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Salkantay Trek, Andes, Peru

Mountain Lodges of Peru: Salkantay Trail

12-day tailor-made journey from £4,290 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A luxury holiday with a week-long hike through the dramatic Andes Mountains of Peru

Highlights

  • Trek your way through Andean mountain passes to reach remote Incan ruins, coffee plantation tours and picture-perfect glacial valleys
  • Arrive at Americas' greatest archaeological site – Machu Picchu – before hiking its grand setting
  • Bookend your journey with tours of lively Lima's historic sights and Cusco's ancient complexes and colonial gems

In Brief

  • 1 Night Lima
  • 1 Night Cusco
  • 6 Nights Mountain Lodges Trek
  • 2 Nights Cusco

About

Recommended for:
Activity adventure | History & culture | Natural world

This unforgettable 12-day holiday, which includes a seven-day guided trek, takes you across the Peruvian Andes from Cusco to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, passing towering, snow-capped peaks and vast glacial lakes, while experiencing the unique culture and customs of the local Andean people. The route takes you on a road less travelled. It's an alternative journey to the well-worn path of the world-renowned Inca Trail, winding through the Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range before plunging down through verdant cloud forests, finally arriving at the gates of Machu Picchu itself. Along the way you'll enjoy comfortable nights in four cosy lodges, with hot showers, gourmet meals, fine wines, goose-down bedding, outdoor jacuzzis and personalised service from highly trained local staff.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Lima

Arrive in Lima, Peru's vibrant capital, and transfer to your hotel in the city's affluent Miraflores neighbourhood, which boasts a delightful seaside setting and an abundance of restaurants and bars. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Stay: Hotel B, Lima (Deluxe)

Day 2
Lima/Cusco

After breakfast, a morning city tour will introduce you to the sights and Latin rhythms of the Peruvian capital. Start at its main square where its palaces, cathedral and colonial city hall won Lima its nickname, 'the City of Kings'. You'll then stop off to take in its Pacific Ocean views after touring archaeological complexes, 19th century convents and pretty parks. You'll then transfer to Lima airport and board a flight to Cusco, the gateway to the Peruvian Andes. On arrival you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town, which is home to a mix of colonial architecture and ancient Incan ruins. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the city at your own pace. This evening, head to one of the many superb local restaurants located in and around the city's impressive main square, dinner not included.

Stay: El Mercado, Cusco, Peru (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 3
Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

After an early breakfast you'll be collected from your hotel for the start of your Andean trek. The day begins with a drive to the mountain village of Marcoccasa, stopping along the way to see the Incan ruins at Limatambo and for a short coffee break at Mollepata.

Marcoccasa marks the starting point of the trail to Soraypampa, part of an old route known as the Camino Real (Royal Path). Today's trek is moderate, affording everyone in the group the chance to acclimatise to the high altitude while enjoying some superb scenery during the six-hour walk to Salkantay Lodge, where you'll spend the night. The Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak of Mt. Salkantay, located at the head of the valley. Standing at 6,270m, Mt Salkantay is the highest peak in the region and the second most sacred in Incan mythology. Enjoy a warm welcome from the lodge's staff, check into your room and then settle down to tea and cookies and a welcome briefing from your guide, followed by aperitifs and dinner.

Stay: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft) (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Hike to Humantay Lake

Today you'll have the option to take an acclimatisation trek on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, a stunning emerald-green lake fed by the glacier of Mt Humantay. Although the hike is optional, it's well worth the effort, not only to help with acclimatising to the altitude, but also to enjoy some sublime views and, for the brave, to take a dip in the lake's icy waters. Alternatively, you can choose to stay at the lodge and enjoy a soak in the outdoor jacuzzi.

Stay: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft) (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Today is the most challenging, and rewarding, day of the trek. An early start sees you hike along the beautiful Rio Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak. From there you'll trek to the Salkantay Pass, which at 4,638 m (15,213 ft), is the highest point of the whole route. Stop at the pass and enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range and the glaciated south face of Mt Salkantay towering above. Keep you eyes peeled for Andean condors, which are often seen in this spectacular region. From the pass you'll descend towards Wayra Lodge, your home for the night. Lunch will be served along the way, followed by a sumptuous dinner in the comfortable surroundings of the lodge.

Stay: Wayra Lodge (3,906 m/12,812 ft)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Descend into the Cloud Forest

Today begins with a leisurely breakfast at the lodge before you continue your descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle-clad valleys below, accompanied by colourful butterflies and delicate orchids. Arrive at Colpa Lodge, located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers, where you'll be served a traditional Peruvian meal called a pachamanca, cooked using hot stones in an oven dug from the ground. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the outdoor jacuzzi and exploring a nearby orchid trail before dinner is served at the lodge this evening.

Stay: Colpa Lodge (2,870m/9,414ft) (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Follow the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today's hike takes you along the Santa Teresa River Valley, passing through beautiful landscapes and rural communities, where you'll find banana, granadilla and avocado orchards as well as several coffee plantations. Enjoy a hot picnic lunch served by the banks of the river before meeting a private vehicle for the short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail. From there its an easy hike to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Along the way you'll make a stop at a coffee plantation where you'll take a short farm tour to learn how the coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. Spend this evening relaxing at Lucma Lodge where you'll be served dinner and drinks.

Stay: Lucma Lodge (2,135m/7,003ft) (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
First view of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass

Enjoy a hearty breakfast before tackling the last day's trekking, beginning with an uphill hike to Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974 ft). From here you'll get your first distant glimpse of Machu Picchu, a view few travellers ever get the chance to see. Continue your trek, taking a break at the Llactapata Ruins before enjoying lunch at a scenic viewpoint looking out towards Machu Picchu. Afterwards, begin your final descent to the Aobamba River, passing through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Board a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, and check into your award-winning hotel for a celebration dinner and a well earned night's rest.

Stay: Aguas Calientes (1,900m/6,232ft) (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Visit Machu Picchu

An early start and buffet breakfast is followed by a bus ride to the gates of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Your trip leader will give you an introductory two-hour tour of the ruins after which you have the option to climb to the summit of Huanyna Picchu, an almost vertical hike that takes around two hours and offers sublime views of the Machu Picchu complex below. Return to Aguas Calientes and board a train to Ollantaytambo, followed by a private transfer back to Cusco. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Stay: El Mercado, Cusco, Peru (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 10
Cusco

Get to know this UNESCO-listed city on a guided tour that begins with Koricancha Temple, an Incan palace that was once the centre of worship for the sun god, Inti. Today, it's the site of Santo Domingo, a Dominican church built by the Spanish colonialists. Its mix of European architecture and Incan foundations is a fitting poster child for this historic city and your next stop – the grand Main Square, home to green gardens and ornate spanish churches. Then, leave the city behind for its surrounding archaeological sites and Sacsayhuaman Fortress whose stone battlements look out over Cusco. Lastly, call into a workshop to watch as craftsmen create silver jewellery and wood paintings.

Stay: El Mercado, Cusco, Peru (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 11
Depart Peru

After breakfast, a private transfer will bring you to the airport for your flight back home.

Meals: B

Day 12
Arrive UK

Following your overnight flight, arrive back in the UK and continue your onward journey home.

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior Deluxe

12-day tailor-made journey from £4,290 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £4,290 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £5,335 pp. incl. flights

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights between the UK and Lima
  • Domestic flights between Lima and Cusco
  • Private airport transfers
  • 4 nights accommodation in 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • 6 nights accommodation in 3-4* lodges on a full-board basis
  • Private half-day Lima city tour
  • Shared 7-day guided Salkantay trek 
  • Shared guided tour of Machu Picchu with lunch
  • Private half-day Cusco city & nearby ruins tour

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0691 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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