Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek by MLP
This unforgettable experience from Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP) combines the exhilaration of a 63 km trek in the towering Peruvian Andes with the comfort and delights of lovely mountain lodge accommodation. Guests on the little-known, relatively uncrowded Salcantay Trail pass through numerous eco-systems at heights ranging from 2100 to 4600 metres. Original Inca paths offer views of snow-capped mountains and glaciers, winding their way to waterfalls, rivers and turquoise lakes. Local inhabitants live isolated in simple houses, much as their ancestors have done for centuries.
In small groups and covering 4 to 6 hours a day, walkers are rewarded with rarely seen views of Machu Picchu, before visiting the ruins on the final day. In contrast to the traditional Inca trail, guests are pampered at their overnight stops by attentive and friendly local staff, with excellent cuisine, comfortable rooms, hot showers and even heated outdoor jacuzzis.
MLP also offer the same route once a month on horseback.
The 2 new activities on the first day of the Salkantay 7-night and 3-night programmes include a visit to the serene Inca site of Quillarumiyoc. The ruins are set on the hillside of the Andes, overlooking the fertile Ancahuasi valley and were used by the local community up until recently for their local football matches and gatherings. Now a protected site, locals are still free to use the land but under more regulations. Some of the carvings in the surrounding rocks are like no other that I had seen before. A stream leads down the mountain and falls between 2 rocks into a small area through which the water is channelled as part of the Inca irrigation system. The area is enclosed by a natural rock wall on one side and a perfectly preserved Inca wall with niches on the other. Overlooking this peaceful spot is a large limestaone rock with a carving of what looks like a throne - with a perfect semicircle of trapezoidal shapes crowning the seat. Here you feel like you’ve discovered a small historical secret which, with the help of your guide, expertly brings it to life.
The other activity involves having lunch at El Pedregal - a beautiful mountainside retreat surrounded by luscious and prolific organic gardens - producing any number of delicious fruit and vegetables (chilis, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, avocados, passionfruit, cabbage, quinoa, courgettes etc.). After a tour of their property and visiting the guinea pig farm, we sit at a beautifully laid table to sample the home-cooked dishes from clay pots washed down with some fresh, sweet lemonade.