Nov 21st - 29th, 2015
The Salkantay Trail
Machu Picchu, Peru

Reserve Spot

Small Group Travel

Experience a very special lodge-to-lodge trek to Machu Picchu to benefit the latest project of Filmmaker Celine Cousteau, the granddaughter of the late world-renowned ocean explorer, Jacques Cousteau.

  • Day 1 CUSCO

    Upon arrival into Cusco airport, you are personally met and transferred to your hotel in Cusco. In the afternoon there are options for walking around the city and visiting some artisan shops. This evening there is a welcome dinner & briefing.


    After an early breakfast, you are picked up starting at 7am at your hotel in Cusco for the drive to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route you will 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, you pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where you stop for a short coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, you begin your trek to Soraypampa, on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for everyone to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful 6-hour trek. Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley—Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270m (20,600ft), the highest in the region. After a warm welcome by the friendly staff, you are shown to your rooms and have time to wash-up, before tea and cookies. Your guide will hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner.


    Today you take an acclimatization hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, fed by the hanging glaciers of Mt. Humantay. The hike is optional, but the views are amazing, and those brave enough can even go for a dip. You return to the lodge for lunch, after which you may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. Afternoon is at your leisure. You spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, your guide briefs you on gear and the itinerary for the following day. All meals are served at the Lodge | B, L, D


    This is the big day! After an early start, you hike up the Rio Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak across from Salkantay Peak. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638m (15,213ft). At the pass we stop to take in views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in every direction, the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us. You will keep your eyes out for Andean condors, often visible in this area. From the pass we descend towards Wayra Lodge (“Wayra” means wind; so ‘the place where the wind lives’) your destination for the evening. A hot lunch is served en route; dinner and overnight at the Lodge.


    On this day we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge. Then you continue your descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River, through increasingly verdant scenery. You can feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colorful butterflies and striking orchids. Upon arrival at Colpa Lodge you are greeted with a Pachamanca meal, a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked by layering meat and vegetables with hot stones, and then covering the whole thing up to bake. Colpa Lodge is located on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of lush green mountains. You spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring the nearby orchid trail. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.


    Today you hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas. You pass through banana, granadilla, and avocado orchards and coffee plantations (said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world). A hot picnic lunch is served by the river. After lunch, you hike another hour before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the “Llactapata Inca Trail” (30 minutes or so). From the head of the newly restored Inca trail you easily make your way to Lucma Lodge, set in an avocado orchard. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.


    After a hearty breakfast, you tackle the last day of your trek. You head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass at 2,736m (8,974ft), where you come upon a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers ever get a chance to admire. You take a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have recently been restored. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu. You then begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short, scenic train ride away. Upon arrival, you are transferred to check into a lovely hotel to celebrate with your guide and one last briefing!


    After an early breakfast at the hotel, you make your way, a short walk over to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Your guide will give the group an introductory 2-hour guided tour of the ruins, after which you have the rest of the day to explore the site on your own—there is a lot to do and see! There are options to hike up Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu, which require permits so plan accordingly. You head back to your hotel at your leisure.

  • Day 9 DEPART

    Today you are transferred to the train station to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. At the station you meet with your transport and head to Cusco airport to connect with departures.

Libertador Palacio del Inka

Libertador Palacio del Inka is a storied mansion dating back nearly five centuries, the hotel stands in the historic center of Cusco directly across from the Koricancha and 5-minute walk from the main square. The exquisitely appointed guest rooms combine Peruvian art and handcrafted furnishings. There is a well-appointed spa with indigenous treatments and indoor therapy pool.


Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort

Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort has 12 private rooms with bathrooms and shower. Each of the trekker’s Lodges (WAYRA, COLPA, LUCMA) has 6 private rooms with bathrooms and showers. Rooms can hold up to 4 people maximum. Lodges are fully equipped and serviced. Salkantay, Wayra, Colpa and Lucma Lodges have cozy reading rooms, fireplaces, outdoor Jacuzzi, central heating and Peruvian/International cuisine. The water at all four lodges is of drinking quality. SALKANTAY LODGE is located at 11,800ft, this lodge welcomes you with a hot tub, reading room, trout fishing, horseback riding and incomparable views of Salkantay, the region’s highest peak. WAYRA LODGE, “the place where the wind lives”, enjoy a hot tub soak at 12,000ft. COLPA LODGE, this lodge rests in a cloud forest at 10,300ft in the Colpapampa Valley, near hot springs and the confluence of three rivers. LUCMA LODGE, savor spectacular views from this lodge, built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard. Note: the lodges on the trail have been privately reserved for only our group.


Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a paradise where one connects completely with the sacred energy of the mountain. This luxury boutique hotel is a pueblo of whitewashed bungalows, nestles into terraced hills. Spa services use sublime natural essences and the restaurant boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River. The train station is only steps away, but Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel exists in a world apart. An intimate 85-cottage luxury hotel in sprawling Adean style village within the secluded 12 acres of beauty, where guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable whitewashed casitas


Entry Requirements

No visas required for Peru. A passport valid for six months after date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.


Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, and Typhoid immunizations are recommended for all travelers. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended if you are traveling to jungle regions and you should consult your local doctor or physician to advise which malaria medication is best suited for you. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC’s Internet site at


The international access code for Peru is +51, and the outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)1) for Lima. A mobile phone operator provides a GSM 1900 network with coverage limited to major towns and cities. Peru is well connected to the Internet with a proliferation of inexpensive Internet kiosks, called Cabinas Pública, available on street corners in most towns and cities.


Electrical current is 220 volts, 60Hz (Arequipa 50Hz). 2-pin, flat blade and round plugs are standard.

Gear List

A comprehensive gear list will be provided for essential clothing items to bring whilst on safari or activities.

Travel Advisories

Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

Be sure to inform your credit card company as well as your bank you will travel internationally. This will eliminate any credit card holds for fraudulent activity.


Carrying cash, an ATM or travelers’ check card and a credit card that can be used for cash advances in case of emergency is advisable. The best places to exchange money are normally bureau de change, which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Local currency is Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN), and it is advised to carry hard notes of USD. Better hotels, lodges, and camps might accept credit cards, however it is advised to withdraw cash when visiting remote areas and villages.


It is a constitutional republic.


Roman Catholic 81.3%, Evangelical 12.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified or none 2.9%.

Ethnic Groups

Peru is a multiethnic country composed of Amerindians 45%, Mestizos 37%, Europeans 15%, Afro-Peruvians 2%, Asians and others. The Andes are the heart of indigenous populations and white people are mostly found on the coast of Spanish, Italian, British, French, German, Irish, and Croation descent.


The official language is Spanish but the other predominant languages are Quechua, Aymara and Amazon languages like Urarina.


Peru has one of the stronger and fastest growing economies in the Americas. It is an emerging market oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and still high level of inequality. Its economy is diversified although the commodity exports is important. The trade and industry are centralized in Lima but the agricultural exports have created development in all the regions. Peru’s main exports are copper, gold, zinc, textiles, and fish meal. Agricultural exports are highly appreciated and include artichokes, grapes, avocados, mangoes, peppers, sugarcane, organic coffee and premium cotton. Peru has large coca leaf cultivation, while the government has reduced productions and prohibits narcotics trafficking, the industry ranges from $300-$600 million.


The climate of Peru is very diverse, with large variety of climates and microclimates, including 28 of the 32 world climates. Such a diversity is chiefly conditioned by the presence of the Andes Mountains and the cold Humboldt Current. In general, the climate on the coast is subtropical with very little rainfall. The Andes Mountains observe a cool-to-cold climate with rainy summers and very dry winters. The eastern lowlands present an Equatorial climate with hot weather and rain distributed all year long.

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Celine Coustaeu


The Goal

To raise finishing funds for a documentary about the plight of the indigenous tribes of the Vale do Javari, which include the largest number of tribes living in complete isolation in the Brazilian Amazon. Threats to their ancestral land and a dire health situation are everyday concerns, with illegal activities encroaching upon them. This is a passion project inspired by a childhood journey that Céline took with her grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, when he first went to the Amazon. Click here to see the teaser and story.

The Ask

Ten percent of the cost of each trip will go towards post-production costs:

Multimedia Editor $12,000
Animation Artwork $8,000
Music Rights $2,000
Animation $10,000
Translator $6,000
Writer $5,000

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