LARES TREK TO MACHUPICCHU 4 DAYS
The valley of Lares Trek is located in one of the provinces of Cusco. This place is very famous because it is said to be the last road the Incas took to take refuge in the jungle of Laqo, where the golden city of Paititi is probably located. The most attractive part of this hike are the high Andean communities of Quisqwarani, Wacawasi and Cancha Cancha. Where still practices the costrumbres and way of life inherited from the Incas. You can appreciate how they make their houses, their clothes and organic agriculture. The landscapes are impressive because the trail is surrounded by the most beautiful snow-capped peaks such as the Colque Cruz, Sawasiray, Pitusiray. You can also visit one of the best museums of all the cultures of Peru (Inkarry Museum).
DAY 1: CUSCO – THERMAL BATHS – KISWARANI WATERFALL CAMPSITE
We will pick you from your hotel at 5 a.m. to begin the famous Lares Trek. It will be a three hour drive along the
beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley and through the Andes, until we arrive at the Lares Hot Springs site, where you will have your first breakfast accompanied by amazing views of the Andes Mountains. Then, you will enjoy the hot springs, which are divided into various pools ranging from freezing cold to boiling. They are all composed of pure volcanic water, which is medicinal in nature and considered to be good for your bones, stress, muscles and headaches. After soaking in the baths for a while, you will drive 20 minutes to the trail head, Punta Carretera at 3,300 m/ 10,827 ft above sea level. It is here that you will meet up with your horses and horsemen. You will give your duffel bags to the horsemen to be transported to the campsite. Following, you will begin your expedition to Machu Picchu. To start, it will be a two hour, gradual uphill hike, until we reach our lunch spot at the first village, called Kiswarani. This section of the hike is considered the potato valley sector, where people farm many varieties of organic potatoes. Your guide will also point out some indigenous, medicinal plants growing along the way. Then, we will arrive at our lunch spot, where you will enjoy your first delicious meal prepared by our trekking chef. After a nice nap, we will be ready to explore the village and visit some local homes, where you will learn about the lifestyle and ancient traditions of the local people. If there is time, we will visit the school where the kids still speak Quecha, their native language. If you’d like, you may bring some toys, notebooks or any type of school supplies to share. It will be another two hour, gradual, uphill hike until we arrive at the campsite, where you will be welcomed by our trekking staff, who will have your tents set up. We’ll enjoy some hot drinks, as the sky darkens and the stars start appearing. Our guide will lead you to a specific location to enjoy the magnificent view of the sky, and we’ll learn about the Incan constellations, which were studied at great length by the Incan people, to learn about the seasons and to assist them in their planting. Finally, you will enjoy a lovely dinner prepared on site. If you want to keep star-gazing, you may stay up for a while longer or, if you’d rather, you can turn in to your tent.
Trekking Distance: 10 km/ 6.21371 miles
Camp Elevation: 3,850 meters / 1,2631 ft
DAY 2: QUISWARANI – CONDOR PASS – CANCHA CANCHA VILLAGE
Today you will be woken up around 5 a.m., with our service of hot drinks. You will have amazing views of the colorful lake and the valley of Kiswarani. The local people will already be up and about, taking their llamas and alpacas out to graze. Breakfast will be served as soon as you finish packing your gear. Then we’ll fill up our water bottles, organize snacks and you will begin the most memorable day of your expedition to Machu Picchu. It will be a three or four hour climb to get to the summit of the mountain. This pass is called Pachacuteq, or Condor Pass. We’ll zigzag our way up to compensate for the steep uphill. The views of the area are stunning. You will see lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. We will have an emergency horse to ride in case you are tired. Once you arrive at the Condor Pass you will be above the clouds, above the mountain peaks and the surrounding 360 degree views are astounding. In front of you will be the majestic mountain of Pitusiray, which is at 5,700 m/ 18,700 ft high, and the Condor pass is at 4,680 m/ 15,354 ft high. Afterwards, we will enjoy the hot drink service that your porters will carry with them. We will take advantage of some phenomenal photo opportunities, and start our descent.
You will begin the one hour, downhill, descent towards El Mirador, a natural lookout, where you will enjoy lunch. There will perhaps be some llamas grazing nearby. After lunch, you will hike the last three hours downhill, with fantastic views of many lakes, llamas and alpacas, before arriving at your campsite, the village of Cancha Cancha, which is the only village that does not have modern technology. Cancha Cancha is a village (3,750 m/ 12,303 ft) where people still practice real traditions of the Incas. In this Incan village, 85 percent of the houses are still composed of original, ancient construction, made of stone, with grass-thatched roofs. Unlike any other village in the Lares Valley, this village where has no electricity or cars. Here, you will not only enjoy the wilderness, but your porters will also set up your tents. You will have some time to meet with the local children. We provide them with food and school supplies, so we invite our travelers to share this support in the education and the health of this native village. You can join us and bring anything you would like to supplement the lives of these Quechuan-speaking children. Following, your guide will take you to one of the local family’s houses, where you will learn about the lifestyle of the locals. You can see how they raise their guinea pigs, and you will learn about the traditional, hand-woven textiles, made of llama and alpaca wool. This is the best day of your hike. In the evening you will enjoy hot drinks and dinner.
Walking Distance: 14 km/8 miles
Elevation Gain: 830 meters / 2,723 ft
Camp Elevation: 3,750 meters / 12,303 ft
DAY 3: CANCHA CANCHA – HUARAN- OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES
Our porters will wake you up with a hot drink and you will have some time to pack your bags and enjoy breakfast.
After breakfast, you’ll have time to explore the village and visit the local elementary school, where the ancient Inca language, Quechua, is still taught. Once you are ready, you’ll begin the last leg of your Lares trek. It will be four hours of walking downhill, along this lovely path, where you will pass by more llamas and alpacas. We’ll pass by farms where they cultivate potatoes, fava beans, and many other traditional tubers, in the traditional Incan style. This is a great opportunity to learn about Peruvian agriculture because people still farm by hand with traditional, Inca farming tools. Now, we will start to descend to the warmer area, The Sacred Valley. You will begin to feel the micro-climate changes and start seeing crops that are different from in the high mountains. Around the Sacred Valley people farm corn, quinoa, kiwi, peaches, avocados and other types of fruits. Of course, this area has a lot of Incan history. You will end the tour at the little village of Huaran, in the Sacred Valley, at 2,700m / 8,858 ft where you will say goodbye to your horses, horsemen, chef and porters, as they will be going back to their homes.
From Huaran, we will catch a vanfor a 45 minute drive, that skirts along the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is the only living, intact Inca village. It still has many Inca water channels, houses and walls. Your guide will take you around to view this small town until it is time for dinner, which will be at a local restaurant. We’ll then catch the 7 p.m. train for Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu (train times may vary, depending on availability). Upon your arrival to Aguas Calientes, you will check-in to your hotel and relax.
Walking Distance: 9 km /6.2 miles
Aguas Calientes Elevation: 2,000 m / 6,562 ft
Weather: Cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon. Watch out for mosquitoes this day.
DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
Day four is the most magical day because you will finally experience Machu Picchu. You will wake up early to catch
one of the first buses (around 5:30 a.m.), for the 30 minute ride up to Machu Picchu. You will see the Sunrise over the ruins. Your guide will take you for an informative two hour tour. Afterwards, you will have time to explore on your own or hike Huayna Picchu if you booked in advance. At midday, you have to came down to the Aguas calientes town, to take a short lunch, becuase our train returns at 14:30 pmto the Ollantaytambo train station ; in this palce you will be picked up by our transfer, returnig to the Cusco in private transportation. The drop off is in your hotel at 7:00 pm aprox.
Weather: Warm and humid
If you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes, please let us know in advance. We can adjust your train tickets and arrange for a hotel, if you would like us to help.
Rangers do not allow people to carry large backpacks inside Machu Picchu. Only day packs are allowed inside.
No trekking poles are allowed in Machu Picchu.
Snacks and water are allowed, but they must be inside your backpack.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE LARES TREK
Professional Guides: All of our guides studied English and tourism at Cusco National University. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Briefing: The night before your trek, you will come to our office at 6:00 PM for your briefing with your trekking guide.
Horsemen: We work with a expert horsemen, who is responsible for carrying your duffel bag containing your personal items. There is no additional fee for this. We will give you your duffel bag at your briefing the night before, to be filled with the things you will need for the next night and day. You will not have access to your duffel bag until your arrive at your evening campsite.
Emergency Horse: All of our alternative treks include an extra horse for our clients to use if they need a break from trekking.
Hotel: The trek will include two nights of camping, close to local villages, and one night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. We include a 2 star hotel, typically at Pakarina (or similar), if available. Your booked hotel will be listed on your confirmed invoice. Upgrades are always possible.
Transportation: All your transportation is included in this trek. You will be picked up directly from your hotel around 4:30 a.m. (unless if you are staying in Ollantaytambo, before the trek) you have to came to Calca. Hiking will end on day three and you will head to Ollantaytambo, once your hike is over, and train to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the evening in a hotel. This train, as well as your train back from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, is Expedition class. Your trip leaving Aguas Calientes can be upgraded on your way home to the Vistadome train, for $65 per person. Once you arrive to the train station, you will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco. Your round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is also included. Lares trek
Equipment: Eco Path Trek has good equipment. We use Doite, salewa, quechua, 4 person tents that are shared by only two people. You will have a spacious dining tent to enjoy your meals in. Lares trek
Food: Our chefs cook delicious meals. We can provide all food restrictions. Be sure to remind your tour guide of any food restrictions at the beginning of your trek. Food is typically served family-style. You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the trek, along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. You will also be provided a snack each morning, for you to enjoy along the hike. Lunch the last day is not included. You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner each day of the trek along with a happy hour of some tea and snacks. You will also be provided a snack each morning for you to bring with you and enjoy along the hike. Lunch the last day is not included. Lares trek
Water: Beginning from your first lunch until your last breakfast, we will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.Lares trek
First Aid: Our guides has received training in first aid. We conduct mandatory training sessions every February.Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. We will get you off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and ensure you get directly to a clinic for treatment. Lares trek
Rentals: Every trekker needs a sleeping bag, when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional, but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent:
Sleeping Bag: $20 Lares trek
Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
Walking Sticks (Pair): $15
Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45 minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep, if you are scared of heights. This is done after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is $25. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance, due to popularity. Please understand that weather is out of our control. Lares trek
PACKLIST FOR THE LARES TREK
- Original Passport
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)
- 2 wicking t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants
- 4 sets of undergarments.
- 3 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Warm, down jacket: this trek includes 2 cold nights camping
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 sun hat
- 1 wool hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might enjoy something a little larger.
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to clean – might make you feel fresh if you had a little soap.
- Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirty.
- Sleeping bag: Recommend down bags for -10C at least
- Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
- Face moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and paste
- Personal medication
- First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.
- Lares trek
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Cancellation charge per person cancelling (% of total cost)
12 – 6 weeks 25%
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