All South America and Mountain Lodges of Perú are pleased to announce the very first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to one of the ancient world's most extraordinary sanctuaries: Machu Picchu. From Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire, follow a little-known route through the Vilcabamba range, a spellbinding region of misty foothills blanketed in lush greenery and high Andes peaks cloaked in white. Cross a mountain pass at nearly 15,000 feet, marvel at hidden ruins and visit isolated communities where traditions of pre-Columbian cultures still thrive. Experience the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, and four new trekking lodges, each offering a full bar, hot tub and views of snow-clad peaks or subtropical hillsides. Spend evenings unwinding by the fireplace, stargazing and enjoying a wealth of creature comforts.
Day 1 - Arrive Lima
Upon arrival at the Lima international airport, our local representative will transfer you to our quaint hotel in a Casa Andina Private Colecction Miraflores.
Day 2 - Cusco
Transfer to the airport , then fly from Lima to Cusco, 11,000 feet, center of the Inca Empire. Enjoy an afternoon guided orientation of Cusco's Spanish churches and ancient Inca sites, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman with its megalithic stone terraces. Stay overnight in Cusco Hotel Casa Andina Private Collection.
Included Meals: breakfast and lunch
Optional Additional Day - SACRED VALLEY .
Full day guided excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop will be the picturesque town of Chinchero, next we continue down the Urubamba valley to reach the charming town of Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.). After lunch, visit Pisac and it's open air market. Return to Cusco, overnight. (B,L)
Day 3 - Cusco to Salkantay Lodge (12,705 ft).
After breakfast, the guests will be picked up at 6:30 am at their hotel in Cusco by an MLP guide and vehicle and transferred to the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort (SLAR) (about 3.5 hours' drive). En route we will take a break to visit the impressive 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 guests will have lunch before ascending a winding mountain track to the spectacularly situated valley of Soraypampa (12,705 feet).
The SLAR 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 20,500 ft (6,271 m), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, the 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. An evening briefing by the fire is followed by aperitifs and dinner.
Optional trek: Guests have the option of choosing to trek from Mollepata to Soraypampa, on an old route called the "Camino Real" (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for guests to acclimate and enjoy a mild & beautiful 3-4 hour trek on their first day .( B, L, D).
Day 4 - Soraypampa
This day is spent at leisure for rest or activities, depending upon guests' level of acclimatization. Guest may do local hike to the high glacial lake Humantay at 4,300m,(14,190 ft.) with our guide, or do a scramble to a viewpoint to take in the panorama. 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. A packed lunch is available for those choosing to venture out for the day.
(B, L, D).
Day 5 - Soraypampa to Wayra Lodge (12,936 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 the Salkantay.
The highest point on the trek is a pass at 4,650 m (15,340 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: 4-6 hours; total excursion time for day 5-7 hours). (B,L,D).
Day 6 - Huayraccmachay to Collpa Lodge (9,372 ft).
Following the long first day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Huayraccmachay. The early morning is free for exploration. (Optional: 2-3 hour hike to nearby glacier lake). We then begin our trek by hiking downhill above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. Cold snack en route. The Collpa Lodge is located in an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. We arrive for a late lunch at the lodge, ( Pachamanka ).overnight at the lodge. (B;L;D).
Day 7 - Collpapampa to Lucma Lodge (7,095 ft).
After an early breakfast we head down the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas with coffee plantations (said to be one of the best coffees in the world !) and orchirds. We stop along the river for a hot picnic lunch. From the river it is a short climb to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. We arrive in time to allow for exploration of the village and meeting with members of the local community. (hiking time: 4-6 hours/total excursion time for day 5-7 hours). Lodging by Collpa Lodge. ( B,L,D).
Day 8 - Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes (6,270 ft).
After an early start and a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for two hours towards Llactapata pass (2,800 m/9,240 ft), 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 Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Vilcanota River through lush bamboo forests and
more orchards and coffee plantations (2-3 hours descent). To Aobamba River , and to the Hydroelectric Station , Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are a short, scenic train ride away. (Total hiking time: 4-6 hours). We then arrive in to Aguas Calientes to check-in to the hotel. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel ( B,L,D)..
Day 9: Machu Picchu (7,920 ft /2,400m ) to Cusco
We wake up very 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. Guests will have about 4 to 6 hours to tour the ruins (there is a lot to do and see). Afterward, we will return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a hot buffet-style lunch and to go to the train station for the afternoon departure. The train will arrive in Cusco and MLP will drop passengers at their hotel.
Accommodations: Casa Andina private Collection. (B,L,D).
Optional Additional Day at Machu Picchu (call for pricing) Arise early and be among the first to experience this spectacular spiritual monument before the tourist train arrives. Take a hike to the Temple of the Moon, the Inca Drawbridge or Huaya Picchu, the steep sided mountain behind the ruins. Return by train to Cusco.
Day 10 - Cusco to Lima
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima catch your departing flight.
Single Travelers: Requested single accommodations are available for 1.5 times the double rate. Willing to share accommodations are available, however unmatched shares are subject to a supplement of 1.25 times the double rate.
Qualifications: This trip requires good physical conditioning. Travelers hike up to 6 miles each day with elevation gains over 15,000 feet. Note that Cusco is at an elevation of 11,200 feet.