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Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu - 8 Day

Overview

We invite you on a cultural exploration of the Urubamba Valley, the celebrated “Sacred Valley of the Incas,” and the spectacular archaeological site of Machu Picchu, combined with a hike in the less visited and less crowded Lares region north of Cusco, noted for its rural atmosphere, traditional weavers attired in colourful dress, and roving herds of alpacas and llamas - an authentic slice of Peruvian life. Comfortable mountain lodges serve as deluxe “base camps” for daily hikes that bring you to remote passes with views of a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks and turquoise glacial lakes, with the occasional condor soaring above, and to tiny Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where you can meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past.

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Trip Code: PETSLAA7

Location: Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lares Valley, Machu Picchu.

Flights: Ask us to help book your flights to/from South America.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • This itinerary offers ample opportunity to combine with experiences involving the Atacama desert or the incredible Peruvian Amazon. 

  • This extended Lares Adventure offers more time to explore the unique cultural experiences of the Andean Highlands, including the rural lifestyles and ancient heritage of the Inca people. 

  • Explore unique cultural experiences like local rural textile crafts, the amazing Peruvian passion for food and of course the ancient heritage and mysteries of the legendary Machu Picchu 

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel.
He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Please note this service is with a driver only.

Arrival transfer in Cusco

This evening at 1800 hours (6pm) Mountain Lodges of Peru will hold a pre-trek briefing in El Mercado Hotel's restaurant. You will meet your guide and fellow travellers and receive a detailed briefing of your upcoming adventure.

Pre-Trek Briefing

Begin your adventure with a glimpse into the history of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You can explore the archeological site of Chinchero, where colonial buildings rest atop Incan foundations…continue on to study the polygonal salt evaporation ponds at the natural Salt Mines of Maras where co-operative work, reminiscent of Inca culture, is still a fundamental part of the process…and then learn about Moray, believed to be an Inca laboratory dedicated to the study and regional introduction of foreign plant species from coastal and jungle regions.
Those who prefer to experience their introduction to the Sacred Valley through it’s stunning natural beauty can choose to embark on an invigorating hike with impressive views of the Andes, most notably the Ausangate mountain which soars from the Wilcanuta mountain range. The destination is the ruins of Huchuyqosqo, thought to be the Palace of Viracocha, the eighth Inca ruler. Enjoy a hot lunch amidst these palace ruins, as you learn more about its history and it’s impressive construction techniques. After re-charging, make your way back down to the valley floor.

Sacred Valley - Treasures of the Sacred Valley

The town square is often the center of activity throughout this region, but so too is the town market, and none is more alive than the famous market at Pisaq. With products ranging from produce and meats to textile dyes and artisanal crafts, this market is an adventure unto itself. A morning visit to Pisaq will inspire you with a small taste of the rich culture yet to be explored. Travelers seeking inspiration in nature can opt for a short hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains that guard this magnificent valley.
Later that day, begin a more grounded exploration with a visit to the ancient hamlet of Viacha, where the sacred craft of artisanal potato farming dominates daily life. A hands-on lesson from its multi-generational farmers will show you their unique agricultural techniques and will give you some insight into the history behind the 3,800 different types of Peruvian potatoes.
After lunch, this introduction to the Sacred Valley culminates in an off-the-beaten-path tour of the Pisaq archeological complex, visiting the majestic mausoleum and the beautiful architectonic sites of its surroundings.

Sacred Valley - Exploring Pisaq

Now that you have gotten a glimpse into this rich Andean tapestry, Day Two offers the opportunity to go even deeper with an exploration into the heart of the Lares region. Along the celebrated “Inca Weaver’s Trail”, snow-capped peaks and endless herds of llamas and alpacas guide the way to local villages where close descendants of the Incas still live, and where both women and men are expert weavers. Afterwards, you will explore the hidden towns of Choquecancha and visit the unique archeological site of Ancasmarca, which is located in the main entrance of the Inca Trail towards the jungle. An optional afternoon hike further into Lares brings these illustrations to life. Finally, a night spent at the lodge in the remote village of Huacahuasi, where the locals are both our partners and the actual lodge-keepers, gives insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

Lares Region - Inca Sites & Villages

Spend the morning learning even more about the heritage and traditions of the Huacahuasi community by visiting and interacting with its people, especially the expert weavers and the school children. Witness their day-to-day activities and even take a cooking class, an experience that will demonstrate the Peruvians’ passion for food that transcends geography and cultural differences. For something more leisurely, enjoy a walk to the beautiful waterfalls adjacent to the village. If you are looking for something more challenging, you can choose a hike to Quiswarani through turquoise blue lakes guarded by imposing mountain passes.

Lares - Encounteer with the community

Early in the morning explore the Huacahuasi communities and get to know their traditions and daily activities. Keep exploring the sacred valley of the Incas and visit the museum of Peruvian History. Afterwards, enjoy a country lunch near the Urubamba town. Whether you choose a full-day hike along an actual Inca trail, a mountain bike adventure through the hills, or a day of meandering through its maze-like streets and sampling its local delicacies, Ollantaytambo will delight you with its unique combination of cozy town and majestic surroundings.

Sacred Valley-Expedition to Ollantaytambo

From its beginnings as the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti to a stronghold against the Spanish conquistadors for Manco Inca Yupanqui, the fortress at Ollantaytambo was regarded by the Incas as one of their most important ceremonial centers. As your guide leads you through a morning tour of its grandeur and explains its strategic architectural planning, you will also get a sense of its mystical history…a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu.
At noon, with the storied history of Ollantaytambo still on your mind, you will embark on a scenic train ride through the Andes along the famous Urubamba River to the town of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. A somewhat ramshackle town reminiscent of the American Wild West, its charm lies in a history that began as a small railway stop and evolved into a bustling town whose streets still flank the train tracks.

Sacred Valley - Discovering Ollantaytambo Site

After a very early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary (30 min). Our trip leader will give an introductory 2 hour guided tour of the ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the steep staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that takes about 2 hours which affords great views of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch and to catch our train. The ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1½ hours, and then a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco (an additional 1½ hour). Upon arrival in Cusco (approximately 7 or 8 p.m.), we are dropped off at your hotel.

Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Experience the breathtaking landscape of the Atacama Desert. Undertake a 4-day luxury experience in a spectacular and private location. Tucked in a valley of scenic beauty you may choose to visit salt flats, hot springs, steaming geysers or even climb a volcano. Or simply unwind by visiting local museums or embracing local cultural encounters. Find out more.

  • Why not amend your itinerary to stay and experience the incredible wonders of the Peruvian Amazon? Discover the incredible biodiversity of the flooded rainforest, spot the pink river dolphins of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, or simply enjoy the most exquisite Peruvian cuisine options on a luxury vessel. Find out more here Find out more.

  • Combine your journey with a tour to the mystical Easter Island, one of the most isolated places on the planet. Bear witness to one of the most ancient and logic-defying mysteries as you gaze upon the giant stone Moai, the watchful guardians of the island. Or perhaps experience the islands savage beauty, enjoying scenic hikes or relaxing on white sandy beaches. Find out more here Find out more.

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu - 8 Day from USD 0
 Daily March to December
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Important Information

  • Private Airport Transfers
    Internal flights as part of itinerary 
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide
    Other meals where stated 

    Exclusions 

    International flight
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel Insurance
    Beverages
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for tour guides/drivers
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • 4 Light to High Adventure (high altitude in some areas)
  • Available upon request. Contact us for more details.

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

    This is a Tailor-Made itinerary which can be customised to create your own unique journey. Contact us to discuss your travel plans.

  • Departure date, season and availability. 

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

Your itinerary will have you staying in the Mountain Lodges of Peru. These incredible lodges are a mindful and innovative player in the tourism industry in Peru. The Mountain Lodges of Peru sponsor Yanapana, a non-for-profit association committed to reducing poverty in the Andean Highlands. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE