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Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

12 Days From $8,576

The Salkantay Trek traverses the glaciers of the Andes before dropping into the rainforest of the Amazon on the way to Machu Picchu.

Highlights

Hike across the Andes into the Amazon rainforest.

Explore the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu.

Explore an ancient Incan temple and a magnificent Spanish cathedral.

Learn about the efforts to save traditional Peruvian textiles.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima

Arrive in Lima.

Your guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you to the hotel to help you check in.

Relax after your international flight.

Hotel: Ramada Costa del Sol (or similar)

Day 2: Tour Colonial Cusco

Depart for Cusco, high (10,856 ft.) in the Andes.

Your guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you to the hotel to help you check in.

Stroll through the Plaza de Armas.

Visit the ancient Inca temple of Qorikancha and Cusco’s magnificent colonial cathedral to witness how the Spanish and Inca cultures melded.

Explore Cusco’s vibrant traditional Andean market.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch

Hotel: Aranwa Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Day 3: Explore Inca Ruins & Meet Everyday Heroines

Visit Chicuchas Wasi, an alternative school for impoverished girls, and be inspired by director Ruth Uribe’s story.

Marvel at the Inca stonework on display at the four most important Inca ruins just outside of Cusco: Sacsayhuamán, Q’enko, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.

Lunch at Aldea Yanapay. The proceeds from this playful restaurant support various social projects, including an alternative after-school program for local children.

Meet Nilda Callañaupa to learn about ancient Peruvian textile traditions and how she plans to save them.

Join a local Cusqueña family in their home for a delicious home-cooked meal.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner

Hotel: Aranwa Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: Visit a Weaving Community in the Sacred Valley

Visit a farm where you learn about the Andean camelid family. Feed and pet llamas and alpacas.

Travel to a remote weaving community. Enjoy a weaving demonstration and share lunch with community members. Shop for fine textiles, all at a fraction of the price you would pay in Cusco.

Stop by a chicheria to sample chicha, the fermented-corn drink that has been popular since the time of the Inca.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch

Hotel: Aranwa Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: Start the Salkantay Trek

Stop for a cup of locally grown coffee in Mollepata on the way to the trailhead.

Hike along the picturesque Camino Royal (Royal Path) to the Salkantay Lodge. The lodge is named after the majestic peak that casts shadows over the valley floor—Mt. Salkantay. It is the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and the highest in the region.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 5 miles; 6 hours; elevation gain of 1,689 feet; altitude of 11,001 to 12,690

Hotel: Salkantay Lodge

Day 6: Hike to Humantay Lake

Hike to the iridescent blue, glacial Humantay Lake on the slopes above the lodge. Take a dip in the lake, if you dare!

Spend the afternoon soaking in the outdoor Jacuzzi or exploring the surrounding area.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 4 miles; 4½ hours; elevation gain/loss of 1,155/1,155 feet; altitude of 12,690 to 13,845

Hotel: Salkantay Lodge

Day 7: Summit the Salkantay Pass

Hike up the Rio Blanco Valley and summit the Salkantay Pass.

Make sure to take a picture in front of the sign on the summit that shows the altitude of 15,235 feet. And, don’t forget to look for Andean condors circling the sky.

Hike downhill as you continue into the Amazon rainforest.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 8 miles; 7 hours; elevation gain/loss of 2,522/2,401 feet; altitude of 12,690 to 15,235 across the Salkantay Pass

Hotel: Wayra Lodge

Day 8: Descend into the Cloud Forest

Descend along the Salkantay riverbank and into the jungle. Continue downhill past waterfalls, lush vegetation, and banana and coffee plants.

Enjoy a traditional Pachamanca meal. Meat and vegetables are layered on hot stones in the earth and then covered to bake.

Soak in the steaming hot jacuzzi as you enjoy panoramic views of the lush green mountains surrounding the lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 6 miles; 4 hours; elevation loss of 3,398 feet; altitude of 12,812 to 9,414

Hotel: Colpa Lodge

Day 9: Hike Through the Amazon Rainforest

Hike through banana, granadilla and avocado orchards, and organic coffee plantations in the Santa Teresa River Valley.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 14 miles; 5 to 6 hours; elevation gain/loss of 387/2,798 feet; altitude of 9,414 to 7,003

Hotel: Lucma Lodge

Day 10: Hike to Llactapata Pass to Glimpse Machu Picchu

Hike to the Llactapata Pass. Across the river gorge, get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu on the distant slope.

Explore the Llactapata ruins before enjoying a hot lunch at the mountaintop restaurant.

Descend through lush bamboo forests along a switchback trail to the station where you board the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Hiking Details: 13 miles; 5 to 6 hours; elevation gain/loss of 2,394/3,165 feet; altitude of 7,003 to 8,974 at Llactapata Pass

Hotel: Inkaterra (or similar)

Day 11: Explore Machu Picchu

Take a guided tour of the mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu.

Explore on your own before a late lunch.

Return to Cusco.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch

Hotel: Aranwa Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Day 12: Tour Historic Lima & Learn to Make Ceviche

Return to Lima for a last tour of the City of Kings.

Head downtown to enjoy a ceviche cooking demonstration. Then, lunch alongside the locals.

Visit Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest colonial mansions in Lima, and the only one continuously inhabited by the same family—seventeen generations of the descendents of its original owner.

Tour the Monastery of San Francisco and its catacombs. Built in the 17th century, these catacombs were once the biggest cemetery in Lima.

Dine at Rosa Nautica. Set in a fabulous Victorian-style building on the end of a pier, this restaurant is the perfect place to relax over a last pisco sour and the Peruvian and international specialties of renowned chef Enrique Blondet.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner

Trip Rating

Challenging

Prices

Prices for 2019

2 to 4 people – $9,150/person

5 to 8 people – $8,576/person

Contact us for low season rates (Mar 1 – 31 and Nov 1 – Dec 14)

A $500/person non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking to reserve the mountain lodge rooms.

Included In Price

Accommodations – double occupancy

Airport/hotel transfers

Carbon offsets

English speaking guides

Entrance fees for scheduled tours

Ground transportation according to the itinerary

Meals specified in the itinerary

Excluded From Price

Airfare

Airport taxes

Alcoholic drinks

Baggage fees

Meals not specified by the itinerary

Personal expenses

Tips

Travel insurance (required)

Voluntary philanthropic gifts

Departure Dates

Best time to go is April through October.

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