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Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort - 6 Nights Itinerary C

Experience a horseback ride like no other. Riding from lodge to lodge, this weeklong Salkantay equestrian-centered adventure includes a five-day ride in the midst of the snowcapped peaks of the Andes and through lush-green cloud forests and pristine streams. Gallop through undulating open vistas, ascend rugged high-mountain trails and meander alongside raging rivers while mounted on your trusty steed, a well-trained American Quarter Horse. At the end of each day on the trail, you will enjoy settling in for the night at a first-class mountain lodge where you will receive the attention of an efficient and friendly staff. The sixth and seventh days will be excursions on foot, since the horses cannot travel on the recently restored Llactapacta Trail or to the Machu Picchu citadel.

Note: This equestrian tour is only available every year from March to December. In addition, while this tour is generally recommended for intermediate and experienced riders, beginners with some experience are also welcome.

Testimonials

“We loved every moment of our trip and could not have done it without Ligia and Surtrek. I highly recommend them!”Irene Alcock

Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort: Highlights

Peru, Valle Sagrado, Explorando Pisaq, Sitios y villas Incas, Caminata por auténticos senderos Incas, Descubriendo Ollantaytambo

Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Cusco + Salkantay Lodge
Day 2: Horseback Ride to Humantay Lake + Chakana
Day 3: Crossing of Salkantay Pass + Wayra Lodge
Day 4: Descent into the Cloud Forest + Colpa Lodge
Day 5: Horseback Riding through the Santa Teresa River Valley
Day 6: Exploring the Llactapata Pass + Aguas Calientes
Day 7: Experiencing Machu Picchu + Cusco
Itinerary Map

Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Cusco + Salkantay Lodge

AM: After an early breakfast, you will be picked up at 7:00 am from your Cusco hotel by a Mountain Lodges of Peru 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 will 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.

PM: After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, you will be shown your room 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.

Accommodations: Salkantay Lodge

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Horseback Ride to Humantay Lake + Chakana

AM: Today’s excursion takes us first to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above on the slopes of the impressive Mt. Humantay. Our one-hour horseback ride there will be followed by a short 20-minute walk, which is necessary in order to reach the lake. However, the view is well worth it and those who are brave enough can go for a swim! After a quick snack, we will hike back down to where we left the horses, and from there begin a 30-minute ride to our next dismount spot: the gateway to “Chakana” (the mystical Cross of the Incas, located on a viewpoint high above Soraypampa). From here, we will begin a one-hour excursion on foot to our destination, “Chakana” itself. This excursion allows guests to enjoy the best views of the Soraypampa Valley, Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay, and it will truly be one of the high points of your journey. A mystical offering to Mother Earth (or “Pachamama”) at the Chakana will be performed by a local Shaman in full view of the awe-inspiring Mt. Salkantay to top off this unique experience.

PM: We will return to the lodge for lunch, with the afternoon at your leisure. You can choose to go for a glacial swim or take a relaxing soak in the lodge’s 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 will brief you on gear and the itinerary for the following day.

Accommodations: Salkantay Lodge

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Crossing of Salkantay Pass + Wayra Lodge

AM: 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 will stop to take in the views of the snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, with the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. Keep your eye out for Andean condors, as these are often visible in this area.

PM: From the pass, we will descend to the Wayra Lodge, our destination for the evening. A hot lunch will be served en route, while dinner will be enjoyed later this evening at the lodge.

Accommodations: Wayra Lodge

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Descent into the Cloud Forest + Colpa Lodge

AM: This morning you will enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the Wayra Lodge before heading down to the Salkantay River. Descending through the cloud forest through increasingly green landscapes will be an intense experience. You will even be able to feel the warm air emerging from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids.

PM: When reaching the Colpa Lodge, the staff will welcome us with a “Pachamanca”: a traditional Peruvian festive meal prepared with layers of meat and vegetables and cooked in the middle of hot stones. All of this is covered with banana leaves and local herbs. The Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau, right at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor hot tub has panoramic views of lush green mountains. You can spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid path.

Accommodations: Colpa Lodge

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Horseback Riding through the Santa Teresa River Valley

AM/PM: Today we will ride along the Santa Teresa river valley, through populated rural areas. We will go through plantations of banana, passion fruit, avocado and coffee. It is said that the coffee grown here is one of the best organic coffees in the world. Our trip will take us to the beginning of the “Inca Llactapata Trail,” where we will say goodbye to our horses and the equestrian staff. A short 30-minute walk, through an avocado orchard, will take us to Lucma Lodge. Dinner and accommodations in the lodge.

Accommodations: Lucma Lodge

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Exploring the Llactapata Pass + Aguas Calientes

AM: After a delicious breakfast, we will start the last day of our trip. We will drive uphill for 2 to 3 hours, towards the Llactapata Pass (2,736 m / 8,974 ft.). There we find a distant but spectacular view of the Machu Picchu citadel from the southeast. It is a landscape that few travelers have the opportunity to experience. We will take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, recently restored.

PM: Lunch will be served at a scenic viewpoint overlooking Machu Picchu. Afterwards, we will begin our final descent towards the Aobamba River, passing through exuberant bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Then we will board a train for a panoramic hour-long ride to Aguas Calientes, the town just beneath Machu Picchu.

Accommodations: Hotel in Aguas Calientes

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Experiencing Machu Picchu + Cusco

AM: After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we will go to the bus station to start the 30-minute trip to Machu Picchu. Your guide will lead an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins. After this, you will have the option of exploring the site on your own for approximately two more hours. Then, you will meet up again with your guide to return by bus to Aguas Calientes.

PM: After lunch, we will start the return to Cusco. The trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about an hour and a half. Upon arrival at our destination, a private vehicle will take us back to Cusco (an hour and a half more). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately at 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.), we will drive you to the hotel of your choice.

Accommodations: Hotel in Cusco

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Breakfast - Lunch

Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort: Prices

Included in the price:
  • All services and transportation (vehicles and trains) from pick up in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off in Cusco on Day 7
  • Six nights lodging (5 nights in Mountain Lodges of Peru 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 available at additional cost)
  • Transportation of personal belongings on the trek by pack horses/mules and/or porters
Not included in the price:
  • Massage & Spa Services
  • Laundry Service
  • Optional Activities: Chakana Inca Cross Excursion (for the Trekking Program only), Canopy Zipline
    Horseback Riding (For the Trekking program only, subject to change)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bottled water and sports drinks are not included. In an e­ffort to reduce plastic waste on the trail and at the lodges, the use of refillable water bottles is encouraged. For this purpose, you will be provided with 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
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