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Peru MLP Inca Trail - Mountain Lodges of Peru Salkantay Lodge trek

A more comfortable and fascinating alternative to the traditional Inca Trail, arriving to Machu Picchu via the Llactapata Inca Trail. Stay in small lodges and enjoy the luxury of a bed at the end of a long day hiking, rather than camping. The trek is rated as moderate to challenging and covers approximately 63km /32 miles on uneven, rocky terrain with some steep uphill and downhill sections, but the scenery and views are unforgettable.

To enquire about this itinerary, or one like it, please email us at info@lastfrontiers.com.

Itinerary summary

The Inca Trails

Days 1-: Leave Cusco early, and drive north-west on the Lima road. After a steep descent arrive at Tarawasi, a small Inca site. Shortly afterwards you leave the asphalt and turn towards Mollepata, above the Apurimac river (about 2-3 hours driving in total). After a further 30 minutes leave the bus and start walking: a 1½-2 hours steep climb until the path levels out and you follow an irrigation channel which leads to Soraypampa in about 2 hours. The total distance is 10km, after which you will be given a warm welcome at Soray Lodge (2 night stay).

The Inca Trails

Days 2-: A free day here allows one to take a practice hike to a glacier lake below Humantay or ride in the surrounding countryside.

The Inca Trails

Days 3-: This is the toughest day of the trek. A 2 hour gentle climb brings you to Salkantaypampa, from where a steep zig-zag path eventually takes you up to the 'Abra Salkantay' pass at 4,800m. From here a long decent brings you to the next lodge, Wayra, in the shadow of Humantay and at 3,900m. 5-7 hour's walking in total, but horses are always available for those who get tired legs.

The Inca Trails

Days 4-: A 3 hour descent brings you to the meeting of three rivers and the next lodge, Colpa Lodge (2,800m) where you arrive in time for a traditional lunch and an afternoon's relaxation. There is an outside hot tub.

The Inca Trails

Days 5-: A gentle descent along the Santa Teresa river valley, passing hot springs and descending well into more tropical habitat. After 4-5 hours and a leisurely lunch stop the trail arrives an an unpaved road, and a van will give you a welcome lift to the start of the Llactapata Inca Trail, whose beautifully crafted steps lead after only 20 minutes or so to the last lodge, Lucma Lodge.

Machu Picchu

Days 6-: The Llactapata trail climbs steadily for 2-3 hours until you reach a barely-excavated Inca site with spectacular views across a wide valley to Machu Picchu. From here a steep descent leads down to the hydro-electric station, where you sign into the National Park and board the train for a 30 minute ride to Aguas Calientes. The night is spent at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu hotel, whose rooms are individually decorated in cabins around the beautiful gardens.

Machu Picchu

Days 7-: A full day to explore the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu (the first bus up to the site leaves at 0530) before boarding the late afternoon Vistadome train back to Cusco, and a final night at the Casa San Blas.

Notes:

Fixed departures from March to December. March 1–31 and November 1–December 14 are low season, when there is a saving of US$600 per person. Single supplement 50%. It is also possible to arrange a trek on a private basis subject to a minimum of 6 passengers, and at higher cost. A minimum of 2 nights, ideally 3, is needed in Cusco before the trek for acclimatisation and a night is also needed at the end.

Price and validity notes

Machu Picchu Pueblo (Bedroom.) - Machu Picchu, Peru Casa San Blas (View from the 3rd floor 'Junior Suite'.) - Cusco, Peru Casa San Blas (Exterior view.) - Cusco, Peru Machu Picchu (The citadel.) - Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu (Llamas admiring the citadel.) - Machu Picchu, Peru Mountain Lodges of Peru (Wayra Lodge, with Humantay in the background.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Mountain Lodges of Peru (Snow on the pass.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Tarawasi (An Inca site north-west of Cusco.) - Cusco, Peru Tarawasi (Inca stonework and niches.) - Cusco, Peru Tarawasi (A colonial house built on Inca foundations.) - Cusco, Peru MLP trek: Day 1 (Support horses, near Mollepata.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 1 (Views from the trail near Mollepata.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 1 (Humantay, the first glimpse.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 1 (Humantay and the Inca irrigation channel.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 2 (Arriving at the glacier lake below Humantay.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 2 (Glacier lake below Humantay.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (Trail and clouds.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (Silhouette.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (Horses are available for those with tired legs.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (The Abra Salkantay pass, at 4,800m.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (View down to Wayraccmachay.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (The guide leads the way as mist rises through rocks.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 4 (Heading down the valley.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 5 (Hot springs.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (The Inca trail ascends.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (Llactapata.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (Views from Llactapata.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (View from Llactapata to Machu Picchu.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (Ceremonial doorway and channel aligned to Machu Picchu.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (The local train at the 'Hidro'.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Soray Lodge (Bedroom.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 3 (View from Soray Lodge to Salkantay.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Soray Lodge (Morning light on the lodge.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Soray Lodge (Horses in the corral.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Wayrac Lodge (Shepherd's dog near the lodge.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Collpa Lodge (The lunch emerges.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Colpa Lodge (Lodge and hot tub.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Collpa Lodge (Packing the mules.) - The Inca Trails, Peru Salkantay (Hikers under Salkantay peak.) - The Inca Trails, Peru MLP trek: Day 6 (View towards Machu Picchu from below Llactapata.) - The Inca Trails, Peru

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