Lares Trek 4 days and 3 nights
The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. Taking you off the beaten track with visits to authentic Andean communities whilst being surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys this fabulous trek offers a real insight in to the lives of the people of Cusco as it once was.The route we offer starts in the village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley and finishes in the hot springs of Lares with a visit to the village of Cuncani along the way. On Day 3 of the trek you take a bus from Lares to Ollantaytambo and then carry on by train to Machu Picchu.
We will pick you up at your hotel at 5am, and then we will drive in our private van towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, passing through Chincheros and stopping in the town of Urubamba, (2,700 masl) for a brief toilet break and the chance to buy any last minute snacks, water, etc, Small packed breakfast is served here. Departing Urubamba around 07:15, we have a further 20 minutes drive to the beginning of the Pumahuanca Valley, land of the famous white corn crops and the Chicha, the Incas favorite corn beer. This is the place where we will meet our horses and handlers, (arrieros), and trek staff. All of our required equipment will be carried by mules and horses. We will start our hike through this beautiful polylepis queuñas Valley in the Andes with a gentle switchback ascent on a gravel path from 2,800 mt to 3,600 mt with stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains. 4 hours walk to the Inca complex of Inca “Kancha for a guided visit, and where we stop for our first lunch
Early wake up at 06:00 am with a cup of coca leaf tea, then a good breakfast with quinua panqueques. At 07:00 am we recommence our trek with scenic views of Chicon, San Juan and Veronica mountains. Surrounded by a native forest for a challenging 5 hours climb along a dirt road with some stone steps, in some parts there are zig zag switchbacks toward the Pumahuanca Pass located at 4,800 masl (A sacred Apacheta is a series of piled stones, made by pilgrims as a symbol of gratitude and respect to the Apus), Once we get to the pass we honor the top of this mountain with coca leaves as is the local customs. Enjoy the amazing views of part of Moray, Maras and Salineras. Then we are ready to descend for an hour along a stone road with a nice view on both sides, arriving to enjoy lunch
Morning to relax, before our final leg of our trek, so you can sleep until late 7:00 am. Breakfast. At this little village we have the chance to visit the house of our arriero who will share with us how they live in a simple way in deep connection with nature, preserving traditional customs in agriculture, weavings, showing their textile skills from generations past, use of medicinal plants etc. Then 3 hours of easy downhill walk to reach the Lares village, once we arrive to the pools, we can soak in the springs. The village is known for its medicinal hot springs, After our lunch
Early breakfast (05.00am) before taking the 5.30am bus directly to Machu Picchu arriving around 06.00am. **Optional for those still able/wanting to walk!: leave 04.30am and walk up to Machu Picchu arriving approx 06.00am but only if you really want to hike in the dark so have torches but remember you do not get into Machu Picchu earlier than people who take the bus as they also arrive around 6am to the entrance with the guide. In Machu Picchu it is still a 15 minute walk from the drop-off point to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy the early tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, showing you the very best of it! Your guide will spend about 2 hours relating to you interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu should finish between 10 and 10:30am then you have free time to take your photos before the 10:30 crowds arrive. At approx 10.45am the guide leaves you at the trail head to to climb Huayna Picchu or if your booking was done too late then for the Machu Picchu mountain permit . so best to book well in advance .Also the Inca bridge or Sun gate are other good walks in that order.