Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek

From: $2,990

per person dbl occ

Dates: - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 4

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

High season (Apr 1 - Oct 31 & Dec 15-31): $3,490

Low season (Mar 1-31 & Nov 1 - Dec 14): $2,990

Additional Fees

2014

Single supplement - High season: $1,745

Single supplement - Low season: $1,495

Trip Dates:


Frequent departures from March to December

Group Size: 6-12

Activity Level: 4

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Mountain lodges, 5 nights; Hotel, 1 night

Trip Highlights

  • Trek to Machu Picchu and discover the mysteries of these magical ruins
  • Stay in the comfortable lodgings of Mountain Lodges of Peru
  • Visit Lake Humantay, Salkantay Glacier, Andean villages, and more
  • Hike 5-10 miles per day following local, expert guides

Mountain Lodges of Peru and REI offer the very first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to Machu Picchu. Our trek takes us through nine biozones, altitude changes, and spectacular terrain. Along the way, we marvel at the exquisite beauty of Salkantay Peak, Salkantay Glacier, and Humantay Glacier Lake.

Along our trek we indulge in the comforts of enchanting mountain lodges, revitalizing salts and minerals of natural hot springs, innovative local cuisine, and the warmth of the Peruvian people. Following in the footsteps of the Incas inspires us as we experience the majesty of our surroundings.

REI Adventures shares non-exclusive departures with our travel partner, Mountain Lodges of Peru.

Traveling with kids under 18? Check out our Machu Picchu Family Adventure.

Want to make the most of your stay in Peru? Check out our trip extensions:Cordillera Blanca; Lima, Paracas & Nazca Lines; Lake Titicaca; Northern Peru; Peruvian Amazon – Sandoval Lake Lodge; Peruvian Amazon – Heath River Wildlife Center and Peruvian Amazon – Tahuayo Lodge.

REI Adventures requires passport numbers to confirm your reservation.

A pre-trek briefing will take place the night before Day 1 of your trek.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Bienvenido to Peru. Begin with an acclimatization hike.
  • Day 2 - Hike up to a glacier and take in the scenery of Lake Humantay.
  • Day 3 - The most challenging part of the trek—Salkantay Pass.
  • Day 4 - Mostly downhill hiking through an Andean cloud forest.
  • Day 5 - Trek to a lodge built in the midst of coffee and banana trees.
  • Day 6 - From the Llactapata ruins, get your first views of Machu Picchu.
  • Day 7 - Spend the morning discovering the mysteries of Machu Picchu.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Bienvenido to Peru. Begin with an acclimatization hike.

    After an early breakfast, guests will be picked up starting at 7:00 a.m. at their hotel in Cusco by a Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP) guide and transferred to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route we will take a break to visit the impressive Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hours from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short break before ascending a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa.

    Here, we will begin our trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the "Camino Real" (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for guests to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful 6 hour trek. The Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley – Mt. Salkantay, is the 2nd most sacred peak in Inca mythology and at 20,600 ft (6,270 m), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by MLP's friendly staff, guests will be shown to their rooms and have time to wash-up before tea and cookies. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner. Lunch and dinner included.

    Transfer by bus: 2hrs and 40 mins; Hiking: 6 hours (including picnic lunch on route). 8.5 miles.

  • Day 2 - Hike up to a glacier and take in the scenery of Lake Humantay.

    Today we take an acclimatization hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. We return to the lodge for lunch, after which guests may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. We spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide briefs us on gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge. All meals included.

    Hiking: 4 hours, 4 miles.

  • Day 3 - The most challenging part of the trek—Salkantay Pass.

    This is the big day! After an early start, we hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 m (15,213 ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. We will keep our eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards Wayra Lodge ("Wayra" means wind; so 'the place where the wind lives') our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge. All meals included.

    Hiking: 6 - 8 hours (including lunch), 8 miles.

  • Day 4 - Mostly downhill hiking through an Andean cloud forest.

    We enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge before we continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. We can feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca meal, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones. Everything is then covered with hot stones, plantain leaves, high Andean grass and local herbs and the contents are baked in an underground oven. Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor Jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3 - 4 hours; 6 miles.

  • Day 5 - Trek to a lodge built in the midst of coffee and banana trees.

    Today we hike along the Santa Teresa river valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations which are thought to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch we hike another hour before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the "Llactapata Inca Trail". From the head of the newly restored Inca Trail we easily make our way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. On the way we visit an organic coffee plantation where we join the owner on a short tour of the farm and learn how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 - 6 hours (including lunch); 10 miles. Bus transfer: 45 minutes.

  • Day 6 - From the Llactapata ruins, get your first views of Machu Picchu.

    After a hearty breakfast, we tackle the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,736 m/8,974ft), where we come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. We take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, we check into our lovely hotel for celebration dinner with our guide and one last briefing! All meals included.

    Hiking: 5 - 6 hours; 7 miles. Train: 1 hour.

  • Day 7 - Spend the morning discovering the mysteries of Machu Picchu.

    Following a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give the group an introductory two-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the trail up Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically challenging hike that takes about two hours. The climb rewards you with great views of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch our train. The train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about one and a half hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional hour and a half). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.) guests are dropped off at the hotel of their choice. Accommodations in Cusco are not included—flights out of Cusco cannot be scheduled until Day 8. Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own.

    Want more time at Machu Picchu? We can easily add a package for an extra day which will include dinner and one night hotel on Day 7, breakfast, roundtrip bus to the sanctuary, one day entrance to Machu Picchu, lunch and your late return to Cusco on Day 8. Please call or e-mail us for additional details and prices.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

All services and transportation from pick up at your hotel in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off to your hotel in Cusco on Day 7; lodging; all meals except for breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 7; the services of a bilingual guide; transportation of personal belongings on the trek by packhorse/mules and/or porters; guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (includes entrance, transportation to and from the site and Huayna Picchu Permits); gratuities for service staff (MLP lodge staff, mule drivers and route chefs), excluding guides and Wi-Fi access at all lodges.

Not Included

Air transportation to/from Cusco; hotels in Cusco; guide gratuities; Salkantay Park entrance fee ($60); excess baggage charges; alcoholic beverages; airport taxes and items of a personal nature such as laundry fees, optional activities, immunizations or insurance of any kind (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip and can be purchased through REI Adventures).

2014 Payment and Special Cancellation/Transfer Policy

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required at time of booking to secure space. Full payment is required 90 days before departure date.

Cancellation Feesper person
61 or more daysUS $500 fee
60-31 days prior50% of trip cost
30 days or less100% of rate

Additional permits are 100% nonrefundable once requested and any additional services carry a 20% cancel penalty from sign-up and are nonrefundable 60 days prior to departure.

Transfer Feesper person
61 or more daysUS $250 fee
60-31 days prior25% of trip cost
30 days or less50% of rate
Qualifications

This trip is rated as Vigorous [4]. Trip members need to be strong, experienced hikers in good physical condition. Most days are spent at moderately high altitude (9,000-15,000’) and the trek includes a number of steep ascents and descents and exposed terrain. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we strongly encourage participants to begin a conditioning regimen at least three months prior to departure consisting of hiking, walking/running or cycling. If you live in an area conducive to hiking, try to get out on those hills if possible and work some elevation gain and loss into your regimen. The better shape you are in, the more you’ll enjoy all that this unforgettable adventure has to offer.

Lodges

All four mountain lodges have been designed and built in accordance with traditional building techniques, Inca architectural & mythological concepts, and respect for the surrounding environment. The Salkantay Lodge has 12 private double, twin or triple rooms with private bathroom facilities; while the other lodges (Wayra, Colpa, Lucma) have 6 private double, twin or triple rooms, all with private facilities. Salkantay, Wayra, and Colpa lodges have an outdoor Jacuzzi. Every lodge guarantees an ample supply of hot water for showers; there are no bathtubs in any of the lodges. Saunas are also available at all lodges at no additional cost. Room heating ensures the temperature remains a comfortable 68° F.

Mandatory Travel Insurance

The mountain lodges on this trip require that all participants have medical ($50,000) and emergency evacuation ($500,000) insurance valid in Peru. Short-term travel insurance (including evacuation) is available through REI Adventures and other travel insurance providers.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement cost. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. You will be asked to pay a reduced single fee which is 25% of the trip cost at time of sign-up. Should a roommate be available, the fee will be refunded. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single rooms available on most departures.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary as this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in and around Cusco generally range from 55° - 75° F with Andean evenings cooling down into the 40s and 50s. Much of the itinerary takes place in the mountains where weather can change very quickly.  During the months of May-October, days are typically clear and pleasant, with afternoon clouds occasionally building and leading to small amounts of precipitation. While rainfall is more common during the months of December-April, all-day rain is unlikely.

Gear Checklist

Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline itinerary and confirmation
Luggage
  • Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase (no wheels on the trek)
  • Daypack to carry your camera, water bottles, extra clothing, sunscreen, etc.
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Passport pouch or money belt
Clothing
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and evening wear
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Lightweight thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants
  • Hiking shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Casual socks
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool or fleece gloves
  • Waterproof gloves or shells
  • Bandana(s)
  • Bathing suit (for the hot tub)
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket or durable poncho, lightweight and breathable
  • Rain or wind pants
  • Insulated parka/ski jacket, down or synthetic
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for travel and evening wear
Travel Accessories
  • Water bottle(s) or hydration system
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sun block and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, memory cards, spare batteries & charger
  • Electrical converter and adapter plug
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Ear plugs
  • Favorite energy snacks or drinks
  • Daypack rain cover or plastic bags to line the inside of your daypack
  • Low gaiters
  • Duffel to leave behind in Cusco for excess baggage
  • Lightweight, small binoculars
  • Laundry detergent for hand washing /universal sink stopper
  • Slippers for evenings at lodge

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Peru Rail (who operates the train to/from Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu) imposes a baggage weight limit, allowing each passenger one duffel bag weighing up to 22 pounds and one daypack weighing up to 11 pounds. An excess baggage surcharge of roughly $1 per pound will be levied against passengers who exceed the aforementioned weight limits. Since you will be returning to Cusco after the trek, all of your extra gear and clothing not required for trekking can be stored either in your hotel or at our travel partner's office (please plan to pack a smaller bag for this purpose if you anticipate leaving some gear in Cusco).
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • Plastic bags are great for keeping clothing and gear dry. Use Ziploc bags to keep wet clothes separate from dry clothes.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens wearers should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
  • To conserve energy, the lodges where we stay during our trek shut off their electricity after 11 p.m. each evening. As per the above Gear List, although there are small night lights, we recommend that all trip participants bring a flashlight or headlamp for reading or walking around during the night.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresMachu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek
 
4.8

(based on 50 reviews)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accommodations (48)
  • Food (47)
  • Activity level (42)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (42)
  • Guides (40)

Cons

  • Activity level (4)

Best Uses

      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Casual adventurer (29), Avid adventurer (14), Casual/ recreational (4)
      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
      • All the details planned for me (39), Destination (38), Active adventures (35), I liked the itinerary (33), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (26)

    Reviewed by 50 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    5.0

    Spectacular week

    By sf7307

    from San Francisco, CA

    About Me 63 Years Old, Female, First-Time Adventurer, In Decent Shape

    Site Member

    Pros

    • Andean Scenery
    • Congenial Group
    • Excellent Food
    • Fun Guides
    • Knowledgeable Guides
    • Lovely Lodges
    • Seamless Logistics

    Cons

    • Sleeping At Altitude
    • Spotty Wifi All Agreed

    Best Uses

      Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

      Take everything on the list. I used everything except long underwear. It was very cold going over the pass and my gloves were soaked, so I wrapped my hands in whatever I could find in my bag.

      You don't need to bring snacks - there are snacks laid out every day after breakfast (nuts, raisins, fruit).

      I took a half of a Diamox daily until after the pass. It helped, but I did need to use oxygen for 10 minutes two nights sleeping at 12,500 feet (daytime wasn't a problem, although I was the slow one in our group - stopping to "recover" much more often than others). Know where the guide's room is, so you can get help if you need it!

      I got a cold half-way through. I recommend bringing tissues, Dayquil, Afrin, etc. just in case.

      If you sweat, bring a bandana! I was cold a few times, but mostly very warm.

      Bring rain gear - my rain pants were life savers, even if they were hard to put on over my boots.

      The lodges will do any amount of laundry for $15.00. It was great to get some clean clothes half-way through.

      Enjoy the people you're with. We did yoga, we talked (including the taboo subjects of religion and politics), we sang (someone had a guitar and one of our group played), etc. The lodge is "yours" - enjoy it.

      I have nothing bad to say about this trip except for my breathing problems, and that certainly isn't the fault of the operators!!

      This trip isn't for anyone who is averse to rain and mud!

      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
      • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend
      • Why did you choose this trip?:
      • Friends were going. We had long wanted to do the Inca Trail, but decided we weren't interested in camping. When we heard about the lodge-to-lodge option, I couldn't say "sign me up" fast enough.
      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
      • The stunning scenery - I just had no idea the Andes were so beautiful. The people we met, both in our group and along the way. Just hiking for 6 days (we've never done more than a day hike before).
       
      5.0

      Nothing but praise

      By Aging not so gracefully

      from Midwest, USA

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

          The guides were great at taking a diverse group and making the trip fun and enjoyable for everyone. For us, the half day at Machu Pichu was enough but get up early (5:30) to beat the crowds and leave yourself enough time to climb Waynapicchu (?sp) and the Sun Gate. You can sleep later.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Looking for a challenging hike but wanted lodge with bed, shower, and good food at the end of the day
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Reaching Salkantay Pass, seeing Machu Picchu from a distance, friendly staff at the lodges and great food.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Go at least 2-3 days prior to the trip. The altitude effect on your breathing is no joke and can ruin a trip if not respected.
           
          5.0

          Perfect Trip

          By carolyndbailey

          from Portland, Or.

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Food
          • Gracious Knowledgeable G
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

              Our group of 12 people was very congenial. The guides provided by Mountain Lodges of Peru were very smart, concerned with our welfare, fun. A personal chef and good food were a surprise bonus.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • We chose this trip for the time frame, great lodges with comfortable beds and showers.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Seeing Machu Picchu from two mountain ranges away!
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • TAKE MEDICATION FOR ALTITUDE SICKNESS
               
              5.0

              Awesome every step of the way

              By Randalldek

              from Elmwood, Ontario

              About Me First-Time Adventurer

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

              • Activity Level

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                Overall I would have to say that the courteous demeanour, patience, non-judgmental nature and over-all professionalism of the guides helped make this an experience to remember. The service from all staff we encountered was exceptional.
                The level of activity was a little less than expected. Most days we did not hike for a length of time that made it strenuous.
                The optional activities mentioned in the itinerary were not all offered.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • In researching a trip to Macchu Picchu we came across this option and decided to try it. We are glad we chose REI.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • It is difficult to pick a highlight. Achieving the Salkantay pass was great. Macchu Picchu is great also.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Train in advance. Test yourself at altitude if possible. Pay attention to the recommended gear list. Above all, do this trip. Do it in the dry season. We went in early August and had fabulous weather every day.

                (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing Vacation

                By Colorado Kristin

                from Denver, CO

                About Me Avid Adventurer

                See all my reviews

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                    This trip was without a doubt one of the best vacations I have been on. I loved the lodges. The meals were phenomenal. We gained many friends from around the world and got to share an experience of a lifetime with them.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • We chose this trip because Machu Picchu was a "bucket list" vacation. If we were going to be in Peru, though, we wanted to experience the Andes and get away from the busy cities and tourists.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Honestly, there was a highlight nearly every day. From the lodges, to the guides, meals, views, people and activities, there was something spectacular every day. If I had to pick one highlight, it would be reaching the top of the Salkantay pass. The views were stunning and the moment our entire group was at the top was wonderful.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Bring everything on the recommended gear list - you need it all. Also, prepare for the trip. There were a couple of people in our group that struggled at times. Luckily, our guides split when this happened so that everyone could hike at their own pace.

                    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great trip - would totally recommend!

                    By hiking79

                    from Las Vegas, NV

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Site Member

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • Clean Beds
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Food
                    • Guides
                    • Hot Showers
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                        I had a great time on this trip! Visiting Machu Picchu was one of the top items on the bucket list so we were really excited to go. Add in the hiking with luxury accomodations - priceless.

                        Our group of travellers was quite jovial and overall very fun to hang out with. Couldn't have asked for such a good group.

                        My husband and I had trained as best we could for the higher altitude (hiking 6-8 miles with at least 3L of water in our packs, with elevation gain approximating the hikes on the trip) however we both felt the affects of it. In the end, we both took Diamox which helped a lot (take in the morning if you have extended release - it makes you pee a lot!). We stopped the medication after completing Salkantay pass.

                        The stunning part about it all was the diversity of environments along the trek. You go from an alpine environment to a subtropical environment within a 2 mi hike down. Our guide was great at identifying the various flora and fauna - some of it you might recognize. To see wild begonias and orchids amongst wild strawberry patches? Simply amazing.

                        Our guide was pretty awesome. He was a trained wilderness paramedic, well read, and had a good sense of humour.

                        The food were good. Our chef made gourmet meals everyday with very healthy portion sizes. Typically lunch and dinner were three course affairs while breakfast was cereals, fruit, yogurt and made to order omelettes. There was always some sort of snack laid out around tea time (post hike) including cake, cookies and sweets. Your trail snack bag offerings consisted of nuts, fresh and dried fruit, cookies and candies. If you'd prefer some sort of energy bar/granola bar, you would have to bring it from home. During breakfast, you were encouraged to make a sandwich with the bread, cold cuts and cheese available.

                        The accomodations were great. A cold/warm towel with a cold/warm drink (depending on the weather greeted you as soon as you entered the lodges. Hot showers and hot water bottles were nice after a long day. The beds were nice and comfortable. They even gave your boots a quick scrub down so they are somewhat clean by the next day.

                        A caution about the trail - it is uneven, rocky, muddy, and poop-ladened terrain. You have been warned. Choose boots with really sturdy treads, goretex lining and adequate ankle support. Consider adding insoles for additional arch support. Wear good hiking socks and bring lots of them - your feet will thank you.

                        Our accomodations in Aqua Calientes were top notch. We stayed at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo - a luxurious ecolodge. The tea time snacks, meals and rooms were fitting for one of the best lodgings in the Machu Picchu area.

                        Machu Picchu was sort of anti-climatic in a sense. Don't get me wrong. I really did enjoy the visit and the interesting history behind the ruins. It truly is a stunning feat of human ingenuity. However Machu Picchu also meant our journey was coming to an end which made the visit especially bittersweet.

                        I would also like to mention a weakness with the 7 day itinerary - it left very little time available to explore Machu Picchu on your own. Our guide gave us a good tour of the highlights with the option to take a look at the Inca Drawbridge. However, there is no time to hike the Sun Gate, Huayna Picchu, or Temple of the Moon. If these are must do items on for your visit to Machu Picchu, this would not be the right itinerary for you.

                        Overall, a wonderful journey that I would totally recommend to any other intrepid traveller.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • Read an article about Salkantay lodge to lodge trek in the LA times. I did some research into the Mountain Lodges of Peru company which has garnered travel awards from the National Geographic. Unlike the Inca trail which is crowded with other hikers, it felt like we were the only ones there on the Salkantay trail. During the whole trip we encountered only 3 other small hiking groups (less than 5 people). Really wanted to enjoy the amazing Peruvian backcountry while taking advantage of first class amenities (Wifi, hot showers, clean beds) in the middle of nowhere.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • I enjoyed hanging out with our group of travellers and taking spectacular photos of the trip. Also immersing oneself in a different culture (from the Q'ero ritual at Humantay Lake to the farmer we visited at the coffee plantation) is also a unique experience that I will never forget.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • 1) Visit a travel clinic/doctor prior to leaving - altitude sickness, upper respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis are only a few of things you may be faced with during your vacation. For such a short trip, being sick even for half a day greatly affects your enjoyment of your vacation so be prepared before you go. 2)Train before you go - this is a pretty active hike even without the altitude factored in. Work on endurance (ie, being able to hike for a good 6-8 hours, back to back days) with elevation gain and be used to hiking with at least 2 L of fluids in your pack. I trained with trekking poles which also helped with stability up and down the rather rough terrain. 3) Weather - be prepared for all types of weather as you will be in an alpine environment (cold) and descend into a subtropical environment (hot). Would recommend only long sleeved shirts and pants while hiking because of a) harsh UV exposure (you burn really easily) even when it's cold, b)bugs in the warmer climates. DEET doesn't seem to do much for the weird bugs there. 4)Bring eletrolyte replacement (ie, Gatorade, Cliff gel packs) to aid with muscle recovery while hiking long periods of time. Also good in case you get a bout of diarrhea to replace electrolytes. 5) Do not skip the acclimatization hike on the second day. It really prepares you for the Salkantay pass hike. 5) Always bring your own first aid kit. You never know when you might need it.

                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Best adventure ever!

                        By Denise Wakeman

                        from Los Angeles, CA

                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                            Sounds like a cliche, but it truly was the trip of a lifetime. If fact it exceeded every expectation I had, from the beauty to the challenge of the daily hikes to the friendships made with the group. I loved the intimacy of the lodges and the fact we were generally the only people on the trails each day with the exception of locals and their mules. In my mind, Machu Picchu was the long-awaited goal, yet when I reflect on the adventure, it was the getting-there that had the biggest impact on me. Thank you!

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I've wanted to visit Peru and Machu Picchu for more than 20 years. During several discussions about travel with my running crew, we decided it was time. We researched a lot of options and settled on the Lodge to Lodge trip because of the unique itinerary, the accommodations and the done-for-you planning/details. It met all our criteria for budget, activity and luxury.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • So many things: visiting Humantay Glarier Lake and the ceremony with the shamans; the amazing group; the extraordinary beauty and vastness of the Andes; experiencing the power and energy of Machu Picchu; the knowledge and info shared by our guides; the care and attention to detail at the lodges and by all the people involved.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Get in shape! Even though being in great physical shape can't prepare you for the affects of the high altitude, this trek is 6 days of challenging hiking.

                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Awesome Experience!

                            By KH in CA

                            from La Crescenta, CA

                            About Me Weekend Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                                This was an absolutely wonderful experience for me. Be sure to bring some Peruvian money on the trek - in the last town you'll be able to stock up on gifts for family and friends, if you want. This was the best 7 day trip I've ever taken, it's well worth the REI price.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts, Well Organized Trips
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • During an REI summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro a couple years ago I kept hearing from several of the other hikers about "the fantastic Peru Lodge-to-Lodge trek to Machu Picchu." Day pack hiking in fantastic mountain settings and luxury accommodations each night? I'm in!
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • Taking the trip with my daughter and her boyfriend. Fantastic scenery. A really great group of fellow hikers. Great guides and lodge personnel. Lots of new experiences with a different culture.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Be prepared for vigorous hiking at altitude. I didn't need to bring any extra snacks, you are able to stock up each morning at the lodge with goodies, plus you always get a great meal at lunchtime on the trail. Bring rain gear that covers you and your pack. Bug spray a must the first day. Always use bottled or lodge-supplied water, even when brushing your teeth. Be open to all new experiences.

                                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Above and Beyond my Expectations

                                By TB in CO

                                from Colorado

                                About Me Avid Adventurer

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Accommodations
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                                    Make sure that you are in decent shape before signing up for this trip. Even if you live at altitude, get diamox for the trip. Acclimate in Cusco for at least two days before beginning the trek. Bug spray is a must on day one and four and five (use it, trust me). Wear layers and make sure you have good trekking poles and broke in hiking boots. A good rain jacket or poncho will come in handy. I took a fleece but only wore it once. Embrace the trip and those in your group, you won't be disappointed.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Hiking the Andes with the final destination as Machu Picchu... it doesn't get any better than that!
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Salkantay Pass and seeing MP for the first time.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Enjoy every minute, take lots of pictures and embrace the experience.

                                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Spectacular trip

                                    By readytogoagain

                                    from Boulder, CO

                                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Group Camaraderie

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Machu Picchu: 7-Day Lodge Trek:

                                      The trip was marvelously well organized. No logistics hassles of any kind. The lodging and food are excellent, high quality and immensely accommodating. I think it would have been better to screen the travelers for hiking experience. We were very spread out and constantly waiting for stragglers. Also the group did not cohere very well because of several things; not everyone had a common language, we were often very spread out on the trails, big differences in ability. Guides were very knowledgable, capable and professional but never complimentary or encouraging in a way that might have been more team building. Almost everyone was sick at least for a day; perhaps more careful warning about the tap water, interacting with wild life, etc. would have prevented.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, I Liked the Itinerary
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • Destination travel. Thought this was the best package available. Wanted to trek as much as possible.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • Machu Picchu absolutely the highlight. Wonderfully guided tour. However the vistas and magnificence of the Andes a very close second.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Best to go with at least one other friend/family member. Do some high altitude hiking in preparation. Don't overrate your skill level. Do NOT drink the water. Read up on the history of the place; some pertinent facts were left out.

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