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T his alternative Machu Picchu trek, which crosses a high mountain pass between the snow covered Andean peaks of Salkantay and Tucarhuay, shares all of the beauty and drama of the classic Inca Trail but has the added comfort of superb lodge accommodation. The four delightful lodges we stay at are all scenically situated with great views, and have wood burning stoves, jacuzzis and stylish guest rooms with attached bathrooms and constant hot water. The food is great too! Before the trek we spend time acclimatising in the Sacred Valley, visiting various Inca sites and a local market. After enjoying a unique view of Machu Picchu on trek we'll explore the amazing ruins themselves before returning to Cuzco.Extend your holiday - we thoroughly recommend extending this trip with a thrilling luxury train journey from Cuzco to Puno, on Lake Titicaca. Full details can be found in the detailed holiday itinerary, available on our website or upon request.Luxury Lodges to Machu Picchu A fabulous lodge-to-lodge trek along a pre-Inca trade route through the Cordillera Vilcabamba.On Trek: 6 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 6 Luxury Lodges: 5Optional: Single Room £260 Single Lodge: £600Insurance: £95, £150*Trek | Duration: 14 Days£1,995£1,995£2,095£2,095£2,095£3,445£3,345£3,595£3,495£3,445Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFri 08 Apr - Thu 21 Apr 11Fri 22 Apr - Thu 05 May 11Fri 06 Apr - Thu 19 Apr 12*Fri 20 Apr - Thu 03 May 12Fri 05 Aug - Thu 18 Aug 11Fri 02 Sep - Thu 15 Sep 11Fri 30 Sep - Thu 13 Oct 11Grade: Moderate/VigorousGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.com57telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comPeru & Machu Picchu This wonderful country combines stunning scenery with incredible biodiversity and a vibrant culture and history. Everywhere you will see reminders of the country's rich past. Spanish Colonial churches rub shoulders with Inca ruins and Machu Picchu, the most iconic image of Peru, was built by the Incas who were in fact just the last representatives of a series of sophisticated cultures stretching back thousands of years. In July 2011 it will be 100 years since explorer Hiram Bingham discovered the ruins of Machu Picchu, making this the perfect year to discover the 'Lost City of the Incas' for yourself.CuzcoCuzco, situated 1,165km/724 miles to the southeast of Lima, is one of the most lively and attractive of South American cities and was once the capital of the Inca Empire. For people coming direct from sea level to Cuzco, 3,353m/11,000ft, the altitude gain can be a problem, so on Mountain Kingdoms trips we descend to the Sacred Valley at 2,792m/9,160ft for our first night. We may then return to Cuzco later when we are properly acclimatised to relax and enjoy some sightseeing.Heading from Salkantay Pass to Wyra Lodge, Caio Vilela

A fter some sightseeing in Lima we visit the Ballestas Islands, often known as the 'little Galapagos'. We fly over the enigmatic Nazca lines and continue to the beautiful old colonial city of Arequipa, the 'White City' - situated at 2,600m/8,530ft and a good place to start acclimatising to the altitude of the high Andes. We travel on to the stunning Colca Canyon, one of the deepest and most spectacular in the world and a top spot for seeing Andean condors. Then it's off to Puno, for a boat ride out to the islands on Lake Titicaca, before taking one of the world's classic rail journeys to reach Cuzco. From here we explore the fabulous Inca sites of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley before visiting that most iconic Inca site of all, Machu Picchu, a fitting finale to this delightful trip. Extend your holiday with a visit to the Amazon rainforest where monkeys, macaws, caiman and giant otters can all be seen. Full details can be found in the holiday itinerary, available on our website or call the office on 0845 330 8579.O ur excellent acclimatisation programme and additional morning at Machu Picchu ensure the very best possible experience on this world famous trek. Before we start our trek we'll visit Moray and take a warm up walk in the Sacred Valley from the Salinas salt pans. On trek we'll follow the centuries old trail through magnificent mountain scenery enjoying sensational views, crossing several high passes and trekking through forest, bright with orchids and butterflies and alive with bird song. We also visit several impressive ruins along the way and experience the growing atmosphere of anticipation and excitement at our overnight camps as we draw closer to our goal. Finally, with a real sense of achievement, we pass through the famous Sun Gate, entrance to one of the most iconic and impressive views on the planet. Permit warning - you need an Inca Trail permit for this trip. These can sell out many months in advance so please book early.Private departures We can also offer this trip as a private holiday for a minimum of two people sharing for £1,275 per person, Land Only. International flights available from £900.Peruvian Explorer This tour offers an exciting introduction to some of Peru's most stunning scenery and fascinating cultural icons. Classic Inca Trail Follow in the footsteps of the Incas to the ultimate trekking objective - Machu Picchu.Cuzco, Ilona EliasGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 3 clients£1,095£2,395Land OnlyFlight IncludedWed 18 May - Sat 28 May 11Wed 27 Jul - Sat 06 Aug 11Wed 14 Sep - Sat 24 Sep 11On Trek: 4 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 3 Camping: 3 Hacienda/Family Inn: 2Optional: Single Room £225Insurance: £95Trek | Duration: 11 DaysGrade: Moderate/VigorousLocal LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 12 Eco Lodges: 2Optional: Single Room £375Insurance: £77Cultural Tour | Duration: 16 DaysOther Cultural Tours - see pages 12, 13, 20, 26, 41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 51 & 53 £2,095£3,395Land OnlyFlight IncludedSat 06 Aug - Sun 21 Aug 11Sat 17 Sep - Sun 02 Oct 11Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 3 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comPeru & Machu Picchu South America58Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: