Lodge based treks in Peru: Salkantay, Lares, Ausangate

by on 14th May, 2018

If you are planning a trek in Peru but prefer some luxury and you really don’t want to camp then there are a number of excellent options.

There are three lodge to lodge mountain treks that offer superb mountain scenery, contact with the local community and a good degree of luxury.

Each of the lodge to lodge mountain treks is unique. The lodges vary in size and comfort level, but they all offer en-suite bedrooms with very comfortable beds, hot showers, lounge areas, excellent food and wine, and some have hot tubs also. In all three cases the lodge operators are committed to being environmentally and socially responsible. Food is locally sourced where possible and the staff are generally from the communities where the lodges are located, so there is a good level of community involvement. You get to meet the locals, to see their farming techniques and weavings and even, on occasion, to sing and dance together.

Kathy has just returned from Peru where she enjoyed the Lares lodge to lodge trek, having been on the others in previous years.

Read on to find out the differences and see which works best for you.

Ausangate Lodge trek
Lares Lodge to Lodge
Salkantay Mountain lodges trek

Stunning mountain views, Ausangate Lodge trek


Ausangate Lodge trek (5 days, 50 kms approx.)

This is the toughest and most remote of the lodge based treks. It is suitable for experienced, fit trekkers and requires that you are very well acclimatised to the altitude as you cross several high passes and sleep at high altitudes. You trek for 4 to 6 hours each day.

The mountain scenery is superb, and you are trekking far off the beaten track high in remote mountain areas until the last day when you visit the fabulous Rainbow mountain, Vinicunca.

The trek is fully supported, all luggage is transported by llama and horse. Staff are from the local Chillca community, who accompany trekkers throughout the route.

The lodges are less luxurious than on the other treks, but have wood burning stoves, lounge areas, and double and twin rooms with private bathrooms, with a hot shower. There is only electricity at one lodge, where you can charge batteries and there is no WIFI.

Outline Trek Itinerary

Day 1 Transfer Cusco-Checapue. Short hike to Chillca (L,D)

Day 2 Chillca-Machuracay trek (B,L,D)

Day 3 Machurcay-Anantapata (B,L,D)

Day 4 Anantapata-Huampococha (B,L,D)

Day 5 Huampococha-Cusco (B)

Day 6/7 Optional add on to Machu Picchu

We suggest at least a 5 day acclimatisation programme before this trek. We can organise this for you to include some interesting day walks and other activities from Cusco and / or a few days around Lake Titicaca.


Preparing for the day, Lares lodge.

Lares Lodge trek. (7 days)

This is the most flexible of all the lodge based treks. It is ideal for all hiking abilities and interests with optional cultural visits and alternatives trails for guests that prefer not to do tough hikes. There are several guides with each group allowing each person to choose their preferred activity. Each day there is a meu of three activities to choose from – a tough walk, a less tough walk and a cultural activity. This allows for a wide diversity of people, some that don’t want to do any trekking, others that only want to do trekking, but with the luxury of good lodges at the end of each day.

This Lares trek is great for families and groups of friends with different interests. Kids and parents can choose different activities, and there is bound to be one activity suitable for each member of the group.

The lodges are large, spacious, and very comfortable. There are hot tubs at the first two. The first lodge has outdoor hot tub and a full-sized billiard table, kissing llamas, and large gardens – fabulous for kids. There is wifi in all the lodges.

Meals are buffet, snacks are healthy and plentiful, trekking meals are exceptionally good.

For families with kids that want to trek but would like a back up there is an option to hire a horse.

The highlights are the scenic off the beaten track walking days, the fabulous Inca sites of Pisac, Ancasmarca, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, lots of colourfully dressed locals, and interaction with local people. You get to eat a Pachamanca and see farming and weaving demonstrations.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 Cusco and drive to Sacred Valley – Chinchero to Huchuyqosqo-Lamay Lodge (L,D)

Day 2 Sacred Valley – Pisac and hike valley and ruins – Lamay Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3 Cuncani to Huacawasi, Huacawasi Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4 Quiswarani to Huacawasi, Huacawasi Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5 Huacawasi to Patacancha, the Weaver’s Trail (B,L,D)

Day 6 Ollantaytambo Inca sites, train to Aguas Calientes (B,L,D)

Day 7 Guided visit to Machu Picchu, train to Cusco, ends (B,L) Itinerary (7 days)

We suggest two nights, to aid acclimatisation, in Cusco before this programme, which we can organise for you.


Local kids off to nursery, Lares


Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek (7 days, 63 km)

This is a tough 7 day trek through the beautiful mountain range, the Cordillera Vilcabamba, which surrounds Machu Picchu. Some days are long and hard but the lodges offer hot showers, gourmet meals, wine, goose-down bedding, outdoor jacuzzis, and personalized service.

The first few days you almost rub shoulders with the glaciers of Salkantay and Humantay. You trek over a high pass and then as you descend pass through a variety of eco-zones, fabulous for flowers, birds, and changing in scenery. The Inca site of Llactapata is a highlight and gives a unique view over Machu Picchu.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 Pick up from Cusco and drive to start of trek. Trek to Salkantay Lodge, Soraypampa (L,D)

Day 2 Free day at Salkantay Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3 Trek from Salkantay Lodge to Huayraccmachay, overnight in Wayra Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4 Trek from Wayra Lodge to Collpapampa, overnight in Colpa Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5 Trek from Colpa Lodge to Lucmabamba, overnight in Lucma Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6 Trek from Lucma Lodge to Aguas Calientes, overnight in hotel (B,L,D)

Day 7 Guided visit to Machu Picchu, train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, end of tour (B,L)

High altitude is an issue on this trek so we recommend an acclimatisation period of 5 days before starting the trek. We can organise walks and other activities around Cusco or a few days around lake Titicaca, if you prefer.


Salkantay mountain views

Plan your lodge to lodge trek in Peru

If you would like to start planning a lodge to lodge, or camping trekking holiday to Peru, just get in touch with us at Andean Trails, and we can help  – for families of all sizes and all ages.

Lodge on the Ausangate trek


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