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: $4095  
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


  • 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

Gorgeous scenery and the accommodations were fabulous.Jenny R.—Aptos, 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.


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.

Enjoy a spectacular Andean trek—without camping! Following ancient Inca trails in the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the precipitous 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 reward is an exploration of ethereal 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

After exploring the Inca’s imperial city of Cusco, we head through the Soraypampa Valley, with an optional hike along the way, to Salcantay Lodge (11,800'), ringed by the snowy peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. An acclimatization hike to a turquoise glacial lake at 14,000 feet offers stunning views of Salcantay and Huamantay. Feeling adventurous? Go for a refreshing dip!

Day 4-6
Salcantay Pass / Santa Teresa Valley

Enjoy a stunning backdrop of glaciers and icefalls 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 starlit sky. We continue to descend, entering delicate cloud forest vegetation as we reach Colpa Lodge (9,414'), where we are treated to a special pachamanca, a traditional festive Peruvian meal. Hikes in an orchid-draped 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 (8,974'), you’ll arrive at the recently restored Inca ruins at Llactapata, set high on a ridge facing Machu Picchu. After enjoying this rarely seen view of the sanctuary, we 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


Multiple weekly departures, March through December.


  • Nov 29-Dec 7
  • Dec 3-11
  • Dec 6-14
  • Dec 10-18
  • Dec 14-22
  • Dec 19-27
  • Dec 20-28 - Sold Out
  • Dec 21-29
  • Dec 23-31 - Sold Out
  • Dec 24-Jan 1 - Sold Out
  • Dec 25-Jan 2
  • Dec 26-Jan 3 - Sold Out
  • Dec 27-Jan 4 - Sold Out
  • Dec 30-Jan 7


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


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

2016 Low Season (Mar 1-31 and Nov 1-Dec 14)

$4095 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1545
Forced single supplement: $1545

2016 High Season (Apr 1-Oct 31 and Dec 15-31)

$4495 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $1795
Forced single supplement: $1795

*Additional overnight at Aguas Calientes (call for details): $465

more on pricing

Extension Costs
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $825
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension
   from: $995
Lake Titicaca Extension
   from: $995
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: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $600 per person
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Low Season (Mar 1-31 and Nov 1-Dec 14)

Meeting Place:
Cusco, Peru
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ)
Suggested arrival time: before noon
Cusco, Peru
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ)

2016 High Season (Apr 1-Oct 31 and Dec 15-31)

Meeting Place:
Cusco, Peru
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ)
Suggested arrival time: before noon
Cusco, Peru
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ)

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:


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

Gorgeous scenery and the accommodations were fabulous. Jenny R., Aptos, CA The Machu Picchu lodge to lodge trip is the ultimate way to experience the Peruvian Andes and to see the amazing Incan ruins of this once great city. All aspects of this trip were perfectly planned and executed, and the quality of the lodges, the food, and the trekking program were well above and beyond expectations. Jonathan P., Oakland, CA This trip far exceeded our expectations. From the initial contact with Wilderness Travel through the entire trip, it was one of our best vacations ever! Doug N., Chicago, IL A very well planned and executed adventure! We had a wonderful group of fellow travelers, and the logistics, accommodations, and support were all excellent. Dave N., West Roxbury, MA The trip was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The best thing I have ever done in my life so far. Quinn K., Steamboat Springs, CO 5 stars! The lodges were comfortable and beautiful, the hotels in Aguascalientes and Cusco beyond expectations, and our guides provided the best possible experience of their beautiful Peruvian highlands. Ken D., Roseburg, OR This was a great trek with beautiful scenery, and we hardly saw another trekking group. I really loved hiking through the Andes, the interactions with local villagers, and, of course, Machu Picchu! The mountain lodges were stunning—beautiful locations, wonderful staff, high standard, fantastic food. Robyn F., Epping, Australia 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
The entire trip was amazing. Excellent organization, wonderful guides, excellent accommodations and food. Becky S., Santa Cruz, CA 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 We were blown away by the accommodations in the mountain lodges—a far cry from camping! Louise V., South Casco, ME 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 One of the best trips we have done! And very rewarding. Judith M., Spokane, WA 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 The lodges are outstanding, beautifully designed, comfortable, and the food was great. Maya L., Los Angeles, CA 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