Machu Picchu Lodge Trek
Cusco Peru: (ZZ-HK-PEML01)
Hidden Trails offers "Adventure at its finest”: the opportunity to experience the essence of adventure within the realm of creature comforts. But for Hidden Trails, a great adventure does not end there: for it to be a life-changing experience for our guests, we believe that the experience has to be an adventure on many levels.This is why our proposal goes far beyond comfortable lodges and great treks…it is a unique opportunity to experience ancient history in the Land of the Incas, contemporary manifestations of deep-founded culture, the most interesting and exotic variety of flora and fauna, culinary surprises, the determination of local people to progress, new friends and like-minded souls.
We propose an expedition…one that takes guests on an ancient trail called the “Salkantay Route”, going from lodge to lodge along four mountain lodges in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, a spectacular Andean mountain range which cradles the famed Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.Within our lodge system, the crown jewel is the Salkantay Lodge, located in the high Andean valley of Soraypampa at 3,850m/12,705ft above sea level. In addition to high-quality “Andean Energetic Cuisine”(as created and named by our Food & Beverage Director), the Lodge offers an outdoor hot tub, cozy reading rooms, a bar/lounge, and 12 well-appointed private rooms with private bathrooms and hot showers.
The enchanting valley of Soraypampa is the starting point of our trek to Machu Picchu – one that is much less traveled, but by many accounts, more scenic and exclusive than the famous “Inca Trail”. In our Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge experience, trekkers spend one night each at three Trekker’s Lodges located at strategic points along the route: Huayraccmachay, Collpapampa and Lucmabamba. Although our Trekker’s Lodge is smaller in size (only 6 guest rooms per lodge), each one of them offers the same amenities as the base lodge.
Finally we reach Machu Picchu. A fully guided tour will explore the ancient city before the tourist hoards arrive - explore, enjoy relax, before returning to Cusco.
View Full PDF Brochure
You will be staying at the following lodges along the trail:
CHECK-IN: SIGNATURE ACCOUNT
At check-in at the 1st lodge, you will be asked to open a voucher on your credit card for potential extras during the trip such as 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 professional massage services at the Salkantay Lodge from March-December of every season. We offer professional massage services at the Wayra, Colpa and Lucma lodges—subject to availability, please inquire prior to departure.
The cost for a massage service is approx. US$65.00 per 60 minute session
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Day 0: We recommend that you arrive at least 1 (better 2) nights before the trek in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude. We are happy to make hotel reservations for you - we recommend the Casa Andina Private Collection.
We provide a pre-trek briefing at a local restaurant which consists of the following::
- Meet and greet with the group and the guide
- Detailed itinerary and any last-minute changes
- Confirmation of specific dietary and medical information of the participants
- Frequently asked questions
- Participant gear & equipment verification
- Specific requests for additional information.
Day 1: CUSCO to SALKANTAY at SORAYPAMPA(3,869 m/12,690 ft).
After an early breakfast, guests will be picked up starting at 7:00 am at their hotel in Cusco by a guide and vehicle in direction to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we will take a short break to visit theInca ruins of Tarawasinear 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 a place called Marcoccasa(30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle).Above & Left: Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort at SoraypampaHere, we will begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the “Camino Real”(Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for guests to acclimate and enjoy a beautiful 6 hour trekon their first day. (Hiking level: moderate).(Optional: guests who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge in the vehicle).The SLAR takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley –the “Salkantay”, the 2ndmost 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 shownto their rooms and have time to wash-up. The first afternoon is spent at leisure to adjust to the altitude. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner.
Note.-Lunch on Day 1 is a box lunch.
Day 2: SORAYPAMPA.
This day is spent at leisure for rest or activities, depending upon guests’level of acclimatization. The most popular activity at Soraypampa is a half-day hike (3-4 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging)to a glacial lake where the more adventurous might take a very short swim! This activity is excellent for acclimatization and a first immersion into high-mountain trekking. In the afternoon, guests may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. In the evening, the guide will brief the trekking party on gear and the itinerary for the following day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge.
Day 3: SORAYPAMPAto WAYRA LODGE
at HUAYRACCMACHAY (3,906m/12,812 ft).
This is the big day: the start of the four-day trek to Machu Picchu. After an early start, we will hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is a pass at 4,638 m (15,213 ft). 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.
(Hiking time: 6-8 hours. Total excursion time for day: 7-9 hours. Hiking level: challenging with a 15,000ft mountain pass).
Day 4: HUAYRACCMACHAY to COLPA LODGE
at COLLPAPAMPA (2,870m/9,414 ft).
On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. We then begin our trek by hiking downhill above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. The Colpa Lodge is located in an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor hot tub in this lodge has prominent views of lush green mountains and a small, far-away, local town. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
(Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Hiking level: easy to moderate).
Day 5: COLLPAPAMPA to LUCMA LODGE
at LUCMABAMBA (2,135m/7,003 ft).
We depart early today and head down the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas. We will pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). We stop along the river for a hot picnic lunch. After another hour of trekking a privatevehicle arrives to take us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail”(30-minute drive). From the head of the trail it is a short climb (30 min.) to the Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. We arrive in time to allow for exploration of the small village of Lucmabamba and possibly meeting with members of the local community. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
(Hiking time: 5-6 hours. Total excursion time for day: 6-8 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging, basically due to distance, not terrain).
Day 6: LUCMABAMBA to AGUAS CALIENTES (1,900 m/6,232 ft).
After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a view few tourists ever glimpse. An added value are the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is provided at the observatory, in view of MachuPicchu. We then begin our final descent to the AobambaRiver through lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations (2-3 hour descent). Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are a short (30 minutes), scenic train ride away.
(Total hiking time: 4-6 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging). We then arrive in Aguas Calientes to check-in to our hotel for the night.
Day 7: MACHU PICCHU (2,400m/7,872 ft) to CUSCO
We wake up early to have breakfast at the hotel and then make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu (30 min). A complete guided tour of Machu Picchu will be provided (2 hours). Guests will have about 4 additional hours to explore the site on their own—there is a lot to do and see. Afterward, we will return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch and to go to the train station for the afternoon departure. The train takes us to Ollantaytambo (1½hrs), where a private vehicle awaits to take us to Cusco (1 ½hrs). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7-8pm) we will drop guests off at the hotel of their choice.
Optional second day at Machu Picchu
Book an extra night in Aguas Calientes
•Enjoy a 2ndvisit to Machu Picchu: visit the Sun Gate, climb HuaynaPicchu, go to Intipunku, and enjoy many other marvels the site has to offer.
•Spend a relaxing day enjoying nature walks (bird watching, orchid gardens) or visiting the hot springs.
•Enjoy all the amenities your hotel has to offer, including spa services.
1.Please request this service when making your reservation.
2.Does not include transportation to the site, entrance tickets, guide for Machu Picchu for a 2ndvisit. These services can be requested.
3.Transfer from Ollantaytambo to hotel in Cusco is an additional charge. Please request quote at the time of booking.
Optional hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain:
While up at Machu Picchu 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) if you
are interested - a
$10 fee applies as well. 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.
View Full PDF Brochure
Rates and Dates for Machu Picchu Lodge Trek
Accommodations in luxurious mountain lodges, all meals and beverages (except alcoholic drinks), all ground transportation including train, fully guided hikes with bilingual guides and Machu Picchu tour
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Cusco Hotel on Day 1 included
Almost daily departures between March and December. Any time with 2 participants in season.
Rates do not include:
Entrance fee of US $50 per person to hike on the Salkantay Trail. Must be paid in cash on Day 1 of the trek. Alcoholic drinks. Lead& Assistant Guide - please tip at the end of the trip
In the "dry season" it is relatively warm in the
day but cold at night. This season is approx. mid April to October.
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:
Here is a basic packing list.
These items are essential to ensure adventure travelers’ comfort and safety.
BROKEN-IN COMFORTABLE HIKING BOOTS
RAIN GEAR (PONCHOS OR FULL RAIN GEAR)
LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING PANTS OR SHORTS (PANTS RECOMMENDED)
BREATHEABLE LIGHTWEIGHT TOP-WEAR
COMFORTABLE SHOES / FLIP-FLOPS
LONG-SLEEVE FLEECE / SWEATER
WOOL HATSPORT HAT (BASEBALL STYLE OR SOMBRERO STYLE OUTDOOR HAT)
COMFORTABLE HIKING SOCKS (4 PAIRS AT LEAST)
CASUAL MOUNTAIN WEAR FOR EVENINGS
PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERAS & CHARGERS
TREKKING POLES (we PROVIDE QUALITY WOODEN WALKING STICKS)
RE-FILLABLE WATER BOTTLE
LIGHT-WEIGHT, SMALL BINOCULARS
Notes.-•We appreciate no hard suitcases; soft duffel bags and /or backpacks (“soft”luggage) are recommended.
•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.
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 trek) areas follows:
1 backpack –11 lbs / 5 kg (per person, which guests carry with them on the train)
and 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.
Most Cusco hotels will allow guests to store extra luggage at the hotel while guests are on the trek.
Please inquire directly with your pre-trek hotel.If your hotel does not provide this service please advise us of this. If you do not have an appropriate sized duffel bag, we can provide a duffel bag for loan at the pre-trek briefing (the night before departure).
You may return them to your guide after the trek. 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, on Day 7 before you depart for Machu Picchu, 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 maywant with you that day, please pack it in your backpack that morning.