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Peru Cusco and 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 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

Arrive:

Cusco, Peru

Depart:

Cusco, Peru

Duration:

10 Days

Activity Level:

4

Departures:

See Dates

Price: from $5,395

  • Arrive in Cusco

    Day 1

    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.

    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.

  • 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 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).

    Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge-Peru

    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: Optional 3-4 hours/5 miles hiking with 1,200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Above Lake Salkantay

    Day 3

    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 follow a trail that ascends 400 feet above the shimmering glacial waters of Lake Salkantay. This hike is a great first immersion into high-mountain trekking and an excellent way to acclimate. After lunch back at the lodge, relax on your own or take a soothing soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Meet up in the evening for a briefing and savor a gourmet dinner.

    Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge-Peru

    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: Optional 3-4 hours/3.5 miles hiking with 1,100' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek from Soraypampa to Wayra Lodge

    Day 4

    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.

    Accommodation: Wayra Lodge-Peru

    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 Scenery to Collpa Lodge

    Day 5

    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.

    Accommodation: Colpa Lodge-Peru

    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 Trails to Lucma Lodge

    Day 6

    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.

    Accommodation: Lucma Lodge-Peru

    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

    Day 7

    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 Llactapata ruins, a recently rediscovered Inca complex that vegetation is starting to reclaim, before enjoying lunch at an observatory with more views of Machu Picchu. Begin your final steep descent to the Urubamba River through lush 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.

    Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

    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

    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. 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.

    Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel-Aguas Calientes

    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.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Return to Cusco

    Day 9

    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.

    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

  • Depart from Cusco

    Day 10

    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.

    Accommodation:

    Meals: Breakfast

Peru Cusco and Machu Picchu Trek

Detailed Itinerary

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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 Colven

Ian Lewis Colven

A passionate mountaineer, Tomas grew up in Torres del Paine and explored the park on foot, horseback, and through many climbing expeditions. He was educated at a small school inside the park, which engrained a deep understanding and passion for the history and significance of Patagonia. Today, he continues to enjoy the mountains and landscapes of Patagonia, leading treks for MT Sobek. Tomas is an accomplished climber and a great ambassador of Patagonia's culture. He is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese to compliment his infections smile and endearing personality.

Manolo Lazo

Manolo Lazo

One of Peru's most experienced adventure travel guides, with more than 15 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 is recommended.

  • 2021
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

Additional costs

  • $900 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day airport transfers in Cusco

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Breakfast on Day 1, and Lunch on Days 1 and 10
  • Optional tips to your adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of day 1 and departing outside of day 10
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

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