views over the Vilcanota River.

    Activity: 3 hours guided walking tour of Machu Picchu, plus 2-3 hours/2 miles optional hiking with 1,000'-2,000' elevation gain and loss

    Transportation: 30-minute shared shuttle each way to Machu Picchu

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return to Cusco

    Day 9

    Explore more of Aguas Calientes, take an orchid tour, go back to Machu Picchu (additional fee, booked in advance), 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. Gather for a farewell dinner in Cusco this evening.

    Accommodation: Palacio del Inka

    Housed in a 500-year old mansion, the exquisite Palacio del Inka is located in the historic center of Cusco, just a five-minute walk from the main square. The rooms are beautifully appointed, decorated with Peruvian art, handcrafted furnishings and modern conveniences and comforts, such as LED TV, high-speed Internet access, and comfortable beds.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour train ride & 1.5-hour vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Cusco

    Day 10

    After breakfast at the hotel and a leisurely morning, depart on homeward-bound flights. 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.

    Meals: Breakfast

Peru Cusco and Machu Picchu Trek

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been bringing travelers to Peru for over 40 years, and our expertise and local knowledge is second to none.

Reason #02

Our popular Inn-to-Inn itinerary was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's "Tours of a Lifetime."

Reason #03

Enjoy the challenge of a high-altitude trek with the full support of our staff and the comfort of well-appointed lodges.

Meet your guides

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian is a British-Peruvian guide and an outdoor enthusiast with many interests, including photography, archaeology, and trekking in the Andes. His spirit, enthusiasm, and knowledge make Ian an ideal guide for exploring the enchanting and ancient wonders of Peru. He will enrich your experience in one of the world's most interesting countries! Ian also speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Manolo Lazo

Manolo Lazo

Manolo is one of Peru's most skilled adventure travel guides, with more than 20 years of experience leading treks and whitewater rafting trips. A resident of Cusco, Manolo is well versed in the rich history of the Andes and the classic trekking routes that trace the footsteps of the Inca trade paths. His knowledge of the region, people, and traditions immensely enrich the travel experience. He is fluent in English as well as Spanish, and conversant in Quechua-the historic language of the Incas-and he has a gift for instilling confidence in every trekker.

Activities

Moderate to strenuous high-altitude hiking from 3 to 8 hours a day, following the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.

Lodging

Nightly stays in comfortable, well-appointed lodges, adobe casitas, and luxurious hotels - no camping required.

Climate

April through October expect to see mostly sunny days followed by cooler nights and the possibility of morning frost.

FAQ

When is the best time to go?

Best time is during the dry season April to October. November & March are also a good option with only occasional showers.

How difficult is the hiking?

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.

What are the lodges like?

They are cozy 6-room mountain lodges, each designed with traditional Incan building techniques, comfortable goose down-bedding, and outdoor Jacuzzi.

How much do I have to carry?

You will only have to carry a day pack for each day's hike. Your duffel will meet you upon arrival at each lodge.

Will I have access to clean water on the trail?

Purified water will be provided during your trek.

How much acclimatization time do I need?

We suggest an additional day of acclimatization in Cusco before your trek.

  • 2022
  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2022

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Scheduled Dates

  • Jul 09 - 18, 2022
    $5,745 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    WaitlistConfirmed
  • Sep 12 - 21, 2022
    $5,845 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    WaitlistConfirmed
  • Sep 16 - 25, 2022
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Dec 18 - 27, 2022
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    AvailableConfirmed

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional 2nd visit to Machu Picchu on Day-9

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

2023

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Scheduled Dates

  • May 14 - 23, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Jun 04 - 13, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Jul 16 - 25, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 03 - 12, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 12 - 21, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Oct 08 - 17, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Oct 16 - 25, 2023
    $5,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional 2nd visit to Machu Picchu on Day-9

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:

2022 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,695 per person double occupancy

2023 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $5,995 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,695 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

  • April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional 2nd visit to Machu Picchu on Day-9

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.