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 Hotel Monasterio.
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 layover 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? Ascend Machu Picchu Mountain for a memorable view of the ruins Stroll the grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel with a naturalist to learn about the local flora and fauna.
- 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
Hotel Monasterio (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 (2 nights): Located at 11,800 feet, this stylish mountain lodge welcomes you with a hot tub and incomparable views of Salkantay, the region's highest peak.
Wayra Lodge (1 night): Overnight at "the place where the wind lives" and enjoy a hot tub soak at 12,000 feet.
Colpa Lodge (1 night): This lodge with a hot tub rests in a cloud forest at 10,300 feet in the Collpapampa Valley.
Lucma Lodge (1 night): Savor spectacular views from this lodge, built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (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)
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/27-1/4 Price: $5498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1720 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 4/3-11 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/3-11 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/5-13 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/1-9 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/9-17 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/5-13 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/2-10 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/26-11/3 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 11/6-14 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/18-26 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/24-1/1 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/28-1/5 Price: $5398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1550 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $5,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $5,598 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,998 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
Incredible!!! This was a majestic experience--delightful form beginning to end!! Arduous and challenging trekking but so rewarding!- Corpus Christi, TX
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
An amazing experience. A valuable mix of culture and nature and physical.- Calgary, AB
An absolutely beautiful trip. I haven't processed everything that happened and everything I've seen but I'm sure it will stay with me for a very long time. I continue to love Backroads trips and am sure I will be taking another within the year. Thank you for everything you do.- Boynton Beach, FL
Overall, the trip was one of our best ever. Challenging but rewarding.- Calgary, AB
I went on this trip with extremely high expectations and without exception, all were exceeded. A truly marvelous experience. Thank you.- Houston, TX
There was not a single moment that I was unhappy or concerned about our trip. I tend to be a "worrier" but know that if I'm with Backroads, I will be in good hands.- Prospect, KY
This was the best vacation we've ever had. We had anticipated our journey for a year, and the actual trip exceeded all expectations. It was so well planned for us, and so much fun.- Houston, TX
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
I loved each and every moment. It was one of the most spectacular experiences of my entire life. There was NOTHING I was left wanting.- Scarsdale, NY
The attention to detail is flawless, trips are incredibly well organized, and there were so many extra amenities and special touches that add to the experience, plus the use of top notch trip leaders/guides and accommodations, that I now have a better appreciation for why Backroads is so successful. Thank you!- Portola Valley, CA