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Hiking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu Urubamba  Peru

Hiking the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu

Trek through the Andes to the 15th-century Incan ruins of Machu Picchu on the lesser-traveled Salkantay Trail. Four luxurious lodges—three with outdoor hot tubs at the foot of craggy peaks, the last in a lush avocado orchard—will serve as your accommodations. At the first, Salkantay Lodge, men from the Quero area give offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth) to ensure your safe passage. Along the 39-mile guided hike, you pass icefalls and glacial lakes, climb up mountain passes circled by Andean condors, and walk through coffee plantations and orchid-filled forests. Then, from the Incan archaeological site of Llactapata, you’ll spot mystical Machu Picchu in the distance. —Kelly Lack

Mountain Lodges of Peru, (877) 491-5261. From $2,560 for a seven-day trip, including meals and lodging. This appeared in the July/August 2011 issue. See more hut-to-hut hikes.