Machu Picchu Lodge Hike Trip Highlights

  • Marvel at the exquisite beauty of the Salkantay Peak and Humantay Glacier Lake.
  • Share in the culture and customs of local Andean families who maintain century-old traditions.
  • Witness environmental and social initiatives to maintain the natural integrity and improve quality of life in the region.
  • Indulge in the comfort of enchanting mountain lodges, innovative gourmet cuisine, the warmth of great people, and your daily retreat to a recovery Shangri-La for mind and body.
  • Explore the famed Lost City of Machu Picchu

Itinerary Overview

There’s no need to rough it while retracing the Inca’s footsteps any longer. Take in Mount Salkantay and epic Andean scenery with time to acclimatize and rejuvenate in cozy accommodations along this road less traveled. In addition to your hike, you’ll explore the Sacred Valley and its indigenous cultures, visit Machu Picchu, and unwind in one of Peru’s most relaxing retreats.

Peru Travel

DAY 1  LIMA

Visit Lima’s sites, museums and restaurants.

DAY 2 Lima to Cusco

Fly Cusco and explore a city where traditional Andean cultures, the colonial Spanish, and modern Peru combine. Visit the Temple of the Sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy savory cuisine and see colonial cathedrals built atop Incan foundations.

DAY 3 Sacred Valley

Visit the isolated Amaru indigenous community in the Andes. Gather plants used as natural dyes and see how the Amaru’s colorful textiles come to life. Lunch with community leaders or picnic amongst Pisac ruins before bargaining for wares in the region’s most vibrant market.

DAY 4 Cusco to Salkantay

Depart Cusco, stop at the Tarawasi ruins, have coffee in a rural mountain lodge, and hike the Royal Path to Salkantay Lodge. 3-4 hrs optional hike

DAY 5 Soraypampa

Continue acclimatizing at Salkantay. Take a short hike to a glacial lake for a quick dip and return to the lodge’s outdoor jacuzzi.

DAY 6 • Soraypampa to Huayraccmachay

Begin your trek to Machu Picchu. Crest the pass at 14,800-ft taking in breathtaking Andean views. Spot condors, enjoy hot picnic lunch and descend to the Wayra Lodge. 6-8 hrs hiking

DAY 7 • Huayraccmachay to Collpapampa

After hearty breakfast, descend lush cloud forest to the river and Colpa Lodge. 3-4 hrs hiking

DAY 8 • Collpapampa to Lucmabamba 

Continue along the trail arriving to Lucma Lodge in a picturesque avocado orchard. Explore nearby villages and meet community members. 5-6 hrs hiking

DAY 9 • Lucmabamba to Machu Picchu

Ascend to Llactapata Pass where you’re rewarded with a gourmet picnic overlooking Machu Picchu Citadel. Descend lush bamboo forests to the Urubamba River where you train to Machu Picchu Pueblo. 4-6 hrs hiking

DAY 10 • Machu Picchu

Revel at the sunrise from the Lost City of Machu Picchu, perched amidst Andean peaks and cloud forest. Enjoy a complete guided tour of the site also with time to explore on your own.

DAY 11 • Machu Picchu Pueblo – Cusco

Enjoy a relaxing soak in your hotel’s thermal pools, take an orchid walk, and toast your hike. Or choose to visit the ruins again before returning to Cusco.

DAY 12 • Lima, departure

Fly to Lima and depart.

Is It For Me?

An ideal trip for those who love to hike and discover nature but would like to avoid camping. Participants should be in moderate to good physical condition.

Knowmad has vast knowledge and operations in Peru; this is a private trip and we are happy to modify excursions, accommodations, and the flow of the itinerary to perfectly suit your travel style and interests.

Have questions? Talk to an expert: 612-315-2894

Important Info

Walking Hiking Tours Peru

COSTS

Listed prices are approximations. All Knowmad trips are custom and exact pricing is provided in your trip proposal.

  • From $5,255 per person / 2 travelers in high season (Apr 16 – Oct 31st, Dec 16th – Dec 31st)

Additionally, regional airfare is estimated at $440 (Lima/Cusco & Cusco/Lima—subject to change).

TYPE Flexible Date Private Departures. You choose the date and your travel companions and we’ll get you together with a group of fellow, like-minded travelers for the lodge to lodge trekking portion of the trip.

MODERATE TRIP More active trips that may feature hiking at elevation, kayaking, horseback riding and more. Suitable for most people in good health, these trips may also venture into remote territory and more rugged terrain.

DEPARTURES March through December.

LENGTH 12 days – 11 nights comfortable hotels and lodges              BEGIN / END Lima, Peru

Air Travel

INTERNATIONAL  Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You may arrange your international airfare independently, or we are happy to offer our feedback and assistance in helping you book it.

REGIONAL If booked by Knowmad Adventures, internal airfare for this trip (Lima/Cusco, Cusco/Lima) averages $440, however this is an approximation and the airfare is subject to change upon booking. If you would like to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us prior so we can verify the departure and arrival times.

What's Next?

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Signing up is easy. Call us at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com and reserve your spot. Or simply download our registration form, fill it out, and send it back to us along with your trip deposit. Please refer to registration form for terms & conditions.

Weather & When to Go to Peru

This trip takes place mostly in the Peruvian highlands. Throughout the year the average temperature is in the mid-50s °F (10-12 °C) and does not fluctuate greatly. Evenings are cooler. There are primarily two seasons: wet and dry. December through March sees much more precipitation than other times of the year and is the less visited season. As Peru has three distinct climate zones, if you are interested in combining this trip with a visit to the jungle or the coastal areas please inquire for more weather details.

Weather in Peru

Prior to your departure, you are provided a detailed pre-trip information packet including a recommended pack list, information about the regions you’ll be visiting, suggested readings, up-to-date health information including any recommended vaccinations and more.

Accommodations

Our trips feature comfortable accommodations that complement their surroundings. We seek out intimacy and character, but never sacrifice cleanliness and security. We also find the best value for quality. In general, our physically moderate to vigorous trips feature hotels classified as 3+ to 4 stars, while less physically demanding trips feature 4+ to 5 star hotels.

As South American travel specialists, we’re experts and have inspected hundreds of properties. Knowmad is happy to suggest upgrades and alternative hotels based on your preferences to ensure your trip is perfect for you. Photos below are from this itinerary’s preferred accommodations. For more specifics, call or write to request more info, or download the detailed trip itinerary.

Tours of Peru Lodges

Accommodations featured in this itinerary are the following:

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Lima

Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport by a Knowmad Adventures representative and taken to your accommodations centrally located in the Miraflores neighborhood. Explore Peru’s diverse and delectable cuisine and visit some of the city’s many sites and museums on your own or, depending on your time, make a guided exploration of the city or learn to make ceviche a top local chef on a culinary discovery.*

DAY 2 Lima to Cusco

In the morning, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. Between the Cusco airport and your hotel, our guide will take you on a quick tour of the colonial Plaza de Armas.

Enjoy the day at your leisure independently exploring a city where traditional Andean cultures, the colonial Spanish, and modern Peru come together in one of South America’s most culturally and visually dynamic cities. Visit Incan architectural jewels such as Korikancha – the temple of the sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy savory, wide-ranging Peruvian cuisine, and see the colonial cathedrals built atop Incan foundations around the Plaza Central. Or you may want to simply relax while you begin acclimatizing to the altitude of 10,856 feet.

DAY 3 Sacred Valley

After an early breakfast you’ll be picked up and taken on a private tour that will get you hands on with traditional Andean cultures. Heading out of Cusco you’ll go off the map winding up a small dirt road, which takes you through remote Andean villages until we arrive to the Amaru community. This isolated community holds strongly to their ancient customs and practices a largely subsistence lifestyle on the slopes of the Andes. The Amaru will proudly open their village to you where you will learn of their lifestyle and traditions. Among other things you take part in gathering plants used as natural dyes, learn of their medicinal and culinary properties, and see how the Amaru’s world-renowned textiles are woven and brought to life.

Stay for lunch with community leaders or enjoy a picnic amongst the Pisac ruins that sprawl down the mountainside towards town. If still energized, you can enjoy a gentle hike through the extensive Inca terracing down the mountainside, or hop in the van, and arrive to Pisac – one of Peru’s largest and most vibrant markets – where you can bargain with Andean campesinos for hand-crafted wares. Return to Cusco for a relaxing evening.

  • B, L – Aranwa

DAY 4 Cusco to Salkantay

After checking out of your hotel you’ll be joined by your hiking guide and head by van towards Soraypampa high in the Andes. Along the way you’ll stop at the Inca ruins of Tarawasi, have coffee in the mountain village of Mollepata and ascend the mountains to Mollepata.

From here you’ll begin your trek on the Camino Real (Royal Path), a moderate 3-4 hour hike with a gentle elevation gain that helps you acclimatize for the higher altitudes to come. A warm welcome awaits at the Salkantay Lodge. This twelve-room lodge sits at 12,500 feet amongst towering, snow-capped Andean peaks, including its namesake the 20,600-ft Salkantay which figures prominently in Incan mythology. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure in this remote valley before sitting around the fireplace over aperitifs and dinner while you’re briefed on the rest of the trek.

  • B, Box Lunch, D – Salkantay Lodge

DAY 5 Soraypampa

Today you will have the whole day to enjoy the lodge and surrounding valley while you continue to acclimatize. A half-day hike to a glacial lake where you may want to take a quick dip is a great adventure, as well as soaking your muscles in the outdoor jacuzzi admiring the views.

  • B, L, D – Salkantay Lodge

DAY 6 Soraypampa to Huayraccmachay

Today marks the beginning of the four-day high-mountain trek to Machu Picchu. A hearty breakfast gets you ready for your hike up the Rio Blanco Valley cinrcling the Humantay Peak. Continuing on you’ll crest the pass at 14,800-ft where you’ll take in views to the snowcapped Vilcabamba Range.

When you reach the highest point of today’s trek, a 14,800-ft pass, you’ll stop for breathtaking views of the snowcapped Vilcabamba Range and the south face of Mt. Salkantay where the Andean condor is a common sight. Hot lunch is taken en route. From here you descend to the Wayra Lodge (wayra means ‘the place where the wind lives’ in the Quechua language) for the evening.

Hiking details: Hiking time 6-8 hours

  • B, L, D – Wayra Lodge

DAY 7 Huayraccmachay to Collpapampa

After yesterdays arduous hike, today is more leisurely and your trek begins by descending towards the Salkantay River as the flora becomes denser and more lush as you descend deeper into the cloudforest. You’ll arrive to the Colpa Lodge perched on a bluff overlooking the confluence of three rivers with vast mountain views.

Hiking details: Hiking time 3-4 hours

  • B, L, D – Colpa Lodge

DAY 8 Collpapampa to Lucmabamba

Heading down the Santa Teresa River Valley, you’ll pass through banana and coffee plantations as well as rural towns and villages. Enjoy a hot picnic along the river to refuel for another hour of hiking to a dirt road where you’ll take a short transfer and then a short hike along the Llactapata Inca Trail ending at the Lucma Lodge. The Lacuma Lodge is located in an avocado orchard near the trail at an elevation of 6,900 feet in a picturesque farming area where passion fruit, coffee and avocados grow. Before dinner, there will be time to explore the nearby village of Lucmabamba where it may be possible to meet members of the community.

Hiking details: 5-6 hours

  • B, L, D – Lucma Lodge

DAY 9 Lucmabamba to Machu Picchu

You’ll get an early start after breakfast on this last day of your Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. The first two hours are an ascent to Llactapata Pass, elevation 8,900 feet, where you’ll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a perspective seen by few tourists. Along the way, you’ll stop at the recently restored Llactapata ruins. While admiring the Lost City of Machu Picchu from above, you’ll indulge in another gourmet picnic. The final two to three hour descent takes you through lush bamboo forests, orchards and plantations to the Aobamba River. From here you’ll continue by train along the Urubamba River for 30 minutes to Machu Picchu Pueblo for the evening.

Hiking details: 4-6 hours

DAY 10 Machu Picchu

Early risers can revel at the sunrise from the Machu Picchu citadel. This incredibly vast archaeological site – lost to the world until well into the twentieth century – is perched amidst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest making it one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to get a complete guided tour as you begin to unlock the mystery of the Inca, and have plenty of time to wander the site on your own. You can also climb the adjacent sacred peak Huayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view.

DAY 11 Machu Picchu Pueblo – Cusco

Enjoy a leisurely morning on the serene grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel – a Knowmad Adventures favorite – where you can take an orchid walk, spot a variety of hummingbird species and take a soak in a semi-natural pool amongst the cloudforest. After checking out you will take an early afternoon train to Ollantaytambo for a delicious lunch and continue on to Cusco for the evening.

DAY 12 Lima, departure

You will be taken to the airport and fly to Lima and onward home.

  • B

Extend Your Adventure

Amazon Jungle

Just a short flight from Cusco, spotting troops of monkeys, colorful macaws and countless bird species, giant sloths, caimans, and maybe even a jaguar or puma in the Amazon Jungle is a traveler favorite. We have scoured the jungle lodges of Peru and can advise you on which experience fits you best while guaranteeing the best value.

Lake Titicaca

Besides being the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is home to diverse traditional cultures including the floating Uros civilization, the Quechua people of Taquile Island, and the Amaru peoples. Come and meet them at the top of the world.

Lima

Want to spend more time exploring this great city? Besides getting you a great value for hotels and airport transfers, we can line up a fantastic cooking lesson and culinary city tour, full and half day sightseeing adventures, surrounding ruin visits and much more.

Let The Journey Begin

Let the Journey Begin - Knowmad Adventures

Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first. Knowmad offers door-to-door trip planning: first, we listen, and then we help you navigate the seasonal differences and itinerary options, resulting in a holistic, seamless, and custom-crafted experience, all at a guaranteed best value.

The simplest way to get started is to give us a call at 612-315-2894or to fill out this short form so we can learn more about your travel preferences.