Explore the charming colonial town of Cusco before embarking on the Lares alternative trek. Spend two nights camping in the Andes as you follow the path of the ancient Incas making your journey along the Weaver's Way route. Along the way you will enjoy visits to ancient ruins, beautiful lakes and the culturally rich Andean communities of Patacancha and Willoq, before arriving in Ollantaytambo to spend the evening in a lovely boutique hotel. After a full night of rest wake early to embark on a full day of hiking on the famous Inca Trail! You'll twist and wind your way through the stunning cloud forest, finally ending with your descent into the ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend the night in Aguas Calientes and return to the explore the ancient citadel the following morning . Later that same afternoon you'll take the return train back to Cusco for your final evening.
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at the Cusco Airport, you will proceed to the Arrival Area where you will be greeted by your driver (he/she will be holding a sign with your name on it) and transferred to your hotel. Check in, relax and spend the first evening of your adventure as you wish. (This service is on a private basis.)
Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.
Enjoy a free day to rest, relax and explore Cusco on your own!
This evening in your hotel reception area, your guide will hold a full trek briefing. You'll be able ask your guide any questions you may have to help you prepare for the adventure ahead! At the meeting you'll also be provided with a loaner duffle bag, which you may utilize to pack all items necessary for your trek (i.e. clothes, toiletries, shoes for the evenings, etc.). Your porter crew will be responsible for carrying your duffle, which you will have access to at the end of each trekking day. You will only be responsible for carrying your own individual day pack, which will hold items you wish to access throughout the day (i.e. rain poncho, camera, water bottle, etc.).
*Please Note: You'll be able to store your main luggage at your Cusco hotel for the duration of the trek.
You will leave Cusco early this morning, driving to the provincial town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your adventurous journey will begin, as you find yourself climbing northward, to a spectacular high pass, before dropping down to the village of Lares, on the east slope of the Andes. Here, you will take a refreshing dip at a hot springs in the meadows outside of town and enjoy a picnic lunch.
After lunch, you will begin a leisurely half-day hike up the valley of the rushing Rio Trapiche, before reaching the highland village of Huacahuasi. There, you will enjoy dinner and set up camp for your first evening.
Today after breakfast on the trail, you will climb steadily, traversing an open, treeless landscape of ground-hugging plants and flowers among pastures of Andean bunch-grass, scattered with roaming herds of alpacas and llamas. Reaching an altitude of 14,763 feet above sea level, you will cross the pass of Ipsayccasa then descend into the Patacancha watershed, with the lake of Ipsaycocha found to your right. Keep your eyes out for the beautiful Andean Geese, Puna Ibis and other waterbirds in these wetlands, that you may see.
You will now be traveling through the heartland of the Quechua people, who are locally nicknamed “Huayruros” – the name of a red and black seed reminiscent of the color combinations of the local textiles. By this afternoon, you will reach the village of Patacancha. Sit down to rest and enjoy a tasty dinner on the trail, before setting up camp nearby the village for your second night on the Weaver's Way!
This morning after breakfast, your transport will take you down the valley towards Pallata, where you will begin a short, half-day hike to Ollantaytambo. Your trek will be via the scenic early-Inca site of Pumamarca (Puma town), in order for you to get the most out of this journey. This well-preserved Inca outpost was apparently a fort protecting the approaches to the Sacred Valley. From Pumamarca, you will continue to hike down a trail that winds gently across steep mountain slopes, through a stupendous series of agricultural terraces built by the Incas and now partially restored to agricultural use.
At the village of Munaypata, you will rejoin the main road, where your transport makes the final short drive to the town of Ollantaytambo. After indulging in a well deserved lunch, you will get the opportunity to visit the impressive ruins of Ollantaytambo, and tour the nearby village (one of the oldest continuously occupied in the Americas) , where people go about their daily lives among original Inca streets and houses. This evening, you will spend the night at a comfortable hotel in Ollantaytambo. Enjoy a full nights rest, before making the journey to Machu Picchu tomorrow morning...the grand finale!
Hike: 12km 2250m - 2650m 7-8 hours
You will take the train from Ollantaytambo, following the Urubamba river to Km.104 of the railroad, where you will get off the train and continue on foot. The Inca Trail adventure begins with crossing a footbridge to begin your hike at the Inca site of Chachabamba. After a brief visit to this lovely ruin with its water channels and fountains, you will start the four-hour ascent that will take you past spectacular overlooks above the great valley, then below a lovely waterfall near the delightful site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young).
You will ascend through this largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites, passing its chain of ritual baths and elegantly curved terracing, and then joining the main Inca trail. You will follow it across a steep mountainside and up narrow stairways through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly, you will cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.
You will walk the last half-hour or so down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and through the heart of Machu Picchu, taking a bus to the small town of Aguas Calientes (now called Machu Picchu Pueblo), where you will spend the night.
You will enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending the day in both guided and individual exploration. After you visit the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement, some may want to take the optional hike to Huayna Picchu, where you can admire breathtaking views from above the ruins. Please note that the hiking permit for Huayna Picchu is not included, but can be arranged upon request. Others may prefer to investigate Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners on their own, getting lost in years of history and wonder. A delicious lunch will be served today at the famed Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.
In the late afternoon, you will board the Vistadome train to the Poroy Station in Cusco.
Upon arrival at Poroy station, you will be picked up and transferred to your Cusco hotel. Check-in and enjoy your final evening at leisure!
Today at the appropriate time, you will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
If what you're looking for is a conveniently located hotel in Cuzco (Cusco), look no further than Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations. The facilities and services provided by Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels ensure a pleasant stay for guests. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, room service. In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide wake-up service, heating, desk, soundproofing, telephone to please the most discerning guest. The hotel offers many unique recreational opportunities such as outdoor pool, massage. Superb facilities and an excellent location make the Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels the perfect base from which to enjoy your stay in Cuzco (Cusco).
Camping on the Lares Trail is an experience like no other. Meet and become friends with the porters and cooks that will support your journey as you weave your way through the Peruvian Andes. While walking all you need to carry is a daypack. Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the walking. Tents are new and sturdy and can fit up to two people each. Nothing beats waking to the smell of breakfast and stepping out of your tent to spectacular panoramic views of the mountains.
Originally opened in 1925 under the name of hotel Santa Rosa, El Albergue is a historic hotel, located in the Ollantaytambo train station little more than an hour away from Machu Picchu and the city of Cusco. While you are at El Albergue you may spend your days visiting the Inca and Pre-Inca archeological sights of Ollantaytambo, Pisaq and Moray, river rafting and mountain biking, and enjoying the beauty and culture of the Andes. With only 16 rooms special detail is given to each and every one, resulting in an elegantly rustic style. Beautiful gardens visited by hummingbirds are engulfed by the aroma of fuchsia, passionflower, peaches and avocado trees which all adorn the early 20th century hotel. Step outside and catch the train to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu.
Smart and contemporary are the defining elements of this hotel, amidst the commercial village of Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), from where you can admire and interact with the quaint folksy town and get a different perspective. The hotel is efficient, playful and people friendly; it welcomes a wide range of guests expecting an uncomplicated visit. Turn into an amiable and healthy environment after your enlightening visit to Peru’s most distinguished destination, the Machu Picchu Archaeological site.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.