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7 - Day experience

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Challenge yourself and follow the road less traveled to Machu Picchu on our signature Salkantay Trek.

The Salkantay Adventure goes beyond deluxe lodges and a great trek. It is also a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Andean culture as you learn about the Inca civilization and the extraordinary legacy that they left for generations to come.

We offer guaranteed departures from Cusco several times per week from March 1st through December 31st along with lodging and other services for before and after your MLP journey.

ITINERARY

DAY 0 EVENING BRIEFING IN CUSCO

Meet your MLP guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A.

    DAY 1 ON THE WAY TO SORAYPAMPA

    In the morning: Visit the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site on the way to the town of Mollepata.
    In the afternoon: Lunch at El Pedregal before your first trek to MLP’s flagship Salkantay Lodge

    Optional: Guests may opt out of the trek and continue by transport to Salkantay Lodge.

    Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (12,690’ / 3,869m)

    • From Challacancha to Soraypampa
    • Approximately 3 hours
    • Easy to Moderate
    DAY 2 HIKE TO LAKE HUMANTAY

    In the morning: Early morning round-trip hike to the turquoise waters of Lake Humantay
    In the afternoon: Lunch at Salkantay Lodge and afternoon at leisure

    Optional: Afternoon horseback riding at Soraypampa (subject to additional cost)

    Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (12,690’ / 3,869m)

    • Approximately 4 hours
    • Moderate
    DAY 3 CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS

    In the morning: Journey through the Salkantay River Valley as you begin your climb to the Salkantay Pass
    In the afternoon: After marveling at the majesty of the Salkantay Peak and patting yourself on the back for a job well-done, enjoy lunch on the mountain before heading down to Wayraccmachay

    Overnight: Wayra Lodge (12,812’ / 3,906 m)

    • From Soraypampa over the Salkantay Peak to Wayraccmachay (Max elevation: 15,200’/4,640m)
    • Approximately 7 hours
    • Challenging
    DAY 4 DESCENDING INTO THE CLOUD FOREST

    In the morning: Begin your descent into the cloud forest on the way to Colpa Lodge
    In the afternoon: Upon arrival, the staff will be waiting for us with a traditional Pachamanca lunch; afternoon at leisure

    Overnight: Colpa Lodge (9,414’ / 2,870m)

    • From Wayraccmachayto Collpapampa.
    • Approximately 4 hours
    • Easy to Moderate
    DAY 5 FOLLOWING THE SANTA TERESA RIVER VALLEY

    In the morning: Descend along the Santa Teresa River towards Lucmabamba
    In the afternoon: Afternoon visit to a local coffee plantation before arrival

    Overnight: Lucma Lodge (7,003’ / 2,135m)

    • From Collpapampa to Lucmabamba
    • Approximately 6 hours
    • Moderate to Challenging
    DAY 6 FIRST VIEWS OF MACHU PICCHU

    In the morning: Travel uphill through the cloud forest to the Llactapata Pass for a seldom-seen view of Machu Picchu.
    In the afternoon: Lunch en route followed by a winding descent to the Aobamba River Valley, ending the day with a 30-minute train ride to Aguas Calientes.

    Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes (6,232’ / 1,900m)

    • From Lucmabamba to Hidroelectrica train station
    • Approximately 5 hours
    • Moderate to Challenging
    DAY 7 THE CITADEL OF MACHU PICCHU

    In the morning: Early morning guided tour of Machu Picchu followed by free time for further exploration or a hike up Huayna Picchu*.

    In the afternoon: Lunch in Aguas Calientes; afternoon train ride and van transport back to Cusco (11,021’ / 3,360m)

    *Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu Mt. (8,924’ / 2,720m) may be available subject to additional cost. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, you may opt for a hike up Machu Picchu Mt. (10,112 / 3,082m), located next to the Machu Picchu Citadel on the southern side. Please consult with your MLP Travel Specialist for detailed information.

    • The citadel of Machu Picchu has many steps and uphill climbs
    • Approximately 4 hours
    • Machu Picchu: Easy to moderate

    MAP

    Gallop through undulating open vistas, climb rugged high mountain trails, and meander beside rolling rivers on your way to Machu Picchu. We house the finest American Quarter Horses from top farms in Uruguay that have been extensively trained with the sole purpose of becoming perfect Salkantay trail companions for riders of varied levels. (Please note: Previous riding experience required.)

    MLP’s horses have been trained Western-style and are fitted with American endurance saddles. (English saddles are available upon request.) The team is cared for impeccably and is well-rested before each journey.

    Although each of our horses has been trained to adapt to varied experience levels, there may be certain characteristics that you prefer. Take a look to find your ideal travel companion!

    Each of our four beautifully-appointed mountain lodges is one of a kind. The eco-minded architecture effortlessly mixes traditional Andean building techniques with contemporary design to blend seamlessly into their environs.

    All of our guest rooms offer top-notch amenities. Hot showers, gourmet meals, fine linens, outdoor hot tubs, and highly personalized service from our local staff are just a few.

    Our flagship Salkantay Lodge was built on the flatlands of the Rio Blanco river valley, with a stunning, unobstructed view of the majestic Salkantay mountain peak. Its contemporary, eco-conscious design was the inspiration for all other MLP lodges. (12,690’/3,869 m)

    Wayra Lodge, a cozy mountain refuge with dramatic views of Mt. Humantay, is the most remote of our MLP lodges – and a welcome sight after a long day of trekking over the Salkantay Pass. (12,812’/3,906m)

    Surrounded by lush green mountains in a cloud forest, our Colpa Lodge is situated on a promontory at the confluence of three rivers (9,333’/2,845m). Sun-drenched in the afternoons, it is the perfect spot to relax or soak in the outdoor hot tub. (9,414’/2,870m)

    Situated in a lush avocado orchard at the edge of the Amazon jungle, our charming Lucma Lodge resembles a contemporary treehouse. The view through the multi-pane windows that stretch almost to the ceiling will give you the sensation of living amidst the beautiful foliage that surrounds you. (7,003’/2,135m)