This is a high-altitude alternative route to Machu Picchu, in a section of the Andes that runs through Cusco. This trail is recommended for those who enjoy hiking as much as experiencing the incredible richness and beauty of the culture of the region. By taking one of the most authentic and least frequented paths of the Andean Quechua community, one can enjoy the rustic and stark landscape; hike parts of the glaciers; and visit some of the most isolated communities. The land is full with llamas, alpacas, and potato crops. In addition, you will encounter gorgeous and vibrant examples of dyed fabrics, with the typical dress of the inhabitants harkening back to the time of the Incas. Above all we’ll be able to appreciate the remnants of the Incan lifestyle preserved by the locals of this region. Lares is one of the more difficult treks in Peru and involves camping in very beautiful but different terrain. You will be supported by a team of very knowledgeable porters as well as an experienced guide (and assistant guide for groups over 7).
- Type: Cultural, landscape, and adventure tour.
- Length: 4 days, 3 nights.
- Difficulty: Moderate.
- Maximum altitude: 4,645 m.
- Group size: 2-8 participants.
- Season: April – November.
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You will be collected from you accommodation at 6:00am and will travel in private shuttle for 3hours to the town of Lares. The drive will take you through a section of the Sacred Valley, with a stop in the town of Calca for breakfast and any last-minute purchases. Crossing a mountain pass will finally find you at the point of descent towards the hot springs of the Valley of Lares. Here you can take a relaxing dip in the hot springs before a freshly prepared lunch by your chefs. Following lunch you will begin the four-hour hike to the first campsite Huacawasi (3,600 m). On the trail you will observe classic Andean landscapes and the local population in traditional clothing. You can interact with the locals, who isolated communities are experts in weaving from the alpaca wool. Your guide will provide detailed history and explanations along the way. They will even help you communicate in the ancient language of Quechua. Upon arrival at the campsite, the team will set up the tents and prepare the evening meal. You will sleep below the stars ready for the next day.
This will be the most challenging day as well as the most beautiful. Right after breakfast, you will begin the three-hour ascent to a mountain pass known as Sacsall (4,645m), a unique spot where the energy and tranquility of the mountains is intense. Over the course of the hike, you will take in breathtaking panoramic views, and observe turquoise lakes, farmland, Llamas, and native flora and fauna. There will be opportunities to stop along the way and for explanations from you guide. They will also be on hand to take photographs. Early afternoon you will find yourself descending to Lake Millpo where lunch will be prepared. Following a rest, you will continue to trek until arrival at the second evening’s campsite in Mantanay, for a tasty meal and a well-earned sleep.
After a slightly later breakfast, another magnificent, yet lower intensity day awaits. You will hike downhill for 4 hours to the town of Yanahuara, where you will have your final lunch and say goodbye to the cook and mule driver. The shuttle will be waiting here to take you to Ollantaytambo. This part of the trip offers views of Incan terraces and a part of the Sacred Valley that is still largely inhabited. If you haven’t been to the Sacred Valley of the Incas before this, this will give you a chance to appreciate its mystical landscape that is always covered in golden sunlight. The ancient fortresses still stand tall and proud in the mountains. You will take a train from the main station and travel for around two hours to the town Aguas Calientes. You will have time to enjoy the hot springs or shop the local markets. Here you will spend your final night in a comfortable hotel with hot water.
You will begin the journey on the most important day of the tour early in the morning. This can be organised with your guide depending on your preference. If you choose to leave around 5:00am, the early arrival to the gates of the site gives you the opportunity to watch the glorious sunrise over one of the great Wonders Of The World. Depending on what time you decide you will take a licensed bus to the main gates, where your 3-hour tour will begin. Your guide will provide information on the most important structures and temples of Machu Picchu. This is followed by a period of free time to explore on your own and engage with the mystery that shrouds these ancient ruins. Once it is time to return home, you will take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and onwards to Cusco by bus.
- Briefing : Information session the night before the tour.
- Hotel Pick-up.
- Transport Cusco- Lares Valley.
- Professional guide- fluent in English.
- Assistant guide (if more than 7 passengers).
- Meals: Three (3) lunches, Three (3) dinners, Three (3) breakfasts.
- Cook and assistant.
- Camping gear (tent, kitchen and dining amenities, chairs and tables).
- Two-person tent and a mat or mattress per person.
- Three (3) nights of camping.
- Mules and mule driver (to carry camping gear cooking equipment).
- Cargo mules (max capacity 6 kilograms per participant).
- One (1) night’s accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.
- Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas calientes and back to Ollantaytambo.
- Return transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- First-aid kit.
- Day 1 : breakfast in Calca.
- Day 4: lunch in Aguas Calientes.
- Sleeping bag (available for rent in our offices).
- Water and snacks.
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WE RECOMMEND TO BRING:
- Original passport.
- Sleeping bag.
- Warm jacket or sweater.
- Five days worth of clothing- T-shirts, pants, shorts.
- Sturdy walking shoes.
- Insect repellent.
- Warm hat and gloves.
- Bathing suit, towel, and sandals.
- Sun block and sunglasses.
- Rain jacket.
- Spare cash (preferably in soles).
- Standard Backpack.
- Personal medications.
- Camera and extra batteries.
- Toilet paper.
DOCUMENTS TO CARRY WITH YOU
- Original Passports.
- Immigration card.
- Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount).