Alternate Trail Trek to Machu Picchu – 10 days
Day 1 ~ Lima, Peru
International flight arrival to Lima, Peru. Transfer assistance to your hotel. Overnight one night in Lima.
Day 2 ~ Cusco
Morning domestic flight from Lima to Cusco.
Private Half Day City Tour & Surrounding Ruins – On this guided visit of the Imperial City of Cusco, you will visit the Main Plaza, which has been the scene of great historical events in Cusco, and the Cathedral, constructed of great slabs of red granite in the renaissance style, and thus contrasting with the baroque style silverwork which decorates the interior. You will then continue on to the Santo Domingo church, built upon the foundations of the Inca temple Koricancha, which was dedicated to Sun worship. Later, you head to the nearby ruins: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a magnificent example of Incan military power; Qenqo, a ritualistic site with subterranean galleries that form an underground maze; Puca Pucara, the red fortress; and finally Tambomachay, also known as the Incan Baths.
Overnight in Cusco, 2 nights.
Day 3 ~ Pisac Market and Ruins & Ollantaytambo Fortress
Private full-day tour with lunch included.
Pisac lies 33 kilometers from the city of Cusco and has an old quarter, an archaeological site considered one of the most important in Cusco, and a modern quarter dating from the colonial period. It also has an authentic Andean market with special themes on Sundays, which attracts thousands of visitors and people from remote communities, dressed in colorful, traditional attire.
Ollantaytambo is located at the foot of some spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley. The temple area is at the top of steep terracing which helped to provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba river ‐ an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. The complex was still under construction at the time of the conquest and was never completed.
Day 4 ~ Lodge to Lodge Salkantay Trek, Machu Picchu – 6 night / 7 day program
This 7-day trekking adventure will take you on a historic section of Inca trail through 15 different eco-systems, while you traverse a mountain pass over 15,000 feet, explore villages where locals still maintain age-old traditions and re-discover the mystical beauty of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of the Inca Empire.
Each day’s trek ends with a hot shower in a cozy lodge, a gourmet meal with select wines and highly personalized service by local staff.
CUSCO TO SALKANTAY LODGE: Visit Inca ruins and the mountain village of Mollepata before embarking on your first trek on the Camino Real. Your destination: the welcoming Salkantay Lodge, named for the majestic peak at the head of the valley, where you’ll find jacuzzis, aperitifs, and a crackling fire in the fireplace.
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft)
Trekking Time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route) Hiking Level: Moderate
Day 5 ~ HIKE TO LAKE HUMANTAY: Whet your appetite for trekking and scenery with an acclimatization hike from the lodge to glacier-fed Lake Humantay with views of Mt. Salkantay, a sacred mountain in Incan mythology.
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft)
Trekking Time: Approximately 4 hours Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
Optional Activities: Horseback Riding (at additional cost).
Day 6 ~ CROSSING THE SALKANTAY PASS: Today’s the big day—we reach the trek’s highest point on the Salkantay Pass (4,638 m/15,213 ft). Take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction and the glaciated south face of Mt. Salkantay towering above.
Overnight: Wayra Lodge (3,906 m/12,812 ft)
Trekking Time: 6–8 hours (including lunch) Hiking Level: Challenging, crossing a 4,640m/15,200 ft mountain pass
Day 7 ~ DESCENDING INTO THE CLOUD FOREST: We begin our descent along the Salkantay River, where warm air starts rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. At Colpa Lodge, we’ll be greeted with a Pachamanca, a traditional Peruvian meal.
Overnight: Colpa Lodge (2,870 m/9,414 ft)
Trekking Time: 3–4 hours Hiking Level: Easy to Moderate
Optional Activity: Afternoon bike from Manchaywaycco to collpapampa. After Lunch /Duration: 3hrs approximately/ Level: easy. This activity has an additional cost.
Overnight: Lucma Lodge (2,135 m/7,003 ft)
Trekking Time: 5–6 hours (including lunch) Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging (because of distance, not terrain)
Optional Activities: Zip Line in Santa Teresa – This is a full day activity which replaces the trek. Operated by Cola de Mono. This has an additional cost.
Biking – Two options, easy to moderate. This activity has an additional cost.
Overnight: Aguas Calientes (1,900 m/6,232 ft)
Trekking Time: 4–6 hours Hiking Level: Moderate to Challenging
This afternoon, return to the Sacred Valley via Vistadome train.
Overnight in Cusco, 1 night.
Day 11 ~ Lima – Departure
Morning flight from Cusco to Lima, then connect to your return flights home.