The Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu… a journey through the ancient history, living culture and magnificent landscape of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Expert guides will tailor your individual experience with a choice of adventure activities and cultural encounters. Then, as breathtaking sunsets paint the Andean sky, you will settle into deluxe mountain lodges to prepare for the next day.
Early morning departure from Cusco. Option to visit to the celebrated market at Pisaq or take a moderate hike in the hills and mountains over the Sacred Valley. Later, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha, where you will learn about its unique farming practices. For lunch, delight in a traditional “Pachamanca” meal here, cooked under hot stones. Afternoon excursion to the archaeological complex at Pisaq, a wonderful opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds, with the sun setting behind the peaks.
Highlights: Viacha | Pisaq Archeological site
Activity Menu (morning to noon):
Cultural activity: Visit Awanakancha (an Andean camelid exhibition and traditional textile center), the town of Pisaq and local market, and experience an encounter with members of the local community of Viacha.
OR – Hike: From the local community of Amaru to the local community of Viacha / Duration 2.5-3 hrs. / Moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,200´ – 4,328m.
Group Activity: Group lunch at the local community of Viacha. In the afternoon, the whole group visits the Pisaq archeological site together, before heading to the lodge.
Overnight: Lamay Lodge (el. 9,705’- 2,958m.), located in the town of Lamay, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Go deeper into the heart of the Lares region. A road journey into the mountains will take you through remote archaeological sites. After lunch, choose between visiting a traditional weaver’s villager or a scenic drive and a moderate/strenuous hike amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi. Locals will give you insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.
Highlights: Ancasmarca | Choquecancha | Cuncani hike | Quelquena hike
Activity Menu (afternoon, after the group visit):
Cultural activity: Visit the town of Choquecancha, meet with local weavers and visit the old church. OR – Hike: From Quelquena to Huacahuasi / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Easy to moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 12,595´- 3,839 m.
OR – Hike: From Cuncani to Huacahuasi / Duration 3.5-4 hrs. / Moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 13,838´- 4,219m. Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (el. 12,585’ – 3,835m.), located in the local community of Huacahuasi, in the Lares Region.
Group Activity (morning to noon): In the morning, briefly explore the town of Lamay and visit the archeological site of Ancasmarca.Group lunch at the town of Lares.
Activity Menu (afternoon, after the group visit):
Cultural activity: Visit the town of Choquecancha, meet with local weavers and visit the old church.
OR – Hike: From Quelquena to Huacahuasi / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Easy to moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 12,595´- 3,839 m.
OR – Hike: From Cuncani to Huacahuasi / Duration 3.5-4 hrs. / Moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 13,838´- 4,219m.
Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (el. 12,585’ – 3,835m.), located in the local community of Huacahuasi, in the Lares Region.
Morning visit with the community of Huacahuasi to learn more about their heritage and daily life. Then embark on another spectacular hike from our lodge to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo. Lunch along the route. Another option is to drive back through more towns in the Sacred Valley and visit an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilizations of the past. Lunch in the Urubamba countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo to explore this charming town on foot. If you feel like some action before the drive back down to the Sacred Valley, an afternoon bike ride through fields along an old path can be arranged.
Highlights: Ollantaytambo old town |Huacahuasi | Local communities
Activity Menu (all day):
Cultural activity: Drive back to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit a local farmer’s market and a Pre- Inca and Inca cultural museum. Enjoy lunch at a countryside restaurant and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.
OR – Optional bike excursion: Drive back and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on mountain bike (2 hrs.). Enjoy lunch at a countryside restaurant and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.
OR – Hike: From Huacahuasi to Patacancha / Duration 7 hrs. / Moderate to challenging / Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,646’ – 4,464m. Route lunch at Ipsaycocha lake. Afternoon arrival in Ollantaytambo.
Overnight: Hotel in Ollantaytambo town (el. 9,284’ – 2,830m.), located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Note: Guests that opt for the cultural activity and guests that opt for the optional bike excursion will meet for lunch in Urubamba at a countryside restaurant and visit the town of Ollantaytambo together in the afternoon.
Guests that opt for the hike will meet up with the rest of the group late in the afternoon at the hotel in Ollantaytambo.
Early morning short hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo for magnificent views of the town and the temple. After, enjoy a guided tour of the fortress, one of the best examples of Inca architecture and revel in its mystical history…a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu. Midday, embark on a scenic train ride along the Urubamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes, a bustling town below the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
Highlights: Ollantaytambo old town
Activity Menu (early morning, before the group activity):
Hike: Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo / Duration 1-1.5 hrs. / Moderate.
OR – Hike: Higher Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Moderate to challenging.
Group Activity: In the morning, after the optional early morning activities, explore the archeological site of Ollantaytambo, before boarding the train to the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).
Overnight: Hotel in Aguas Calientes town (el. 6,232´-1,900m.), located in the base town of Machu Picchu.
At dawn, begin your visit to Machu Picchu with a rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the Sanctuary, the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with resplendent light. Prepare to be awed by the skillful architecture of the many Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind…or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Let your imagination soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins. Optional uphill hike on Huayna Picchu. Lunch in Aguas Calientes. Afternoon/Early evening return to Cusco by train and private coach.
Group Activity: Early in the morning visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Activity Menu (late morning, after the group activity):
Cultural activity: free time to explore the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (el. 7,872´ – 2,400m.).
OR – Hike: Guided hike of Huayna Picchu Mountain / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Moderate to challenging / Mountain pass at an elevation of 8,924´ – 2,720m.
We recommend that our guests spend at least 2 nights in Cusco prior to departure. This helps with acclimatization to the altitude and also provides an opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Cusco. Travelers can feel the effects of higher altitudes as low as 6000 feet (2000 meters) above sea level. They differ in their tolerance for high altitude conditions and how their bodies react to the changes in air pressure and oxygen level. Therefore we encourage our guests to undergo appropriate preparation by regular cardio-vascular exercise, even if conducted at low elevation, and to adopt a healthy, balanced diet prior to the trip. The best type of training includes aerobic activities like walking, running, swimming or cycling. You need to start out slow and for short periods if you have not trained before.
Eventually work your way up to doing one of these exercises 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes to an hour at 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220. While doing this aerobic type of exercise you can throw in one minute intervals of higher intensity in order to push your limits. The lodge-to-lodge trek itinerary is designed to allow everyone to hike at their own pace, with plenty of breaks throughout the day. This is in essence what leads to a successful and enjoyable trek.
Please contact your physician to assess your physical conditions and for his advice on how best to prepare to fully enjoy your trekking experience.
LOW SEASON: US$ 1,990 (March 1 – 31, November 1 – December 14)
HIGH SEASON: US$ 2,650 (April 1 – October 31, December 15 – 31)