Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Acclimatization days: 3 days
Distance trekked: 55km
Crowds: Few to moderate
The itinerary below is a sample. Hiking times are an average and will vary depending on the group. Additionally, lunch and camp sites may change to meet the needs of the group and conditions.
Your Peru tour begins as Apu Andino guides pick you up at the airport, stopping for a quick tour of the colonial Plaza de Armas. From there, you will be taken to your hotel and be free for the rest of the day to explore the city and acclimatize to the altitude (10,856 ft). Overnight in Cusco City.
This city tour involves visiting Cusco´s highlights. We start off by visiting the huge Inca ceremonial center of Sacsayhuaman, which overlooks the city of Cusco. Next, we visit another important Inca site known as Qenqo, which houses subterranean passages and a mummification site. Then we will make a short visit to the archaeological Inca site of Tambomachay, a temple dedicated to the God of Water
After exploring these sites, we will return to the city centre, where we will visit one of the most sacred Inca buildings, The Temple of Qoricancha. Within its walls religious ceremonies were constant and offerings to the Gods and the Inca’s mummies were made each day. Finally we will visit the beautiful Cathedral of Cusco, which holds many archaeological artifacts and relics. Among them is a famous painting of the Last Supper by Marcos Zapata, showing Christ and the apostles eating a guinea pig.
Overnight in Cusco City.
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu Pre-Trek (6pm at accommodation)
Before the trek, your guide will meet you at your hotel for an in-depth briefing. This provides an opportunity to ask questions and do any last-minute shopping before leaving Cusco.
We will pick you up from the hotel at 8:15 a.m. and drive to the town of Pisaq (approximately an hour) stopping at natural viewpoints along our way where we’ll be able to see the entire Sacred Valley from above.
Once in Pisaq, we will drive up to the ruins (2,950m / 9,678ft), where you will see and learn about different aspects of Incan culture. You will be able to view intricate stone workings and impressive agricultural terraces all over the place. After touring around the ruins, we will get back into the bus and drive down to Pisaq´s town centre, where there is a unique market that deserves to be visited.
At the market you will have free time to walk around and do some shopping. Afterwards we will meet for lunch in a nice local restaurant to enjoy delicious Andean cuisine.
After lunch we will continue with the tour by driving along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo (2,700m / 8,858ft). Once there we will visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, a significant construction built during the pinnacle of the Incan civilization. This is an extraordinary place where besides the ruins you may also see an amazing rock formation representing the Inca god Wiracocha. Afterwards we visit the famous ruins of Chinchero (3,762m / 12,343ft). Overnight in Cusco City
Finally, we will drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel, arriving at approximately 6:30 p.m.
We will leave Cusco early in the morning, we travel by private van through the Sacred Valley to the town of Calca. From there, we wind up the valley to the trailhead at the semi-tropical village of Lares (3100m). Here we have lunch and relax after the drive with a soak in the hot springs. After lunch, we hike along a stream to the traditional Andean village of Huacahuasi, where the locals produce high quality ponchos, chullos, and other tempting goods.
4 hours walking, 3100-3800m
Leaving the village, we begin a steady climb through grasslands to the highest pass on the route, Abra Huacahuasi at 4600m. From the pass we take in the views of the snow-capped peak of Pumahuanka, Mount Veronica. Following on, we cross the second high pass of Wayruruyoc qasa at 4600m. We see spectacular views of Aruraycocha Lake, situated at 4380m. Where our lunch is will be waiting for us; this afternoon we continue on to Queuñacocha where will spend the night with spectacular view of Salkantay and Veronica mountains.
7 to 8 hours walking, 3800-4600-4200m
In the morning we continue downhill. Along the way, we pass viewpoints with excellent vistas of the broad valley, herds of alpacas and llamas, farms, cacti and bromelias as we get closer to the Sacred Valley. We arrive in the community of Huilloc (3500m), one of the largest villages of direct descendants of the Incas, this will be our first stop. We will see the unspoiled traditional daily activities of the local way of life. Continuing on, we follow the ancient trail to arrive at Marcawasi where we will have lunch and take a bus to Ollantaytambo. With many of its original agricultural terraces, streets, water channels, and buildings, Ollantaytambo is one of the best preserved Incan towns. On the hillsides are important archaeological sites, including the temple hill with its huge stones that had been brought down from the quarry. From Ollantaytambo we catch the train to Aguas Calientes, where you can enjoy its many restaurants, shops, discos, and hot spring, or simply relax in your hotel. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
4 hours walking, 4200-3000-1900m
We will get up early in order to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains. After enjoying the views, we will have a two hour tour of the city. Afterwards, you have free time to explore the ruins, hike Huayna Picchu, climb to the Sungate, go to the Temple of the Moon and Inca Bridge, or simply relax and soak in the atmosphere. In the afternoon we will return to Aguas Calientes to catch the train to return to Cusco.
Overnight in Cusco City.
In the morning you’ll be taken to the airport for the return flight to Lima and your connecting international flight, marking the end of Apu Andino’s services on your Peru tour.
While not as difficult as some treks, the trek traverses two passes over 4000m. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and acclimated by spending at least a few days at Cusco (3400) or similar before attempting the trek. Additionally, weather and trail conditions can vary. Temperatures range from warm and humid to below freezing.
Trekkers should be prepared for changes to the itinerary and to meet unexpected challenges with an open-mind and sense of adventure. Climbing Huayna Picchu is an excellent addition to a trip to Machu Picchu. It offers superlative views, but is a steep climb that can take about three hours. Entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited and at scheduled times; visitors must sign up for a spot in advance. If you would like to consider doing the climb, it is important to book it in advance.
One of the main attractions to the Lares valley is the many fine textiles available for purchase directly from the people who made them. The communities are relatively isolated, however, so it is important to bring spending money in soles in small denominations, as it may be difficult to make change.
Train upgrade to Vistadome: US$95.00 roundtrip way (Departing from Aguas Calientes)
*Train will be according to availability and Peru Rail schedules, if train route ends at Ollantaytambo, we will be there waiting for you in order to go to Cusco City. (Our service ends once you are at your accommodation at Cusco City)
However, if you would like to have other place in mind just let us know the accommodation of your preference and we will let you know how much the extra fee will be.
4* & 5* Hotels extra fees are applicable to for group services too.
If you need more details about pricing do not hesitate to ask!
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