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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Lodge to Lodge: 8 Days

The Salkantay Adventure goes beyond deluxe lodges and a great trek.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu - Lodge to Lodge: 8 Days

The Salkantay Adventure goes beyond deluxe lodges and a great trek.

Discover the 8-Day Lodge-to-Lodge Trekking Adventure: Embark on a captivating 8-day journey that leads you through a historic segment of the Inca trail, navigating 15 distinct eco-systems along the way. Traverse a formidable mountain pass, ascending beyond 15,000 feet, and immerse yourself in the enchanting culture of villages where time-honored traditions still flourish. Rediscover the mystical allure of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire.

At the conclusion of each day's trek, bask in the luxury of a cozy lodge, complete with revitalizing hot showers. Indulge in relaxation with the option of a massage or a soothing soak in an outdoor jacuzzi. Savor gourmet meals complemented by select wines, all served with the utmost personalized care by dedicated local staff.

The Salkantay experience extends beyond opulent lodges and an exceptional trek; it's an extraordinary opportunity to connect with ancient history in the Land of the Incas. Additionally, you'll encounter a fascinating array of exotic flora and fauna. All of this is enjoyed in the company of newfound friends and kindred spirits who share your passion for adventure.

Seasonal Pricing 2023/2024

  • $3,250usd Per Person (March 1 - March 31 & Nov 1 - Dec 14)
  • $4,350usd Per Person (April 1 - Oct 31 & Dec 15 -Dec 31)
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cusco

Upon your arrival in Cusco, gather with your MLP guide and fellow travelers for a comprehensive trip briefing and an opportunity for questions and answers.

  • Meeting Time: 7 p.m.
  • Meeting Location: Cusco City

Duration: Approximately 45 minutes

  • Please keep in mind that we strongly advise arriving in Cusco at least 1 - 2 days prior to the departure date to acclimatize to the altitude and participate in the pre-trip briefing.

Please note that accommodation is booked on your own this night in Cusco City. Ask our travel team if you would like to have Cusco accommodations included in the package for an additional cost.

Day 2: A Journey to Soraypampa

Following an early morning breakfast, your MLP guide and driver will collect you from your Cusco hotel. The day's adventure commences with a visit to the Quillarumiyoc archaeological site, en route to the charming mountain village of Mollepata.

Delight in a satisfying lunch at El Pedregal, a picturesque farmhouse nestled within the village. Here, you'll also have the opportunity to gain insights into local agriculture and livestock practices. After this enriching meal, embark on a scenic drive along winding mountain roads to Challacancha.

From Challacancha, your trek commences as you set out on the picturesque "Camino Real" (Royal Path) toward our flagship Salkantay Lodge at Soraypampa. Although we strongly recommend participating in this hike to further acclimatize to the altitude, guests have the option to continue their journey by transport to the Salkantay Lodge.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 3 hours
  • Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate


  • Lunch at El Pedregal (L)
  • Dinner at Salkantay Lodge (D)

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

Day 3: Trekking to Lake Humantay

Following a hearty breakfast, your journey commences with an ascent up the slopes bordering the plateau behind Salkantay Lodge*. After about an hour and a half of determined hiking, your perseverance will be richly rewarded by your first glimpse of the lake's mesmerizing, glistening turquoise waters and the awe-inspiring Humantay glacier towering above.

Upon arrival at this captivating destination, take the opportunity to unwind, savor a snack, meditate amidst the tranquility of this enchanting locale, and partake in a traditional ceremony to pay homage to "la Pachamama" (Mother Earth). After your descent back to the lodge, a sumptuous hot lunch awaits, and the afternoon offers leisure activities such as relaxation, rejuvenating massages, or indulging in the outdoor hot tub, all while reveling in the spectacular view of the Salkantay Peak during sunset.

*Please Note: Although the morning hike to Lake Humantay is optional, we highly recommend your participation to prepare for the demanding trek on Day 4.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours
  • Hiking Level: Moderate

Optional Activities:

  • Chakana Excursion (Additional Cost): This activity combines horseback riding and hiking to ascend the steep hills near the lodge. The destination is a striking vantage point overlooking the Salkantay River Valley, marked by an oversized Inca Chakana (cross). Duration: Approximately 5 hours (1.5 - 2 hours on horseback).
  • Horseback Riding (Additional Cost): Following lunch, you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring Soraypampa on horseback. Duration: Approximately 2 hours.


  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (all at Salkantay Lodge)

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

Day 4: Salkantay Pass Expedition

Embarking on an early morning start, your adventure unfolds with the commencement of the ascent towards the formidable Salkantay Pass. Your route takes you on a circumnavigation of Humantay Peak, guiding you through vast plateaus interlinked by colossal boulders—a testament to the former Rio Blanco Valley, once traversed by a swift-flowing river.

The ultimate and most arduous segment of your ascent awaits as you conquer the sinuous mountain switchbacks leading you to the Salkantay Pass, the pinnacle of your trek at a lofty elevation of 15,213 feet (4,636 meters). The journey persists with a dramatic descent through fields adorned with substantial boulders and natural stone formations, often veiled in a mystifying shroud of fog.

You'll have an opportunity to pause, recuperate, and relish some trail mix before concluding your hike by traversing the picturesque countryside, with rolling hills eventually guiding you to the marshy plateaus leading to the Wayra Lodge at Wayraccmachay. Here, you can wash away the trail's dust and savor a delectable, piping hot lunch.

In the afternoon, take respite in the Jacuzzi or simply revel in the breathtaking and imposing vistas of the snow-clad peaks that surround you.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours
  • Hiking Level: Challenging


  • Breakfast at Salkantay Lodge (B)
  • Lunch en route (L)
  • Dinner at Wayra Lodge (D)

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

Day 5: Descending into the Enchanted Cloud Forest

Following a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, your journey unfolds as you continue your descent towards the captivating cloud forest. You'll follow the path along the banks of the Salkantay River, surrounded by increasingly lush and vibrant scenery.

As you near the edge of the jungle, warm air starts to rise, welcoming you with the fluttering colors of butterflies and the striking beauty of orchids. Today's trek leads you past the humble abodes of local Andean residents, marked by their simple homes and rustic fences.

Around midday, you'll reach the picturesque Colpa Lodge, perched on a lofty promontory at the confluence of three rivers. The Colpa Lodge team will extend a warm welcome and serve you a Pachamanca lunch—a traditional Peruvian feast prepared underground with hot stones, creating a natural oven.

After this delightful lunch, spend your afternoon basking in the sun or unwinding in the outdoor hot tub while reveling in the panoramic vistas of the lush, green mountains enveloping you.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 3 - 4 hours
  • Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate


  • Breakfast at Wayra Lodge (B)
  • Lunch en route (L)
  • Dinner at Colpa Lodge (D)

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

Day 6: Exploring the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today's journey leads you through the picturesque Santa Teresa River Valley, following a gentle trail that traverses fertile fruit orchards and intersects streams originating from glacier-fed waterfalls. Take a break by the river to enjoy some trail mix before continuing your hike for another hour.

At this point, an MLP transport vehicle will meet you for a brief transfer to the base of the Llactapata Inca Trail steps, which will guide you to Lucma Lodge. Upon your arrival, indulge in a delightful lunch at the lodge.

Following your meal, embark on an enlightening visit to an organic coffee plantation—an opportunity to witness the cultivation of some of the finest organic coffees in the world. As you explore, you'll start to notice a noticeable change in the climate. In Lucmabamba, the warm air and heightened humidity signal that you're drawing closer to the threshold of the Amazon Jungle.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 5.5 hours
  • Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging


  • Breakfast at Colpa Lodge (B)
  • Lunch en route (L)
  • Dinner at Lucma Lodge (D)

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

Day 7: Lucmabamba - The First Glimpse of Machu Picchu

After a nourishing breakfast, leave Lucma Lodge behind and set out on a 2-3 hour ascent through the mystical cloud forest, primarily on a path composed of original Inca steps. As you progress, you'll find yourself surrounded by lush canopies of trees overhead, and the persistent sound of flowing water will indicate the presence of a nearby river.

Your initial achievement for the day will be reaching the peak, the last one before your descent into the Aobamba River Valley, the connection point to Machu Picchu. Upon reaching the Llactapata Pass (8,974’ / 2,736m), you'll be greeted by a southeast view of Machu Picchu—a sight that only a fortunate few travelers have the opportunity to behold. Explore Llactapata, the Inca tambo (fortress) marking the pass, before savoring a picnic lunch at a mountain lookout point that offers panoramic vistas.

The final leg of your journey involves descending along a zigzagging trail that leads you to the roaring Aobamba River. This path takes you through enchanting bamboo forests, diverse fruit orchards, and additional coffee plantations. Celebrate your progress as you cross the river via a bridge, marking your concluding steps of the trek en route to the Hidroelectrica train station. From here, enjoy a picturesque one-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes, situated on the banks of the Urubamba River at the base of Machu Picchu.

Trek Details:

  • Trekking Time: Approximately 4–6 hours
  • Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging


  • Breakfast at Lucma Lodge (B)
  • Lunch en route (L)
  • Dinner at your hotel (D)

Overnight: Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel (Elevation: 6,693’/2,040m)

Day 8: The Majestic Citadel of Machu Picchu

Your odyssey to Machu Picchu commences with an exhilarating uphill bus journey in the morning. As you enter this sacred 'sanctuary,' as it's referred to by locals, prepare to be captivated by the grandeur of its masterful architecture, including the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the regal Inca dwellings, among other awe-inspiring structures.

Following a comprehensive two-hour guided tour, you'll have the freedom to explore at your own pace. Consider embarking on a hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain* to relish dramatic vistas that extend from the Urubamba River Valley to the fringes of the Amazon Jungle.

Take a moment to sit in quiet contemplation—listen to the whispers of the wind, meditate, and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. After your exploration, savor a delicious lunch in Aguas Calientes before embarking on a scenic Vistadome train journey to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours), followed by a vehicle transfer to your Cusco hotel (approximately 1.5 hours).

As night descends and you return to the bustling ambiance of Cusco city, you'll carry with you a profound sense of peace and rejuvenation, a lasting souvenir from your remarkable journey.

*Please Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu Mt. (8,924’ / 2,720m) may be available, subject to an additional cost. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are unavailable for your preferred date, you may opt for a hike up Machu Picchu Mt. (10,112 / 3,082m), situated adjacent to the Machu Picchu Citadel on the southern side. For detailed information, please consult us.


  • Breakfast and Lunch (at your hotel)


  • Hotel not included, please request a hotel booking if you would like, at an additional cost.

Additional Details:

  • Rates are per person based on shared accommodations
  • Requested Single Room: subject to a 50% supplement in addition to the standard retail cost/per person.
  • Single traveler willing to share: No additional charge at MLP Lodges. A supplementary charge will apply at our affiliate hotels in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes
  • A non-refundable deposit of US$500.00 per person is required to confirm a reservation
  • We recommend arriving in Cusco 1-2 days prior to your departure date for altitude acclimatization

Additional Trip Info

  • Transportation from hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa on Day 2 and from Ollantaytambo back to hotel in Cusco on Day 8.
  • Six (6) nights lodging: Five (5) nights in MLP lodges and one (1) night in Aguas Calientes (Inkaterra Pueblo or similar)
  • All meals except breakfast on Day 2 and dinner on Day 8.
  • Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English) from Day 2 to Day 8. Tours are led in English.
  • Transportation of personal belongings on the trek by pack horses/mules and/or porters.
  • Guided visit to Machu Picchu (including entrance fee and transportation to site).
  • Train service to Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo.
  • Filtered water, tea, coffee, juice and soft drinks at all lodges (alcohol, sports drinks, and bottled water not included).
  • All Meals and beverages including soft drinks and a house selection of beer, wine, and spirits at the MLP Mountain lodges only.
  • Gratuities for the staff at the lodges and the staff in the field. Note: Gratuities for your guide are not included and are at your discretion.
  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Insurance - We recommend  World Nomads, or Global Rescue
  • Personal expenses

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