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Mountain Lodges to Machu Picchu on Horseback: 7 Day

Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,700

Earn your comforts as you hike through the day, and then dine and relax in luxury at night. Enjoy enchanting mountain lodges, natural hot springs and innovative local cuisine.


Off the traditional Inca Trail lies a different route to the fabled lost city of Machu Picchu – one you can traverse on horseback. Over 7 days, enjoy the breathtaking sights of the Andes, spending each night at an enchanting mountain lodge.

Enjoy a leisurely day one, with an itinerary designed to maximize your sightseeing while allowing you time to acclimatize to the 20,000ft+ altitude. Visit Tarawasi, an ancient Inca ceremonial site, then be introduced to your horse and follow the 4 hour Camino Real (Royal Path) up to Soraypampa, your first stop. Spend a full day at leisure here to acclimatize and explore the breathtaking surrounds, including Humantay, a glacial lake. See a local shaman make a mystical offering to Mother Earth in the shadow of Mount Salkantay, the second most sacred mountain in Inca mythology.

Set off for Machu Picchu with a ride up to the Rio Blanco valley, rewarded by snow-capped vistas. Day two is a downhill ride, finished off with a traditional Pachamanca (earth oven) style meal and a dip in an outdoor hot tub with mountain views. Then pass through coffee plantations and fruit orchards on your way to the Llactapata Inca Trail. Call in at the small village of Lucmabamba to meet some of the locals before your final day’s ride!

Get your first majestic view of Machu Picchu from Llactapata. Descend to the AobambaRiver, then climb aboard a scenic 30 minute train journey to the main ruins. Stay overnight at Aguas Calientes, enjoying a full day to explore Machu Picchu before returning by train to Cuzco.


 

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Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,700

Itinerary

Day 1

Cusco to Salkantay Lodge

After an early breakfast, you will be picked up starting at 7AM at your hotel in Cusco by your guide and transferred in the direction of Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route, take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approximately 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, pass through the mountain village of Mollepata and stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to Coronilla Ranch. Here, after getting to know the equestrian team and the horses, begin your ride to Soraypampa. This is a good opportunity for you 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 (20,600ft), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by the friendly staff, you will be shown to your room 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.

Riding Time: Approximately 4 hours (including picnic lunch en route)
Ride and Terrain: Walk, trot, canter, gallop on open roads, some steep ascending trails
Non-rider activities: Direct transfer or hiking to the lodge

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort

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    Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort



    Salkantay Lodge is nestled in the valley of Soraypampa at 11800 feet with breathtaking views of the 20,574-foot Salkantay, the highest peak in the Cordillera Vilcabamba. The lodge has a large lounge, dining area and reading room. Activities in the area include day hikes, horse ...

    Salkantay Lodge is nestled in the valley of Soraypampa at 11800 feet with breathtaking views of the 20,574-foot Salkantay, the highest peak in the Cordillera Vilcabamba. The lodge has a large lounge, dining area and reading room. Activities in the area include day hikes, horse riding and fishing.

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Day 2

A Visit to Humantay Lake and the Chakana

Today's excursion takes you first to Humantay Lake, fed by glaciers far above on the slopes of the impressive Mt. Humantay. Your one-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, hike back down to where you left the horses, and from where you will begin a 30-minute ride to your next dismount spot: the gateway to the "Chakana" (the mystical Cross of the Incas, located on a view point high above Soraypampa). From here, begin a one-hour excursion by foot to your 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 the journey. 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. Return to the lodge for lunch, after which there is the option of riding out again for a couple of hours in the surrounding area, or you can choose to follow-up on the glacial swim with a relaxing soak in the outdoor hot tub instead. In the evening, the guide will briefs you on gear and the itinerary for the following day.

All meals are served at the Lodge.

Riding Time: Approximately 4 hours
Ride and Terrain: Walk, trot, canter on open roads, some steep ascending trails and open fields
Non-rider activity: Hike to Humantay Lake

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Crossing the Salkantay Pass

Continue your 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 (15,213ft). Stop at the pass to take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, with the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above. Keep an eye out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass, descend towards the Wayra Lodge ("Wayra" is wind; so "the place where the wind lives"), your destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken en route. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Riding Time: Approximately 4 hours
Ride and Terrain: Walk, trot on mostly steep trails, and some open slopes
Non-rider activity: Transfer to Ollantaytambo or Cusco or hiking along the trail

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Wayra Lodge

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    Wayra Lodge



    The Wayra lodge is located in Huayraccmachay known as "the place where the wind lives". This lodge is a little family encampment of cattle ranchers and farmers. This structure is built of stone and thatch with the local Andean style. In a windswept valley at ...

    The Wayra lodge is located in Huayraccmachay known as "the place where the wind lives". This lodge is a little family encampment of cattle ranchers and farmers. This structure is built of stone and thatch with the local Andean style. In a windswept valley at 3,900m below Humantay mountain, this lodge has a small Jacuzzi in an inner courtyard.

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Day 4

Descending into the Cloud Forest

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the lodge and continue downhill above the Salkantay River, descending into the cloud forest, through increasingly verdant scenery. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge, you will be greeted with a Pachamanca, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat with hot stones and then covering the whole thing up to bake. Spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Riding Time: Approximately 3 hours
Ride and Terrain: Walk or trot, canter on steep trails and open fields
Non-rider activity: Free day in Ollantaytambo or hiking along the trail

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Colpa Lodge

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    Colpa Lodge



    The Colpa Lodge is surrounded by forest perched on a 1,000 foot bluff overlooking the Colpapampa Valley. It is located at 2,800m above sea level, with views over the convergence of three rivers. There are hot springs near the lodge with traditional pachamanca (hot stones) ...

    The Colpa Lodge is surrounded by forest perched on a 1,000 foot bluff overlooking the Colpapampa Valley. It is located at 2,800m above sea level, with views over the convergence of three rivers. There are hot springs near the lodge with traditional pachamanca (hot stones) usually prepared.

    Facilities

    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

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Day 5

Following the Santa Teresa River Valley

Ride along the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas, and pass through banana, passion fruit and avocado orchards, and coffee plantations. The coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. Your ride will take you take you to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail", which is where you say goodbye to the horses and equestrian staff. A short 30-minute walk through an avocado orchard brings you to Lucma Lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Riding Time: Approximately 4 hours
Ride and Terrain: Walk, trot, and canter on steep trails and some open roads
Non-rider activity: Transfer by train and vehicle to Lucma Lodge, hiking along trail, or Canopy Zip Line Tour

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Lucma Lodge

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    Lucma Lodge



    The Lucma Lodge is located near the village of Lucmabamba, in the tropical rainforest of an archaeological reserve at the head the Inca trail. This lodge was built in the mountains surrounded by avocado orchards and coffee plantations.

    The Lucma Lodge is located near the village of Lucmabamba, in the tropical rainforest of an archaeological reserve at the head the Inca trail. This lodge was built in the mountains surrounded by avocado orchards and coffee plantations.

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Day 6

First Views of Machu Picchu from Llactapata Pass

After a hearty breakfast, tackle the last day on the trail. Head uphill for around 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736m/8974ft) where you will come upon a distant, but spectacular, view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a perspective that few travelers ever get the chance to admire. Take a short break to explore the recently restored Llactapata Ruins. Lunch is served at a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. Begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short train ride away. Upon arrival, check into your hotel for a celebration dinner with your guide, and one last briefing!

Note - If you prefer not to hike, you can go to the train station by van after a leisurely morning including breakfast and lunch at the lodge. You will meet the rest of the group at the train station for the ride to Aguas Calientes together. (The guide will confirm your preference the night before.)

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Hiking Level: Moderate to challenging

Accommodation

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

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    Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo



    Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is set on 12 serene mountainside acres of natural paradise in Machu Picchu village. An intimate 85 cottage luxury hotel in sprawling Andean style village where guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one or two story whitewashed ...

    Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is set on 12 serene mountainside acres of natural paradise in Machu Picchu village. An intimate 85 cottage luxury hotel in sprawling Andean style village where guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one or two story whitewashed casitas. Every hotel casita provides authentic Andean ambience.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Gift Shop
    • Lounge(s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Sauna
    • Spa

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Day 7

Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, make your way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Your trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which you will have the rest of the morning to explore the site on your own - there is a lot to do and see! Afterwards, return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to meet your train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive you back to Cusco (an additional hour and a half). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7-8 pm) you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Option: Climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Permits have to be purchased in advance (own expense).

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Mar 24; Apr 19; May 26; Jun 14; Jul 13; Aug 6, 23; Sep 15; Oct 25; Nov 22; Dec 30
2018: Please Inquire

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to ruins,
  • Guides, porters, transportation
  • Meals as indicated. 

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

OTHER INFORMATION:

Maximum group size 16 trekkers

NOTE: Lodges are closed January and February.  Massages are available at Salkantay lodge during high season (May to July). 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB MOUNTAICUZ18SG: mountain 7
22 Nov 2018
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