Trip Overview

Experience some of South America’s most spectacular sights on this scenic, October 2019 trekking tour in Peru along the Salkantay Route all the way to majestic Machu Picchu.

The Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu is a bit more challenging than the more renown Inca Trail but it the most scenic of all the trails leading to this famous mountaintop citadel. We begin our Machu Picchu trek setting out from Cuzco, where you’ll be quickly immersed in the mysterious world of the Inca. A walk from the circular terraced Moray, an ancient Incan agricultural site, to the salt mines near colonial Maras, is like a journey on foot through Peruvian history.

The impressively preserved Incan ruins of Tarawasi offer a picturesque start to your trek along the lovely Camino Real (or Royal Path). Take in majestic views of Mount Salkantay as you make your way to higher elevations. An acclimatization hike to the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Humantay is a chance to get to know your fellow travelers while preparing your body for the increasing physical demands of the climb ahead. Team up with a friend for a kayak ride around this stunning glacial lake. A challenging day of hiking up the Rio Blanco Valley and the mountain switchbacks leading to Salkantay Pass at over 15,000 feet will test your limits as a hiker. The magical views of the mountains and a dramatic descent through a foggy field studded with giant boulders make this demanding day totally worth it.

Lush vegetation and stunning butterflies accompany you through the otherworldly cloud forest further up the Salkantay Route. Marvel at these natural wonders, then unwind with your group (and soothe muscles sore from the day’s trekking challenges) in an outdoor jacuzzi with incredible panoramic views of the mountains. Coffee lovers will be especially energized by the hike through the coffee cherry orchards of the fertile Santa Teresa River Valley.

Pick your way up original Incan steps towards the spectacular remains of Llactapata and Machu Picchu. Views of the “back” of this world-famous citadel are especially exciting; few travelers ever see this side of the ruins, and the view can serve as the inspiration you need for the final push on your Peru trek! You’ll be amply rewarded for all your efforts once you reach the ancient citadel at Machu Picchu. Explore the empty plazas, stunning chambers, and stone stairways of this architectural marvel, and visit the royal Inca residences of the Watchtower and the Temple of the Sun. Take a lot of photos with your fellow adventurers to celebrate the achievement of reaching this postcard-worthy site by foot! Return to Cuzco and explore its colorful shops and winding streets before heading home.

On this Machu Picchu hiking trip via the Salkantay Route, you’ll walk in the footsteps of an ancient Incan civilization – and push your body to the limit – an unforgettable journey to one of the world’s true wonders!

Main Attractions

  • Challenge yourself on the Salkantay hiking route in the high Andes Mountains 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
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Handicrafts
  • Historical Sites
  • Local Delicacies
  • Natural History
  • Sightseeing
  • Spa Element
  • Trekking
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

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

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, October 13, 2019 – Arrive in Cuzco

Meet your group at the Cuzco airport at 3:00pm. You will be transferred to your beautiful hotel in the Sacred Valley. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your group.

If you’d like to come to Cuzco early, AdventureWomen would be happy to help you make hotel arrangements.

Overnight: Hacienda Urubamba

Day 2

Monday, October 14, 2019 – Cuzco to Urubamba
Explore 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.

After enjoying lunch in a local restaurant, 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. Take some time to relax at your hotel this evening and repack for the trek.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hacienda Urubamba

Day 3

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 – Urubamba to the Salkantay Route
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

Day 4

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 – Salkantay Route
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, or admire a traditional offering to Mother Earth, getting an up-close view of the majestic glacier.

Enjoy lunch at the lodge.

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

Overnight: Soray Lodge

Day 5

Thursday, October 17, 2019 – Salkantay Route
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 the 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: Wayra Lodge

Day 6

Friday, October 18, 2019 – Salkantay Route
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 a special lunch. 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 19, 2019 – Salkantay Route
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 20, 2019 – Salkantay Route to Machu Picchu
For those who have the energy, depart early this morning for an optional hike. 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 distant 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.

If your knees need a break, you can hike 30-45 minutes down to a vehicle and drive one hour to the Santa Teresa hot springs. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the springs and some relaxation time.

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

Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 9

Monday, October 21, 2019 – Machu Picchu
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 resplendent 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 Huayna 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 22, 2019 – Machu Picchu to Cuzco
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

Day 11

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 – 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.

Transfer to the airport mid-afternoon to catch your flights home.
Breakfast, Lunch

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

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Peru

Arrival/Departure Information

Arrive: Arrive at the Cuzco Airport (CUZ) on October 13, 2019 in time for a 3:00pm transfer. Flights from Lima are frequently delayed, so if you are flying from Lima on the 13th, we recommend a morning flight.

Depart: Depart Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) on October 23, 2019 after 4:00pm.

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

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393

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 and a minimum of two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Challenging. Our Challenging adventures get your heart rate pumping, these are demanding yet deeply rewarding and designed for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts. You should be in excellent
physical condition, and be able to hike up to 10 miles, in steeper, more rugged terrain.

We strongly recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more here.

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

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Peru, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to and navigate to the page about Peru.


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.

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 15, 2019.

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

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included


  • Hotel accommodations based on double occupancy
  • 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 Ambassador

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.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686


Hacienda Urubamba
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.

Mountain Lodges (Soray, Wayra, Colpa, and Lucma)
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.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
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.

Palacio del Inka
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.

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

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

As you get ready to pack for your adventure, have a look at The AdventureWomen Store at - we have picked out our favorite travel clothes and outdoor gear to help make packing easy for you. You can also see our recommendations for this trip on the AdventureWomen Pinterest page.

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.

You must bring a soft-sided duffel bag for this trip. No hard-frames or wheeled suitcases are permitted. For the trek, your luggage should weigh no more than 22lbs.

Clothing and Gear

  • Soft-sided 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 (identification documents, airline tickets, money)
  • 2 spare passport photos in case your passport is lost or stolen
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • 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
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • 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
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Prescription medicine you usually take
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

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.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686