Mountain Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

Lodge-to-lodge trek to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay Trail


Journeys is pleased to offer this deluxe lodge-based trek to our array of offerings featuring Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Andes. This is an alternative to the more widely known Inca Trail. The hiking is similarly challenging, and the scenery is equally breathtaking, but the comforts in the evenings are luxurious.

After two days in Cusco for acclimatizing and touring, embark on a six-day guided trek to Machu Picchu, entailing 3-8 hours of hiking per day. Venture through cloud forests and alpine tundra, cross a high pass of over 4700 meters near the glacier-covered peak of Salkantay ("Savage Mountain" in Quechua), and descend into lush semi-tropical valleys. Your first view of Machu Picchu, from the Llactapata Pass on the sixth trekking day, is one that's available to very few travelers. The following day is completely devoted to the site.

If time allows, do add additional time in Peru before and/or after this trek. We're happy to offer our broad experience in this diverse country to help you spend more time in the Andes, on the coast or in the Peruvian Amazon.

Continue to detailed itinerary...


  • Day 1: arrive lima
    It's said that "it never rains in Lima," Peru's large capital city on the Pacific coast.

    Arrive at the airport in Lima and settle into your nearby hotel for the night.

    Ramada Costa del Sol
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  • Days 2-3: cusco
    From Cusco's Plaza de Armas, walk the city's lanes, noting the Spansih colonial arcitecture built on the Inca stone foundations.

    Fly to Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Over the next couple days, you will have time to explore Cusco and acclimatize to the high altitude. This first afternoon is at your leisure to explore Cusco on your own. 

    Your second day in Cusco, take a five-hour city tour. Explore the Temple of the Sun at the famous Inca site of Korikancha, then the Plaza de Armas and its dramatic cathedral. Depart by vehicle to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, located on a hill overlooking the city. Your trekking guide will meet with you in the evening to discuss plans for the beginning of the trek.

    Casa San Blas (or similar)
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  • Day 4: cusco to salkantay lodge
    Stay at Salkantay Lodge with a view of rugged Mt. Salkantay

    Depart by vehicle with your guide in the direction of the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. Make a stop at the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (1.5 hrs from Cusco). Pass through the mountain village of Mollepata, and enjoy a short coffee break. Continue on to Marcoccasa. Here you have the option of taking the six-hour “Camino Real” trek to the Salkantay Lodge or driving the rest of the way. Mt. Salkantay is the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and the highest in the region (20,600 ft). After enjoying some down time at the lodge, the trip leader will hold a short meeting by the fireplace, followed by dinner.

    Lunch, Dinner
    Salkantay Lodge
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  • Day 5: hike to humantay lake
    The hiking route is carefully planned to allow for acclimatization and pacing.

    Take an optional four-hour hike on the slopes above Salkantay Lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. Lunch awaits at the lodge, and the afternoon is yours to do what you’d like. Spending time in the lodge’s outdoor jacuzzi or horseback riding are two popular choices. In the evening, relish in a gourmet dinner before your guide gives instructions regarding the next day. All meals served at the lodge.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Salkantay Lodge
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  • Day 6: rio blanco valley/salkantay pass
    Spot a soaring Andean condor. No other land bird has such a large wingspan.

    Head out early to begin your hike up the Rio Blanco valley and circle Mt. Humantay. Reach the highest point of this trek which is Salkanty Pass (4638m), and pause to gaze at the unparalleled scenery in every direction. You may even see an Andean condor! Then, descend toward Wayra Lodge, “Wayra” meaning ‘the place where the wind lives.’ Lunch is provided along the way and dinner is served at the lodge.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Wayra Lodge
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  • Day 7: salkantay river trek
    Zoom out on the Andean panorama, zoom in on the orchids.

    Hike down the bank of the Salkantay river and observe the increasingly vibrant vegetation. Notice the colorful insects and blossoming flowers, characteristic of a subtropical climate. Arrive at the Colpa Lodge, and enjoy a Pachamanca meal, a traditional Peruvian meal consisting of layered meat and vegetables baked with hot stones in an oven. Following lunch, explore the surrounding open plateau, put your feet in the three nearby rivers, or soak up the panoramic mountain views from the outdoor jacuzzi. Walking the nearby orchid trail is also a great way to spend the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Colpa Lodge
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  • Day 8: santa teresa river valley
    Through a beautiful river valley, over the Llactapata Pass, past smaller ruins, and then your first view of Machu Picchu.

    Hike along the Santa Teresa river valley through more inhabited areas. Along the way, pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations. Relax with a picnic lunch by the river. Hike another hour before a private vehicle transports you to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail,” a path scattered with Incan ruins (30 mins). Arrive at the Lucma Lodge, which is nestled within an avocado orchard. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lucma Lodge
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  • Day 9: llactapata pass
    At the end of your exhilarating trek, approach Machu Picchu town by train.

    On the last day of your trek, make the 2-3 hour hike to Llactapata Pass. Your reward is an outstanding view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a rare angle seen by travelers. Then, wander through the recently restored Llactapata ruins, and have lunch at a spectacular viewpoint of Machu Picchu. Afterward, descend to the Aobamba River, leading you through bountiful orchards, dense bamboo forests, and breathtaking coffee plantations. Take pleasure in a short train ride to the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes, where you will check into the hotel for a celebratory dinner with your group and guide.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo (or similar)
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  • Day 10: machu picchu sanctuary
    Machu Picchu is as spectacular as promised.

    It's a short bus ride from Machu Picchu town to the Machu Picchu sanctuary. Get a very early start for the 30-minute ride. Your guide will provide your group with a two-hour tour of the ruins, after which you will be able to explore the site on your own. Then, return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch and to board the train to Ollantaytambo (1.5 hours). Travel by private vehicle back to Cusco and arrive at your hotel. (1.5 hours)

    Option: Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu at the sanctuary site. Permits (which are quite limited) must be purchased in advance, so please contact us as early as possible for information.

    Breakfast, Lunch
    Casa San Blas (or similar)
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  • Day 11: lima
    You can fly to Puerto Maldonado and head out to experience the wildlife on the Tambopata River, part of the Amazon Basin.

    Bid adios to this part of the Andes. You can return to Lima early in the day to tour the city or spend time at the famous Lima Gold Museum before your homebound flight. (extra cost) Or, you can continue your adventures in Peru.

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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
Per person, based on shared accommodations
Single Supplement:
$1,132 - $2,263
50% supplement of shared accommodation cost. If willing to share, no additional cost if we find a same-gender roommate; otherwise, 25% supplement for single occupancy
Multiple additional departures -- please call
Mar 4-14, 2016
Mar 11-21, 2016
Mar 17-27, 2016
Mar 26-Apr 5, 2016
Apr 1-11, 2016
Apr 7-17, 2016
Apr 15-25, 2016
Apr 21-May 1, 2016
Apr 30-May 10, 2016
May 6-16, 2016
May 14-24, 2016
May 20-30, 2016
May 26-Jun 5, 2016
May 31-Jun 10, 2016
Jun 7-17, 2016
Jun 13-23, 2016
Jun 21-Jul 1, 2016
Jun 27-Jul 7, 2016
Jun 29-Jul 9, 2016
Jul 7-17, 2016
Jul 14-24, 2016
Jul 18-28, 2016
Jul 26-Aug 5, 2016
Aug 1-11, 2016
Aug 8-18, 2016
Aug 16-26, 2016
Aug 23-Sep 2, 2016
Aug 31-Sep 10, 2016
Sep 8-18, 2016
Sep 15-25, 2016
Sep 18-28, 2016
Sep 27-Oct 7, 2016
Oct 3-13, 2016
Oct 11-21, 2016
Oct 20-30, 2016
Oct 27-Nov 6, 2016
Nov 1-11, 2016
Nov 10-20, 2016
Nov 18-28, 2016
Nov 26-Dec 6, 2016
Dec 2-12, 2016
Dec 13-23, 2016
Dec 19-29, 2016
Dec 22, 2016-Jan 1, 2017
Dec 27, 2016-Jan 6, 2017
Dec 30, 2016-Jan 9, 2017
Need to Know

Need to Know

The suggested packing list for this trekking trip includes:

  • Day pack
  • Broken-in hiking boots (sneakers are not suitable)
  • Full rain gear or poncho
  • Gloves
  • Lightweight hiking pants (recommended) or shorts
  • Breathable dry-fit top wear
  • Comfortable shoes/flip-flops
  • Cold-weather jacket
  • Long-sleeve fleece/sweater
  • Wool hat
  • Baseball cap or sombrero
  • Binoculars
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable hiking socks (at least four pair)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Bathing suit
  • Casual mountain wear for evenings
  • Photo/video cameras and chargers
  • Trekking poles (MLP provides quality walking sticks)
  • Refillable water bottle (hydration bags are recommended)
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
(see full descriptions)
Cozy, luxury mountain lodges
Activity Level:
(see full descriptions)
Strenuous hiking at high altitude
Group Size:
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Mountain Lodges of Peru Terms & Conditions

Please note these terms are different from our standard Terms and Conditions.

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $800 non-refundable deposit per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. 

Cancelation Policy: If you must cancel before departure, money will be returned less the cancellation fees as follows:

60 days or more     $600 non refundable deposit

30-59 days               $50% of land cost

0-29 days                 $100% of land cost

Transfer Fees: If you want to change your tour dates, the following fees apply:

60 or more days prior to departure:     $150 per person

59-30 days prior to departure: $300 per person

29 to 8 days prior to departure: $400 per person

7 to 0 days prior to departure: $600 per person

*Transfers are only valid until the end of the next year (e.g., if you cancel in 2012, you must travel on a departure date by December 2013). In addition to the transfer fee, if there is an increase in the rate of the trip, from one year to the next, you are responsible for paying the difference.

*Transfer fees are charged at the time the new departure date is confirmed. You do not have to decide at that time which future departure date you would like to join, however, your trip must be taken by December of the next year.

Insurance: We REQUIRE a valid and enforceable* insurance policy for medical expense and emergency evacuation/repatriation for the duration of the trip. Any rescue, evacuation, repatriation and/or medical costs that may be required during a program including, but not limited to, cost of aircraft, must be paid by the guest. All guests are required to provide valid proof of insurance at time of final payment of their trip.

In consideration of the normal nuances and situations regarding travel in general, we highly recommend that every traveler purchase travel insurance that covers events like baggage loss, cancellations/interruption and trip delays. We recommend Travelex Insurance, also accessible at: For fastest service, enter your location number (22-0398) into the Quick Enrollment box and click “Go”. Or, reach them by phone at 800-228-9792.  There are significant benefits in obtaining this insurance within 21 days of your original trip deposit. 

In the case that a guest abandons the trip by choice or as a consequence of medical emergency protocol (which allows the guide or resident doctor to deny further participation of a guest on a trip), we will issue no refunds on the trip cost. Alternative plans can be arranged at additional costs to the guest.

*Some insurance providers discriminate between “Standard Travel Activities” and “Adventure Travel Activities”,
for enforceability of medical coverage. Guests should make sure that the insurance policy acquired includes
coverage for “Adventure Travel Activities” or similar.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

Nazca Lines & Paracas

Duration: 3 days

In this coastal desert region you can find traces of ancient cultures, study the mysterious designs of the  Nazca Lines, and watch the sea lions as they frolic in the Paracas National Park.

Lake Titicaca

Duration: 3 days

Extend your trip to the famed Lake Titicaca, located in the Andes between Peru and Bolivia. It is the highest navigable lake in the world, and South America’s largest freshwater lake. The trip takes you to the islands of Uros and Taquile.


Duration: 1 days

If you have time in Lima, enjoy a tour of the city, or venture out a little further for a wildlife boat trip around Isla Palomino.

Peru Amazon Adventure

Duration: 4 days

Tambopata is one of the world's most diverse wildernesses and also one of the best preserved. This 4-day adventure is a unique rainforest experience and a perfect compliment to any trip in Peru.

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.