Machu Picchu Lodge Ride
Cusco Peru: (IT-PEIR01)
For those of you looking for a more luxurious way to follow the Inca's trail, this is the trip for you! By day we ride through the majestic Cordillera Vilcabamba, a spectacular mountain range in the heartland of the Andes that cradles the legendary site of Machu Picchu. By night we stay very comfortably in beautiful boutique luxury lodges, each positioned a day’s ride apart.
Rediscover an historic old Inca route on high quality trekking horses, cantering through undulating open vistas, climbing rugged and steep mountain trails and meandering beside raging rivers. This adventure allows you to experience the country of Peru at its finest and in comforts like never before, enjoying the service and accommodation of the region's top quality mountain lodges located in remote and pristine areas before finally reaching Machu Picchu - the crown jewel - as a final destination.
In this journey you will ride from 3,900m to 2,100m, traversing magnificent mountain passes, being inspired by enormous and mystical snow-capped peaks like the Salkantay, seeing nature in its purest and exploring several different eco-systems from start to end. Moreover the chances for ethnic and cultural exchange are ever-present, with local natives along the way who will still remain closely attached to their heritage and are very willing to share it with your open minds.
The luxury mountain lodges feature gourmet Peruvian cuisine, outdoor jacuzzis, comfy beds with down duvets and cozy lounges with fireplaces.
The finest imported Quarter horses from top farms in Uruguay are the foundation stock for the herd we select our trekking mounts from. The breeding program has introduced Arabian bloodlines that bring passion and loyalty to the steeds, and the training programs have refined the horses to produce unparalleled riding partners, specially suited to the high mountain terrain of the Andes.
Those in search of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience can chose to ride with us to make their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu in style, comfort and sure-footed horses as confident companions.
... View Full PDF Brochure
... also available as a Hiking Trip
The accommodation is either in our lodges or in 4 and 5 star hotels. Phone calls can be made from the lodge up to 11pm – you need to purchase a phone card from reception and can then use the telephone as usual.
While on the trip we include all meals except dinners in Cusco. Meals at the lodges are designed to be light, because of the effect high altitude has on the digestion, and to contain the necessary nutrition for guests riding at high altitude. Please inform us at the time of booking of any dietary requirements. If any requirements should arise between the time of booking and the trip beginning, for instance, due to a change in health circumstances, ie, diagnosis of diabetes, please inform us as soon as possible and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.
Day 1: Andean Wings or Casa Andina Private Collection
We offer professional massage services at the Salkantay Lodge from March-December, as well as at the Wayra, Colpa and Lucma lodges—subject to availability, please inquire prior to departure.
The cost for a massage service is ~$65 per 60 minute session.
Day 2 and 3: Salkantay Lodge
Day 4: Wayra Lodge
Day 5: Colpa Lodge
Day 6: Lucma Lodge
Day 7: Machu Picchu Pueblo by Inkaterra
-- view Inkaterra Hotel Slide Show
... lodging are subject to changes!
CHECK-IN: SIGNATURE ACCOUNT
At check-in at the 1st mountain lodge, you will be asked to open a voucher on your credit card for potential extras during the trip like alcoholic beverages, clothing/souvenirs and others. At the 4th lodge you will need to settle your bill and can do so by charging the credit card previously presented or by paying in cash. If paying in cash, please take note that we only accept US$ 5, US$ 10, US$ 20, and US$ 50 dollar bills; we do not accept US$ 1, US$ 100 or coins. We accept Peruvian currency. If paying with a credit card, please note you will not be able to present a new credit card when settling the bill.
We offer satellite-based communications at all 4 lodges along the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu. Due to the satellite-based nature of the system, signal reception may not be guaranteed in cases of continuous or extreme bad weather conditions.
RURAL SATELLITE PHONE
• Each Lodge has a stationary rural satellite phone which the guests can use.
• These phones work on phone cards which can be purchased at the lodges.
• International calls can be placed and received. However, we kindly ask to refrain from receiving incoming calls unless in case of emergency, as a sign of respect and courtesy for other guests.
• As a reference, a US$10 phone card provides 10 minutes to the US/Canada and 5 minutes to Europe.
RURAL SATELLITE INTERNET
Though it is our goal to try and maintain our guest’s experience as pure and natural as possible, with as less contact with urban traits (like internet) as possible, we understand that internet might have become a necessary service for some guests. Thus, we provides rural wi-fi internet service at all 4 lodges. However, as a sign of respect and courtesy to other guests, we kindly ask that the use of the internet service is limited to use within the guest rooms and is prohibited in the common areas of each lodge.
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF INTERNET USE
• If you decide to bring your own laptop the rate is US$12.00 per day, at each lodge, for unlimited Internet access. A username and password will be provided to you when the service is requested. A “public” laptop is available at each
lodge for the guests to use for a flat fee of US$6.00 per session. Each session has a maximum duration of 45 minutes per guest.
• Payment of the services will be charged to your credit card at the end of the ride.
• Please keep in mind that good internet reception is not guaranteed due to the satellite-based nature of the system.
Continuous and/or extreme bad weather conditions might negatively affect the internet signal.
* WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF THE GUESTS LAPTOPS OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE.
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Horses: All horses are Quarter horse crosses, mostly with Arabian, and are picked from the herd especially for each trip, according to their level of fitness at the time and level of riders. The horses are specially trained for high altitudes and rugged terrains. We always take “replacement” or “back-up” horses on every trip.
We offer two different types of saddles:
a) Uruguayan Endurance Saddles: assimilates to English-type; leather
b) American Endurance Saddles: assimilates to Western-type; synthetic
Level of Difficulty:
Intermediate to Advanced. Beginners are welcome but they will have a different type of horse and direct assistance from a horseman.
We strongly recommends the use of safety equipment such as helmets and back protectors on this ride. Helmets, chaps and back protectors can be rented at the beginning of the ride, subject to availability. Please notify us in advance if you wish to rent any such equipment as we can add the cost to your invoice. If you decide to use the equipment at short notice or on the day of the ride, the cost can be added to your spending at the lodges and added to your final bill, payable at the last lodge.
Day 1: Arrival in Cusco. Time to relax. Usually we will have a 'Briefing' around 7 PM with your tour leader at a local restaurant.
- meet and greet with the group and the guide
- detailed itinerary and any last-minute changes
- re-confirmation of specific dietary and medical information of the participants
- frequently asked questions (and answers)
- participant gear & equipment verification
- specific requests for additional information
Overnight at hotel -- Boutique 'Casa Andina Private Collection' or Hotel 'Andean Wings' (dinner is not included).
Day 2: After an early breakfast, guests will be picked up starting at 7:00 am at the hotel in Cusco by the guide and transfer by vehicle in direction to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we will take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to the Coronilla Ranch.
Here, after a short period of familiarization, we will begin our ride to Soraypampa. This is a good opportunity to acclimate and enjoy a mild & beautiful 3- 4 hour trek on their first day. The Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley – the “Salkantay”, the 2nd most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 20,600 ft (6,270 m), the highest in the region.
After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, guests will be shown to their rooms and have time to wash-up. The first afternoon is spent at leisure to adjust to the altitude, taking advantage of the outdoor Jacuzzi or just walking in the beautiful surroundings. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner.
Note: Lunch is a picnic lunch en route. Non-riders will be transferred directly to the Lodge.
- Riding Hours: Approx. four hours
- Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails
- Type of Riding: Walk, trot, canter, gallop
Day 3: Today we ride out for three hours in the surrounding area of Soraypampa to visit the Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above on the slopes of Humantay. A short walk of about thirty minutes is necessary in order to reach the lake, but the view is well worth it and those brave enough can go for a swim. This activity is excellent for acclimatization. We return to the lodge for lunch, after which we have the option to ride out again for around three hours in the surrounding area, or guests may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor Jacuzzi. We spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide will brief the trekking party on gear and the itinerary for the next four days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge.
- Riding Hours: Approx. three hours
- Type of Terrain: Open roads, some steep ascending trails and open fields
- Type of Riding: Walk, trot, canter
- Non-rider activity: Hike to Humantay Lake
Day 4: We continue our ride (about five hours) towards Machu Picchu, riding up the Rio Blanco valley and circling Humantay opposite Salkantay. In the process we reach the highest part of the ride, a pass at 4500 metes (14,800 ft) where we keep our eyes open for Andean condors, common to the area. At the pass we stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we continue our descent toward the Wayra Lodge (“Wayra”: wind; ‘the place where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge
- Riding Hours: Approx. four hours
- Type of Terrain: 80% steep trails and 20% open land
- Type of Riding: Walk, trot
- Non-rider activity: transfer to Ollantaytambo
Day 5: We continue downhill above the Salkantay River, descending into the cloud forest, through increasingly verdant scenery. Upon arrival at Collpa Lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca (subject to availability; traditional underground stone cooking). This traditional meal is famous for its cooking method which consists of layering meat with hot stones and then covering the whole thing up to bake. After observing the uncovering of the Pachamanca, which consists of a variety of meats (chicken, lamb, beef, pork and guinea pig) and vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes and yucca) we enjoy our meal. Collpa Lodge is located on an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor Jacuzzi has almost panoramic views of lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or walking in the surrounding area. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
- Riding Hours: Approx. three hours
- Type of Terrain: Steep trails
- Type of Riding: Walk, trot
- Non-rider activity: Day free in Ollantaytambo
Day 6: Today we head down the Santa Teresa river valley, through banana and passion fruit orchards and coffee plantations. The coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. Along the way we stop for a picnic lunch. Afterwards, we continue our ride (a total of around five hours) to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail, which is where we say goodbye to our horses. A short thirty-minute walk through an avocado orchard brings us to Lucma Lodge. We arrive in time to allow for exploration of the small village of Lucmabamba and possible meeting with members of the local community.
- Riding Hours: Approx. four hours
- Type of Terrain: Steep trails and some open roads
- Type of Riding: Walk, trot, canter
- Non-rider activity: Transfer by train and vehicle to Lucma Lodge
Day 7: We are transferred to the train station by van in order to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Those who wish to can hike this distance instead.
Day 8: We have a very early start in order to make the thirty-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu and arrive before sunrise. We then enjoy a private guided tour of the city, followed by several hours in which we are free to explore the ruins by ourselves. Afterward we return to Aguas Calientes by bus for lunch and then take the afternoon Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo (about an hour and a half), where we are transferred by car to Cusco (about one hour) - end of the trip by late-afternoon. Extra hotel nights can be arranged.
(The guide confirms guests’ preferences the night before.)
Description of OPTIONAL hike:
We leave the lodge around 9am and head uphill for around two hours towards Llactapata pass (2600 metres/8500 feet). After heading downhill for about ten minutes we come upon the recently restored Llactapata Ruins from where we also have a distant but very special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a perspective that few tourists get to enjoy. We walk another ten minutes or so to our lunch spot where we enjoy a picnic lunch with the same view of Machu Picchu. We then descend to the Vilcanota River through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, a descent of between two and three hours. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short train ride away and we check into our hotel for dinner and a well-earned rest. The whole group spends the night in Aguas Calientes.
Machu Picchu Extension and Inkaterra, Aguas Calientes (optional, but highly recommended)
- Enjoy all the amenities your hotel (Inkaterra) has to offer for an extra night with breakfast and dinner.
- Enjoy a 2nd visit to Machu Picchu: visit the Sun Gate, climb Huayna Picchu, go to Intipunku, and enjoy many other marvels the site has to offer -- including shuttle bus up and down, as well as entry fees
- Spend a relaxing day enjoying nature walks (bird watching, orchid gardens) or visiting the hot springs.
- Return train ride from Aguas Calientes and shuttle bus from Ollanta back to Cusco
Optional hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain:
While up at Machu Picchu on the regular Machu Picchu day or on the optional second day -- some of you may want to hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain.
The beautiful mountain that one sees in all the classic photos of Machu Picchu is called Huayna Picchu (Waynapicchu) and literally means 'young peak'. The peak is about 400 meters higher then Machu Picchu itself (2400m), and from here stunning views and a different perspective can be had of Machu Picchu. Only 400 are allowed the climb each day and we will have to reserve it for you in advance (at time of booking) -- so if you are interested, let us know right away !! We have included the permit fee for you in any case. You will have to climb on a very narrow path and it will take you 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour to complete it and you will arrive to a place where you will see and amazing landscape of Machu Picchu Citadel, it will take you 45 minutes to go down. The time depends of you physical condition. You can enter from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and it closes at 5 p.m.
Rates and Dates for Machu Picchu Lodge Ride
Accommodations in luxurious mountain lodges and first night in Cusco at Boutique Hotel, all meals except Day 1, all ground transportation including train, 5 riding days, Huayna Picchu Mountain permit
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Cusco Airport return per car
This is a "Group Rate"
Rates do not include:
Meals in Cusco. Salkantay entrance fee
In the "dry season" it is relatively warm in the day but cold at night. This season is approx. mid April to October.
If it does rain, the temperature drops, but it warms up immediately afterward, and rain is very infrequent in the dry season.
During the "rainy season" is almost exactly the same except that it is significantly warmer at night and rains much more often. This season is approx. November to mid April
You should always bring a variety of light, natural fiber clothing (short and long-sleeved tops, light jumpers/hoodies, raincoats, all things that can be layered to cope with the different environments you will experience on the trip.
WEATHER IN THE REGION IS EXTREMELY VARIABLE AND YOU SHOULD PACK FOR A VARIETY OF CONDITIONS.
IN ADDITION, OUR RIDE PASSES THROUGH 9 BIO-ZONES RANGING FROM HIGH ALTITUDE ALPINE CONDITIONS TO HIGH JUNGLE.
HERE IS A ROUGH GUIDELINE:
What To Bring:
APRIL-JUNE: OCCASIONAL RAIN/FAIR
SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER: OCCASIONAL RAIN/FAIR
You should bring whatever riding equipment you feel comfortable riding in, particularly your own riding hat or helmet and footwear, breeches, half/full chaps, etc.
Also, light, natural fiber clothing that can be layered. Very strong sunblock (factor 50 or above – we have burnt right through factor 30 up here and ended up with second-degree burns) and mosquito repellent.
We also recommend a torch/flashlight, as the power is provided by generators which are turned off between 11pm and 6am, and a bathing suit in order to take advantage of any Jacuzzi hot tubs at the lodges and the swimming pool at the Huacachina Oasis. Binoculars, a camera and sunglasses are also recommended, as are any medications currently being taken by the guest.
Most personal hygiene products can be bought in Lima, but if you are going to be arriving late or have particular preferences you should bring your own, just in case. Basic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel) are provided at the lodge for guests and you should feel free to take these away with you when you leave.
Layers are definitely best. Most of our guests dress “mountain smart/dressy” for nights, but casual is totally fine (some of our guests dine in hiking pants, fleece and flip-flops/crocs or sneakers.)
There are opportunities to shop in the local markets or high-end/luxury stores for alpaca sweaters which are very popular.
If you have a cell phone that has international roaming, it should work fine in Peru. If not, when you arrive to the Lima or Cusco airport you will be able to rent cell phones for a short period. Usually this service is found around the baggage claim area.
There is plenty of optional hiking to do, so please make sure to bring hiking boots/shoes to change into as hiking in riding boots is not a very fun and sometimes painful experience!
We do provide saddle bags for the riding days.
We include limited accident and medical evacuation insurance, valid for the duration of the program, with no added cost. Please note that this is NOT travel insurance.
We strongly recommend to purchase your own travel insurance!
Here is a basic packing list. These items are essential to ensure adventure travelers’ comfort and safety.
DAY PACK - for hiking options
BROKEN-IN COMFORTABLE RIDING BOOTS
RAIN GEAR (PONCHOS OR FULL RAIN GEAR)
GLOVES, Winter-type gloves to cross the Salkantay Pass.
LIGHTWEIGHT RIDING PANTS OR SHORTS (PANTS RECOMMENDED).
BREATHABLE LIGHTWEIGHT TOP-WEAR
COMFORTABLE SHOES / FLIP-FLOPS
LONG-SLEEVE FLEECE / SWEATER
SPORT HAT (BASEBALL STYLE OR SOMBRERO STYLE OUTDOOR HAT)
COMFORTABLE RIDING SOCKS
CASUAL MOUNTAIN WEAR FOR EVENINGS
PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERAS & CHARGERS
REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE
LIGHT-WEIGHT, SMALL BINOCULARS
• We appreciate no hard suitcases or carry-ons; soft duffel bags and / or backpacks (“soft” luggage) are recommended. If you do not have an appropriate sized duffel bag, we can provide a duffel bag at the pre-ride briefing. You may return them to your guide after the ride.
• Sleeping bags are not required as the lodges provide ample bedding.
• We provide a limited amount of hair-dryers at each lodge - due to limitations in energy supply and environmental concerns.
• At the 1st mountain lodge, all guests are provided with an “Amenity Kit” that includes bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing cream and a shower cap. This Amenity Kit will be given to guests at the first lodge and guests should pack the kit in their luggage, as there are no additional kits once you leave the first lodge
Important Baggage Specifications
Peru Rail, the company that operates the trains from Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu to Cusco, instated a weight limit for all luggage coming on board the trains.
The weight limits from Peru Rail (and thus for the ride) are as follows:
1 backpack – 11 lbs / 5 kg (per person, which guests carry with them on the train)
1 duffel bag – 22 lbs / 10 kg (per person, which goes on a separate cargo train)
Anything over this weight limit, Peru Rail will charge guests directly at the train station in Aguas Calientes (Rate: US$0.82 per pound extra or US$1.80 per kg extra). Please note that we do not charge a penalty for surpassing the weight
allowance established by Peru Rail. If your luggage exceeds the weight limit, please note that your luggage will be on board a separate cargo train from Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu to Cusco. This means your luggage will not travel with you on this portion of the trip. Therefore, before you depart Machu Picchu, it will be the last time you see your luggage until you return to your Cusco hotel that evening. If you wish to have a change of clothes or anything else you may want with you that day, please pack it in your backpack that morning.
Most Cusco hotels will allow guests to store extra luggage at the hotel while guests are on the ride. Please inquire directly with your pre-ride hotel, as we cannot guarantee they all will.