The Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu: Hiking the Peruvian Andes in comfort

24 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

The Lodge Trek leads hikers through breathtaking sceneries in the Peruvian Andes and offers comfort in luxurious accommodations in the evenings while you hike during the day, to Machu Picchu. The route taken is very similar to the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, and takes the hikers to Humantay Lake, Salkantay Pass, Llactapata Pass, and through cloud forests. 

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The Lodge Trek route is less touristy than the classic Inca Trail and offers beautiful panoramic views filled with incredible flora and fauna. This trek is more challenging compared to the classic Inca Trail because of the high altitudes that it traverses through, especially while crossing the Salkantay and Llactapata Pass. 

Travelers are able to relax each night in a luxurious lodge perfectly situated along the route surrounded by nature. The best time for this hike is the dry season between April and October and the highest point that you will reach is 4,640m. The Lodge Trek is a great hiking option to The Lost Citadel for trekkers who want to have an adventure in the Peruvian Andes in comfort. 

Before leaving on the Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu, pack lightly and bring clothing for a range of temperatures that you are likely to experience in the Andes. Compared to other treks, hikers only need to carry a small day bag with them because the rest of the items will be transported by pack animals. Things to bring on this trip are, necessary hiking attire for 7-11 days, sun screen, a flashlight, snacks, a camera, a bathing suit and proper hiking footwear. Trekkers do not need to bring additional camping or food supplies because each day meals will be provided and there will be beautiful lodges to stay at night. The indoor accommodations will provide the hikers with comfortable rooms and you will not have to bring extra clothes to prepare for the chilly Peruvian nights. 

The Lodge Trek follows a similar route to the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu; however, the Lodge Trek can only be done through tour operators whereas it is possible to do the Salkantay trek independently. In Lodge Trek, the operator takes a small group of people, provide guides who hike with the group. The operator also takes the responsibility of transporting the hikers’ luggage or rucksack (other than  a day pack that the hiker carries) from one lodge to another, each day, over the duration of the hike. Typically packages for this trek also include meals. Each night’s stay is at a beautifully decorated Lodge that fits up to 12 people, has private bedrooms, bathrooms, and has a hot tub surrounded by the mountains. Due to all of the amenities offered, the Lodge Trek is one of the most luxurious routes through the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. It is also more expensive compared with some of the other treks to Machu Picchu. 

The Lodge trek traverses through high passes. To avoid altitude sickness it is recommended to travel to Cusco a few days before the trek. In Cusco, spend time relaxing and exploring the intriguing ancient city before embarking on the adventure to Machu Picchu. Drinking cocoa and chewing leaves are local remedies to help prevent occurrence of altitude sickness. 

The Lodge Trek begins in the city of Cusco, from where trekkers are transported to Marcoccasa to begin their hike to the first night’s stay at the Salkantay Lodge. The accommodation acts as a hiking base for the first two nights, and it is located in the beautiful Soraypampa valley between Humantay Peak and Salkantay Peak. The next day hikers will walk to Humantay Lake, a lake with stunning blue coloured water that is fed by the Salkantay glacier. Humantay Lake offers magnificent views of the snow-capped mountain peaks that sit at the edge of the turquoise water. 

The Lodge trek leads visitors to the most difficult and rewarding part of the hike, the Salkantay Pass which sits at 4,640m above sea level. This pass is a challenging hike and many people struggle with adjusting to the high altitude while hiking, however, the 360 panoramic views from the Salkantay Pass are absolutely breathtaking and make the hike worth all the effort. 

The next day two days of the route continue through warmer patches of the hike, which takes trekkers through cloud forests. These incredible forests have a layer of dense fog at the canopy level, which allows trekkers to see the phenomenon of mist hugging the tree tops.

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