- Hiking lodge to lodge, with porters and mules handling our luggage
- Trek an Inca route to 15,200 feet for superb views of the snow-covered Andes
- Gaze upon Machu Picchu from the seldom-traveled Llactapata trail
- Relax at high-altitude lodges - many with hot tubs!
- Our two-night stay at the luxurious Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel allows a full day to explore Machu Picchu at leisure
It's easy to grasp the ancient Inca mindset. Easy, that is, once your lungs adjust to the rarefied Andean air. Once your brain absorbs the heart-stopping splendor of your surroundings. You're atop Salkantay Pass at 15,200 feet. Above you looms snow-mantled Nevado Salkantay, the 20,500-foot monarch of the Vilcabamba range. Towering nearby is colossal Humantay peak. From this vantage point, it's clear why these magnificent pinnacles of rock and ice inspired awe among the region's native inhabitants. And at the apex of this trek, Machu Picchu. You're breathless. Is it the altitude or the views? A little of both.
Day 1 Expert-guided explorations of monumental Inca architecture Savor stunning vistas of the Cusco Valley as you trek to the Inca sites of Q'enko, Temple of the Moon and fortress-temple Sacsayhuamán with a local expert Overnight at Cusco's renowned five-star Orient-Express.
Days 2-3 Our high-altitude lodge invites a soak in its outdoor hot tub While you're getting acclimated, walk up to a glacial lake or opt for a horseback ride - either way, get lost in views of towering white-capped Salkantay, Inca mythology's most sacred mountain Taste pisco sours, the country's national drink, before our dinner of organic regional cuisine Summit the Salkantay pass at 15,200 feet.
Days 4-6 Hike lodge to lodge, with porters and mules transporting your luggage, and sleep in style Condors soar overhead as you travel up the Río Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak Descend through a lush subtropical landscape above the Salkantay River before passing the Santa Teresa River Valley's patchwork of orchards and coffee plantations Feeling adventurous? Try cuy (guinea pig), cooked in a large pit of hot rocks, at a traditional Andean Pachamanca feast.
Days 7-9 Gaze upon magical Machu Picchu from the seldom-traveled Llactapata trail Head downhill through bamboo forests to the Vilcanota River Take a full day to deeply explore the ruins of Machu Picchu: hike to the Gate of the Sun for an impressive overview, then get up close as our local guide reveals secrets of the "Lost City's" astrological designs and provides insight into the stonework at this sacred site Got an intrepid streak? Summit Machu Picchu Mountain for a bird's-eye look at the ruins Stroll the grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel with a naturalist to learn about the local flora and fauna.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
My best vacation ever. And I travel a lot! This was my third Backroads trip. It was a fantastic experience, just like my previous trips. Our guides were fantastic, as always. Can't wait for our next trip.- Holladay, UT
This was the best vacation I've taken in a long, long time. Everything was perfect - Peru, the trek and the lodges. I am definitely having re-entry problems at home after such a fantastic time.- Berkeley, CA
I went on this trip with extremely high expectations and without exception, all were exceeded. A truly marvelous experience. Thank you.- Houston, TX
Cusco (1 night) "An outstanding Orient-Express property housed within a converted 16th-century monastery situated just a short stroll from the Plaza de Armas," says Andrew Harper. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best.
Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort
Soraypampa (2 nights) Located at 11,800 feet, this luxury lodge welcomes you with a hot tub and incomparable views of Salkantay, the region's highest peak.
Huayraccmachay (1 night) Overnight at "the place where the wind lives" and enjoy a hot tub soak at 12,000 feet.
Collpapampa (1 night) This lodge with a hot tub rests in a cloud forest at 10,300 feet in the Collpapampa Valley.
Lucmabamba (1 night) Savor spectacular views from this lodge, built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Aguas Calientes (2 nights) This hotel with Andean-style casitas is just minutes from the ruins of Machu Picchu. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
This Trip Is Rated Level 3-5
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Machu Picchu guided walk (3 hours)|
|9||Early-morning naturalist walk (45 minutes)|
The terrain on this trip includes mountain trails, Inca stone jungle paths, archaeological site walks.
Overnight trekking lodges are located at elevations of 6,600 - 11,800 feet. Trekking routes reach up to 15,000 feet. Due to the high elevations and rugged terrain, the routes often feel more challenging than the mileage suggests.
* Includes a shuttle