Salkantay to Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Equestrian Tour
Low Season 2016
Mar 1 – 15 & Nov 1 - Dec 14 US$ 3,490 per person based on shared accommodation
High Season 2016
Mar 15 – Oct 31 & Dec 15 – 31 US$ 3,990 per person based on shared accommodation
An exciting adventure of surprising comfort that takes you on an ancient Inca trail called the “Salkantay Inca Trail”, the road less traveled to the lost city of the Incas. The route winds through the Cordillera Vilcabamba, a spectacular Andean mountain range, before plunging into forested canyons. Discover a world surrounded by magical moments which will stay with you far beyond your return home.
Riding on the unbeaten trails of the mysterious Incas, high in the mountains and on winding slopes, creates an intimate bond between horse and rider based on mutual trust and the excitement of the journey ahead. These athletic, surefooted and noble horses are well
trained for high altitude and changing terrain, and travel with outstanding willingness.
Each day’s ride ends not in a freezing tent but in one of four cozy lodges with hot showers, fine gourmet meals, select wines, goose-down bedding, outdoor jacuzzis and highly personalized service provided by local staff and stunning views.
In our Machu Picchu Lodge-Lodge experience, riders spend two nights at the Salkantay Lodge, and one night at each of the three other lodges located along the trail. The last night of the journey is spent in an award-winning hotel in the town of Machu Picchu in anticipation of the grand finale: a visit to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.
Salkantay to Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Equestrian Tour
Day 1. First day ride to Machu Picchu
After an early breakfast, we are picked up starting at 7:00 am at your Cusco hotel by a MLP guide and vehicle. 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 Coronilla Ranch.
Here, after a short period of familiarization with the equestrian team and the horses, we begin our ride to Soraypampa. This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate while enjoying a beautiful 3-4 hour ride. 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 6,270m (20,600 ft), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, we are shown to our rooms and have time to freshen-up, before tea and cookies. The trip leader will
hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner.
|Hiking time||4 hours riding on mixed terrain.|
Day 2. Ride to Humantay Lake and offering to Mother earth.
Today’s excursion takes us first to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above on the slopes of the impressive Mt. Humantay. Our 1-hour ride there is followed by a short 20-minute walk, which is necessary in order to reach the lake, but the view is well worth it and those brave enough can go for a swim! After a short snack break we hike back down to where we left the horses, and from where we begin a 30-minute ride to our next dismount spot: the gateway to the “Chakana” (the mystical Cross of the Incas, located on a view point high above Soraypampa). From here, we begin a one-hour excursion on foot to our destination, the actual “Chakana”. This excursion allows guests to enjoy the best views of the Soraypampa Valley, Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay, and is truly one of the high points of our journey…which
should not be missed! A mystical offering to Mother Earth (or “Pachamama”) at the Chakana, performed by a local Shaman, in full view of the awe-inspiring Mt. Salkantay, tops off this unique experience.
We return to the lodge for lunch with your afternoon at leisure, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in our outdoor jacuzzi. Additionally there is the option of riding out again for a couple of hours in the surrounding area. In the evening, the guide briefs us on gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge.
|Hiking time||4 hours riding on mixed terrain.|
Day 3. Cross the Salkantay pass
Today we continue our journey towards Machu Picchu, riding up the Rio Blanco valley and circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point of the ride is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 meters (15,213 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, with 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 the Wayra Lodge, (“Wayra”: wind; from the name of the location “Wayracmachay”: ‘the cave where the wind lives’) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
|Hiking distance||4 hours riding on mixed terrain.|
Day 4. Into the Cloud Forest
On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge, and then we continue downhill above the Salkantay River, descending into the cloud forest, 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, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones. Everything is then covered with hot stones, plantain leaves,
high Andean grass and local herbs and the contents are baked in this underground
oven. 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.
|Hiking time||3 hours horse riding on mixed terrain.|
Day 5. Coffee, avocados and bananas.
Today we ride along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas.
We pass through banana, passion fruit, avocado orchards and coffee plantations. The
coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. Our ride
takes us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail”, which is where we say goodbye
to our horses and equestrian staff. A short 30-minute walk through an avocado orchard
brings us to Lucma Lodge. From the head of the newly restored Inca trail we easily make
our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. On the way we visit an organic coffee plantation where we join the owner on a short tour of the farm and learn how coffee
is grown, harvested, dried and processed. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
|Hiking time||4 hours of horse riding|
Day 6. Hiking and first views of Machu Picchu
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 travellers ever
get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which
have recently been restored. Lunch is served at a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. After which we begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush
bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. We then board a train for a scenic
ride (approx. 1 hour) to Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we
check into an award-wining hotel for a celebration dinner with our guide and one last
Note - Those who prefer not to hike can go to the train station by van after a leisurely
morning including breakfast and lunch at the lodge. They will meet the rest of the group
at the train station for the ride to Aguas Calientes together. (The guide confirms your
preferences the night before.)
|Accommodation||Machu Picchu Inkaterra|
|Hiking time||4 to 6 hours moderate to challenging hike.|
Day 7. Machu Picchu
After a very early 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 an introductory 2 hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch our train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1,5 hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional 1,5 hour). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.),you are dropped off at your hotel.
Mid, you will require horse riding experience.
- All services and transportation (vehicles and trains) from pick up in Cusco on day 1 to drop off in Cusco on day 7.
- 6 nights lodging (5 nights in MLP lodges, 1 night in Aguas Calientes in a 4-Star hotel).
- All meals except breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 7.
- Service of a bilingual guide (English/Spanish) from day 1 to day 7 (other languages are available at additional cost).
- Transportation of personal belongings on the trail
- by pack horses/mules and/or porters.
- Guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (includes entrance, transportation to the site and Huayna Picchu Permits).
- Wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) at all lodges and hotels.
- US$50 gratuities for service staff (MLP lodge staff, mule drivers and route chefs), excluding guides.
- Water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and fresh juices are free of charge at the MLP Lodges. Only filtered water and tea are available free of charge at the hotel in Aguas Calientes.
- Massage & Spa Services.
- • Laundry Service.
- • Optional Activities: Canopy Zipline (subject to
- • Alcoholic beverages
- Bottled water and sports drinks are not included.
- In an effort to reduce plastic waste on the trail and at the lodges we encourage guests to use refillable water bottles. For this purpose we provide an ample supply of the highest-quality filtered water, available at multiple water stations at the lodges.
- Local taxes (18% IGV) on meals and lodging applicable to Peruvians, foreign residents in Peru and tourists traveling in Peru for 60+ days.