WHY THIS TRIP
The Salkantay to Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek is a once in a lifetime physical, cultural and spiritual journey that will take you through the magnificent Salkantay Valley en route to the legendary ruins at Machu Picchu. The adventure takes you for an experience to see Peru at its best and like never before: trekking from lodge to lodge, enjoying the comfort and service of four top-quality mountain lodges located in pristine areas before reaching Machu Picchu (the crown jewel) as a final destination.
The former Inca capital and Spanish colonial city of Cusco is your base for this great expedition, a wonderful place full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife. You have a full-day tour of the ruins situated on the outskirts of Cusco, including the impressive Sacsaywaman.
From Cusco you travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the spectacular Lares Valley bringing you back to an ancient Andean life where hardy locals herd llamas and plant potatoes as they have for centuries amidst beautiful Andean surroundings. Their incredibly bright, high-quality woven red clothes are startling against the mountain background.
In this journey you will trek from 3,900 meters/12,800 feet to 2,100 meters/6,900 feet, traversing across magnificent mountain passes, enjoying enormous and mystical snow-capped peaks, seeing nature in its purest form and exploring more than 15 different ecosystems from beginning to end. Moreover, the chances for ethnic and cultural exchange are ever-present with local natives who still remain closely attached to their heritage and are very willing to share it with open minds.
This trek is a unique opportunity to experience ancient history in the land of the Incas, contemporary manifestations of deep-founded culture, the most interesting and exotic variety of flora and fauna, culinary surprises, the determination of local people to progress, new friends and like-minded souls. In a way, we are all like the Inca chaskis, the relay runners who delivered messages along the vast web of footpaths that linked Cusco to the far-flung corners of the empire. Following in their footsteps, you, too, follow the spirit of their mission, though perhaps a more personal, spiritual one.
While experiencing the real outdoors and its rugged elements, you can anticipate returning to a refuge for the mind and body within our lodges where you can rest and relax. Each day’s trek ends not in a freezing tent but in one of four cozy lodges with hot showers, fine gourmet meals, select wines, goose-down bedding, outdoor jacuzzis, and highly personalized service provided by local staff. In the Machu Picchu lodge-to-lodge experience, trekkers spend two nights at the Salkantay Lodge, and one night at each of three other lodges located along the trail: Wayra Lodge, Colpa Lodge and Lucma Lodge. The last night of the journey is spent in a luxurious hotel in the town of Machu Picchu in anticipation of the grand finale: a visit of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.
LOCAL OPERATOR: MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU
The goal of Mountain Lodges of Peru is to provide its guests with the service, comfort and safety they need to be able to freely explore and enjoy nature, culture, history and like-minded souls. For more than 10 years, Mountain Lodges of Peru has hosted guests at its mountain lodges with top-quality service backed with a three-fold philosophy: cultural authenticity and access, remoteness in comfort and style, and exceed expectations. At Mountain Lodges of Peru, local natives are included in day-day operations, many of whom share their customs and learn how to be industry professionals by learning the business of hosting guests with outstanding service. Mountain Lodges of Peru has taken an active role in the socioeconomic development of the communities to which it neighbor, creating an NGO named Yanapana Peru, which strives to elevate the level of education for more than 150 families in the area and to give an incentive to the local population to take an active role in the development of tourism in the area.
Simon B. –
As we were travelling from the UK, this was a complex trip, with lots of pieces, and requiring lots of information about everything from flights to what shoes to wear. Layna from Detour’s attention to detail was exceptional and we always knew exactly what we needed to do. And she was always on call if we needed her. The trip itself was amazing, and every transfer and accommodation went smoothly. I would recommend Detour to anyone.
My husband and I were searching for a spectacular adventure for our honeymoon and ultimately agreed on Machu Picchu.
My husband picked an option that involved camp-living for four days. I told him I could do a night in a tent, but not four days. I then googled, “Luxury Trek to Machu Picchu” and stumbled across Mountain Lodges of Peru. Mountain Lodges of Peru offered a beautiful hiking itinerary through the Andes in Peru that ended at Machu Picchu with incredible and comfortable lodges each night. It offered the perfect balance for both of us. Somehow, a year later, my husband subsequently convinced me to spend a week in a tent to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Throughout our journey, Mountain Lodges of Peru never ceased to amaze us how well planned everything was and how well they took care of us. It truly was luxury hiking at its finest.
The hiking was challenging, but doable, because of the pace established by the guides. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and personable.
The views along the entire hike were breathtaking. The mountain ranges were immense and it appeared that they just kept going.
The lodges were spectacular. The lodges were adorable and literally in the middle of nowhere in the Andes Mountains. It was surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Each day as we neared the entrance to the lodge, we were greeted with hot tea and hot towels. We were instructed to remove our dirty hiking shoes each day before entering the lodge and then our shoes were cleaned. The shoes “magically” reappeared each morning spotless. It was incredible.
Each time we arrived at a lodge during our hike, we always had a welcome table full of delicious and inviting snacks. The interior of all of the lodges were beautifully decorated, but the Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort was certainly my favorite. The view from our second floor room at the Salkantay Lodge was breathtaking. I was mesmerized by the views of the magical Mt. Salkantay. It was snow covered and enchanting.
The showers at each of the lodges had all the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel a girl could ever want. They were in big bottles attached to the shower wall. We were told not to bring shampoo and conditioner on the hike to keep the weight of our hiking bags down since the bags were subject to a weight limit. My favorite part of the bathroom at the Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort was the towel warmers!! It had a towel rack that heated up. The remaining lodges on the trip still had all the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel a girl could want but only the Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort had the towel warmer.
The service along the entire way was incredible. We were 3-course gourmet meals at the lodges and even along the hike in the middle of nowhere. The chefs would start the hike before us to set up lunch. Every bite of every meal was delicious.
The final push to the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 ft was windy and steep. It was by far the most physically exerting and challenging part of the hike, but everyone just kept a slow and steady pace and made it to the Pass just fine. The views of the Andes Mountains from the Salkantay Pass are definitely in my top list of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. There was a contrast in colors that was just breathtaking.
At the very end of the trip, we arrived at Machu Picchu, which was spectacular. I thought the highlight of the trip was going to be Machu Picchu. While Machu Picchu was incredible and exceeded my expectations, I think about the hiking days even more fondly and the bonds we made with those we traveled with. It was an absolute incredible trip that I am glad to have experienced.
It was the most wonderful trip that will stay in our hearts and memories throughout our lifetime.
I recently turned my scrapbook of our Lodge to Lodge Hike to Machu Picchu into a blog. More details about our trip, the lodges, the food, and the scenery can be viewed at : http://lenoreparr.blogspot.com/2013/10/our-honeymoon-lodge-to-lodge-trek-to.html
(Posted on 8/8/14)