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Join Martha McCallum on a 7-day lodge-to-lodge trek on the historic Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu. Martha brings together her passions for yoga, mindfulness, and wild mountain landscapes, this time walking among Quechua villages and farms, a people whose culture is entwined with reverence for nature - how perfect!
The lodges are all built in traditional style, with feather bedding, private bathrooms, showers, and highly personalized service from local staff. Guest rooms are warmly presented with down comforters and amenities. The eco-minded architecture effortlessly mixes traditional heritage with contemporary design.
The group will meet at the lovely hotel in the fun San Blas district of Cusco (elevation 3360 meters, 11,021') to prepare for the trek, explore the city, acclimatize, and enjoy fresh-from-the-market breakfasts and festive group dinners. The journey will end with two nights at an award-winning hotel in Aguas Calientes below Machu Picchu, and return for the late afternoon flights home from Cusco.
The trek includes five nights at the four MLP lodges, acclimatizing on the first two days at Salkantay Lodge (3869 meters, 12,690') for the longest trek on day three. The 63 kilometer trail crosses uneven, rocky terrain with some steep sections, offering mostly moderate 4-6 hour hikes each day.
On day three, the group will slowly climb 1000 meters to 4640 meters (15,200') over a five kilometer distance. From the highest point at Salkantay Pass, Mt. Salkantay will loom an awe-inspiring 5400' above us. On day six, you will come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire.
Each day group members carry only a day pack, and duffels are transported by mules or porters to the next lodge. The lodges are all built in traditional style, with feather bedding, private bathrooms and showers, Jacuzzis and saunas in some lodges, traditional and gourmet cuisine, and fine wines and organic coffee. Amenities such as massage and laundry services are available.
For those who are not so familiar with mindfulness, think of it as a chance to slow down and walk next to yourself. Savour your present experience, inside and out. Become selective about the thoughts you heed, favoring those that feel like yours. Mindful elements will include gentle daily yoga and led meditation (but not to interfere with cocktail hour), some solo time in nature as the weather and trek permit, and with no doubt - some most inspiring and insightful conversations.
Machupicchu is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Cuzco.
The city of Cusco extends throughout the Waterway river valley. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 meters (11,200 feet).
Indulge in inventive menus, which provide a refreshing take on the region’s most iconic dishes. All offerings are locally sourced - from organic coffee blends to healthy snacks.
Enjoy massages from local personalized staff.
Fly from Lima to Cuzco. This is the quickest. Direct flights go from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima to Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco and take one hour. Book a trip with LAN, TACA, AeroCondor, or Aviandina.
All flights from Lima to Cuzco depart in the morning, according to Andean Travel Web. This is because the relatively clear skies in the morning help pilots navigate over the looming spine of the Andes.
Take a long-distance tour bus from Lima to Cuzco if you have more time. Book either the longer and safer route from Lima to Cuzco that circumvents the highest points of the Andes via the southern city of Arequipa, or arrange for the more direct and dangerous route that winds straight across the mountains. The latter itinerary is recommended only for adventurous travelers who don't mind dizzying bends and rugged roads. Both routes take around 26 hours or more to complete. Book with one of the many independent bus companies operating in Peru. Companies such as Cruz del Sur, Ormeño, Flores, and Civa as being among the most popular.
Combine a bus trip with a train ride to get from Lima to Cuzco. Tourists can get from point A to point B while passing by the cities of Arequipa, Puno and the shores of Lake Titicaca. Take a tour bus direct from Lima to Arequipa. From there, you must take a bus connection on to Puno, a highland town situated alongside Lake Titicaca. Book a train ride with Peru Rail from Puno to Cuzco. Peru Rail runs the Andean Explorer railway from Puno all the way to Cuzco's Huanchac Train Station. The train portion of the journey lasts around eight or nine hours, so plan your travel itinerary accordingly.