08 DAY: CULTURAL TOUR – LARES TREK & SHORT INCA TRAIL
08 Day: Lares Trek – Short Inca Trail
Trek to Machu Picchu through the Lares Trek & Inka Trail ideal for combining culture, nature and living traditions. One of our most popular trips of the region. A unique experience Peru’s number one trek and one of the most well-known and popular treks in the world. Offering 5 days of trekking along original paved Inca pathways, a variety of fascinating Inca sites and the beautiful scenery of the Machu Picchu national park the Inca Trail is one of those things that everyone should do once in their life. Be you young or old, in good shape or bad, the Inca Trail is for everyone and is a must do if you plan to visit Machu Picchu.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
Shuttle from the airport to hotel. The rest of the morning will be reserved for resting to adapt to the altitude, approximately 3400 meters (11,000 feet). In the afternoon we will visit the Inka Museum, home of thousands of years of Andean culture. Here we will become more familiar with the origens and beginnings of Andean civilizations.
Lodging: Cusco Tandapata Boutique Hotel *** or similar.
DAY 2: CHINCHERO MARAS – MORAY
To start the Maras Moray & Chinchero Tour we will pick you up from your hotel around 8 AM and head to Moray. The drive is about 1 hour and 20 minutes and is absolutely beautiful. You will drive through the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, through lush yellow fields of wheat, past some villages.
Finally you will arrive to the fascinating display of terraces in Moray. Moray boasts three amphitheater-like terraces made by the Incas. These terraces, which are carved deep into the earth in a bowl shape, were thought to be used to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops.
When you are done exploring Moray you will head to the salt mines of Maras, which is about 2 miles away. This village is known as a former salt-producing center that is thought to date back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side, being filled daily by a little stream of water.
The last place to visit will be Chinchero. Here we can admire the well-preserved Inka walls of the main square as well as the many altars. We will also visit the beautiful colonial church, unique for its interior artwork and imagery. Moving on we will participate in a wonderful introduction and learning experience of the art of Andean textiles; throughout the afternoon we will become acquainted with the wisdom of Andean weavings as maintained since long before Inka times.
If you want to see something really different from ruins, this is your tour! The area is amazing and spectacularly beautiful. Once you are done with the visit, you will head back to the city in time to enjoy some lunch on your own.
Lodging: Cusco Tandapata Boutique Hotel*** or similar.
DAY 3: LARES TREK – SHORT INCA TRAIL
DAY 3: CUSCO – PUMAHUANCA – PUYOC
Our first day of the Lares trek starts of in the small village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley. We’ll gently make our way up one of the side valleys covering about 14km in total and climbing about 1150m / 3373ft as we make our way towards the village of Puyoc. On our way up we’ll visit the small Inca site of Pumahuanca and learn about the native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region.
This particular route for the Lares trek is not commonly done by other companies so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbance. Because so few people visit the area there is a good chance of seeing Viscachas (a rabbitlike Chinchilla) and we may also spot Andean Fox. Our campsite for the night is at Puyoc (4100m / 13451ft); it’s quite barren at this altitude and it is not uncommon for it to snow up here during the dry season so gloves and a hat are recommended.
DAY 4: PUYOC – YANACOCHA – CUNCANI
Today is the most spectacular day of the trek and quite a bit easier going than yesterday. From our campsite it’s about a 13km walk to the village of Cuncani but most of that is downhill as the pass is only about a 2 hour walk right at the beginning.
As we make our way to Cuncani we’ll pass by snowcapped peaks high above us, serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha – Black Water) and get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely different culturally to the other side and as we wind our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. You’ll also get to learn a few Qhechua phrases so that you can interact with the local people.
DAY 5: CUNCANI – LARES
The focus of today is to meet the local people. Waking up early we’ll be taken by our guide to one of the houses where we’ll get to meet a local family. The people are incredibly welcoming and are just as eager to learn about you as you are of them – hopefully by now you’ll have mastered a few phrases and be able to ask a few questions (much to everyones delight and amusement). After the visit you’ll have the opportunity to give any gifts you’ve brought for the local people and also to buy some of the locally made alpaca products that the region is famed for.
Leaving Cuncani it’s just a short distance (6km) until we reach the hot springs of Lares. Along the way we’ll pass through several small communities and see the people growing a variety of foods such as Quinua and Tarwi, we’ll also probably spot flocks of Andean parrots flying overhead (they’re easy to spot thanks to their piercing calls). After a relaxing dip in the hot springs we’ll be picked up by our bus and driven back to the Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo to have a night there.
Lodging: Casa Blanca Lodge *** or similar
DAY 6: OLLANTAYTAMBO – KM 104 – AGUAS CALIENTES
Departing your hotel in Ollantaytambo we will travel by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. From here, a train will take us roughly an hour down the valley to our starting point. Our journey begins at the banks of the Urubamba River and slowly ascends to meet up with the original Inca Trail at the site of Winay Wayna, before continuing on to the the Sun Gate and on to Machu Picchu.
Along the way we will pass through dense cloud forest with its rich variety of plants, flowers, birds, and if we are lucky, some of the local mammals such as Viscachas (rabbit-like Chinchillas) or the rare Spectacled Bear.
After a full day of trekking, we will arrive to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) in the late afternoon for our first views of Machu Picchu stretched over the mountain ridge below. The lighting at this hour of the day makes for amazing pictures. Descending from the Sun Gate, we continue along the beautiful paved stone path to Machu Picchu, but only to the famous “look-out point” above the main part of the citadel. From here we will descend to the town of Aguas Calientes in the valley below for hotel check-in and dinner.
Lodging: Aguas Calientes Golden Sunrise *** or similar.
DAY 7: MACHU PICCHU
Today we will rise very early to catch the first bus back up to Machu Picchu and enter the site as it opens. There will be a 2-3 hour guided tour of the site to show you some of the most important locations, altars and constructions, Here you will learn what we know about the history of this amazing place and the people who once lived here. After this, if you have the additional permit to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, this will be the time. In the afternoon, your train will depart Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo where you will carry on by bus to Cusco.
Lodging: Tandapata Hotel Boutique *** or similar
DAY 8: FREE DAY – FLY TO LIMA
Free morning to relax or do any activity, and according your flight details you will be transferred by our staff to the airport for your departure to Lima.
- All transfers.
- All breakfast included in the accommodations
- All transportation.
- Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
- All entrances fee.
- 05 night’s accommodations in 3 stars hotels (Based in double occupation)
- 02 night’s accommodations in a tent in Lares Trek
- Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
- Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
- Porters to carry cooking and camping equipment
- Pick-up from your hotel
- Transportation by touristic bus to Km82
- Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
- Water (excluding the first Day of the trek when you need to bring your own)
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Afternoon Snacks (happy hour) and 3 Dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs
- 4 man tent for every 2 trekkers
- Inflatable sleeping mattress -(you need to carry this unless you hire a personal porter)
- Oxygen bottle
- First aid kit
- Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- Sleeping Bag (Can be hired from us). US$25
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain $35
- Single Supplement (US $250 for accommodation and tent).
- International and intra flights.
- Meals where are not stated
- Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING:
- Original Passport
- Current University Card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Comfortable Trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
- Insect repellant
- Toiletries and hand sanitiser
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Torch with spare batteries
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