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Lares Trek – Authentic & Cultural trek to Machu Picchu

Luxury Lares trek to Machu Picchu
Pie Experiences - Local Tour Operator / Lares Trek – Authentic & Cultural trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek – Authentic & Cultural trek to Machu Picchu

$2650

per person

Few people know that the classic Inca Trail trek is only one of myriad ancient routes to Machu Picchu. For those keen to avoid the crowds of the classic trail (and also the necessity of sleeping in a tent!), the Lares Trek is an excellent alternative. Following the ancient Inca weaver’s route through the remote Lares Valley, this trail boasts sparkling Andean lakes, fabulous mountain scenery and cultural encounters with isolated indigenous communities.

Highlights of Lares Trek:

Walk the little-known Lares Trek, an off the beaten path Inca trail trek that will take you away from the crowds.


Visit the towns of the Sacred Valley, both large and small, and gain a real insight into the rich tapestry of the Andean indigenous communities.


Explore rarely-visited Inca ruins, as an introduction to your visit to Machu Picchu on the final day.


Sleep in luxury mountain lodges, enjoying fabulous views of the Sacred Valley from hot tubs!


Enjoy a guided tour of majestic Machu Picchu, sure to be a real highlight of your time in Peru.

Local cuisine on Lares Trek

 

Itinerary Overview:

Click through to “Tour Plan” to see the full itinerary for Lares Trek lodge to lodge to Machu Picchu 

DAY 1 SACRED VALLEY | ANCIENT TRADITIONS OF PISAC

Start your Lares Trek in the charming town of Pisac, at the heart of the Sacred Valley. In the morning, you will have two choices. You can explore Pisac’s famous market, before heading to the “living museum” of Awanacancha. Alternatively, you can put on your hiking boots for a morning ramble in the mountains!

After a traditional “Pachamanca” (earth baked) lunch, the whole group will visit the impressive Pisac ruins, set in the mountain high above the town. You will spend the night in the luxurious Lamay Lodge.

Tour time: Full day.

Tour by car

Low point: 2700 m./8858.268 ft. - High point: 2972 m./9750.656 ft. approx.

DAY 2 LARES TREK | LIVING HISTORY ON THE INCA WEAVERS’ TRAIL

Head deep into the Lares Valley to explore the rarely-visited Ancasmarca Inca site, situated in a stunning mountain-top location. Next, you can choose between exploring the traditional Inca weavers’ village of Choquecancha, or heading out on a moderate hike past sparkling Andean lakes to Huacahausi, where you will spend the night. Your luxurious mountain lodge at Huacahausi features fabulous views of the Sacred Valley, and a personal hot tub in each room!

Tour time: Full day.

Tour by car

Low point: 2700 m./8858.268 ft. - High point: 4200 m./13779.53ft. approx.

 

DAY 3 LARES TREK | HIKING THE QAPAQ ÑAN

You’ll be spoiled for choice today! Options include a challenging, but rewarding full-day hike; an easy-going half-day hike through a beautiful canyon; a cultural excursion to an ethnographic museum in the Sacred Valley; and an exciting half-day mountain bike excursion.

The group will reunite in the fascinating Inca town of Ollantaytambo, and spend the night in the Sacred Valley.

Trekking time: 7:00 hours approx.

Kilometers covered: 12 km. (7.45645 mi.) approx.

Low point: 4200 m./13779.53 ft. - High point: 4500m./14763.78 ft. approx.

DAY 4 SACRED VALLEY | OLLANTAYTAMBO, A CITY LOST IN TIME

Today, you’ll explore the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, one of the most authentically Inca settlements still existent in the Sacred Valley. Early birds can opt for a hike up to the mountaintop ruins of Pinkuylluna, before rejoining the rest of the group for a guided tour of Ollantaytambo’s famous terraced “fortress”.

After lunch, you’ll enjoy panoramic views from your luxury train as you travel to the Machu Picchu “gateway” town of Aguas Calientes. Get an early night at your hotel here, as you’ll be up with the dawn tomorrow!

Tour time: half day approx.

Kilometers covered: 5 km. (3.10686 mi.) approx.

Low point: 2700 m./8858.268 ft. - High point: 2792 m./9160.105 ft. approx.

DAY 5 MACHU PICCHU | WONDER OF THE WORLD

The final day of your Lares trek begins early in the morning, with a bus ride up to Machu Picchu in time to watch the sun rise over the majestic Inca citadel. Enjoy a guided tour of the key sites of Machu Picchu, before spending some time exploring at your own pace. The more intrepid can choose to climb up Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain that guards the city. Travel back to Cusco in the late afternoon full of lifelong memories of your fabulous journey through the Lares Valley!

Tour time: 2:30 - 3:00 hours approx.

Kilometers covered: 3 km. (1.86411 mi.) approx.

Low point: 2000 m./6561.68 ft. - High point: 2400 m./7874.016 ft. approx.

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Pre departure briefing on the day before the trek

Tourist Transport

Meals : 5 breakfast ,5 lunches , 4 dinners.

Accommodation: 4 nights accommodation in exclusive lodges with many facilities as: jacuzzi , heating , etc.You will have your private bedroom , hot water , towels and shampoo.

Entrances to Machu Picchu

Bilingual professional guide ( English and spanish )

Buses to Machu Picchu on day 5

Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and return

First Aid Kit

Transfer from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco

Tips

In-depth local expertise

No middleman commissions

Friendly booking platform

Secure payment system

Comprehensive customer support

Sustainable Travel Operator

  • Include
    Transport
    Entries
    Accommodation
    Tour guide
    Meals
    Activities described in the itinerary
  • Not Included
    Domestic flights
    Travel Insurance
1

Day One: SACRED VALLEY | ANCIENT TRADITIONS OF PISAC

Begin your journey from the busy streets of Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Start your day with either an invigorating hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha or a visit to the Awanakancha textile center followed by an exploration of the lively town and colorful artisan marketplace of Pisaq. Midday, both cultural explorers and hikers will reunite in the village of Viacha to learn about traditional Andean farming techniques. Afterward, hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site for a guided tour, followed by a traditional Pachamanca dinner back at Lamay Lodge.  
    Activity Options:
  • Cultural (morning): Excursion to Awanakancha for an introduction to traditional Andean textile weaving techniques and an up-close visit with some friendly llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, all camelids indigenous to both this region and other high-altitude regions throughout Peru. Next, visit the town of Pisaq for a brief tour and time explore the unique goods for sale in its colorful artisan marketplace.
  • Active (morning): Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha.
Approximately 3 hours       Moderate      14,200’ / 4,328 m
  • All-Group Activity: Meet the Viacha locals and learn about their traditional Andean farming practices, followed by an optional hike (or drive) and guided exploration of the Pisaq archaeological site.
Meals: L (box lunch en route), D (Lamay Lodge) Overnight: Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)  
2

Day Two: LARES VALLEY | LIVING HISTORY ON THE INCA WEAVERS’ TRAIL

Today, you will venture deep into the heart of the Lares Valley to the remote Ancasmarca Inca site. This rarely-visited site consists of a large number of circular dwellings that spill dramatically over the mountainside; the views are well worth the hike to the top! After lunch, you will have two choices for the afternoon: you can either visit to the ancient village of Choquecancha, or you can pull on your hiking boots and head out into the mountains. The remote weavers’ village of Choquecancha proudly upholds its Inca legacy. The Quechua-speaking inhabitants live in houses built on top of original Inca structures and are famous for their traditional methods of weaving. Intrepid hikers can choose between an easygoing 2.5-hour route and a moderate 4-hour route. You will walk past crystal clear Andean lakes and among mountains, enjoying the unspoiled natural beauty of the rarely-visited Lares Valley. The whole group will spend the night at Huacahausi Lodge. This luxurious mountain lodge features a personal hot tub in each room, as well as a communal outdoor jacuzzi!    
    Activity Options:
  • All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Explore the town of Lamay and visit the archaeological site of Ancasmarca.
  • Cultural (afternoon): Visit to the remote village of Choquecancha where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.
  • Active (afternoon):
  • Option A: Hike from Quelquena to Huacahuasi
Approximately 2.5 hours             Easy to moderate        14,200’ / 4,328 m
  • Option B: Hike from Cuncani to Huacahuasi
Approximately 4 hours                      Moderate                        13,838´ / 4,219 m Meals: B (Lamay Lodge), L (Cultural – Choquecancha; Active – Box lunch en route), D (Huacahuasi Lodge)       Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)
3

Day Three : LARES VALLEY | HIKING THE QAPAQ ÑAN

You’ll have a number of choices for today: an all-day hike to Ollantaytambo; a more easygoing half-day hike; a visit to an ethnographic museum in the Sacred Valley; or an exciting half-day excursion to the Sacred Valley by mountain bike. The full-day hiking option will take you along an authentic Inca trail (Qapaq Ñan) up to the Huchuycassa mountain pass. From here, you can enjoy spectacular views surrounded by swirling clouds, followed by a two-hour descent to Ollantaytambo. More easy-going hikers can choose a shorter hike from Lares Pass. The route will take you along a beautiful canyon where you can see ancient Inca tombs. You will finish your hike in Totora, and transfer to Ollantaytambo. Those interested in Peru’s rich tapestry of cultures can visit an ethnographic museum in the Sacred Valley, then spend the afternoon exploring the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Alternatively, you can enjoy a mountain bike excursion in the Sacred Valley (please note that this activity will incur an additional cost). The whole group will reunite in Ollantaytambo in the late afternoon, in time to settle into your luxury Sacred Valley hotel.  
    Activity Options:
  • Cultural:
  • Morning: Visit the village of Huilloc and the nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and her blessings for the health of the community livestock. Drive from Marcacocha to Pumamarka for an all-group tour of the archaeological site and picnic lunch.
  • Afternoon: After lunch, take a scenic drive to Ollantaytambo and spend the afternoon exploring this charming Sacred Valley town.
  • Active
    • Morning: Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka.
Approximately 3 hours             Moderate
  • Afternoon: Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo.
Approximately 3 hours             Moderate
4

Day Four:SACRED VALLEY | OLLANTAYTAMBO, A CITY LOST IN TIME

Begin your day with an optional early morning hike to the Inca storage houses high above the town for an impressive view of the Ollantaytambo fortress and ceremonial site. Afterward, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided tour before embarking on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes. Overnight: Inkaterra Lodge  
    Activity Options:
  • Active (early morning):
  • Option A: Hike up Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Approximately 1.5 hours          Moderate
  • Option B: Hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Approximately 2.5 hours          Moderate to challenging
  • All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): A guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archeological site.
5

Day Five :MACHU PICCHU | WONDER OF THE WORLD

Start the day bright and early with a bus ride up to the majestic Inca city of Machu Picchu in time for sunrise! Enjoy the awe-inspiring sight of the morning sun rising over the Sun Gate, and slowly lighting up the beautiful ruins of the ancient citadel. Reaching the end of your journey and finally arriving at this bucket list site is sure to be an emotional moment! Set in an extraordinarily beautiful location surrounded by cloud-capped, forested mountains, Machu Picchu is the best known archaeological site in South America, if not the world. Discover the city with your expert guide, before spending some free time exploring the citadel at your own pace, pondering many unsolved mysteries of this wonder of the world, and take advantage of the many photo opportunities offered by this breathtaking site. Those wishing to get a different perspective on the awesome site may opt to climb Huayna Picchu, the “rhino horn” mountain that presides over the city. Your guide will accompany you on this challenging hike, pointing out to you the mysterious Inca ruins along the route. Travel back to Cusco in the afternoon, with your head and camera full of lifelong memories, both of the majestic Machu Picchu and the spectacular Lares Valley!  
 
  • All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): A guided exploration of the Machu Picchu citadel (7,872’ / 2,400m).
  • Cultural (late morning): Free time for further exploration.
  • Active (late morning): Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
Approximately 2.5 hours          Moderate to challenging       8,924’ / 2,720 m Meals: B and L (Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel)

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