Enjoy the thrill and challenge of a six-day inn-to-inn trek in the Andes, following the Salkantay route, culminating at iconic Machu Picchu. Care is taken for full acclimatization as well as comfort in intimate mountain lodges.

Starting at: $5,995 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River  Andean woman walking near Chinchero. Credit: Christopher Newman  The capital of Cusco  The impressive stone walls of Sacsayhuaman  Terraced landscape of Písac in the Sacred Valley  Crossing a river on the Salkantay route  The Salkantay route   Hikers along the Salkantay route  Looking out on Humantay Lake  Crossing Salkantay Pass  At the highest point of Salkantay Pass  Night sky over Machu Picchu  Huayra Lodge  Relaxing at the lodge after a day of hiking  Panorama of Machu Picchu  The iconic Machu Picchu  Machu Picchu  Exploring the renowned stone work of Machu Picchu   An amazing view of Machu Picchu

Inn to Inn Hiking to Machu Picchu

12 days from $5,995

Enjoy the thrill and challenge of a six-day inn-to-inn trek in the Andes, following the Salkantay route, culminating at iconic Machu Picchu. Care is taken for full acclimatization as well as comfort in intimate mountain lodges.

or Call 833-254-6678

CONTACT OUR ACTIVE JOURNEYS SPECIALISTS

Call Our Active Journeys Specialists at 833-254-6678 (M-F 10 am - 8 pm ET) or Register Your Interest Online. For calls outside of the U.S., please call 510-852-8350.

Overview

The mystical ruins of Machu Picchu have lured humankind for centuries. Join us to enjoy the challenges and rewards of hiking to this enigmatic site in the Andes along the same trails used by the ancient Inca. Our special journey features a six-day inn-to-inn trek following the Salkantay route, where you’ll dodge the crowds and end each day in the comfort of intimate mountain lodges. After days of hiking amid Inca sites, azure lakes, cloud forests, sparkling glaciers, and breathtaking mountain views, the path finally opens to the mist-shrouded World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, which you’ll explore in depth. (Hikes of 4 to 10 miles, 2 to 8 hours, altitudes 6,000 to 15,340 feet. See a more detailed Activity Level description on the Tour Details tab.)

Highlights Include

  • Hiking: During your high-altitude Andean trek, you’ll stop to explore ancient Inca ruins and villages that appear frozen in time, hike to glacial lakes, and enjoy panoramic views of the high Vilcabamba Range. The pace is set for full acclimatization and to take in the immersion of high-mountain trekking.
  • Machu Picchu: After your trek, spend a full day exploring the “Lost City of the Incas.” 
  • Cusco and the Sacred Valley: Tour the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, including the Inca Museum, the San Pedro market, and the nearby Sacsayhuaman archaeological site. Plus, explore the ancient archaeological sites of Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. 
  • Small Group Feature: With a small group of no more than 12 people, you'll quickly develop a strong sense of camaraderie with your Adventure Guide and fellow active travelers—resulting in an interesting and enjoyable trip that is also more flexible! 
  • Luxury Lodgings: During your trek, end each day at well-appointed mountain lodges featuring excellent food and a relaxing hot tub. Off the track, you’ll stay at upscale historic properties such as the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Arrive in Cusco, Peru

Arrive in Cusco this morning and transfer to the beautiful Palacio del Inka-Cusco hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a guided walk through this enchanting city, once the capital of the vast Inca Empire. Red-roofed Cusco is an intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish colonial influences. In some places colonial buildings were erected atop Inca stone foundations, a practice that was as much symbolic of Spanish dominion as it was practical. Ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets all add to the rich visuals of this ancient Inca city. You'll visit many of Cusco’s historic sites, including the Inca Museum.

This evening, gather withe your guides and fellow travelers for welcome drinks, Incan snacks, and a full briefing on the journey ahead. A resident expert will also present a lecture on Incan archaeoastronomy. (R)

Day 3 — Cusco

Get an early start to the day by visiting Koricancha, one of the most important temples of the Incan Empire. Continue to the San Pedro Market, renowned for its Peruvian foods, handicrafts, and wares. Next, explore the ruins of Sacsayhuaman and marvel at the skills of the Incan engineers who built this massive structure without any mortar. Then stop for lunch in San Blas before visiting the Máximo Laura Museum where you’ll see some of the beautiful artwork created by contemporary Peruvian artists. Return to your hotel this afternoon to rest or explore a local café before rejoining the group for dinner at one of Cusco’s premier steakhouses. Walking 2-3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Begin Trek

Following breakfast, meet your group in the lobby for an early morning drive to Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa (12,750 feet) where you’ll spend the evening. Along the way, stop to visit the ancient Inca ruins of Tarawasi in Limatambo. This well-preserved archaeological site, built from impeccably polished granite, is believed to have been critically important to the Inca culture and religion. Then pass through the mountain village of Mollepata for a short break before winding your way farther up to Marcoccasa.

From there, you can continue on to the lodge with your driver, or acclimate yourself with a mild, four-hour trek to Soraypampa on an old route called the “Camino Real” or, Royal Path. From the spectacularly situated valley of Soraypampa, you'll enjoy panoramic views, including an unimpeded view of Mount Salkantay from the lodge. At 20,574 feet, Mount Salkantay is the highest peak in the Cordillera Vilcabamba and is considered by climbers to be one of the most difficult. The afternoon is yours to spend at your leisure as you adjust to the altitude. After an evening briefing, enjoy aperitifs and a hearty dinner. Optional hiking 3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Acclimatization Day

Enjoy a morning hike to a glacier lake—one of the most popular activities at Soraypampa. Hikers will enjoy a panoramic view of the high Vilcabamba Range, and the more adventurous can take a dip in the cool glacial waters of Lake Salkantay. Not only is this an excellent way to acclimate, it's a first immersion into high-mountain trekking. You may also opt to kayak on the smooth waters of Laguna Humantay to see the Vilcabamba from an entirely new perspective.

After lunch back at the lodge, spend the afternoon at your leisure or take a relaxing soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Gather this evening for a briefing on gear and the itinerary for the next four days of trekking, and enjoy a gourmet dinner together. Tonight, join your guide outside for stargazing the clear Peruvian night skies. Hiking 3-4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Trek from Soraypampa to Wayra Lodge

Today your trek to Machu Picchu begins in earnest. After an early morning start, hike up the Río Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay. After reaching an altitude of 15,340 feet, pause a moment in the thin air and take in the views of the surrounding Vilcabamba Range. From there, descend to Wayra Lodge (12,000 feet), where you can wash away the trail dirt and relax in the Jacuzzi. Hiking 5-7 hours. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Trek to Collpa Lodge

After a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, head through an increasingly verdant landscape down to the Collpapampa Valley. The change in scenery is dramatic, from the harsh alpine territory above to pasture land and lush jungle vegetation below. On arrival at the next lodge, you are met with a Pachamanca-style lunch, where meats and vegetables are cooked underground with hot stones. Your rest spot for the evening is located on an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. It sits in this relatively lower region (10,300 feet) in the cloud forest with orchids and butterflies all around. The outdoor hot tub at this lodge has amazing views of lush green mountains and small, distant towns. Hiking 3-4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Trek to Lucma Lodge

After an early breakfast, continue downhill through the slightly more populated rural areas of the Santa Teresa River Valley. The lush trail will take you past tropical fruit orchards and dazzling wildflowers of all sorts. Rest alongside the river for lunch, and from there it is a short climb to Lucma Lodge (6,600 feet), hidden away in a wooded tropical enclave. Stop along the way to visit a working coffee plantation and, time allowing, have the chance to explore the small village of Lucmabama in the afternoon where you'll meet with locals residents. Hiking 6-8 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Trek from Lucma to Aguas Calientes

After an early start and a hearty breakfast, begin the final day of your trek. Head uphill towards Llactapata Pass (8,900 feet), where you'll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu off in the distance—a view that few tourists ever get to see. As an added bonus, see the recently restored Llactapata Ruins, then enjoy lunch at an observatory with more views of Machu Picchu.

Bgin your final descent to the Urubamba River through lush bamboo forests, more orchards and coffee plantations, and diverse mountain terrain. At the end of the trek, board the train for the scenic, 30-minute ride to the village of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. After checking into your hotel, you can enjoy the hotel’s spa or visit the market for local handicrafts. Hiking 4-6 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Explore Machu Picchu

Enjoy the privilege of spending the entire day inside Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Built in the mid-15th century, Machu Picchu was a sanctuary or retreat for Inca royalty. The landscape here is stunning, with orchids on the grounds and a massive cliff face known as Huayna Picchu towering overhead.

The city is divided into three sections—the Sacred District, the Popular District, and the District of the Priests and Nobility—and your knowledgeable guides will help you understand the significance of the many temples, sanctuaries, and parks found here. You'll hike to the Sun Gate and then spend a leisurely day exploring the vast city that was once at the heart of one of the world’s most powerful empires. Enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Hotel within a stone’s throw of the ruins. Return to your lovely lodge late in the afternoon for another gourmet dinner together. Hiking 2-4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — The Sacred Valley

This morning is free for you to relax and enjoy the splendid rooms and grounds of the lodge. If you wish, choose to join the lodge staff for birdwatching, orchid identification, or one of the other activities offered.

Later, board the train from Aguas Calientes with a gourmet boxed lunch, arriving this afternoon into Ollantaytambo, the heart of the Sacred Valley. Enjoy a guided tour of Ollantaytambo’s archaeological site and the charming town. Check into the hotel in time for a special pisco tasting before dinner tonight. Walking 2 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Cusco and Departure

After breakfast, drive to the traditional town of Chinchero and visit a weaving co-op where women are keeping alive the legacy of Peruvian weaving and textiles. You will also stop to visit the Chinchero archaeological site where you can explore one last example of excellent Incan architecture. Return to Cusco for a farewell lunch and a toast to your Incan odyssey.

Late this afternoon transfer to the Cusco airport for flights to Lima and home. (B,L)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)