Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek by MLP

This exclusive experience on the relatively quiet Salkantay Trail, by Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP), combines an exhilarating 63km trek in the towering Peruvian Andes with the comfort and friendly hospitality of small, deluxe mountain lodges, with friendly, local staff. Excellent and experienced local guides make the trip an immersive, authentic experience. MLP’s Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek itinerary operates on several fixed dates every week between March and December, and is also available as a horseback ride. 
 
Starting early from Cusco, a small group of up to 12 people visits Quillarumiyoc archaeological site en route to the mountain village of Mollepata, before reaching Salkantay Lodge at Soraypampa in the picturesque Rio Blanco River valley. There they spend 2 nights preparing for the week ahead with acclimatisating activities, including one to beautiful, turquoise Lake Humantay. The challenging to moderate daily hikes are taken at a relaxing pace, with breaks for guides to explain the rich flora, traditions and culture of the local people. From the heights of Salkantay Pass at 4,600m on day 3, the group crosses through 15 eco-systems, including cloud forest and lush, subtropical valleys with coffee plantations. On day 6 the group reaches Llactapata Pass at 2,736m and is treated to a rarely seen view of Machu Picchu. After spending the last night in Aquas Calientes, the group arrives at Machu Picchu ruins early for a guided tour before returning to Cusco by train and road. 
 
The many creature comforts at the 4 cosy lodges include beautiful rooms with hot showers and a comfortable bed, boots cleaned after each day’s trek, outdoor hot tubs and optional massages, while the delicious meals include a traditional pachamanca. During the trek, snacks and hot picnics are served in picturesque surroundings.
 
MLP operates several other cultural and trekking programmes in the Cusco region lasting 5 to 10 days; the Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure, Black Diamond Trek and the Grand Andean Adventure all include a visit to Machu Picchu. The Peruvian owned, family company’s strong sustainability ethic includes its own NGO called Yanapana, which focuses on empowering and supporting women in local communities.
 
 
The wide friendly smiles that greeted us at each of the lodges on our Salkantay trek couldn’t have been more welcoming or heart-warming. The day we hiked over the famous Salkantay pass (4,600masl) we battled through rain and hail on our way up, but were still in light spirits - especially when the clouds suddenly parted at the summit and then stayed comfortably away during our descent into Wayrapampa. Our efforts were rewarded with a hot, 3 course lunch, followed later by more snacks. Soon after arriving at Wayra Lodge we were sipping aperitifs, relaxing our weary muscles in the hot tub and taking in the superb scenery around us, before another delicious 3-course dinner. Wayrapampa is an isolated hamlet, only accessible by foot or horseback. The wonderful folk who run the lodge are from the community and are incredibly accommodating, instantly making us feel comfortable and at home in this magical valley. This personal touch of getting to know the staff at each of the lodges was an unexpected highlight of the whole experience. 
Nicola, Senderos
 
 
 

Getting there

The trek begins and ends in Cusco. MLP recommends its own hotels there for pre or post stays (El Mercado, XO Arthouse and El Retablo) - see link below.
 
by air

BY AIR

Nearest airport: Cusco