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Weldmar’s Machu Picchu Trek

14th Mar 2025 - 24th Mar 2025

11 days/Peru /Challenging

Overview

Join a team from Weldmar Hospicecare as they trek over the spectacular Andean peaks, through epic Peruvian landscapes and misty cloud forest. We will start our adventure in the Colonial town of Cusco with an acclimatisation trek to the Inca ruins of Tambomachay. After two-days of acclimatising and sightseeing, we will begin our hike towards Machu Picchu along the Salkantay trail.

 

This trek is graded challenging as you will be trekking over varying terrain, exposed to high altitudes (up to 4,630m) and sleeping in campsites with basic facilities. You should be prepared for all weather conditions and variable temperatures. Each day’s trek is between 5-8 hours and there are some big hills to climb! This is an endurance challenge so you are strongly advised to build up a good level of fitness – the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the challenge.

The minimum age is 18 (or 16-17 if accompanied by a parent/guardian). There is no upper age limit.

You will be accompanied throughout the trek by English-speaking local guides who have an excellent knowledge of the local culture and hiking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be supported by a team of professional cooks and muleteers from local communities and a Different Travel UK tour manager. You will be in very safe hands!

The steep terrain and high altitude will make the going tough at times, but anyone with good fitness and the right attitude will love it. The first day is generally flat with a gradual incline as you gain altitude, there may also be some small streams to cross. The second day will be tough with a steep zigzagging ascent on rocky ground to the high pass, followed by an undulating descent through the rainforest where the terrain may be muddy and slippery. The next two days of trekking are undulating and will be a mixture of jungle and alpine trails, which can be muddy underfoot. There are a number of hills to climb, including a steep climb through the coffee plantations on the final day. You must ensure your training includes plenty of hills!

Experienced chefs will be on-hand to make amazing, hearty meals in the middle of the mountains. Breakfast is eaten as a group in the mess tent (hot drinks, bread, butter and jam, pancakes, scrambled eggs or oatmeal etc.) and the cooks will prepare delicious traditional Andean food for lunch and dinner. This will include dishes such as soup, chicken, beef or lamb, fish with potatoes, quinoa, rice or pasta. Snacks include fruit, chocolate, sandwiches, hot drinks and popcorn. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Each day we will trek between 6-8 hours depending on group pace, altitude, weather and steepness of terrain. As there is a lot of ascent and descent, the distances covered may not always sound very much (8-20km per day) but this does not demonstrate the difficulty of the terrain and hills you’ll have to climb.

You will spend the first three nights in hotels on a twin-share basis (one night in Lima and two nights in a historical colonial hotel in Cusco). During the trek you will spend three nights camping in three-man tents (two people per tent) and on the last night of the trek, you’ll stay one night at a guesthouse in Aguas Calientes for a good night’s sleep before heading up to Machu Picchu the following day. After the trek you will spend two further nights at a hotel in Cusco. Tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags are provided for camping.

The hotels have en-suite facilities with flushing toilets and hot showers. During the trek you will be provided with a bowl of hot water and soap each morning to freshen up for the day ahead but other washing facilities are limited so you are recommended to bring a small pack of baby wipes and hand sanitiser for your general hygiene throughout the day (e.g. to clean your hands after toilet visits and/or before lunch).
There may be the opportunity to visit the hot springs during the trek, and at Aguas Calientes, so bring a non-cotton trek towel e.g. large travel towel and some basic bio-degradable toiletries should you wish to take this opportunity.

Toilet facilities at camp will either be a hole dug into the ground within a privacy tent, or a basic pit latrine toilet block. Toilet paper is not provided so you will need to bring your own. If you use the toilet during the day whilst on the trail, you must carry out any toilet paper you use in a sanitary/nappy sack, to dispose of properly at camp. You must NEVER leave toilet paper, fruit peel, nut shells or other litter on the trail.

The maximum altitude on this trek is 4,630m (Abra Salkantay high pass); however your exposure to high altitude will start from your arrival in Cusco (3,400m). Approximately 3,000m and above is considered high altitude. Upon arriving in Cusco, it quickly becomes evident to anyone un-acclimatised that they are at a higher altitude than they are used to, as simple activities such as walking upstairs feels more laboured than expected. The first two days in Cusco are acclimatisation days which will give your body a chance to adjust. These days are important to help you cope with the altitude demands during the trek.         

The only one thing you can say about the weather in Peru is that it is difficult to accurately predict. You can have beautifully clear hot days in the middle of the wet season and hail storms in the dry season – it’s one of the beauties of Peru.

In the Andes, there are two main seasons – wet and dry. The wet season runs from November to April and the dry season from May to October. You are likely to experience average day time temperatures of around 21°C and night time average lows around 4°C during the trek.

The Inca Trail has all the fame, but we have chosen the Salkantay trek as it’s a more scenic and less crowded trek. It passes through more breath-taking and varied landscapes, past Inca Ruins and still ends at Machu Picchu. You’ll also have more time and energy to explore Machu Picchu itself.

Filled with challenging passes and high altitudes, it’s not for the faint-hearted. However, if you’re up for the challenge, we promise you’ll be really glad you did the Salkantay Trek, over the busy and over-crowded Inca Trail – you might even catch a glimpse of the local wildlife from chinchillas, foxes and spectacled bears! Something which disappeared from the Inca Trail a long time ago.

If you do not already regularly exercise you should aim to start training (including plenty of hills) as early as possible. The best training is hill walking, which will prepare you for the type of terrain you will experience trekking to Machu Picchu.

Other activities which can complement hill walking include running, cycling, gym workouts, boot camps etc. Building up your core and leg muscle strength is important so exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches will really enhance your training. These exercises can be done at home – no gym needed. You can download a number of free apps, which will help you train and track your progress, e.g. MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal (for a variety of sports).You must take your training seriously and arrive as fit as you can be, so you get the most out of this challenge.

The team at Weldmar Hospicecare will organise a number of training walks for you to meet with your fellow trekkers and help build your level of fitness. Please note that these are in addition to your own training schedule and should not be your only source of training.

It was a brilliant trip. The trek was exceptionally well organised and we had superb guides and support team. Highlight was the visit to Machu Picchu.Previous participant, 2022

Itinerary

Itinerary for Weldmar’s Machu Picchu Trek

Day 1 (Friday 14 March 2025):

London – Lima
Depart London on an indirect flight to Lima. On arrival in Lima transfer to a hotel for an overnight stay and our first meal together.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 (Saturday 15 March 2025):

Lima – Cusco
A short flight to Cusco. Take it easy for the rest of the day with a gentle acclimatisation walk this afternoon, taking in some of the local sights.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 (Sunday 16 March 2025):

Cusco – Tambo Macahay – Cusco
After breakfast, trek from Cusco up to the ancient ruin of Tambo Machay for an acclimatisation day. Continue to pass some amazing Inca sites as you walk downhill to Sacsayhuaman. Return to Cusco for your overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel
Trekking: Approx. 8km / 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 (Monday 17 March 2025):

Cusco – Soraypampa
We will leave Cusco early for the drive to Challacancha (3867m), stopping for a brief visit to Tarawasi Archaeological site enroute, as well as a rest stop at the mountain village of Mollepata. On arrival at Challacancha, enjoy lunch whilst the pack horses are loaded and we then commence our climb to Humantay Lake (3,869m). After pausing for photos of this stunning blue lake, return to Soraypampa (3850m), the location of our first campsite with a magnificent view of the Salkantay Mountain (6,271m) the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology.
Overnight: Camping
Trekking: Approx. 12km / 7 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 (Tuesday 18 March 2025):

Soraypampa – Andenes
Today the landscape changes drastically from dry and arid, to snowy peaks, before descending into the tropical zone. After breakfast we leave our camp and start the toughest section of the trek! The mountain switchbacks lead us up to the pass and our highest point, Abra Salkantay (4,630m). We celebrate our achievements and admire the spectacular views of the mountains and imposing snowy peaks of Mt. Salkantay (6,271m) before descending through cloud forest, rain forest and jungle to our camp in Andenes (2,920m).
Overnight: Camping
Trekking: Approx. 20km / 8 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 (Wednesday 19 March 2025):

Andenes – Lucmabamba
Today we hike through lush rain forest along the Santa Teresa River Valley. We’ll pass bamboo groves, waterfalls, coffee plantations and banana, granadilla and avocado orchards. After stopping for lunch, we trek to reach the start of the ‘Llactapata Inca Trail’ and our last campsite at Lucmabamba (2,135m). As the area is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world, we’ll have a local coffee demonstration and tasting!
Overnight: Camping
Trekking: Approx. 19km / 7 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 (Thursday 20 March 2025):

Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes
An early start begins with an ascent through lush rainforest for about 3 hours to the archaeological site of Llactapata, where you will enjoy your first views of Machu Picchu on the other side of the valley. After a rest, continue descending for another 3 hours until you reach the hydroelectric station, from where we walk the last few kms, following the railway track to Aguas Calientas. On arrival, we will check into our hotel and meet for dinner.
Overnight: Hotel
Trekking: Approx. 15km / 6 hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 (Friday 21 March 2025):

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Travel up to the actual site of Machu Picchu to spend the day exploring this glorious ancient city. We return to Cusco this afternoon by train.
Overnight: Hotel
Trekking: Approx. 4km / 3-4 hours (650m ascent)
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9 (Saturday 22 March 2025):

Cusco
Enjoy a final free day in Cusco at your leisure. Gather for a celebratory farewell dinner this evening.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10-11 (Sunday 23 – Monday 24 March 2025):

Cusco – Lima – London
Today we fly from Cusco to Lima where you can enjoy an afternoon exploring, or a chance for some last-minute shopping before taking an indirect overnight flight back to London, landing on Monday 24 March.
Meals: Breakfast

Optional Amazon Extension

Day 10 (Sunday 23 March 2025):

Cusco – Puerto Maldonado
Early this morning, you will fly from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, Peru’s capital of biodiversity. You will continue to Capitanía, a small river port, to board a motorized boat on the Madre de Dios River.
On arrival at your lodge you will enjoy a welcome drink before settling in and having lunch. This afternoon, accompanied by an expert guide, you’ll set off on a walking trail to discover the flora and fauna of the area. Later this evening, after dinner at the lodge, there is a river trip to view the wildlife that appears after dark.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11 (Monday 24 March 2025):

This morning we explore the canopy walkway, where you can walk through the treetops over 30m above the ground, where hundreds of species have built their habitat. After lunch back at the lodge, we head to Sandoval, a beautiful oxbow lake. You will board a dugout canoe and paddle through the mangroves in search of giant river otters, blue and yellow macaws, red howler monkeys, anacondas and black caimans.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12 (Tuesday 25 March 2025):

After breakfast, you head off by boat for about 20 minutes to reach a sandbank in the Madre de Dios River, home to some of the most beautiful and exotic birds in the world. Later there is a chance to learn about life for the local Amazonian communities as you pay a visit to a native farm and learn about the tropical fruits and herbs which are grown here. There is some time to relax this afternoon and take in your surroundings, or perhaps enjoy a further final foray into the rainforest before dinner this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13 (Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 March 2025):

Puerto Maldonaldo – Lima
After breakfast, it’s time to return to Puerto Maldonado Airport, from where we fly back to Lima to connect with indirect overnight flight back to London, landing on Thursday 27 March.
Meals: Breakfast

 

NB: The day-to-day program is subject to flight schedules, weather, general conditions and the progress of the group. While we do not anticipate any changes to the itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for changes made due to unexpected circumstances. Ultimately, the safety and health of the group takes priority in all circumstances.

 

 

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £685 (This is payable in two instalments upon request by emailing accounts@different-travel.com – 50% payable immediately. The further 50% is required within 30 days of the initial payment.)

and then either…

Sponsorship: £4950

or 

Flexi: £2,475 trip costs* and £2,475 donation to Weldmar Hospicecare. Please contact Weldmar Hospicecare for more information.

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to Weldmar Hospicecare. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The minimum sponsorship must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • A total of £3,960 (80%) must be raised by 20 December 2024.
  • The remaining £990 (20%) must be raised by 14 March 2025.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs* (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for Weldmar Hospicecare.  Please contact Weldmar Hospicecare for more information.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost* balance is payable to Weldmar Hospicecare 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

*Please note trip costs are based on the final group size and are subject to change

 

OPTIONAL SAFARI EXTENSION

  • Minimum of 2 participants: £810pp
  • This is based on a twin share basis. Single supplement £340 but subject to availability on request.
  • A deposit of £300 is payable directly to The Different Travel Company to confirm your place.
  • Deposits must be received by Thursday, 25 April 2024.

 

What's included

  • Return flights from London and domestic flights from Lima to Cusco (inc. airport taxes and supplements)
  • All transport in Peru
  • Accommodation in 3* hotels (5 nights), high quality tents on the trek (3 nights) and guesthouse in Aguas Calientes (1 night)
  • All meals except lunch on day 9
  • Local English-speaking guides, porters and full support crew on the trek
  • Trekking permits and entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • UK Different Travel tour manager
  • Weldmar Challenge manager
  • Fundraising and training support
  • Memorable keepsakes to remember your epic achievement

What's not included

  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Lunch on day 9
  • Vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local guides and support crew (approx. £55-£65)
  • Trek kit and equipment
  • Peru visa (not currently required for British citizens)
  • UK transfers to and from the airport, which will be arranged by Weldmar at an additional nominal cost

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.