Lares valley trek to Machu Picchu. For trekkers wanting to get off the well beaten tourist path and escape to a part of Peru that has changed little over the last 500 years then a trek through the spectacular scenery of the Lares Valley is a must. This remote and rarely visited region offers the trekker an insight into the real lives of the Andean farmer, dressed in their traditional brightly colored ponchos. You will have the opportunity to see thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas. Inside the houses you’ll see guinea pigs running loose.
There are several highland variations of the Lares trek to Machu Picchu. The small Andean communities that are visited along the way are famous for producing high-quality handmade textiles using natural dyes. In this trek include a chance to see weaving taking place, you may even be given the opportunity to have a go yourself!! Try to take some extra cash on the trek you can buy some of these beautiful textiles for a good price direct from the weaver. We will do to Eco-tourism, doesn't get any better than this.
Day 1: Cuzco / Huacawasi
Day 2: Huacawasi/ Quelcanca
Day 3: Quelcanca/ Aguas Calientes Pueblo
Day 4: Machu Picchu / Cusco
Crew: A Travel Tour Group representative in Cusco, profesional guide, chef, muleteer in the Lares Valley.
Accomodation: Camping (02 nights), Hotel (01 night)
Meals: 03 Lunches, 03 Dinners, 03 Breakfasts, 02 afternoon tea
Transportation: Private transportation, van, train
We pick you up from your hotel between to 4:00 and 4:30. Its a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Pisac and stopping for breakfast for about 40 minutes in the provincial town of Calca. In Calca you will also have the opportunity to use the bathroom and buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. Departing Calca around 08:00 we head off for the 3 hours drive to Lares valley (3100m) which is the starting point for the trek. Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean commuties, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of llamas and alpacas.
Before we start the trek we'll visit the hot springs which are located in meadows just out of town. For those of you who have remembered to bring your swimwear we will take a relaxing dip in the warm waters which are famous for their medicinal powers. Feeling fully refreshed, we begin a leisurely walk up the Trapiche River Valley. After about 2½ hours we will arrive at Vilcabamba village where we will stop and have lunch. We will then continue up the valley for another 1½ hours to the small village of Huacawasi (3700m) where we will set up camp and spend the night.
Many of the houses that we see in this small village of Huacahuasi are built from stone and have thatched roofs. The people of this village produce beautiful colourful textiles. In the morning we will learn about the weaving techniques and be able to admire some of their high quality ponchos, chullos (wool hats) and other garments. After lunch will then climb for approximately 2 hours to the top of Ipsayccasa Pass which, at 4500m, is the highest pass along the Lares valley trek. From here we get stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We will descend gently for about 1 hour until we reach the site of our second night's camp beside the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake. We may be lucky enough to see Andean Geese, Puna Ibis and other wetland birds.
Today is a much easier day. After an early breakfast we'll walk gently downhill through a wide-open valley for about 2½ hours until we arrive at the village of Patacancha. The people from this area are known locally as "Huayruros" - the name of a red and black seed reminiscent of the colour of their ponchos. We'll have a chance to view some textiles made by the people of this community - the high quality weavings are famous for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture. We'll walk slowly down the valley to Willoq, another Quechua village where the locals still wear their traditional dress and are proud to maintain their cultural identity. Our transport will be waiting for us to take us further down the valley to Inca town of Ollantaytambo where we will rest and have lunch. In the afternoon we will take the train to Aguas Calientes. This is a spectacular journey that starts in the Quechua highlands and slowly descends to lush tropical vegetation as we near Aguas Calientes. Total journey time about 2 hours. We'll spend the night in a hostal in Aguas Calientes where you'll no doubt enjoy the opportunity to soak under the hot showers!! Early night
Wake up very early and we will climb by foot to Machu Picchu. I'm sure you'll agree that, although it's tough getting up, it's well worth the effort to see the "Lost City of the Incas" at its quietest in the early morning light. You'll have plenty of opportunity to take photos and have some peaceful time alone to enjoy the sun rising from behind the mountains. Our guide will give you a tour of Machu Picchu telling you about Inca history and significance of the major sites of interest. The tour takes about 2 hours after which you will have freetime to explore the ruins on your own or climb to Wayna Picchu - the mountain that overlooks the ancient Inca city (allow a minumum of 1½ hours). By 11:00 Machu Picchu quickly fills up with tourists arriving by train and appears crowded by comparison with the early morning. Most people are ready to take the bus back to Aguas Calientes. where you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants. In the night, take the train back to Ollantaytambo where a bus will be waiting to bring you back to Cusco, departure to Lares valley trek to Machu Picchu.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single tent for all night stops.