Tailor-Made Holiday

Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek

Five day trek to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay route staying in lodges

12 days

from £3,530pp (excluding flights)
Those seeking a Peru holiday with an alternative route or new challenge to supersede the classic, yet well-trampled Inca Trail, may like to consider the ‘Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek’
  • Trek an alternative Inca trail route to Machu Picchu away from the crowds
  • Stay in beautiful mountain lodges, most with outdoor Jacuzzi to soak your weary body.
  • Walk over mountain passes and past huge snow-capped peaks.
  • Explore over 15 different eco-systems during the trek.

If you want the challenge of trekking to Machu Picchu but without the crowds and tents then this lodge to lodge trek is for you.

Begin in Cusco with a couple of days to acclimatise to the altitude and explore this former Inca capital.  This small group trek offers a unique hiking experience that enlists the comfort of four excellent and fully equipped mountain lodges in which to retire at the end of each day. Most have the luxury of an outdoor Jacuzzi to soak and reflect on the days trek, whilst admiring the stunning mountains. The itinerary is paced to allow acclimatisation and to make the most of the dramatic mountain scenery. Furthermore, luggage is transported for you, so all you need to carry is a modest daypack while traversing across numerous scenic passes peaking to 4,600 m (15,000 ft) over the Salkantay Pass.

The trek includes visits to the Inca ruins of Tarawasi and Llactapata, and also to the rural village of Lucmabamba before reaching Aguas Calientes and the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu. End the trip with a guided tour of Machu Picchu before taking the train back to Cusco.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3530 £ 900
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Lima overnight

Day 2

Fly Lima to Cusco

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, was founded around 1100 AD. It is a beautiful city of Spanish and Inca influences with endless colonial sights to see including churches, monasteries and convents interspersed with Inca foundations, walls, doorways, and arches. Cusco is a major town, and is one of the cultural centres of Peru.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Half day city tour
A half day private guided city tour visiting the Plaza del Armas, Cusco’s main square, the Cathedral, Koricancha, the ruins of Tambomachay, the religious centre of Kenko, the red fortress of Puca-Pucara and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

Note: There will be a briefing on the trek the night before in Cusco.

After an early breakfast, start the drive to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo.

After leaving Limatambo, pass through the mountain village of Mollepata stopping for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa. Here, begin the trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the "Camino Real" (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate during the beautiful six hour trek.

Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley "Mt. Salkantay", the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270 metres, the highest in the region.

Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route)

Hiking Level: Moderate

Option: Those who do not wish to trek may be transported to the lodge by vehicle

You will be staying at Salkantay Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Humantay Lake
Today take an acclimatisation hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. Return to the lodge for lunch, after which choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in an outdoor jacuzzi.

Afternoon at leisure.

Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

Option: Horseback Riding

You will be staying at Salkantay Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Crossing the Salkantay pass

This is the big day. After an early start, begin the hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 metres. At the pass there will be a stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above.

From the pass descend towards Wayra Lodge ("Wayra" means wind; so ‘the place where the wind lives’).

Trekking Time: 6-8 hours (including lunch)

Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m mountain pass

You will be staying at Wayra Lodge, Full board

Day 7

Descending into the Cloud Forest

On this day continue the descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge take a Pachamanca meal, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones, and then covering the whole thing up to bake.

Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. Spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail.

Trekking Time: 3-4 hours

Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate

You will be staying at Colpa Lodge Collpapampa, Full board

Day 8

Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

Today hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. Pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations, said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world.

After lunch, hike another hour before a vehicle meets the group for a short drive to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail" (30 minutes or so). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail easily make your way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard.

Trekking Time: 5-6 hours (including lunch)

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)

You will be staying at Lucma Lodge, Full board

Day 9

First views of Machu Picchu

After a hearty breakfast, tackle the last day of the trek. Head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass, 2,736 metres, where there is a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. There will be a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. Then begin the final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. The town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, check into the hotel for a celebration dinner.

Trekking Time: 4-6 hours

Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging

You will be staying at El MaPi, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Visit Machu Picchu
After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, take the 30 minute bus ride up to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. There will be a two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which the rest of the morning will be free to explore the site. There will be the option to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain today but permits have to be purchased in advance.

Afterwards, return by bus to Machu Picchu town for a late lunch and to meet the train. The train from Machu Picchu town to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive the group the hour and a half back to Cusco.

Machu Picchu, the incredible Inca citadel perched high above the cloud forest is quite simply astonishing. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is incredibly well-preserved and intricate Inca stonework abounds.

Indisputably a wonder of the world it is an almost unfathomable achievement of human culture and architecture and the very definition of 'must see'. The site was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham and is perched at an altitude of 2,380 metres in beautiful tropical cloud forest.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Fly Cusco to Lima

Fly Lima to Madrid overnight

Day 12

Fly Madrid to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

El MaPi

El MaPi

A contemporary property with lofty ceilings and panoramic windows, El MaPi is a down-to-earth accommodation nestled within the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo....

View Accommodation

Casa San Blas Hotel

Casa San Blas Hotel

Proudly conserving the traditional character of its original antiquated architecture and ensuring aesthetic harmony with the San Blas neighbourhood, Casa San Blas Hotel is situated on a narrow cobblestone side street in the historic artisan quarter of Cusco....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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