Traditional Quechua women

Ancient Quechua culture thrives in villages of the Andes. Hiking lodge-to-lodge brings a new level of comfort to trekking in the high mountains of Peru.

Photo by Bill Abbott

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Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4295  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Cusco, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 3 nights hotels, 5 nights mountain lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 5-day trek on moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, altitudes between 7,000-15,200 feet
5p

Highlights

  • Trek in a high Andean realm, but stay in mountain lodges with private rooms and hot showers—no camping!
  • View ice-clad Salcantay, Huamantay, and the diverse ecosystems of the Cordillera Vilcabamba
  • Explore the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu with a specialist guide


One of our favorite adventures to date. A grand trip. landscapes, hiking, culture, and history—a perfect combination. The mountain lodges were especially charming, comfortable, cozy, and with such gracious staff.Ellen Q.—Irvine, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Enjoy a spectacular Andean trek—without having to camp! Following ancient Inca trails in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the precipitous green mountain range cradling Machu Picchu, you’ll hike through an exquisite setting of gleaming glacial lakes, cloud forests full of orchids and waterfalls, and the dazzling peaks and glaciers of Salcantay (20,574’) and Huamantay (19,239’). At the end of each exhilarating day, you’ll be welcomed at mountain lodges in dramatic settings, each one featuring private rooms, hot showers, delightful cuisine—and even saunas! Your ultimate hiker’s reward is an exploration of the ethereal “lost city” of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca world.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Cusco / Salcantay Lodge

From Cusco, head to Salcantay Lodge (11,800’), ringed by the snowy peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. A hike to a glacial lake at 14,000 feet offers stunning views of Salcantay and Huamantay. (Feeling brave? Go for a refreshing dip!)

Day 4-6
Salcantay Pass / Santa Teresa Valley

Enjoy a stunning backdrop as you cross Salcantay Pass (15,200’), a dramatic notch between the glacial moraines of Huamantay and Salcantay. Keeping an eye out for Andean condors, descend to Wayra Lodge (12,800’), where you can soak in the Jacuzzi beneath a star-lit sky. Hikes in an orchid-draped cloud forest and the waterfalls and bromeliads of the Santa Teresa Valley bring you to Lucma Lodge (7,000’).

Days 7-9
Machu Picchu / Cusco

Crossing Pallayacta Pass (8,500’), you’ll arrive at the Inca ruins at Llactapata, set high on a ridge facing Machu Picchu. After enjoying this rarely seen view of the sanctuary, descend to the banks of the Urubamba River and head by train to the bustling town of Aguas Calientes. After exploring the evocative ruins of Machu Picchu with a specialist guide, return to Cusco and depart on Day 9 (or extend your stay at Machu Picchu or in Cusco).

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trek is Level 5+, Strenuous, according to our trip grading system. Most hiking is between 10,000 and 15,200 feet. Pack mules transport your duffels from lodge to lodge, leaving you free to hike with only a daypack. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed, and the group will spread out along the trail during the day. There are several full hiking days on the trip, plus two shorter days at the beginning to acclimatize, and one in the middle is a semi-rest day. You should be in excellent health and physical condition, and we recommend you get in top physical condition for the trip by engaging in regular exercise well beyond your normal routine. Try walking faster than 1.5 miles per hour, walking on steeper inclines, and using your gym’s stair-climbing machines. As you progress, practice these walks with your loaded daypack (full water bottle, camera gear, jacket). The object is to improve your overall level of fitness and aerobic capacity and get your legs and lungs in shape for the Andes.

About the Trip
Please note this is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel trip and is operated by Mountain Lodges of Peru. In Cusco you will enjoy a privately guided tour, and will also receive a “Cusco Tourist Ticket,” which will allow you to visit several additional important sites on your own. For the trek, you will be joining a group of up to 12 people. Your fellow hikers will be staying at a variety of hotels around town, and you will meet them at the trip orientation in Cusco in the evening of Day 1.

Guide Services
Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, then enjoy a city tour in the company of a knowledgeable local guide. During the trek, you will be in the company of an experienced trekking guide who knows the area firsthand. These guides are among the finest in Peru, with 10-25 years experience in leading treks all over the country. They are either natives of the country or longtime residents; most of them reside in Cusco. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning of Day 2 and will accompany you throughout the trek until your return to Cusco.

About the Lodges
The hikers’ lodges add a great deal of comfort to the experience of Andean hiking. You can enjoy a private room and a hot shower at the end of each hiking day. Sleeping bags are not required since the lodges supply ample bedding. Heat in the lodges is provided by space heaters. Lights are provided by a generator, so there may be periods when the generators are off. Treated drinking water, tea, coffee, juice, and soft drinks are provided at the lodges, and bottled water and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the bar/lounge. A rural Wi-Fi (satellite) internet connection is available at the reception desk at each lodge, and each lodge has a satellite phone (for emergency use only).

Explanation of Trip Levels

Departures

Multiple weekly departures, March through December.

2014

  • Oct 30-Nov 7 - Sold Out
  • Oct 31-Nov 8 - Sold Out
  • Nov 1- 9 - Sold Out
  • Nov 7-15 - Sold Out
  • Nov 9-17
  • Nov 14-22 - Sold Out
  • Nov 15-23 - Sold Out
  • Nov 16-24 - Sold Out
  • Nov 20-28 - Sold Out
  • Nov 21-29
  • Nov 22-30
  • Nov 23-Dec 1
  • Nov 24-Dec 2
  • Nov 25-Dec 3
  • Nov 28-Dec 6
  • Nov 29-Dec 7
  • Dec 3-11
  • Dec 5-13
  • Dec 6-14
  • Dec 11-19
  • Dec 12-20
  • Dec 13-21
  • Dec 14-22
  • Dec 16-24
  • Dec 19-27
  • Dec 20-28
  • Dec 22-30
  • Dec 23-31 - Sold Out
  • Dec 26-Jan 3
  • Dec 27-Jan 4
  • Dec 29-Jan 6
  • Dec 30-Jan 7

2015

  • Mar 4-12
  • Mar 5-13
  • Mar 11-19
  • Mar 13-21
  • Mar 14-22
  • Mar 18-26
  • Mar 19-27
  • Mar 20-28
  • Mar 21-29
  • Mar 22-30
  • Mar 25-Apr 2
  • Mar 26-Apr 3
  • Mar 27-Apr 4
  • Mar 28-Apr 5
  • Mar 30-Apr 7
  • Mar 31-Apr 8
  • Apr 1- 9
  • Apr 2-10
  • Apr 4-12
  • Apr 6-14
  • Apr 7-15
  • Apr 8-16
  • Apr 9-17
  • Apr 10-18
  • Apr 13-21
  • Apr 14-22
  • Apr 16-24
  • Apr 18-26
  • Apr 19-27
  • Apr 21-29
  • Apr 22-30
  • Apr 24-May 2
  • Apr 25-May 3
  • Apr 29-May 7
  • Apr 30-May 8
  • May 2-10
  • May 4-12
  • May 5-13 - Sold Out
  • May 7-15
  • May 8-16
  • May 10-18
  • May 12-20
  • May 13-21
  • May 16-24
  • May 18-26
  • May 22-30 - Sold Out
  • May 23-31
  • May 24-Jun 1
  • May 28-Jun 5
  • May 30-Jun 7
  • Jun 1- 9
  • Jun 2-10
  • Jun 3-11
  • Jun 4-12
  • Jun 7-15 - Sold Out
  • Jun 10-18
  • Jun 11-19
  • Jun 12-20
  • Jun 13-21
  • Jun 15-23
  • Jun 16-24
  • Jun 19-27
  • Jun 21-29
  • Jun 23-Jul 1
  • Jun 24-Jul 2
  • Jun 25-Jul 3
  • Jun 27-Jul 5
  • Jun 29-Jul 7
  • Jun 30-Jul 8
  • Jul 1- 9
  • Jul 2-10
  • Jul 4-12
  • Jul 7-15 - Sold Out
  • Jul 8-16 - Sold Out
  • Jul 11-19 - Sold Out
  • Jul 13-21
  • Jul 17-25
  • Jul 19-27 - Sold Out
  • Jul 21-29
  • Jul 23-31
  • Jul 25-Aug 2
  • Jul 27-Aug 4
  • Jul 29-Aug 6
  • Aug 2-10
  • Aug 3-11
  • Aug 7-15
  • Aug 8-16
  • Aug 12-20
  • Aug 16-24
  • Aug 17-25
  • Aug 18-26
  • Aug 21-29 - Sold Out
  • Aug 22-30
  • Aug 26-Sep 3
  • Aug 29-Sep 6
  • Aug 30-Sep 7
  • Aug 31-Sep 8
  • Sep 3-11
  • Sep 5-13
  • Sep 6-14
  • Sep 8-16
  • Sep 9-17
  • Sep 10-18
  • Sep 15-23
  • Sep 16-24
  • Sep 19-27
  • Sep 20-28 - Sold Out
  • Sep 25-Oct 3
  • Sep 30-Oct 8
  • Oct 6-14
  • Oct 8-16
  • Oct 9-17
  • Oct 13-21
  • Oct 14-22
  • Oct 17-25 - Sold Out
  • Oct 18-26
  • Oct 19-27
  • Oct 23-31
  • Oct 25-Nov 2
  • Oct 28-Nov 5
  • Oct 29-Nov 6
  • Oct 30-Nov 7
  • Nov 3-11 - Sold Out
  • Nov 5-13 - Sold Out
  • Nov 6-14 - Sold Out
  • Nov 10-18 - Sold Out
  • Nov 12-20
  • Nov 14-22
  • Nov 15-23
  • Nov 20-28
  • Nov 21-29
  • Nov 22-30
  • Nov 23-Dec 1
  • Nov 24-Dec 2
  • Nov 26-Dec 4
  • Nov 27-Dec 5
  • Nov 28-Dec 6
  • Nov 29-Dec 7
  • Dec 3-11
  • Dec 5-13
  • Dec 6-14
  • Dec 10-18
  • Dec 11-19
  • Dec 12-20
  • Dec 14-22
  • Dec 19-27
  • Dec 23-31
  • Dec 24-Jan 1
  • Dec 25-Jan 2
  • Dec 26-Jan 3
  • Dec 27-Jan 4
  • Dec 30-Jan 7
 

Departures

Multiple weekly departures, March through December. Please see our Dates tab for a complete list.

Note: These dates are not exclusive Wilderness Travel departures. The itinerary and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the operator.

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

High Season (Apr 1-Oct 31 and Dec 15-31)

$4295 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1795
Forced single supplement: $1795

Low Season (Mar 1-31 and Nov 1-Dec 14)

$3895 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1545
Forced single supplement: $1545

*Additional overnight at Machu Picchu (call for details): $465

more on pricing

Extension Costs
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $765
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension
   from: $995
Lake Titicaca Extension
   from: $965
Sipan and Chan Chan Extension
   from: $980

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Services of local guides on trek
  • All accommodations in hotels and lodges as described, including the Casa Andina Private Collection in Cusco and the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Ground transportation, airport transfers, and guided tours in Cusco and Machu Picchu as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $500 per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Casa Andina Private Collection—Cusco

Casa Andina Private Collection—Cusco

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 8 (1 night), Cusco, Peru

Just three blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the heart of old Cusco, this charming hotel is a renovated colonial manor house. It features a series ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Mountain Lodges of Peru

Mountain Lodges of Peru

Days 2 to 6 (5 nights), Cordillera Vilcabamba, Peru

This unique system of four lodges built in the spectacular Cordillera Vilcabamba allows us to make a hiking traverse of the high valleys of the ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 7 (1 night), Aguas Calientes, Peru

Located in Aguas Calientes below the Machu Picchu ruins, this hotel is spread over 12 acres of lush cloud forest. The rooms are comfortable ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Peru

Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica

Exploring Waterways and Nature Trails

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension

Colonial Splendor and Natural Wonders

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2

Lake Titicaca Extension

Mystical Birthplace of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Frieze at the Temple of the Moon, near Trujillo

Sipan and Chan Chan Extension

Ancient Wonders of Northern Peru

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

One of our favorite adventures to date. A grand trip. landscapes, hiking, culture, and history—a perfect combination. The mountain lodges were especially charming, comfortable, cozy, and with such gracious staff. Ellen Q., Irvine, CA The lodges are outstanding, beautifully designed, comfortable, and the food was great. Maya L., Los Angeles, CA Fantastic trip. Everything exceeded my expectations—the trek, the guides, and I really appreciatead the beautiful lodges, the hot showers, and the great food. Joe L., Stanford, CA One of the best trips we have done! And very rewarding. Judith M., Spokane, WA I have traveled with WT several times, and each time I'm more impressed. This trip was such an amazing combination of mountains, culture, history, physical challenges, lovely people, etc. It couldn't be any better. Mary R., Corrales, NM
We were blown away by the accommodations in the mountain lodges—a far cry from camping! Louise V., South Casco, ME The timing and orchestration of all of the details was amazing. We were very impressed and will definitely use your company again. Lynn K., Prior Lake, MN The entire trip was amazing. Excellent organization, wonderful guides, excellent accommodations and food. Becky S., Santa Cruz, CA We enjoyed Peru immensely. The scenery was spectacular and of course the high altitude hiking was "breathtaking." We also came back with a real appreciation of Peruvian cuisine. Arthur H., San Jose, CA