Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Typical Salkantay Trek Lodges
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Highlights

  • Hike the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu, lodge to lodge
  • Spend afternoons soaking in the lodge hot tubs, marvelling at Andean views
  • Discover the archaeological mysteries of Machu Picchu with your expert guide
  • Explore the artisan markets and plazas of Cusco
  • Visit the impressive Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman

Hike the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu, spending each night in the comfort of remote, stylish mountain lodges.

Arriving into the ancient Inca capital, Cusco, ease into your trek with 2 nights of acclimatisation that includes a day-hike to the mighty Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

The following day, together with your guide and fellow trekkers, transfer to the mountain village of Mollepata. From here, follow an ancient Inca trading route through the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Trek under the shadow of Humantay Peak, past the glaciated peak of Salkantay (6270m) and through 9 different eco-zones that include the lush coffee and banana plantations of the Santa Theresa Valley. At the end of each day, the stylish mountain lodges are perfect for reliving the day in the cosy dining room, or enjoying an dip in the al fresco hot tubs.

The perfect conclusion to this hiking odyssey is a day of guided exploration at South America’s finest archaeological site, Machu Picchu.

Day 1 Arrive Cusco

The Incan city of Cusco is an hour’s flight from Lima. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Cusco sits at 3400m above sea level and therefore we suggest to take the day to relax and allow your body to gently acclimatise to the altitude. After lunch, enjoy a gentle stroll to the nearby Plaza de Armas. Later in the day, your guide will return to brief you on the days of adventure ahead!


Meals included: Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 2 Hill of Cusco & Sacsayhuaman


After breakfast, we enjoy a relax start to our acclimatisation day of walking. Transferring to the hills above Cusco, explore the giant Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman (3700m). Once the site of fierce battles between Incan leaders and the Conquistadors hike through the giant amphitheatre and discover the water temple of Tambo Machay. Follow a trail to the Temple of the Moon, and descend into the artistic quarter of Cusco, San Blas. A final downhill finishes at the Plaza de Armas, where you can return to your luxury hotel or further explore the colonial architecture of Cusco.


Hike: 6-10km


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Cusco


Day 3 Transfer to Mollepata, hike to Soraypampa Lodge


After an early breakfast your guide will collect from your hotel and you will have the opportunity to meet your fellow hikers, before driving onwards from Cusco. Ease gently into the day with a visit to Quillarumiyoc Ruins (the temple of the moon). Continuing onto the mountain village of Mollepata, you can visit a local farmhouse to learn about traditional agricultural methods. From Mollepata, the drive heads up to the settlement of Challacancha. Here you will begin your hike along the ‘Camino Real’ to the comfortable Salkantay Lodge where you will spend the next 2 nights.


Hike: 13km


Ascent / Descent: 990m/470m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3869m)


Day 4 Loop Hike to Lake Humantay

Today, enjoy a half-day acclimatisation hike to Lake Humantay. Ascend to the plateau above the lodge, where a straightforward trail leads to the tranquillity of the lake. Here you can enjoy an opportunity to soak up  the Andean views before returning to the lodge. The afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Take a soak in the outdoor hot tub, indulge in a massage or simply relax in the comfort of your lodge.


Hike: 6km


Ascent / Descent: 530m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3869m)


Day 5 Crossing the Salkantay Pass to Wayra Lodge


After an early breakfast, today’s trek heads up and into the Rio Blanco Valley circling Humantay Peak. With your guide setting a steady pace, a gradual climb arrives at the Abra Salkantay pass (4636m). Here you might be lucky enough to spot Condors soaring high above snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range. The descent to Wayra lodge weaves its way through giant boulders to Huayraccmachay, where a warm welcome at the lodge awaits.


Hike: 14km


Ascent / Descent: 900m/870m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Wayra Lodge (3906m)


Day 6 Descending through the cloud forest to Colpa Lodge


Begin the day with a relaxing breakfast. Hiking from the lodge, descend into verdant cloud forest along the banks of the Salkantay River. As the climate begins to change, spot colourful butterflies, tropical birds and wild orchids. On arrival at Colpa Lodge a traditional Pachamama lunch will be served (a typical festive meal of meat and seasonal vegetables, baked under hot stones). After lunch, there is the option to soak in the hot tub or take a stroll along a nearby orchid trail.


Hike: 9km


Ascent / Descent: 150m/1200m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Colpa Lodge (2870m)


Day 7 Hike the Santa Teresa Valley, transfer to Llactapata Trailhead and trek to Lucma Lodge (2135m)


Continuing our descent this morning, hike through fruit orchards, banana and coffee plantations as we head down the Santa Theresa valley. Early afternoon a private vehicle will transfer the group to start of the Llactapata Inca Trail. From here, the trail heads to Lucma Lodge set in a large avocado orchard.


Hike: 15km


Ascent / Descent: 800m/800m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Lucma Lodge (2135m)


Day 8 Llactapata Pass to Machu Picchu Pueblo


The day of hiking begins with a 2-3 hour ascent of a trail that mostly comprises of ancient Inca steps. From the pass (2736m), there is a spectacular view of Machu Picchu from the south east and it is here we can enjoy lunch. The afternoon trail descends through bamboo forests and fruit orchards to the final stopping point of our trek today, ‘Hidroelectrica’ train station. From here, we enjoy a one-hour scenic train journey to Aguas Calientes, better know as Machu Picchu Pueblo.


Hike: 13km


Ascent / Descent: 1000m/1300m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu Pueblo


Day 9 Exploration of Machu Picchu


At the break of dawn, transfer by bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu (30 mins). Your guide will bring the origins of this ‘Lost City’ to life as you explore the exquisite architecture and key archaeological sites of The Temple of Sun, The Royal Inca Residences and the Inca Bridge. With ample time to do your own exploration of this world-famous site, lunch will taken down in Machu Picchu Pueblo before boarding the train to make our return to bustling, colourful city of Cusco.


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Cusco


Day 10 Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans, the Inca stone alleyways and plaza’s of Cusco can be easily explored from your hotel.


If would like to travel onwards, to Lake Titicaca or Colca Canyon, we can easily arrange this for you.

Accommodation


During this trip you will spend 3 nights in 4* hotels 6 nights in stylish mountain lodges. Examples of the hotel used in Cusco is outlined on the following page. On occasion, we may have to use alternative hotels but will let you know at the time of booking should alternatives have to be used.



Single Rooms & Solo Travellers


If you’re exploring with friends or family and prefer to have your own room, single rooms are available subject to a supplementary payment. However single rooms are not always possible at the mountain lodges as there a number of limited rooms at each lodge.


This tour is available to solo travellers.  If you do not wish to pay a solo hiker supplement you will be paired with another group member of the same gender for the overnight stays at each of the mountain lodges when on trek.


Meals

All breakfasts, 7 lunches & 7 dinners. Typically, breakfasts consist of fruits, juices, breads, eggs, muesli, yogurts and a plentiful supply of tea and coffee.


Included lunches will be a picnic style served by your support crew. Lunches are made up of sandwiches (made of different breads), fruits, sweet treats and local specialities, which can also include some hot rice-based dishes.


For dinners that are not included in Cusco you can choose to dine at your hotel restaurant or in one of the many restaurants nearby. There are also an excellent choice of cafes, bars and restaurants in Cusco, so we do recommend exploring the streets to sample local dishes. For further information on traditional Peruvian cuisine, please refer to your country guide.


Alcoholic drinks are not included and consumption  should be limited when at altitude, especially during the first few days of your tour.


Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know. We try to accommodate all requirements where possible but as the mountain lodges are in remote locations, dietary alternatives may not be possible without prior notice. It is essential you let us know at least a month in advance of any dietary needs. Should you have a specific diet, it is always worth bringing a small supply of your own snacks.


 




 

 

 



Hotel Ananay Quintana - Cusco

Located in artistic quarter of San Blas, this boutique 4* star hotel is only a couple of minutes from the mighty rock of Hatun Rumiyoc and San Blas Church. Guests can enjoy a sipping a Pisco Sour on the terrace or in the lounge area. Rooms are spacious, fresh and are haven of peace after a day of exploring the nearby Plaza de Armas.



 

 

 



Hotel Monasterio - Cusco (hotel upgrade)

In the heart of ancient Cusco, this former monastery is now a luxury 5* hotel. All rooms are located around a central courtyard and gardens, where you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in gardens. The Monasterio has a therapy spa and for the art lovers amongst you, the hotel boasts Cusco’s finest collection of 18th century art which can be viewed around the hotel (a guided viewing can also be arranged).



 

 

 



Salkantay Trek - Lodge

Salkantay Trek - Lodge

Availability

This tour has set departure dates from Mid-March through to early December. If you would like a private departure, please let us know and we can discuss options and dates with you.


Grade, Guides & Support


This trek is graded moderate to challenging. The tour begins in Cusco which is at an altitude of 3400m. Spending the first 2 nights at this altitude  helps your body acclimatise. For further information on altitude and acclimatisation please refer to your country guide.


This trip is a guided group tour with a maximum of 12 participants. On days 1-2 your guide will meet you as per your itinerary and accompany you on your day hike. From days 3-10 you will be hiking with the group. Each day your guide and support crew will lead you from lodge to lodge as you journey through the high Andes on the Salkantay Trail.


The experienced guide paces the day around the group needs which means all you have to do is hike and soak up your mountain surrounds. In the late afternoon and evening you are free to spend the time as you wish. You can enjoy the privacy of your own room, relax in the lounge or take a soak in the hot tub. You will have also 24/7 telephone local partner support should you need to contact your guide or Macs Adventure at anytime during the tour.


Support Crew & Baggage Transfers

On this trail, you will have the full support of an English speaking guide, crew and mules. You will on cary a day pack during the trek, packed only with your essentials for that day. Your main baggage will be carried by a support mule and therefore we ask you to limit your baggage during the hike to 1 main piece of luggage per person at no more than 12kg. Any excess baggage can be stored at the hotel in Cusco. The support crew will usually go ahead and prepare lunch on hiking days and travel ahead with you baggage so it is at the lodge on your arrival.


Equipment

We will supply you with a detailed equipment list as part of your pre-departure information pack. You will need normal walking and travelling gear as well as a sleeping bag and warm clothes.




Travel Insurance


It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care. Prior to departure you must provide us with your travel insurance details.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Gettting to / from Cusco

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com  



Most travellers arrive into Cusco Airport via a 60 minute flight from Lima Airport which has excellent connections to North America and Europe. We would suggest checking trip comparison website for airline information and prices for travel to Peru.


You may prefer to have an overnight in stop in Lima before travelling onto Cusco. Please let us know if you would like extra hotel nights in Lima.


 

Included

  • 3 nights in 4* hotels & 6 nights in stylish lodges
  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches & 8 dinners
  • Guide and support crew on hiking days 2-9
  • Entrance & guided exploration of Machu Picchu
  • National Park Fees & trekking permits
  • Train ticket from Aguas Caliente to Cusco
  • 24/7 local telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to / from Cusco
  • Entrance fees for attractions
  • Lunches & dinners other than those described
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • Travel insurance (details of your travel insurance must be provided before travel).

Extras

  • Additional nights in Cusco or elsewhere in Peru.
  • Single room supplement
  • Solo Trekker supplement
  • 2 day, 1 night Lake Titicaca trip

How far in advance do I need to book?

This lodge trek is very popular and spaces are limited, so we recommend booking as soon as yours plans are finalised to ensure you get the departure date you would like.

Do I need a permit?

You do not require a permit to do the Salkantay Trail which is good news if you have tried to book on the busier Inca Trail and the permits are sold out. 

Experience & Fitness

This trip is graded moderate to challenging. There are 7 hiking days at altitude, with around 3-6 hours walking each day). Distances are between 6-15km with a maximum altitude of 4636m on day 5 when crossing the Salkantay Pass. Although experience of  altitude is not required please be mindful you will spending the first 6 days of the tour between 3000m-4686m.

Being a regular hiker you will enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks. It’s always a good idea to get out and trek back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do. If you have any further questions about the hiking distances and conditions, please contact us.

When To Go?

Peru has very distinct seasons. The main trekking season in southern Peru is March through to December. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20 to 25 degrees from March through to December, which make for pleasant trekking conditions. Being at altitude means the evenings are cooler throughout the year (with June to September temperatures usually dropping to zero degrees). 

The months of March, November and early December may have some showery days but usually the rain doesn’t last for long and typically is an afternoon downpour.

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