Peru: A Lodge-to-Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

Trip Overview

Join us in September 2018 on this unique, 11-day, lodge-to-lodge, “bucket list” Peru hiking trip along the Inca Trail, a trekking adventure to the iconic, Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Every day on this Machu Picchu hiking trip, you’ll be treated to visual splendor that will take your breath away; from the vibrancy of the greenery in the lower valleys, to the pristine elegance of the treeless slopes of the Peruvian Andes, and the stunning brilliance of glistening glaciers atop peaks that stand more than 20,000 feet high.

Start your adventure exploring the Sacred Valley. Once the heart of the Inca Empire, the Sacred Valley is a feast of impressive ruins, gentle mountain slopes, rushing rivers, grazing llamas and alpaca, and enchanting farm towns. In short, it’s the perfect introduction to the mysterious world of the Inca, whose stunning civilization thrived until the 16th century.

For the next 5 days, you will be hiking from lodge to lodge along the Salkantay Route. The name Salkantay is from "sallqa", a Quechua word meaning wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible, and was recorded as early as 1583. The name Salkantay is thus often translated as “Savage Mountain.”

On our first day, we do an acclimatization hike to the spectacular Lake Humantay, a gorgeous glacial lake at the base of the snow capped mountain, Humantay.  Enjoy the tranquility of being truly in the wilderness. The next day is long and strenuous, but the view from the top of the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 feet, makes it worth it! Take in views of snow capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction and the glaciated south face of Mt. Salkantay towering above. Enjoy a spectacular view of the other side of Mt. Humantay once you reach your lodge tonight, reminding you of how far you’ve come!

As you continue your descent the next day, the warm air begins to rise from the edge of the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Today you will see more of the local people as the trail takes you past their simple homes and makeshift fences.

The following day, we hike in the Santa Teresa River Valley where you will hop over small streams fed by waterfalls descending from the glaciers and cross through fruit orchards. Visit a local organic coffee plantation-you will begin to notice a shift in the climate-the hot air and increased humidity signal that you are getting close to the edge of the Amazon.

You’ll share the thrill of this adventure and a sense of camaraderie with new friends and companions as you trek together along ancient paths used centuries ago by Inca foot soldiers catching glimpses of the majestic Mt. Salkantay peak.  At the end of each day’s hike, you’ll overnight at a luxurious mountain lodge, each one uniquely different, where you’ll enjoy elegant gourmet meals featuring regional cuisine, relaxing massages, and the opportunity to recharge in a hot tub under a sea of stars.

Finally, you’ll reach Machu Picchu, the magnificent Inca estate built in the 15th century whose ruins remained abandoned and cloaked for centuries in cloud forest, until, in 1911, archaeologists revealed them and shared their rediscovery with the rest of the world.

You’ll arrive in Machu Picchu in the early morning and watch spellbound as the first rays of the sun spray over the surrounding peaks and spill across the emerald hills surrounding the ruins. You’ll marvel at the seamless, dry-stone, Incan masonry that, in places, still stands utterly unchanged and undamaged despite earthquakes and the passage of time.

End your Peruvian adventure, with a "women-to-women" experience visiting a weaving project led by a master weaver as you head back to Cuzco. Women are the owners and drivers of this artistic Peruvian tradition, and you will see how their gregarious processes of spinning, gathering and use of natural dyes, setting up of looms, and the creation of designs, are fundamental to the family and social bonds of these highland communities.

Enjoy this stunning video of the Salkantay Trek to Macchu Picchu:

Join AdventureWomen on a bucket list experience in September 2018 hiking Peru's Inca Trail along the Salkantay Route to the historic Inca fortress of Machu Picchu!

Main Attractions

  • Challenge yourself on the Salkantay hiking route in the high Andes of Peru among peaks that tower into the clouds
  • Learn the history of the Incas and the cultural importance of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the ancient Incan empire
  • Photograph Peruvian mountain landscapes with glistening glaciers and turquoise, glacial lakes
  • Relax in luxurious lodges with gourmet meals, hot tubs, and goose-down comforters on every bed

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Handicrafts
  • Hiking
  • Historical Sites
  • Local Delicacies
  • Natural History
  • Sightseeing
  • Spa Element
  • Trekking
  • Women-To-Women

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Peru: A Lodge-to-Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, September 30 - Arrive in Lima
Welcome to Peru and its legendary Land of the Inca! Sheltered by the soaring peaks of Los Andes, forgotten ruins lie in wait of discovery. Ancient whitewashed villages give a glimpse into mountain life as it has been lived for centuries. The seaside capital of Lima looks ahead into a bright future. Exhilarating, awesome, breathtaking, and unforgettable, Peru is an adventure destination like no other.

You will be picked up at the Lima International Airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Meals on your own

Overnight: Wyndham Coasta Del Sol Airport Hotel

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham
Linked directly to Jorge Chavéz International Airport and offering upscale amenities for discerning travelers, this hotel offers the ultimate in convenience and comfort, whether you’re exploring Peru’s capital or just passing through. Experience legendary Peruvian hospitality as soon as you arrive, with a handy walkway that leads from the terminal to the front door, and a free welcome drink upon check in.

Day 2

Monday, October 1 - Lima to Urubamba
Once the heart of the Inca Empire, the Sacred Valley is a feast of impressive ruins, gentle mountain slopes, rushing rivers, grazing  llamas and alpaca, and enchanting farm towns. In short, it’s the perfect introduction to the mysterious world of the Inca, whose stunning civilization thrived until the 16th century.

Fly from Lima to Cuzco this morning. Your guide will meet you at the airport, and you will head to the Sacred Valley.

Arrive at the archaeological site of Moray, an experimental agricultural station of the Inca in the shape of a circular terraced depression. For those interested in hiking, you can choose an easy downhill walk from the colonial town of Maras to the salt mines.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, drive to the archaeological site of Pisaq, a royal estate which lies atop a hill at the entrance of Sacred Valley. Explore the ruins of temples, military structures, and agricultural terraces.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hacienda Urubamba

http://www.inkaterra.com/inkaterra/inkaterra-hacienda-urubamba/the-experience/
Hacienda Urubamba is a contemporary hacienda- style hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Immersed in the countryside in a gorgeous area, Hacienda Urubamba spans approximately 100 acres surrounded by imposing green mountains. All of the rooms feature breathtaking views of the valley, immersing you in open space, serenity, and relaxing solitude.

Day 3

Tuesday, October 2 - Urubamba to the Salkantay Route
Located one hour from Cuzco, Urubamba is the largest town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is also located near a number of significant ruins of the Inca Empire, including Machu Picchu. The sparse remains of the Inca palace, Quispiguanca, are within the town.

Depart for the mountains this morning. The first stop will be the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo. Spend some time there before heading to the mountain village of Mollepata to meet a cooperative of weavers and knitters.

After a short drive on a winding mountain road, you’ll arrive at Marcoccasa. Here you will begin your hike to Soraypampa along a picturesque path called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path), which is also a good opportunity to acclimatize to the higher altitude. As you round the final turn of the Camino Real, the Salkantay Lodge will come into view. Standing like a sentry behind the lodge is the glacier peak of Mt. Salkantay, among the most sacred in Inca mythology and the highest in the region at 20,600 ft.

Settle in your room and relax for a few minutes before meeting your guide in the lounge for refreshments and a briefing of the tomorrow’s activities.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Soray Lodge

At the end of each day, in these intimate 6-room lodges, you will enjoy hot showers, fine gourmet meals, select wines, goose-down bedding, massages, outdoor jacuzzis, and highly personalized service from local staff. Each room is warmly presented with down comforters and amenities. The eco-minded architecture effortlessly mixes traditional heritage with contemporary design. Indulge in inventive menus, which provide a refreshing take on the region’s most iconic dishes. All offerings are locally sourced – from organic coffee blends to healthy snacks.

Day 4

Wednesday, October 3 - Salkantay Route
Humantay is a snow capped mountain, and right at the base of the mountain you’ll find a stunning glacial lake. Enjoy the tranquility of being truly in the wilderness.

This morning, go on an acclimatization hike to Lake Humantay. Begin by hiking up the slopes that border the plateau behind the Salkantay Lodge. An hour and a half later, after making your way over the final hill, you will be stunned to see the turquoise water of the lake, made even more spectacular by the sight of the Humantay glacier looming behind it.

Here you will have a chance to relax, enjoy a snack, meditate in the tranquility of this magical spot, admire a traditional offering to Mother Earth, or take a kayak ride in the lake, getting an up-close view of the majestic glacier.

Enjoy lunch at the lodge.

Spend the afternoon at leisure. Soak in the oudoor jacuzzi, enjoy a massage, or just relax!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Soray Lodge

Day 5

Thursday, October 4 - Salkantay Route
The name Salkantay is from sallqa, a Quechua word meaning wild, uncivilized, savage, or invincible, and was recorded as early as 1583. The name is thus often translated as “Savage Mountain.” Directly to the north of Salkantay lies Machu Picchu, which is at the end of a ridge that extends down from this mountain. Viewed from Machu Picchu’s main sundial, the Southern Cross is above Salkantay’s summit when at its highest point in the sky during the rainy season. The Incas associated this alignment with concepts of rain and fertility, and considered Salkantay to be one of the principal deities controlling weather and fertility in the region west of Cuzco.

Day three is the longest and most strenuous day, but arguably the most magical day of the trek. After an early start, hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak. As you gradually make your way up these mountain trails, you will encounter expansive plateaus dotted with boulders of varying sizes, the remnants of a valley that was once bisected by a fast-flowing river. The final and most challenging part of your ascent is conquering the mountain switchbacks that take you to the Salkantay Pass, the highest point on the trek at 15,213 feet. What follows is a dramatic descent through fields of giant boulders, often shrouded in fog.

Enjoy a hot picnic lunch before continuing your descent through rolling hills and marsh-like plateaus. Arrive at teh Wayra Lodge this afternoon. Enjoy a spectacular view of the other side of Mount Humantay, reminding you of how far you’ve come!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Soray Lodge

Day 6

Friday, October 5 - Salkantay Route
A cloud forest is a generally tropical or subtropical, evergreen, montane, moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are also referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained.

After a leisurely breakfast at the Wayra Lodge, continue the descent along the banks of the Salkantay River through increasingly verdant scenery. The warm air begins to rise from the edge of the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Today you will see more of the local people as the trail takes you past their simple homes and makeshift fences.

Arrive at Colpa Lodge for lunch by zip-line! Your Pachamanca lunch is a traditional Peruvian meal cooked in the earth by hot stones that create a natural underground oven.

Relax this afternoon. Lounge in the sun or unwind in the outdoor jacuzzi while you take in the panoramic views of the green mountains surrounding you.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Colpa Lodge

Day 7

Saturday, October 6 - Salkantay Route
Peru is one of the top 20 coffee producers in the world. A coffee plant usually starts to produce flowers three to four years after it is planted, and the coffee cherries appear from these flowers. A coffee plant can first be harvested about five years after it is planted. The cherries are ready to pick when they turn from green to red, about eight months after the flowers bloom.

Today you will hike in the Santa Teresa River valley where you will hop over small streams fed by waterfalls descending from the glaciers and cross through fruit orchards. After breaking for a hot picnic lunch by the river, you will walk for an hour where you will meet a vehicle for a short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail, which leads you to your lodge.

Visit a local organic coffee plantation. You will begin to notice a shift in the climate - the hot air and increased humidity signal that you are getting close to the edge of the Amazon.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Lucma Lodge

Day 8

Sunday, October 7 - Salkantay Route to Machu Picchu
The roads of the Inca Empire once stretched from present-day Quito, Ecuador in the north all the way down to Santiago, Chile in the south. The extensive network of roads and trails covered roughly 14,000 miles and crossed 16,000-foot-high mountain passes, winding through the stunning scenery and breathtaking landscapes of the Andes. Since the Inca did not use the wheel, or horses until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, these roads were traveled almost exclusively on foot and with pack animals such as llamas.

During a two to three hour climb up a path mostly comprised of original Inca steps, you will get a sense of what hiking through the rainforest would be like.

A lush treeline creates green canopies overhead and the constant sound of rushing water suggests that the river is still nearby. Your first milestone today will be the top of the peak, the last one before you reach the Aobamaba River valley that connects you to Machu Picchu. When you arrive at the ruins of Llactapata at the Llactapata Pass (8,974 feet), you will be delighted to see a southeast view of the “back” of the Machu Picchu ruins, a sight few travelers ever get a chance to admire. At this point you will also take a short break to explore Llactapata, and then have lunch a bit farther down the trail in a meadow with panoramic views. The final descent toward the roaring Aobamba River takes you through lush bamboo forests, as well as more fruit orchards and coffee plantations.

Take a one-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

http://www.inkaterra.com/inkaterra/inkaterra-machu-picchu-pueblo-hotel/the-experience/
Located in the heart of Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, Inkaterra’s boutique Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an Andean Garden of Eden—one of the world’s most appealing boutique hotels. A fusion of calmness, comfort, Andean style and architecture, its natural beauty spreads over 12 acres of low-rise cottages, plantations, and wild forest interspersed by stone pathways. Waterfalls and streams gently cascade through acres of orchids. Hummingbirds frolic in a private cloud-forest paradise, while you experience an authentic barefoot luxury hotel at the foot of Machu Picchu, within an idyllic enclave of whitewashed casitas.

Day 9

Monday, October 8 - Machu Picchu
Arriving at Machu Picchu, “Lost City of the Incas” is like stepping into a postcard! The intact maze of empty plazas, chambers and palaces connected by stairways carved out of solid stone helps you understand why it is considered among the Wonders of the World. Built precipitously high, it is surrounded by mountains covered in lush tropical vegetation. Terraced to the edge to provide for Inca domiciles, it stands today as a tribute to Incan ingenuity.

Begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short and rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the “Sanctuary” (as locals refer to it), the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with re-splendent light. Prepare to be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Your imagination will soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins.

You have the option to hike Huyana Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views.

Lunch at Sanctuary Lodge by the entrance. In the afternoon when the crowds dissipate, explore on your own.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 10

Tuesday, October 9 - Machu Picchu to Cuzco
Founded in the 11th century and capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century through the arrival of the Spanish in the mid 16th century, today’s Cuzco is a delightful mix of Inca and Spanish architecture. Winding streets, red clay rooftops, tiny peaceful plazas and colorful shops invite exploration. Around the mostly whitewashed city you can still see the remains of Inca buildings and their foundations—many of which have proven to be stronger than buildings constructed in the present day. The stones in the old walls that line the winding alleyways are so closely fitted together, you couldn’t even fit a sheet of paper between them!

Take the train this morning from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Drive back to Cuzco.

Visit a weaving project led by a master weaver. Textile production has profound historic and cultural significance in the Andes, and this project is part of a highly-successful initiative to rescue and revive this way of life. Women are the owners and drivers of this activity, and you will see how their gregarious processes of spinning, gathering and use of natural dyes, setting up of looms, and the creation of designs, are fundamental to the family and social bonds of these highland communities.

Explore Cuzco on your own this afternoon.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an incredible trip!
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Palacio del Inca

http://www.palaciodelinkahotel.com/?SWAQ=958C
A storied mansion dating back nearly five centuries, Palacio del Inka stands in the historic center of Cuzco. Directly across from the Koricancha, it is a five-minute walk from the main square and less than a mile from an array of museums, markets, and restaurants.

Day 11

Wednesday, October 10 - Cuzco and Depart
Explore Cuzco on your own this morning. Pick up some last minute souvenirs, or just walk around this unique town.

Enjoy one last lunch as a group at a local restaurant.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home.
Breakfast, Lunch

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Peru: A Lodge-to-Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

Traveling to Peru



Traveling to Peru

Arrive: Arrive at Lima International Airport (LIM) on September 30, 2018.

Depart: Depart Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) on October 10, 2018 after 2:00pm.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations

We rate this trip as high energy. You must be in excellent physical condition to complete this trek, and you should train for the trip. You are trekking at elevations up to 15,213 feet. We require trekkers over 70 to get their doctor’s approval prior to trekking.

We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you to ensure that you are prepared for the trip.
Visit https://fitfortrips.com/partners/adventure-women/ for more information.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money

The currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol. US dollars are accepted in some places in Peru. Credit cards are generally accepted in larger cities. ATMs will be available in larger cities as well.
Suggested Gratuities:

  • Guides: $5-10 per day
  • Field staff: $5-10 per day
  • Lodge staff: $5-10 per day
  • Transfer drivers: $5 per transfer

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Supplemental Trekking Release
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before July 2, 2018.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Peru: A Lodge-to-Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • English-speaking guides throughout the trip
  • Drinking water
  • One AdventureWomen Associate

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Peru
  • Domestic airfare
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Peru: A Lodge-to-Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu

What to Bring

Peru has only two seasons: a dry season from April to October, and a wet season from December to March. The weather in the mountains can change quickly and you should be prepared for four seasons in one day. You should carry winter clothing and rain gear at all times. Expect temperatures ranging from 14° to 23°F at night and up to 68°F during the day.

 

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • 4-5 pairs wool hiking socks
  • 5-7 pairs underwear
  • 1-2 lightweight long underwear tops
  • 1-2 lightweight long underwear bottoms
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1-2 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of casual clothes for evenings
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket for cool evenings
  • 1 heavy jacket (down or synthetic)
  • 1 pair gaiters
  • Waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • Warm hat, gloves
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Comfortable shoes and/or sandals
  • Sleepwear
  • Telescopic trekking poles
  • Large refillable water bottle

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag (when left in rooms)
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters (three round pin sockets and two round pin sockets)
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 heavyweight plastic garbage bags for wet swimsuits
  • 1-2 bandanas
  • Reading material/journal

Personal First Aid Kid:

  • Foot powder for moisture absorption
  • Bandaids (cloth, not plastic)
  • 10 individually wrapped alcohol pads
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen
  • Cold-symptom relief tablets
  • Antihistamine
  • Cough drops
  • Tweezers
  • Ace bandage
  • Antibiotics (as advised by a doctor)
  • Prescription medicines in their original bottles
  • Acidophilus or other probiotic
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Laxative
  • Emergen-C
  • Eye drops

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.