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Lima, Cusco & the Salkantay Trek

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,272

FIRST-CLASS | TAILOR-MADE: The Inca Trail may headline its share of Peru vacations, but the Salktantay Trek is more than just Plan B. After touring the historical landmarks of Lima and Cusco, embark on this hike that takes you alongside snow-capped mountains en route to Machu Picchu, where you’ll explore the Lost Citadel of the Incas.


This 9-day Peru vacation takes you to Lima and Cusco before you embark on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. It features a mix of first-class and tent accommodations, and private city tours.

Your trip to Peru begins in Lima, the Peruvian capital, and its political and culinary centre. Delve into the city’s history with a private city tour. Start in and around the Plaza de Armas, the administrative centre of the city, where you'll find the presidential palace as well as main cathedral before you head to the nearby religious landmark of the Convent of Santo Domingo. Cap off the tour at the Larco Musuem, home to a world-famous collection of pre-Columbian art.

From Lima, fly to Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire. A private city tour will introduce you to its historical landmarks, including the churches of the Plaza de Armas, the former Inca temple of Qorikancha, and the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a fortress overlooking the city from the nearby hillside. End the tour with some sundowner snacks and a glass of sparkling wine at the fortress, enjoying the best views of Cusco at sunset. Set out from Cusco and connect to the Indigenous village of Mollepata, swinging by the ruins of Tarawasi en route.

Your trek proper starts at Challacancha, where you’ll meet your guides and begin your hike through the region of snow-capped mountains and tropical rainforests. The Salktantay Trek may not be as famous as the Inca Trail, but it’s one of the world’s top 25 hikes and takes you through the same region, but has fewer fellow hikers and does not require a special permit. Enjoy fantastic views of Mount Salkantay, a glacier-capped peak standing 6,271m tall. Stop in local villages to enjoy hot meals, overnight at tent camps offering spectacular mountain views, and relax at a hot spring at the end of day two. You’ll smell the produce of fruit and coffee plantations as you descend to lower altitudes. Early on day four, you’ll enjoy views of Machu Picchu that few travellers ever see. Finally, at the end of your journey, you’ll reach Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

The following day, take the first bus before sunrise up the mountain to explore the ruins of the Lost Citadel of the Incas. Learn about the uncertain history of the ruins and complete a circuit of its most important landmarks before having some free time to climb Wayna Picchu, the mountain famously known as the citadel's picturesque backdrop, or hike to the Sun Gate for some unique views of the ruins.

At the end of your Machu Picchu tour, you’ll descend the mountain and catch the train back to Ollantaytambo and Cusco.


 

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Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,272

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Lima Airport to Hotel with Transfer Representative Day

Duration2 Hours

El Pardo Double Tree by Hilton Lima

Double Tree is a modern hotel in Miraflores with tasteful rooms and free WIFI . Facilities include a rooftop pool with panoramic views, 2 restaurants and a gym offering yoga classes. El Pardo Double Tree is 9.7km from Jorge Chavez Airport, and 8 blocks from Larcomar entertainment center. Miraflores is a great choice for travelers interested in friendly people, shopping and food.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

El Pardo Double Tree by Hilton Lima

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    El Pardo Double Tree by Hilton Lima



    Double Tree is a modern hotel in Miraflores with tasteful rooms and free WIFI . Facilities include a rooftop pool with panoramic views, 2 restaurants and a gym offering yoga classes. El Pardo Double Tree is 9.7km from Jorge Chavez Airport, and 8 blocks from …

    Double Tree is a modern hotel in Miraflores with tasteful rooms and free WIFI . Facilities include a rooftop pool with panoramic views, 2 restaurants and a gym offering yoga classes. El Pardo Double Tree is 9.7km from Jorge Chavez Airport, and 8 blocks from Larcomar entertainment center. Miraflores is a great choice for travelers interested in friendly people, shopping and food.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Fitness Centre
    • Mini Bar
    • Reception
    • Restaurant
    • Sauna
    • Tour Desk
    • TV

    More Details

Day 2

Half Day Lima City Tour and Larco Museum

You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning. The city tour begins with a visit to the Plaza des Armas, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Plaza is lined along two sides with shops: Portal de Escribanos and Portal de Botoneros. In the centre of the Plaza is a bronze fountain dating from 1560. The plaza is also home to the Cathedral, with its splendidly carved stalls, silver-covered altars surrounded by fine woodwork, and mosaic walls bearing the coats of arms of Lima and Pizarro. Continue to the San Domingo Convent. You will also see the old colonial streets in the centre of the city. Conclude your tour with the visit to the Larco Herra Museum, famous for its collection of Pre-Columbian art.

Duration3 Hours
Day 3

Lima Hotel to Airport with Transfer Representative Day

Duration2 Hours

Cusco Airport to Cusco Hotel

Duration20 Minutes

Hotel Novotel Cusco

Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel Cusco is a starting point for discovering the Inca civilization. This 4-star hotel offers 99 rooms, including 16 superior rooms, all housed in a 16th-century building, and 38 non-smoking rooms.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Novotel Cusco

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Novotel Cusco



    Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel …

    Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel Cusco is a starting point for discovering the Inca civilization. This 4-star hotel offers 99 rooms, including 16 superior rooms, all housed in a 16th-century building, and 38 non-smoking rooms.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel

Cusco City Tour and Sundowner - VIP

Enjoy a guided tour through the "imperial city's" Incan and Colonial past. The tour starts at Koricancha, an old Incan palace, then continues to the Main Square - Plaza de Armas - on which sits the exquisite Church of the La Compania de Jesus, and other colonial buildings. The tour continues to Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an impressive example of Incan military architecture that overlooks the city of Cusco.

It is from here that your tour ends with a unique experience - that of a sundowner overlooking what was once the heart and capital of the might Incan Empire. With the mighty stones of Sacsayhuaman at your back and the sun setting over this UNESCO world heritage city enjoy sparkling wine and some small snacks to savor your day and your view.

Duration2 Hours
Day 4

Cusco - Challacancha - Soroycocha

Depart Cusco early (approx. 600AM) and drive to the village of Mollepata, an Indian Village situated in a citrus growing area at a subtropical region at 2800mts / 9185ft. On route you will visit the archaeological site of Tarawasi, one of the better preserved buildings in the region. The site was used as a ceremonial center, as well as a resting place for the Inca chasquis (Inca runners who delivered messages over long distances). Then onto Mollepata.

From Mollepata, continue driving on a dirt road until arriving at Challacancha, the start point of the trek where you also meet your horse handlers, horses and all your supplied camping gear. The climb begins towards Salcantaypampa, where you have lunch before continuing to Soroycocha at 4,200mts / 13780ft, which is the first campsite. From this height you have magnificent views of Apu Salcantay in the distance - a snow capped peak of 6271mts / 20575ft called, Guardian, Lord of Cusco.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Soroycocha - Qollpapampa

After an early healthy breakfast, with a long day of trekking ahead, you will depart around 6:30 am, toward Collpapampa, but the first stage is downhill to the Salcantay Mountain pass at 4525mts / 14845ft. Offering wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba Range, you come face to face with the south face of Salkantay towering above you.

Lunch is at the little village of Huayracmachay and then a further descent into a more tropical climate of the cloud forest. Along the route, you will see an original Inca Trail before coming joining the Salkantay River, arriving at the second camp at Qollpapampa (2890mts / 9480ft) with some natural hot springs to relax your tired muscles in.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Qollpapampa - Lucmabamba

After breakfast, descend a narrow path toward the banks of the Cachora or Santa Teresa River. Today will offer a warmer and more humid climate, with this altitude also marking a noticeable change in the
flora and fauna: becoming more verdant and lush as you pass through wild plantations such as passion fruit and coffee. You then pass the waterfalls of Coripacchi for a quick swim and then onto the village of Winaypoko, where you will enjoy a delicious Lunch. In the afternoon you will continue close to the banks of the river and pass Sahuayaco, a small village of 20 families. Late afternoon you arrive at your campsite at Lucmabamba.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Lucmabamba - Machu Picchu Pueblo - Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, you head toward La Playa village and cross the river before starting a 2 hour uphill climb where you arrive at the El Mirador (lookout) of Abra Q'elloqasa at 2860mts / 9383ft. From here you have an exceptional, and rare view, from a direction most never get the opportunity to enjoy, of the Lost City of the Incas, the legendary Machu Picchu. After the last trek based lunch, at the lookout point of Llaqtapata (2650mts / 9315ft) from where you can view both Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Mountain range you head into the Urubamba Valley.

The 2 hour descent towards the Urubamba River, crosses lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations and brings you to the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu from where you board a train that takes you to Puente Ruinas (a short, scenic 30-minutes ride), and Aguas Calientes. You are transferred to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Enjoy the towns many restaurants, bars, shopping opportunities as well as the famous hot springs where you can rest and soak some tired bones in anticipation of your visit to Machu Picchu the following day. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
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

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 8

Machu Picchu - Cusco

After an early breakfast you will take the first bus that travels to the ruins of Machu Picchu where your guide will take you on a comprehensive tour of the ruins. After the tour there is free time to explore the runs at your leisure, climb Wanya Picchu (must pre book) - the small peak in all the famous images of the ruins - walk to the Inca bridge or to the famous Sun gate above the ruins.

Early afternoon you will travel by bus back to Aguas Calientes to take the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo, where a bus transfers takes you back to your hotel in the Sacred Valley or Cusco.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Hotel Novotel Cusco

Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel Cusco is a starting point for discovering the Inca civilization. This 4-star hotel offers 99 rooms, including 16 superior rooms, all housed in a 16th-century building, and 38 non-smoking rooms.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Novotel Cusco

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Novotel Cusco



    Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel …

    Novotel Cusco is the ideal place to go for a long weekend or to spend your vacation. The hotel is situated in the heart of the historic centre, near to the Plaza de Armas main square, the cathedral and 10 minutes from the airport. Novotel Cusco is a starting point for discovering the Inca civilization. This 4-star hotel offers 99 rooms, including 16 superior rooms, all housed in a 16th-century building, and 38 non-smoking rooms.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 9

Cusco Hotel to Cusco Airport

Duration20 Minutes

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Saturday, Monday & Wednesday

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Private arrival airport transfer
  • 2 nights in first-class accommodations in Lima
  • 2 night in first-class accommodations in Cusco
  • Private-guided tour of Lima with visit to Larco Museum
  • Private airport transfer in Cusco
  • Private-guided tour of Cusco with sundowner beverage
  • Shared 5-day guided Salkantay Trek (private-guided available at additional cost)
  • Breakfast daily (excluding Day 1), 5 lunches, 4 dinners

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

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.

OTHER INFORMATION:

Because of excessive crowds the Peruvian government decided not only to limit daily access but also to impose strict Inca Trail Regulations. We understand how frustrating it is to not be able to get a permit because you didn't book 4 months in advance and there are no permits left.

The famous Salkantay Trek (or Salcantay Trek), named among the 25 best Treks in the World, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine, is a trek open to everybody, with no limitation on spaces or permits (at least for now). Connecting the city of Mollepata, Cusco with Machu Picchu, the Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath located in the same region as the Inca Trail where massive snowcapped mountains collide with lush tropical rain forests.

Located less than fifty miles northwest of the city of Cusco in south central Peru by the Cordillera Vilcabamba and rising to 6271 meters above sea level (20574 ft) Mt. Salkantay is an outstanding glacier-capped summit worshipped for thousands of years by local indians. The name Salkantay is a quechua word meaning "Savage Mountain".

The Salkantay Trek is a custom-designed alternative to the traditional Inca Trail. Off the beaten path, this is a cutting edge experience for adventure travelers looking for a little more privacy and authenticity. With more spectacular vistas, the Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek offers the solitude and quiet contemplation such a sacred path deserves.

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21 Nov 2022
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