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Tuesday, 04 March 2008

Mountain Lodges of Peru: Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge - Page 2

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Mountain Lodges of Peru’s Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge trek is a high-end hiking experience unique in Peru that distinguishes itself from other companies in many ways. First and foremost are its gorgeous lodges with impressive architecture and stunning views. Until 2007, trekking in the Machu Picchu area involved camping out through freezing nights at high altitudes – most people hiking the Inca trail in the high season got so cold at night that by 2-3 am they’d be up and ready to start the next days hike. It makes an immeasurable difference to have a warm room, a hot shower, a comfortable bed and hygienically-prepared three course meals.

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu PicchuThe views became more spectacular as we climbed, and one benefit of having to stop a lot was the many photo opportunities. Since we left Cusco April 4th,we were at the tail end of the rainy season and there was still quite a bit of water to deal with, evidenced by the many waterfalls to cross (that dropped precariously over the edge of the cliff!).

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu Picchu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu PicchuEventually we came around a corner and there was the lodge in an unbeatable location tucked right under Mount Salkantay. The incredibly gracious staff lined up to greet us and made sure we were given coca tea – the local cure for altitude sickness symptoms. We were invited into the nice lounge area with a roaring fire for pre-dinner snacks and shown to our rooms soon after.

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu PicchuThe rooms were gorgeous, with the most fabulous view of Salkantay that you can imagine – completely spectacular. King sized beds, huge fluffy towels and large showers (which also have a mountain view!) awaited us. Dinner was prepared by the resident chef who served excellent three course meals. Our first night we had squash soup, river trout with mashed potatoes and vegetables and a cherimoya (Custard Apple) mousse for dessert. During dinner the staff went around to our rooms and did their turn down service – clearing the wet towels away, leaving chocolate truffles and coca leaves at our bedsides and placing hot water bottles in our beds to make the cool nights cozier. The staff is so helpful and accommodating; they help you with any special requests.

Day 2

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu PicchuAfter a plentiful buffet breakfast with fruit, yogurt, cheese, meat, cereal, bread and hot porridge, we hiked up to the glacial lake near Salkantay. It was a steep hike up in much thinner air as we reached over 4200 meters (13,800 feet), but we were rewarded by seeing icebergs dotting the turquoise water and glaciers that were practically beside us.Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu Picchu We were further rewarded when we made it back down to the lodge for a fabulous lunch of quinoa salad, lomo saltado (stir fried beef and vegetables), and fruit salad.

 

 

 

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu Picchu

The chefs also did a great job of keeping track of all our food allergies/preferences. We had one vegetarian and two people who couldn't have dairy in our group, as well as a smattering of other foods that needed to be avoided. On most occasions, the chefs would not only leave out the dairy, for instance, but they would prepare a separate dish without dairy for those guests. When we had cherimoya mousse, for example, they prepared a traditional black corn pudding that was generously presented as an alternative.

Mountain Lodges of Peru, Machu Picchu Lodge to Lodge, Salkantay trail, travel Peru, trekking Cusco, travel Machu Picchu, trekking Machu PicchuSince we were to stay at the Salkantay Lodge & Adventure Resort for two nights to acclimatize, we had the rest of the afternoon free to rest, use the Jacuzzi with the unbeatable mountain view, buy Andean weavings from a local couple, read by the fire, or watch the horses grazing in the fields. It is also possible to come to Salkantay Lodge solely for an equestrian vacation.

In the early evening we had pisco sour making lessons at the bar with Sergio, the bartender. He told us Peru was the originator of the popular drink (though every other South American country I’ve been to makes a similar claim). After another great meal and interesting dinner conversation we went to bed for our early start the next day.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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