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As on all Southern Crossings tours, you´re taken care of from beginning to end – airport transfers and domestic flights are included!

Salcantay Tour with Lodge

11 days, 6 trekking: US$5675 per person
$500 off Nov – Dec 14th based on availability 

Domestic flights included

 

Here’s an adventure in which you will be able to experience Peru at its best: trekking from lodge to lodge, enjoying the comfort and service of top quality mountain luxury lodges located in pristine areas and finally reaching Machu Picchu, as a final destination.

On this journey you will trek across magnificent mountain passes, enjoying enormous and mystical snow-capped peaks, observing nature in its purest form and exploring more than 15 different ecosystems from beginning to end. The chances for ethnic and cultural exchange are ever-present with natives who still remain closely attached to their heritage. This is a unique, experience you will not want to miss. Besides the trek to Salcantay, our trip includes Cuzco, Lima, and the Machu Picchu sanctuary.

Day 1: Arrive into Lima. Included city tour today or upon your return

Day 2: Flight to Cuzco – city and ruins tour

Day 3-8: Salcantay Trek with Luxury Lodge

Day 9: Machu Picchu guided tour

Day 10: Cusco

Day 11: Morning flight to Lima. International flights may depart any time after 3pm


Trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artesan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllanas” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2

A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into our hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the fascinating cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Qoricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsaywaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

Day 3

After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 7:00 am at our hotel in Cusco for the drive to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, we begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful six hour trek. Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley—Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at  20,600 ft/6,270 m, the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, we are shown to our rooms and have time to wash-up, before tea and cookies. The trip leader will hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner.

Day 4

Hike to the Humantay Lake
Overnight at Salkantay Lodge at 12,690 ft/3,869 m

Today we take an acclimatization hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. We return to the lodge for lunch, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. Afternoon at leisure. We spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs us on gear and the itinerary for the following day.

Day 5

Crossing the Salkantay Pass
Overnight at Wayra Lodge at 12,812 ft/3,906 m

This is the big day! After an early start, we hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 ft/4,638 m. At the pass we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards Wayra Lodge (“Wayra” means wind; so ‘the place where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.

Day 6

Descent into the Cloud Forest
Overnight at Colpa Lodge at 9,414 ft/2,870 m

On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Then we continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. We can feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca meal, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones, and then covering the whole thing up to bake. Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 7

Following the Santa Teresa River Valley
Overnight at Lucma Lodge at 7,003 ft /2,135 m

Today we hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, we hike another hour before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail” (30 minutes or so). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail we easily make our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 8

First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass
Overnight in Aguas Calientes at 6,232 ft/1,900 m

After a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, we check into our lovely hotel for celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing.

Day 9

Machu Picchu Sanctuary
Return to Cusco at 11,021 ft/3,360 m

After a early morning buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the rest of the morning to explore the site on our own—there is a lot to do and see! Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Overnight in Machu Picchu / Agua Calientes.

Please let us know if you would like to add an extra day at Machu Picchu for a private tour or independant exploration or if you would prefer to return to Cusco by train on this day.

Day 10

Morning train through the Sacred Valley back to Cusco. Overnight in Cusco.

Day 11

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. International flights may depart any time after 3pm.

Is this trip for me?

This trip includes five days of trekking of approximately the same difficulty as the classic Inca Trail. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in good physical health with no serious heart or respiratory conditions. Anyone is welcome on this trip; those over 55 should receive a medical check-up and doctor’s approval within six months of the start of the trip. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being ripped off by airport taxis!

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pickups – at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip.
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guide
  • Domestic flights – Lima-Cuzco, Cuzco-Lima.
  • One night of 4 star accommodation, Four nights of 3 star hotel accommodation, 5 nights of Salcantay trek  with lodge accommodation
  • Five day Salcantay trek with lodge  – including bilingual guides and meals.
  • Five lunches, and five dinners on your trek to Salcantay.
  • Breakfast – included with all hotel and lodge stays.
  • The Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket – which includes entrance to the ruins in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, and many churches and museums in Cuzco.
  • Machu Picchu excursion – including bilingual guide, round trip train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and one-day entrance to the Machu Picchu sanctuary. Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain permits.
  • Private Lima city tour
  • Private Cuzco city tour
  • 24 hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.

Extra activities

Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote.  If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and a Luxury Lodge. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to five stars throughout the trip. Let us know we can then work it into your custom itinerary.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malarial or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

During our trek, mules will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds / 7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the mules. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using a your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course most people also carry a camera.

One should come prepared for outdoor activity at temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. A recommended list of things to bring:

  • Passport and, if necessary, visa
  • ATM card (Notify your bank that you will be travelling to Peru)
  • Airline ticket and Travel Insurance Policy
  • Photocopies of airline ticket and documents
  • Wearable pouch for documents and money
  • Sturdy backpack or suitcase
  • Smaller, comfortable day pack
  • Hiking boots or sneakers, comfortable and worn-in
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Sun hat
  • Hat for cold weather
  • Warm clothing for cold weather (think layers!)
  • T-shirts
  • Socks (thin wool or biking socks are best), undergarments
  • Camelback or Nalgene refillable bottle (optional)
  • Flashlight and/or head lamp
  • Sunscreen (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Insect repellent (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Lip balm
  • Earplugs
  • Alarm clock or watch
  • Sanitizing hand wipes or gel
  • Camera / Camera batteries
  • Reading material
  • Toiletries

It is best to bring from home such items as prescription medications, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please bring all used batteries back home to recycle!

Climate

Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:

Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are chilly in Cuzco.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Often overcast.
Trek: all ranges of weather from hot desert at the bottoms of canyons to possible snow and rain at higher elevations. Most people trek in shorts or light pants (synthetic, fast-drying fibers are preferable to cotton) and a t-shirt, and carry a layer or two (thin fleece and micro-fibers are, again, preferable to cotton), plus a poncho or other rain gear. There are some biting insects, so even in warm weather some people opt to cover more skin with a long sleeve t-shirt and long pants.
Machu Picchu: lower and warmer than Cuzco, with rain possible all year round.

Baggage

For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru, you are allowed 23 kilos (46 lbs) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older-looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it un-changeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$3-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30.  Currency Converter