Machu Picchu Adventure

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Machu Picchu Information

Dates & Leaders:

  • TBD

Trip cost:

  • Standard: $4,395
  • OCSC Member: $4,175 (5% off)


  • 5 nights in lodge - trek
  • 6 nights in hotel - Cuzco
  • 1 night in hotel - Lima

Activity Level: 3 out of 5

Machu Picchu ArticleOCSC Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge Trek

This 13-day adventure to Peru offers broad exposure to Peruvian history and culture, and features a 6-day, 5-night lodge to lodge trek along an authentic Incan route to Machu Picchu.

Follow the footsteps of the ancient Incas on a trek through Andean foothills to the beautiful and haunting lost city of Machu Picchu.  This Peruvian journey will take us along an original and secluded Incan route through alpine hills, green valleys and high jungle; past rivers, glacial lakes, and stunning historical marvels.  Each leg of the trek will conclude at a traditional mountain lodge designed in the same spirit as the Incan lodges of the past – to welcome and restore travelers after their day’s voyage. Unlike the original Incan lodges, however, these are endowed with modern luxuries such as Jacuzzis, eiderdown bedding, hot showers, and chef prepared meals. The warmth and comfort of these lodges will reinvigorate us for the next day’s hike, and give a real sense of Peruvian hospitality.

Machu Picchu ArticleBefore embarking on the four-day trek to Machu Picchu, we will be introduced to Peruvian culture, both modern and ancient.  After a brief stay in Lima, the city of Cusco awaits and will be our base as we explore Incan ruins and contemporary Andean life in the Urubamba, or Sacred, Valley – the cradle of Incan civilization. Here we will experience bustling artisan markets, secluded hilltop villages, and thousands of years of human history.

After this introduction to Peru’s past and present, we will be ready to venture even further back in time on our trek to Machu Picchu.  A variety of additional activities will be available and plenty of free time to do your own exploration.  The finest guides in Peru will lead us and enrich the trip with their unmatched knowledge of local history, natural surroundings, and the best way to reach Machu Picchu by foot.  In addition, the trekking party will be accompanied by a local chef, who will prepare delicious hot meals, both Peruvian and international, to be enjoyed along the trail.

After six days, our gourmet adventure will bring us to the impressive and mysterious treasure of Incan civilization.  Nestled in the green of the surrounding hills, the hundred-acre city of Machu Picchu remained untouched and undiscovered by Spanish conquistadores. Home to temples, houses, stairs and terraces, the ruins represent some of the most inspired structures to be built by human hands.  The city is now believed to have been a retreat for Incan nobility, and the pervading sense of peace throughout the city will make it clear why.  The pinnacle of our trip will conclude with a scenic train ride back to Cusco, as we begin our trip from the ancient land of the Incas back to modern civilization.

Anthony Sanberg letter image

Quick Itinerary







-Jul -Oct Arrive in Lima
Meet at airport and transfer to the hotel and rest. Dinner on your own.
Ramada Inn
-Jul -Oct Early flight to Cuzco - Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Morning flight to Cuzco. Meet at Cuzco airport and head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.Pisac Ruins, Classic Andean villages and markets of Pisac & Chinceros. End in Urubamba


Pasada del Inca
(Urubamba Valley)*
-Jul -Oct Visit to the Ollantaytambo Ruins and Kuychi Charity
Visit Kuychi Charity orphanage then head to Ollantaytambo Ruins see a military fortress, a sacred religious site, and original Incan villages.
Travel Back to Cuzco


Casa Andina Private Collection*
-Jul -Oct Morning tour of Cusco and visit to surrounding ruins
Visit the city Cathedral and the Koricancha temple. Briefing during lunch. During the afternoon visit the Incan fortress Sacsayhuaman.


Casa Andina Private Collection*
-Jul -Oct Travel to Soraypampa Valley, visiting the Tarawasi ruins
Visit the Tarawasi ruins en route to Soraypampa. Lunch on the mountain village of Mollepata. Optional afternoon hike to acclimate or leisure activities at the lodge to enjoy and adjust.


Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort
-Jul -Oct Glacier Lake hike, local hiking trails and panoramic views
This day is spent at leisure for rest or lodge activities, with options to hike to a gorgeous glacial lake, take in the panoramic views from a viewpoint, and/or enjoy the relaxing outdoor jacuzzi at the lodge.


Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort
-Jul -Oct Start trek to Machu Picchu
After an early start, hike up to Rio Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak. See snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range. Watch out for Andean Condors. Descend toward the Wayra Lodge.


Wayra Lodge
-Jul -Oct Huayraccmachay to Collpapampa
Leisurely morning free to explore. Hike downhill above the Salkantay River to Colpa Lodge. Optional excursion to nearby hot spring before dinner.


Colpa Lodge
-Jul -Oct Collpapampa to Lucmabamba
Head down the Santa Teresa River Valley. Short climb to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Before dinner you will have the chance to explore the village and meet members of the local community.


Lucma Lodge
-Jul -Oct Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes
Hike toward Llactapata Pass with a unique view of Machu Picchu, then descent to the Aobamba River. Board a scenic train to Aguas Calientes.


Machu Picchu Pueblo*
-Jul -Oct Machu Picchu
A full-day, guided visit, to explore the ancient site of Machu Picchu.


Machu Picchu Pueblo*
-Jul -Oct Machu Picchu and/or Aguas Calientes
Option to return to the ruins for some independent exploration, or spend your day exploring Aguas Calientes. Afternoon train to Cuzco.


Casa Andina Private Collection*
-Jul -Oct Cuzco to Lima, then Home
After a flight from Cuzco to Lima, there is an option to use a day-use room at a hotel until transfered to airport to depart.


Casa Andina Miraflores*

*  Subject to substitution with equivalent or superior hotel accommodations
**  Please refer to full itinerary later in this packet for more detailed information

13 day trip in Peru exploring Machu Picchu through the Salkantay Route; begins and ends in Lima
This trip will involve strenuous hiking at medium elevation. Maximum elevation is 14,700'
6 nights hotels in Cuzco, 5 nights Lodges during trek, 1 night hotels in Lima

2009 OCSC Departures
October 11th – October 23rd - Trek Leader: John Racanelli

Land Cost

Standard: $4,395
OCSC Member: $4,175 (5% discount)
Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations. Single Cabin Supplement: Quoted on request

Supplemental costs (collected by OCSC)

Internal Airfare from Lima to Cuzco and return (US $280) - $280 per person, age 12 and older (OCSC will book and issue these tickets for you)
Salkantay Entrance Fee (US $50) - The Salkantay route has been issued an entrance fee of US $50 and is required from all visitors.
Donation to Kuychi Charity Orpahanage and other causes (US $100) - OCSC is committed to supporting the communities we visit. Your participation in this adventure includes a contribution to the Kuychi Charity Orpahanage and another local cause of choice. Information on the philosophy of the Kuychi Charity program is included in this packet or visit (
Tips (US $150) - OCSC is committed to supporting the local staff that provides us with good service and attention. Your participation in this adventure includes a gratuity (tip) pool contribution of US $150 for the guides, porters, bellmen, drivers, cooks, and local staff in Lima and Cuzco.

What’s Included

  • OCSC leadership
  • Licensed professional guides fluent in English
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary (Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner or B,L, & D)
  • All hotel and lodge accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All group airport transfers as noted
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • Vista-dome train and bus tickets
  • All entrance fees and permits

What’s Not

  • International Airfare (to Lima, Peru – approx. US $800 - $1,200)
  • Internal Airfare from Lima to Cuzco and return (US $280 – subject to change)
  • Meals not noted in itinerary (approx. $150)
  • Salkantay entrance fee ($50 per person - subject to change)
  • Airport taxes (approx. domestic $6, international $31 - subject to change)
  • Donation to Kuychi Charity Orpahanage (US $100)
  • Tips to guides, porters, bellmen, drivers, cooks, and local staff (US $150)
  • Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, additional baggage fees, etc.)
  • Supplementary trip insurance (we require you to purchase travel insurance of at least $50,000 for emergency medical benefits which include evacuation) Please ask.

Payment Policy
All dates are from departure date.
At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: $1500
90 days prior to departure: Balance of Land/Trek Cost

Cancellation Policy
At the time we receive notice that you must cancel your trip, the following fees will apply (all dates are from departure date):
From time of reservation until:
120 or more days prior to departure - $500
119 - 90 days prior to departure - 25% of Land/Cruise Cost
89 - 60 days prior to departure - 50% of Land/Cruise Cost
59 days or less prior to departure - 100% of Land/Cruise Cost

Deposits and payments are non-refundable, but fully transferable to someone else taking your spot on the trip, less a $300 processing fee.

Air Travel
Airfare to Peru is not included in the land cost of our trips. For air reservations, we recommend you contact the airlines directly, either by phone or the Internet. In addition, many travelers elect to use their “frequent flyer” miles when traveling with us. But please check with our staff before purchasing or obtaining your tickets. We need to verify your arrival and departure schedule and ensure we have enough participants to operate the trip.

A valid passport is required to travel to Peru (with at least six months validity before expiration date). No visa is required for U.S. passport holders & visitors are allowed to stay up to 90 days. Please enquire with your Peruvian embassy or consulate if an entry visa is required.

Weather in the region is extremely variable and you should pack for a variety of conditions. In addition, our trek passes through nine (9) bio-zones ranging from high altitude alpine conditions to high jungle. July through August tends to be dry and cold. September through November tends to have some occasional rain and fair temperature.

Activity Level
This OCSC adventure trip is designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. It would be ideal to be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. Although porters carry most of the gear and camp supplies (leaving you free to carry only a light daypack), you will be hiking five to eight hours a day, up and down steep stone-paved paths, and often at elevations above 10,000 feet. Physical activity at high altitude adds to physiologic stress. In addition, higher altitudes may create discomfort and symptoms of illness that you do not experience while exercising at low elevations, such as shortness of breath, restlessness or sleeplessness at night, and headaches.

It would be ideal for you to be in good health and physical condition, with adequate cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and decent balance in order to enjoy this experience at all its levels. We recommend that you start a moderate training program several months before departure. Regular aerobic exercises for one hour, 4-5 times a week, or hiking up your local hills will help. Consult your physician if you have questions concerning your underlying health. We can help answer questions for you or your physician concerning required levels of fitness and health conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about your ability to do this trip, we can suggest appropriate alternatives.

Day 1 – Arrive in Lima
Meet at airport and transfer to the Ramada Inn at the Lima Airport.  Rest and prepare for the next day’s trip to Cusco. Dinner on your own.

Day 2 – Early flight to Cuzco - Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Meet at Cusco airport and head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a lush agricultural region that was once a major Incan settlement.  There you will visit the Pisac ruins, home to beautiful stone terraces and the impressive Sun Temple. You will also visit the classic Andean village of Pisac and its weekly market, where villagers from miles around come to sell and barter their wares. The night is spent at Hotel Posada del Inca in the Urubamba Valley. Breakfast & Lunch included.

Day 3 – Visit to the Kuychi Charity and Ollantaytambo Ruins
The well-preserved and remarkable Ollantaytambo fortress is a superb example of Incan military strength, and is located in what was a strategic defense location, as well as a sacred religious site.  The village of Ollantaytambo has retained its original Incan houses, layout, irrigation system and street names, allowing visitors to glimpse how original Incan villages functioned, and how Incan design is used in modern times.
Lunch will be had after visiting the Kuychi Charity Orphanage, which provides relief and support for extremely deprived children in Urubamba.  The Kuychi Charity is our chosen Give-Back for this trip, and is a wonderful opportunity to see the community that our donations will help support.  Travel back to Cusco and spend the night at the Casa Andina Private Collection.  Breakfast & Lunch included.

Day 4 – Morning tour of Cusco and visit to surrounding ruins
The morning tour of Cusco includes a visit to the city Cathedral, a place rich with Spanish art and history, and the Koricancha temple, an original Incan temple that is now a fusion of Incan culture and European influences. Today also includes visits to four ancient Incan sites: Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fortress and perhaps the Incan site second only to Machu Picchu in its beauty, wonder, and preservation; Puca Pucara, an Incan military complex which offers expansive views of the Cusco Valley; Kenko a site of worship whose centerpiece is an enormous 20 foot high rock carved into the shape of a puma which dominates a series of canals and passageways painted with animals; and Tambomachay, famous Incan baths which are still used by locals. Overnight at Casa Andina Private Collection. Breakfast included.

Day 5 – Travel to Soraypampa Valley, visiting the Tarawasi ruins
Travel to Soraypampa Valley, visiting the impressive ruins of Tarawasi.  After leaving the ruins, you will have lunch in the mountain village of Mollepata before ascending a winding mountain track to the valley of Soraypampa. Spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort, where a leisurely afternoon will acclimate you to the altitude and precede an evening briefing and dinner.  All meals included.

Day 6 – Glacier Lake hike, local hiking trails and panoramic views
Soraypampa.  This day is reserved for leisure or lodge activities – hiking local trails, taking in panoramic views.  A guide will brief you in the evening on the gear and itinerary for the next four days.  All meals included.

Day 7 – The start of your trek to Machu Picchu.
After an early start, you will hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay.  The highest point on the trek is a pass at 15,000 ft.  At the pass you will stop to take in views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, keeping your eyes open for Andean condors.  Stopping for a hot lunch along the way, the day concludes at the Wayra Lodge.  All meals included.

Day 8 – Huayraccmachay to Collpapampa
Early morning free for exploration before hiking downhill above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery.  The Colpa Lodge is located in an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers.  After arrival, there will be enough time before dinner for an optional excursion to a nearby hot spring. All meals included.

Day 9 – Collpapampa to Lucmabamba
Today you will head down the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas with coffee plantations and orchards, and stop for lunch along the river.  From the river, it is a short climb to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard, where you will spend the night.  Before dinner, you will have the chance to explore the village and meet with members of the local community.  All meals included.

Day 10 – Lucmabamba to Aguas Calientes
A hearty breakfast will start you off for the last day of your trek.  You will head uphill for two hours towards Llactapata pass (8,500 ft), where you will stop for lunch.  Shortly beyond the pass, you will be greeted by a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a view few tourists ever glimpse.  The recently restored Llactapata Ruins are an added bonus to the day.  Your final descent to the Vilcanota River will take you through lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations.  Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are a short, scenic train ride away.  Upon arriving from your train trip, you will be met by guides who will bring you to Hotel Machu Picchu Pueblo, where you will have dinner and spend the night.  All meals included.

Day 11 – Machu Picchu
Today is your day to explore the ancient site of Machu Picchu.  A full-day guided visit to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary allows you to fully explore and appreciate this marvel of human civilization. Overnight at the Machu Picchu Pueblo. All meals included.

Day 12 – Free Day at Machu Picchu and/or Aguas Calientes
Today you can return to the ruins for some independent exploration, or spend your day exploring Aguas Calientes.  An afternoon train brings you back to Cusco where you will spend the night at the Casa Andina Miraflores.  Breakfast included.

Day 13 – Cuzco to Lima, then home
After a flight from the Cusco airport back to Lima, you will be met and brought to the Hotel Casa Andina Miraflores where you will have a day-use room until transferring to the Lima airport and returning home.  Breakfast included.

Click Here to read about the Kuychi Charity

VIDEO -- The Salkantay Inca Trail: A Journey to Machu Picchu

A Mountain Lodges of Peru video feature -- produced by Vibrant Films.