Mountain lodges of Peru

The Salkantay Trek

This unforgettable experience combines the exhilaration of a 50 km trek in the towering Peruvian Andes with the comfort and delights of lovely mountain lodges. You walk on the little-known Salcantay Trail pass through numerous eco-systems at heights ranging from 2100 to 4600 metres. Original Inca paths offer views of snow-capped mountains and glaciers, winding their way to waterfalls, rivers and turquoise lakes. Local inhabitants live isolated in simple houses, much as their ancestors have done for centuries. In contrast to the traditional Inca trail where you sleep in tents, here you are pampered in lodges with comfortable rooms, hot showers and even heated outdoor Jacuzzis!
ROOMS:
OUR RATING:

Why we recommend it:

  • Staying in lodges instead of tents
  • Massages available at certain lodges
  • Hot water in all lodges
  • Heated outdoor Jacuzzis

THE STYLE

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THE DETAIL

All 4 lodges have been designed and built in accordance with traditional building techniques, Inca architectural & mythological concepts, and respect for the environment. The Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort has 12 private double, twin or triple rooms with private bathroom facilities. Each Trekker’s Lodge (Wayra, Collpa, Lucma) have 6 private double, twin or triple rooms.

Rooms can hold up to 3 people maximum. Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort, Wayra Lodge and Colpa Lodge have an outdoor hot tub. Every lodge guarantees an ample supply of hot water for showers; there are no bathtubs in any of the lodges. Room heating ensures the temperature remains a comfortable 68°F (23°C).

Mountain lodges of Peru offers professional massage services at the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort from March-December of every season and offers professional massage services at the Wayra, Colpa and Lucma lodges—subject to availability.

Itinerary

DAY 1
CUSCO to SALKANTAY LODGE (3,800 m/12,500 ft).
After an early breakfast, guests will be picked up starting at 7:00 am at their hotel in Cusco by an MLP guide and vehicle in direction to the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort (SLAR) 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 a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle).

Here, 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 mild & beautiful 4 hour trek on 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 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, 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 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 next four days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge.

DAY 3
SORAYPAMPA to WAYRA LODGE (3,850m/12,600 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 4,600 m (15,000 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. Hiking level: challenging with a 15,000ft mountain pass).

DAY 4
HUAYRACCMACHAY to COLPA LODGE (2,800m/9,200 ft).
Following the long first 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. Our arrival at the next lodge encounters a “Pachamanca”-style lunch (subject to availability; traditional underground stone cooking). 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 (2,100m/6,900 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 organic coffees in the world!), bananas, ‘granadillas’, and orchards. We stop along the river for a hot picnic lunch. After another hour of trekking a private vehicle 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 possible meeting with members of the local community. (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/6,200 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 (2,700 m/8,900ft), 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 Aobamba River 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 (2,450m/8,000 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). Afterwards, 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 (1½ hrs), where a private vehicle awaits to take us to Cusco (1 ½ hrs). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7-8pm) we will drop guests off at the hotel of their choice.

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