Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. Leaving the established route with visits to authentic Andean communities while surrounded by breathtaking mountains, lakes and valleys, this fabulous hike offers a real insight into the life of the people of Cusco as it was before.
The route we offer starts in the village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley and ends in the hot springs of Lares with a visit to the village of Cuncani on the way.
Early in the morning we will pick you up from your hotel at 5:30 AM, then travel for an hour towards the Sacred Valley, we will stop at the Mirador to take panoramic photos of the valley and the guide will give a brief explanation of the place, and then we will continue until we reach the town of Calca, where we will make a brief stop and a visit to the local market where typical products are sold, then we will continue the trip for about 2 hours until we reach the town of Lares (3).100 m / 10.170 ft) starting point of our trekking, in this place we will introduce our team who will accompany us during the trekking (Chef and muleteer), before the walk we have the opportunity to visit the medicinal thermal baths of Lares and enjoy a relaxing bath, the temperature varies between 28 °C to 34 °C.
After the thermal baths, we will continue our adventure, we will walk on flat terrain for about 2 hours to acclimatize to the altitude, until we reach the bridge of Vilcabamba, where our team awaits us with a delicious lunch, after lunch we will enjoy a brief break, then continue the walk for 3 more to reach the village of Wacahuasi (3).750 m / 12.303 ft), during the trek we will meet children from the nearby villages in their traditional costumes that will welcome us to this valley of Lares, this will be a great opportunity to support and share good moments with them. Wacahuasi is the place of our first day of camping, in this place the night will be colder, we recommend to take clothes of coat for the night, the temperature usually arrives to less 5°C, After accommodating us in our tents and to explore a little this town, we will have the hour of the tea, ideal for the exchange of experiences, where our guide will give a talk on the customs and traditions of this small town. Later we will enjoy dinner and finally we will go to rest and be ready for the next day.
Estimated walking time: 4 to 5 hours.
Total distance: 11 km
Altitude of our camp: 3,750 masl.
In the morning after breakfast we will start walking 6:00 AM, where we will have the best views of the incredible Andes Mountains. We will walk uphill for 3 hours, arriving at the Sacsallaully Pass (4.646 m / 15,242 ft.). This point offers a gratifying view of the valleys, snow-capped mountains and Lake Aruray Cocha. We will also appreciate native bird species including geese (Cara Cara), ducks, etc and other typical animals of the area such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. From Aurora Cassa Pass we descend to the two lakes known as Aruraycocha and Yuraccoha, with the Queuñas forest (typical tree of the Incas). Next to one of the lakes we will have our Andean lunch with beautiful views.
During the next two hours of our hike and before our arrival at Mantanay (3,850 m / 12,631 ft.) there will be a big change in the landscape. The rest of the hike is downhill through a picturesque Queuñares valley (native) with ample opportunities to take photographs of the Andean flora. Then we arrive at Yanahuara (2.780 m / 9.120 ft.) a cozy village with a comfortable climate, located near Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley of the Incas). Our vehicle will be waiting for us here to take us to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, where we will board our train to take us to the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town (1 hour and 40 minutes train ride). Here in this town we will have dinner and spend the night in a cozy hotel with private bathroom, cable tv and wifi.
Estimated walking time: 8 to 9 hours.
Total distance: 18 km
Altitude of our AC lodging: 2,000 masl.
Very early after breakfast (5:00 am. approximately) we will begin the ascent for an hour walk to the Inka citadel of Machupicchu, this way we can be one of the first groups within the Inka city which will allow us to enjoy the majestic sunrise, then we will have a guided tour of the most important Inca temples and palaces within the citadel of Machu Picchu, along with your guide for approximately 02 hours, then you can explore the mysterious Inca city on your own. (Optional to climb the mountain of Huaynapicchu extra cost $ 25 USD per person).
At an appropriate time we will descend from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes to board our train back to Ollantaytambo and from there by car to Cusco, our average time to arrive in Cusco will be 8:00 PM, then make the transfer to their respective hotels.
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