Day 1 Arrive Cusco
Transfer to the El Mercado Hotel where you will stay on bed and breakfast basis. Afternoon orientation tour and acclimatisation.
Overnight: El Mercado Hotel
Day 2 Camino Royal Trek
Depart at 7am for the drive to the starting point for the first hike along the Camino Royal (Royal Path). The first hike is a moderate one of approximately six hours, to help you acclimatise. Wonderful views to Salkantay Mountain (the second most sacred in Inca mythology). Arrive late afternoon for tea and biscuits and time to shower and change for a briefing with your guide before supper. The next two nights will be spent at Salkantay Lodge on full board.
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge
Day 3 Glacial Lake Humantay
Acclimatisation trek of approximately four hours to the shores of the glacial Lake Humantay. Return to the lodge for lunch and relaxtion including a soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. Pre-dinner briefing for the day ahead.
Overnight: Salkantay Lodge
Day 4 Salkantay Pass
Full day's hike taking approximately six to eight hours with challenging conditions. Here you will ascend Salkantay Pass at 4,638m (15,213 ft). Descend down the valley to the welcoming sight of the Wayra Lodge and a wholesome gourmet dinner. Full board at Wayra Lodge.
Overnight: Wayra Lodge
Day 5 Cloud Forest
Easy to moderate hike (compared to the previous day), taking three to four hours descending to the cloud forest. Afternoon arrival at Colpa Lodge where you can relax and enjoy the views from the outside Jacuzzi and follow the orchid trail. Full Board.
Overnight: Colpa Lodge
Day 6 Santa Teresa River Valley
The trail back to civilisation following the Santa Teresa river valley through lush vegetation and rural settlements. Five to six hours of moderate to challenging hikes due to the distance rather than the terrain and altitude. Overnight at Lucma Lodge on full board.
Overnight: Lucma Lodge
Day 7 Aguas Calientes
Final day of the trek ascending to the Llactapata Pass where there will be the first distant views of Machu Picchu from the south east. Final descent to the Aobamba River, through coffee plantations and orchids to the train station for the scenic ride into the town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Tonight will be spent in a hotel in the centre of Aguas Calientes.
Overnight: A hotel in the centre of Aguas Calientes
Day 8 Exploring Machu Picchu
Early start to be one of the first visitors of the day to the mystic citadel of Machu Picchu for a two hour guided tour. Afterwards you will be able to explore the ruins at leisure until you catch the late afternoon train back to Cusco. Your last night will be spent back at El Mercado Hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
Overnight: El Mercado
Day 9 Depart
This morning you will transfer back to the airport for your return journey.