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 airport in Cusco, you will be greeted by a local representative, holding a sign with your name on it. For a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure, you will be driven directly to your hotel, where a lovely evening at your leisure awaits. (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!
At your hotel later this evening, your guide will hold a full trek briefing. You will be able ask your guide any questions you may have to help you prepare for your adventure ahead! At the meeting you will 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 this 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 will be able to store your main luggage at your hotel in Cusco for the duration of the trek.
Say goodbye to Cusco early this morning, as you head off on the Lares Trek adventure! Your exciting voyage begins with a drive to the provincial town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This will be your take off point, 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.
Distance: 6 km (3.1 miles)
Duration: 3 - 4 hours
Max Altitude Point: 3,820 m (12,532 ft)
Following breakfast on the trail this morning, 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!
Distance: 7.75 km (4.81 miles)
Duration: 7 hours
Max Altitude Point: 4,420 m (14,501 ft)
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!
Distance: 7.75 km (4.81 miles)
Duration: 5 hours
Max Altitude Point: 4,177 m (13,704 ft)
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.
Enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending today in both guided and individual exploration. Make the most of this opportunity to visit the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. Take your time to discover and investigate the multitude of hidden nooks and corners. If you're itching for a challenge, you may be interested in embarking on the grueling trek up to the summit of Huayna Picchu. Facing steep and exposed steps, this journey is not for the fainthearted, but offers an astounding "condor's eye" view above the ruins. Please note that this trek requires a special Huayna Picchu Permit, which has not yet been included in your tour. Should you be interested in this expedition for an additional cost, please let us know as soon as possible, as permits do sell out.
After an overwhelming adventure of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, a delicious lunch will be served at the famed Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, before taking the return shuttle to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Back in town, you will board the Vistadome train back to Cusco. Upon arrival at the Poroy station, which is located just outside of Cusco, you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to your accommodations within the city. Fall asleep dreaming of today's once in a lifetime experience!
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.)
One of our top picks in Cusco, this restored republican house from the 17th century is located in the artisan neighborhood of San Blas. The hotel has 20 rooms, two cozy patios, a massage room, breakfast area, and terrace. Highly rated for cleanliness, featuring free WiFi access and a daily breakfast, Quinta San Blas by Ananay Hotels provides accommodation with impeccable service in Cusco. The property is 100m from Hatun Rumiyoc and 200m from San Blas Church. Rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV, a safety-deposit box and a wardrobe. All of them have private bathrooms with free toiletries. The 24-hour front desk provides helpful information for getting around the area.
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 beautiful and historic hotel property. It is located at the Ollantaytambo train station, just a little more than an hour away from Machu Picchu and the city of Cusco. With many activities in the area, you can keep busy during your stay visiting the Inca and Pre-Inca archaeological sights of Ollantaytambo, Pisaq and Moray, river rafting, mountain biking, and enjoying the beauty and culture of the Andes. Featuring 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 this early 20th century hotel. Step outside your door and catch the train to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu after your stay.
Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amidst the picturesque Machu Picchu Pueblo. Discover an efficient, lively and friendly atmosphere, which will welcome you into a wondrous escape from real life worries. The flowing lobby creates a sense of vitality. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and an open air cafe, allow natural light to filter between tall eucalyptus dried branches, creating a lovely and relaxing ambiance. Make the most of your enlightening visit to Peru’s most famous destination, the Machu Picchu archaeological site, with the perfect home away from home at El MaPi.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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