Adventure of the Week: Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Luxury
An ancient, mystical city in the mountains of Peru, shrouded in cloud, only accessible by foot. It is the stuff of dreams, of childhood adventure. Who wouldn't want to go? Well, the traditional route, three days walking and staying in tents is amazing, but not for everyone. However, there is an alternative, on an equally stunning path that allows you to stay in much more comfortable accommodation. So if Machu Picchu in comfort sounds good to you, then let's get on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Luxury.
In a Nutshell:
Where: The hike up to Machu Picchu begins in Mollepata after a few days of acclimatisation in and around Cusco. From Mollepata you will follow an ancient Inca trading route through the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba, through 9 different eco-zones until you reach the hidden city of Machu Picchu.
Distance: The Salkantay route is 69km long, however, we include an acclimatisation hike in the Cusco hills beforehand so the full trip is around 76km. The daily hikes are around 10-15km over seven days of hiking.
Grade: This trip is graded as moderate. While the accommodation may be more luxurious, the trip is still fairly full-on so you should have a good level of fitness. However, because you have a guide and a mule carrying your bags, you don't need too much experience of long-distance walking for this one.
Why Walk Here?
Let's get it out of the way. Machu Picchu is outstanding! It truly is a sight you will never forget, no matter how many times you have seen its picture on the internet or in a magazine. To be there and run your hands over the rough ancient stone fills you with a sense of wonder that stays with you forever. As well as Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek takes you past Llaqtapata, another impressive Incan site. Once you arrive in Machu Picchu a full guided tour of the site is included, just so you get the full experience of this ancient treasure.
Then, of course, there is the trek itself. I am going to repeat the 9 eco-systems phrase again, just to underline how staggering that is. From the tropical Andean mountain forest and high desert plateau to the lush coffee and banana plantations of the Santa Theresa Valley, the diversity is staggering. This makes for an everchanging trip, through deep valleys, accompanied by snow-capped peaks. The Salkantay Trek is the greener, quieter alternative, along an old Incan trading route.
The word luxury in the trips name should give you a little indication of what is in store for you every night, but this is style with Andean flair. On the trek you will stay in Mountain Lodges, each with six ensuite rooms to welcome you each evening. The rooms are extremely comfortable, the food is gourmet and divine, and the locations are mindblowing. As well as this, you have your choice of four or five-star hotel in Cusco just to add the luxurious sheen to your joyful city break there.
Cusco is an amazing city and you have two nights there to acclimatise and to allow you to discover this vibrant city and its surrounding hills. Cuzco is the ancient heartland of the Incan World. It is a city of contrasts with ornate cathedrals sitting side by side with Incan temples. Bright woollen clothing, pet llamas on the street and some of the best restaurants in Peru. Despite its contrast, it all just works perfectly and the Christian and Incan worlds blend to create a culture of friendliness, welcome and wonder.
Planning and Preparation
To get to the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Luxury, you simply have to fly into Cusco. From here, we will meet you at your hotel and get you on your way. Cusco is easily accessible internationally from any major airport.
If you have any questions about the route, don't hesitate to contact one of our Destination Specialists, who will be more than happy to help.