Peru Multisport and Trek
This lodge-to-lodge trip provides participants a physical, cultural, and spiritual journey that will take you through the magnificent Andes on a trek, explore the Sacred Valley by mountain bike, foot and horseback, as well visit the legendary ruins at Macchu Picchu. Utilizing only the finest hotels available and trekking from gorgeous lodge-to-lodge makes exploring this area accessible to many. No tents, just comfy beds, chef-prepared meals, hot tubs and even optional massages each night.
Along the Salkantay trail, you will journey through varied terrain both challenging and awe-inspiring. Up-close views of glacier mountain peaks, mysterious fog surrounding fields of boulders, and cattle drives through the most remote of mountain areas are sights that will only enhance the spectacular topography, lush vegetation, and intriguing archaeological areas that you will encounter. Locals, still proudly attached to their Andean heritage, will greet you along the way and give you a glimpse into their rarely seen world. Led by well-respected and extremely knowledgeable guides, you are guaranteed personal attention and a commitment to safety. The staff at the mountain-luxury lodges, situated in pristine locations along the trail, will welcome you warmly at the end of each day with the utmost in service and amenities.
The lodges are spectacular and in many cases, architectural wonders. Despite the high luxury factor on this adventure, participants will be able to challenge themselves as you trek through nine different bio-zones, changing altitudes and varied terrain. You will marvel at the exquisite beauty of the Andes, Salkantay Peak, Salkantay and Humantay Glacier Lake while meeting local Andean families in their traditional settings. Trekking in style can also be done with a conscious. ROAM and the lodges we work with are involved in number of environmental and social initiatives that maintain the natural integrity and improve quality of life in the region. This trip will inspire you by the majesty of your surroundings and the knowledge that you are following in the footsteps of the Incas…
|Trip Length||13 days|
- Itinerary at a Glance
- Arrive Lima, overnight and transfer to Cusco next morning
- visit Sacred Valley, Pisac Market and many ruins
- Shuttle to Salkantay Lodge in the Soraypampa Valley and spend the afternoon relaxing before dinner beneath the towering peak of Salkantay, the most sacred peak in Inca mythology and at 20,500 feet
- Trek up the Rio Blanco Valley circling Humantay Peak across from the Salkantay and take in views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range and overnight at the Wayra Lodge
- Hike downhill above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery to the Colpa Lodge at the confluence of three rivers
- Continue down to the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas with coffee plantations and orchards
- Continue our trek towards Llactapata pass for a distant but one-of-a-kind view of Machu Picchu and a visit to the Llactapata Ruins
- Begin our final descent to the Vilcanota River and the town of Aguas Calientes and overnight at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Lodge
- Revel in a full-day guided tour of Machu Picchu then transfer by train back to Cusco for a farewell dinner and a final night at the center of the Inca Empire
- Detailed Itinerary
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and always flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips in the area, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like.
Today you arrive in Lima, Peru and transfer to your hotel. Tonight you will stay in the Costa del Sol Ramada (4*) airport hotel, only 2 minutes walking distance from the baggage pick-up belt. Overnight in Lima.
After breakfast (time TBA) we walk across the road to the domestic airport terminal and take a 1-hour flight to the magical city of Cusco. Upon our arrival, you are met by your ROAM guide and taken to your hotel in the heart of Cusco city. After checking in and getting freshened up, we will depart for a short tour of the city while your body adapts to the altitude. Today’s tour will visit Cathedral and Koricancha temples. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner a few blocks from your hotel. Overnight Cusco
Today we will travel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas situated 2000 feet lower in elevation. Enroute we will will visit Sacsayhuaman, Awanacacancha and the incredible Pisac Market and ruins for some shopping of local arts and crafts. Tonight we will stay in the Sacred Valley.
Get ready for your mountain biking adventure as we visit Maras Moray with a few surprises along the way. Your acclimitization process will be well under way and this is a great day to get some excercise and see the sites at the same time. Overnight Sacred Valley
After another amazing breakfast, we will enjoy a morning horseback ride through some of the Sacred Valley’s most spectacualr countryside. We will have lunch in a Colonial House and late in the afternoon make our way back to Cusco. This evening we join our trekking tour leader for a group orientation and discussion of the following morning’s plans. Overnight Cusco
A 7 am departure has us on the road towards the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort (SLAR) in the valley of Soraypampa. Enroute we take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cusco). After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where we stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, we begin our trek to Soraypampa on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for us to acclimate as we enjoy a mild & beautiful 4-hour trek to the lodge. (Hiking level: moderate). Optional: if we do not wish to trek we can be transported to the lodge in the vehicle.
The lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley – the “Salkantay”, 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 the friendly staff, we are shown to our rooms and have time to clean up or soak in the hot tub. The first afternoon is spent at leisure to adjust to the altitude. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner.
The choice of activities today is dependent upon each guests level of acclimatization. The most popular activity at Soraypampa is a half-day hike (3-4 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging) to a glacial lake where the more adventurous can take a very short swim! This hike is excellent for acclimatization and a first immersion into high-mountain trekking. In the afternoon, we may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in the outdoor hot tub. In the evening, our trekking guide will brief us on gear and the itinerary for the next four days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are taken at the Lodge.
This is the big day: the start of the four-day trek to Machu Picchu. We start out early on our hike up the Rio Blanco valley, circling Humantay Peak across from the Salkantay. The highest point on the trek is a pass at 4,600 m (15,000 ft); here we stop to take in views of the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range and the 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 continue our descent toward the Wayra Lodge (“Wayra”: wind; “the place where the wind lives”) our destination for the evening. A hot lunch is taken enroute. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge. (Hiking time: 4-6 hours. Total excursion time for day: 5-7 hours. Hiking level: challenging with a 15,000ft mountain pass).
Following the long first day of trekking, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. We then hike downhill, above the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. Upon arrival at our next lodge, we are treated to a “Pachamanca”-style lunch (subject to availability; traditional underground stone cooking).
The Colpa Lodge is located in an open promontory at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor hot tub in this lodge has prominent views of lush green mountains and a small, far-away, local town. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. (Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Hiking level: easy to moderate).
After an early breakfast we head down the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas with coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world!), bananas, “granadillas”, and orchards. We stop along the river for a hot picnic lunch. After another hour of trekking, a private vehicle arrives to take us to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail” (30-minute drive). From the head of the trail it is a short climb (30 min.) to the Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. We arrive in time to explore the small village of Lucmabamba and possibly meet with members of the local community. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours. Total excursion time for day: 6-8 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging, basically due to distance, not terrain).
After an early breakfast, we set off on the last day of our trek. We head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata pass (2,700 m/8,900ft), where we come upon a distant but quite special view of Machu Picchu from the southwest. This is a view few tourists ever see. An added value are the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is provided at the observatory, in view of Machu Picchu. We then begin our final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations (2-3 hour descent). Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are a short (30 minutes), scenic train ride away. (Total hiking time: 4-6 hours. Hiking level: moderate to challenging). We then arrive in Aguas Calientes to check-in to our hotel for the night.
We wake up early to have breakfast at the hotel and then make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu (30 min). A complete guided tour of Machu Picchu will be provided (2 hours). We will have additional time after the initial tour to explore the site on our own (there is a lot to see and do). In the afternoon we will take the train to Ollantaytambo (1.5 hrs), where a private vehicle will be waiting to take us to Cusco (1.5 hrs). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7-8pm) we will be dropped off at our hotel. Overnight at Cusco hotel.
Transfers to the airport for flights to Lima. Evening flights home
The trek utilizes 4 beautifully-appointed mountain lodges that are one of a kind. They have been designed with traditional Incan building techniques and blend perfectly with the surrounding environment.
At the end of each day, in our intimate 6-room lodges, you will enjoy hot showers, fine gourmet meals, select wines, goose-down bedding, massages, outdoor jacuzzis and highly personalized service from our local staff.
All our guest rooms are warmly presented with down comforters and amenities. The eco-minded architecture effortlessly mixes traditional heritage with contemporary design.
Indulge in our inventive menus, which provide a refreshing take on the region’s most iconic dishes. All our offerings are locally sourced – from organic coffee blends to healthy snacks.
- About the Region
For many, the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Peruvian history is “Inca”. Certainly, the Inca civilization is the most studied and well recognized of South America’s pre-Columbian cultures, but Peru’s first inhabitants were nomadic hunters who migrated across the Bering Straight and into the Americas about 20,000 years ago.
Domestication of the llama, alpaca and guinea pig began by about 4000 BC and around the same time people began planting seeds and learning simple horticulture methods. Various forms of the Andean staple, the potato, began to be grown as a crop around 3000 BC and weaving and fishing took their first form. Between 2000 and 1000 BC ceramics began to develop from basic undecorated pots to sculpted, incised and simply colored pots of high quality. Horticulture improved dramatically with the development of irrigation as agricultural terraces began to be constructed in the highlands.
Between the initial years of civilization in Peru and the rise and fall of the Inca Empire, many cultures shared in the development of weaving, pottery, agriculture, religion and architecture. But for all its greatness, the Inca Empire existed for barely a century. Beginning in the 1430s, the Inca conquered most of the cultures in the area stretching from southern Colombia to central Chile. Like the Wari before them, the Incas imposed their way of life on the peoples they conquered and created magnificent cities with impressive urban developments. Thus when the Spanish arrived, most of the Andean area had been politically united by Inca rule.
Peru is unequalled in South America for its archeological wealth, and many experts find Peru’s ancient sites and cultures as exciting as those of Mexico, Egypt and the Mediterranean. Learning about and visiting these centuries-old ruins is one of the highlights of the Peru Multi-sport. This archaeological exploration begins in the city of Cusco, the center of the Inca Empire with a city tour rich in Inca and Spanish Colonial heritage and to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, and Tambomachay. In the Sacred valley we make stops at Ollantaytambo, Moray and Pisac and an unforgettable visit to Machu Picchu.
Peru is multi-cultural society, with one part containing predominately white and mestizo middle and upper classes, and the other made up of mostly the poor Indian “campesinos”. Ninety percent of the population is Roman Catholic, and soccer and bullfighting are among the most popular pastimes.
Traditional Andean music is popularly referred to as “musica folklorica” and is frequently encountered at street fairs and fiestas. The most representative wind instruments are quenas. Although string instruments were introduced by the Spanish musica folklorica groups make use of the charango, a tiny 10-stringed guitar with the box traditionally made of an armadillo shell. Percussion instruments include drums made from hollowed-out tree trunks and stretched goatskin and rattles of goat hooves.
Peruvian crafts are based on pre-Hispanic necessities such as weaving, pottery, and metallurgy. Today, beautifully colored woven cloth is seen in traditional ponchos, belts, rugs and tapestries. Pottery and jewelry are based on ancient designs; rituals and heritage are available for purchase or barter along with woven goods throughout the Andean highlands.
Peru lies in the tropics just south of the equator and can be divided into three distinctly different geographical regions: the Pacific coastal strip, the Andes Mountains and the Amazonian lowlands. On the coast, the capital city of Lima and the world-class Pacific surf are mainly desert, extending south to the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth.
Second only to the Himalaya, the Andes rise to over 18,000 feet just miles from the Peruvian coast with year-round glaciers over 15,000 feet. Between 9,000 feet and 13,000 feet lie agricultural lands that support half of Peru’s population. This rugged Andean landscape boasts dramatic jagged ranges separated by deep, vertical canyons rewarding you with incredible mountain scenery that sets the backdrop for much of our Peru Multi-Sport.
The eastern slopes of the Andes are cloaked in green cloud forest receiving abundant rainfall as they drop into the fabled Amazon basin. Over half of Peru lies within the vast wilderness of the Amazon basin which is penetrated by few roads and supports less than 5% of the country’s population. However, there are thousands of animal and bird species that call the remote jungle home, making Peru one of the most biologically diverse nations on the planet.
- Trip Planner
Planning Your Trip
We have prepared this Trip Planner to help you get ready for your adventures ahead. We have tried to anticipate questions you might have concerning travel arrangements, what to bring, and getting in shape. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call.
Lima, Peru is the meeting place for your trip. Consult your travel agent or your favorite online booking site for your travel arrangements. For your reference, American Airlines offers direct service from Miami, Continental Airlines from Houston, Delta from Atlanta and Lan Peru from Los Angeles, New York JFK and Miami. Connections through other Central and South American cities are also available.
What To Take
You will need to be prepared for any environment and laundry service is not readily available. At the same time, however, weight and volume restrictions come into play on our internal flights so please follow our recommendations closely.
It is important that the clothing you bring will withstand the rigors of the trip. All clothing should be quick drying and, ideally, made of synthetics or wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. In the Peru, weather conditions vary considerably. It is important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature, no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate, while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain. Please Note: Your gear must be packed in soft collapsible duffels or backpacks – PLEASE NO SUITCASES.
In the mountains you could have the occasional shower or an entire day of rain. Be sure to pack some rain gear (both tops and bottoms). A jacket is the most important item to keep your torso warm and dry. Good quality nylon raingear is available, but seams should be taped or sealed. Rain ponchos are ideal as well. They will cover you and your pack. Cheap ponchos are available in Cusco if you cannot find one locally. Whatever you choose, the jacket and pants should be compact enough to fit easily into your daypack.
Pile or Fleece
The best we’ve found is 200-weight Polar Plus, which is used by a variety of companies. This fabric is warm, dries quickly and is not excessively bulky.
Synthetic materials like polypropylene, polyester and natural fibres like wool work well. Both are quick drying and bacteria resistant, as well. Do not bring cotton long underwear. When wet, cotton dissipates heat from your body and takes a long time to dry.
Choose lightweight, synthetic fabrics that breathe well for walking. Whatever you choose be sure you have a comfortable freedom of movement.
Footwear for Hiking and Walking
The importance of good footwear cannot be overstated. What may seem like a good boot at home could leave you with sore feet on your trip. Given that our trails are often gravely or sometimes muddy, you need a good walking boot with a firm sole, good ankle support and a water resistance. Your casual shoes can be “hybrid” walking shoe, which combines the lightweight, ventilated features of a shoe with the support and durability of a boot. If you buy new footwear for the trip, make sure you break them in well before you go.
Bring at least one pair for each day of walking, unless you want to wash them out each night. We recommend synthetic and wool blend (smart wool), as these tend to draw the perspiration from the foot. It may be a good idea to bring along some additional items such as foot powder, cushioned pads and/or bandages to place inside your footwear-just in case. Spenco “Second Skin” provides cushioned comfort with an antiseptic for blistered and sore feet while “moleskin” gives great relief from blisters. The guides carry a blister kit as part of their first-aid supplies.
Bring a daypack that holds approximately 20-35 liters. You’ll want enough room for raingear, camera and water bottle.
Bring a 1-liter water bottle or some type of hydration pack for hiking with.
The central and southern region of the Peruvian coast, where Lima is located, is generally sunny in the summer (November to May) and cloudy during the rest of the year. Temperatures vary between 20C (68F) and 30C (86F) during the summer and 10C (50F) and 20C (68F) during the winter.
The highlands of the Andes – the locale of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and the Apurimac River- usually have a rainless winter that extends from April to October, and a rainy season that lasts from November to March, with heaviest rains in January – February. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round with daytime averages in the upper 60s and nighttime lows in the 40s and upper 30s. Note that there are sudden temperature drops after sunset. Cusco and the Sacred Valley area are about 3324 m, 11,400 feet, above sea level. At the higher elevations during the trek, daytime highs as low as 50 degrees are possible, along with nighttime lows around freezing.
In the tropical forests, in eastern Peru, it can rain all year. From November to May, rain is heavier and rivers rise, but from May to September temperatures are milder, but never cold.
Packing Your Gear
Pack your gear in strong duffel bags. Attire is very casual – comfort, convenience and space take precedence over style. Also include casual clothing appropriate for world travel and evenings at your lodges.
Bringing only what is necessary will save time packing and repacking. Extra luggage may be stored at hotels we use, but extra baggage can be an unwanted burden for yourself and others.
Suggested Packing List
If you do not already own any of the items on the suggested packing list feel free to call our office for suggestions.
__ Duffel Bag: Bring your gear packed in one bag (extra for souvenirs)
__ Backpack/Daypack: For day hikes and for trekking. It should be large enough to carry water, lunch and camera, as well as a rain jacket/poncho and an extra warm layer. Packs with a built in hydration system – like CAMELBAK – are convenient for staying hydrated
__ Water bottles: Heavy-duty and minimum 1-litre capacity
__ Headlamp or flashlight, extra batteries and bulb
__ Plastic bags: garbage and large zip-loc bags to organize luggage and for dirty clothes
__ Camera and film/memory cards
__ Notebook and Pen
__ Cash for dining, gratuities and incidentals (small denominations)
__ Sunglasses with securing strap (plus spare)
__ Toiletries including biodegradable soap and shampoo, toilet paper, lighter, baby wipes
__ Sunscreen: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher
__ Lip protection: SPF 15 or higher
__ Moisturizing lotion
__ Personal first aid kit (band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, stomach medication, Immodium, antifungal cream, Cipro). Ask your doctor for DIAMOX for altitude sickness
__ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
__ Long-sleeved shirt: 2-3 lightweight and light color for sun protection.
__ Long pants: lightweight and light color for sun protection
__ Shade hat or visor
__ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant) a hooded jacket is recommended
__ Rain poncho to fit over you and your pack
__ Underwear: quick-drying
__ Hiking shorts: 2 – 3 pair
__ T-shirts or lightweight fast drying tops: 3-5
__ Sturdy hiking boots: 1 pair, comfortable (broken in) and with good tread
__ Casual shoes – lightweight hikers
__ Hiking socks: 8 pair mid-weight (wool)
__ Long underwear: 1-2 set polypropylene/capilene
__ Fleece top & bottom: 1 set mid-weight to heavy-weight
__Warm hat and gloves
__Casual clothes suitable for rural and urban travel
__Trekking poles: collapsible
In addition to your regular camera case, we recommend using extra protection such as zip-lock plastic bags, or a waterproof camera case, with padding. Water and dust may be a problem. If you are planning to bring a digital camera, don’t forget extra media cards, batteries, etc. We strongly recommend you take out a rider on your homeowner’s policy to cover your camera – especially if it’s fine equipment.
Essential Travel Documents
Your Passport-If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. The passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your intended date of departure from Peru. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.
Also check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have a least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have additional pages added. Please do not pack your passport in your check-in luggage. You may be asked for your papers not only upon departure but a various times during your trip, even while checking into the hotel in Lima. If you are carrying a customs form, please keep it in a safe place at all times, perhaps in your pouch along with your other valuables. We do not recommend carrying it in the passport because we often must submit the passport at hotels, where the form can easily be lost.
Visas-Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens to enter Peru. For others, please check with the consulate. When entering Peru you will be asked to fill out an embarkation card. This piece of paper is very important since it has to be given to the migratory authority when you leave the country. Do not lose it!
Travel and Evacuation Insurance-Travel insurance that includes medical emergency evacuation is mandatory in order for you to take part in this adventure. You may call Travel Insurance Service at 800-937-1387 or visit their website at:
Coverage for baggage loss, medical protection, trip cancellation, trip interruption is highly recommended. When selecting a policy please make sure you are very clear about what it will and will not cover.
Immunizations and Health Considerations
Although we do not require any immunizations to participate on the Peru trip, it is important that you be up-to-date on several standard immunizations and that you check with your physician prior to departure. The CDC also is a good resource for recommendations pertaining to international travel immunizations. (www.cdc.gov )
This trip involves a variety of moderate to strenuous activities at high altitude. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure we request that you please check with your physician prior to traveling at high altitude. Hiking and kayaking require a combination of cardiac and strength training. Jogging, swimming, and aerobic exercises will help increase endurance for the activities. Push-ups, sit-ups and other weight training exercises that increase upper and lower body strength for rafting and hiking will ensure preparedness for your trip. We highly recommend that you undertake a vigorous training regimen to prepare yourself for the trek. Regular exercise prior to your trip will certainly add to your enjoyment.
Getting in Shape
Our trips are designed for people who enjoy the outdoors, rather than for fitness fanatics. Still, they are active holidays. Age is unimportant when it comes to your ability to do the trip -the more important consideration is your physical condition. If you haven’t attempted the kind of exercise levels required by our trips within the last couple of years, please be aware of the sort of trip you’re taking. It’s an active one, and you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve been doing some exercise before you go.
Our prime consideration is to provide you with a trip that is as safe and comfortable as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the experience. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning, such as swimming, walking, jogging, squash and tennis, are great for overall physical conditioning. Keep in mind the relative topography of where you live compared to the region you will be visiting. If you live in flat country, for example, consider supplementing your training with artificial hill training on a treadmill or stair-master.
A Thumbnail Training Program
• 2-3 months before the trips starts: try to do exercises that involve aerobic conditioning 3 times each week-swimming, walking, jogging, squash, cross-country skiing, tennis, biking;
• 1 month before the trip: go for a couple of longer walks each week;
• The week before your trip: try to go for 3 long walks;
• Be sure to stretch before exercising-it reduces the chances of injury, muscle pain, stiffness and fatigue.
Please let us know if you’re having a birthday or anniversary on the trip. We’ll also need to know of any medical or dietary requirements that you’d like us to consider in planning your trip (i.e. if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or if you have any food allergies.). Please note this on the Guest Registration Form (be specific as to what your needs are) and return it to our office at least 60 days before your trip. If you’re booking your trip less than 60 days before departure, please make sure you’ve discussed any special requests with our office.