The Lares Trek brings you through small colorful Quechan Villages off the beaten path amidst the mountains to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. It is truly a rare glimpse of everyday of life of the Andean people, as your senses are flooded with the vibrant colors of traditional garbs, the rich smiles and conversations with local people, fresh mountain air, variant wildlife, and ancient ruins.
The three day trek through the Lares Valley brings a deeper dimensions to your trekking experience, social connection and cultural enrichment. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to learn about the intergenerationally and spiritually significant art form of weaving, pass through markets, and appreciate the ingenuity of farming communities high in the mountains. This adventure is also known as the “Weavers’ Way” as you weave through several mountain villages known for their vibrant textiles. Of course, you see many alpacas and llamas as their wool is used by the local artisans.
We then catch a train from gorgeous Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley that will take us through cloud forest and high jungle to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Here you will stay at a very nice hotel the last night before your Machu Picchu experience!
Total distance trekked: 35 km/ 21.7 miles
Maximum altitude: 4,420 m/14,500 ft.
Beginning altitude: 3,240m/10,629 ft.
Overall trek difficulty: Moderate
You will have a thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your trek. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.
You will be picked up in the morning in a private van at your hotel in Cusco. Then we set out for a beautiful and scenic drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will pass through the quaint towns of Pisac and Calca, both renowned for their bustling markets and as we learn, each town contains historic importance during Inca period empire.
We continue driving up the mountain, visiting indigenous communities built from stone and thatched covered housing. Here we have the opportunity to learn from the artisan weavers and observe the way of life and beautiful craft work still preserved in the area.
Winding through the beautiful Andean mountains, with 360 views, we finally reach Lares Pass, located at the impressive height of (4,460m/14,615 ft.). Then we will descend toward the lovely town of Lares located at (3,240m/10,629 ft.). Here we will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our trekking chef. After we have time to relax, rejuvenate, and re-energize in the Lare’s natural hot springs before we set out on our trek.
After a lovely dip we are off on our first steps of the trek, hiking the gorgeous Huacahuasi River Valley for 5 hours to the community of Huacawasi (3,835m/ 12,582 ft.). This beautiful village we call home for the night, where we share a lovely dinner and then you can retreat to your cozy tent for the night.
After a nourishing early morning breakfast, we will begin our day with a 4 hour uphill hike moving through the picturesque Lares Valley. We will be visiting several quaint Andean villages learning more in depth about the weaving practices. Our guide will explain about the local traditions and ways of life, as well as the significance of the arts and handicrafts integral to the culture. The morning portion of our hike ends just before the pass where we are able to relax in the powerful and stunning mountain scenery.
We then continue our Lares Trek up through Huacawasi pass, this is the highest point of our trek at the height of (4,420 m/14,500 ft.). We will stop here, take pictures and soak in the well-deserved spectacular views. Along the way we may be lucky to see various species of wetland birds, Andean geese, and possibly a Puna Ibis! We then make our way descending down for 1 ½ hours to our picture perfect lunch spot aside a sparkling blue lake. Here we lay out beside the lake and relax after a delicious lunch.
We are not too far from our camp for the night, only an hour more decent and we reach our lovely site next to Lake Mantanay (4,100 m/ 13,451 ft.). Here we relax near the sounds of water, under the vibrant stars, and share a deliciously prepared dinner.
This is our last day trekking, you will be woken up with a warm cup of tea and breakfast. Then we are off! We set out for a 4 hour downhill hike through variant terrain and scenic surroundings. The power of the Andes surround you as the massive snow- capped mountains and the rocky slopes tower over you.
In the afternoon we will end the hike reaching the quaint Yanahuara community (2,940m/9,645 ft.) where we will enjoy lunch. After we relax and digest we will take a local bus for 35 minutes to Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is a town surrounded by impressive mountains with stunning picturesque views of ruins from anywhere in the town.
Once at Ollantaytambo, we will board a comfortable train and enjoy a beautiful ride through cloud forest and high jungle that will take us to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu (2,040 m/6,691 ft.).
Once to Aguas Calientes you will check into your hotel and spend the evening exploring this lovely town. You have options to enjoy shopping the artisan markets, walking by the river, or taking advantage of the hot springs. Then we will enjoy dinner at the best restaurant in town and rest up for your big day tomorrow!
Early to rise for the big day at Machu Picchu! We will eat breakfast at the hotel and then board the bus ascending up to the sacred city itself. Once on the mountain we welcome the breathtaking sunrise and our tour guide. We then enjoy a 2 hour informative tour visiting temples, fountains, and many other sacred sites.
We will journey all over, taking-in the intricate stonework that strikes absolute harmony with the fantastic scenery of the Andes and admire massive boulders mysteriously hauled by hand to the top of the mountain and carefully positioned centuries ago. After the tour you will have time explore on your own or if you choose, climb Huayna Picchu Mountain (included in the price of the trek). At Huayna Picchu you have a beautiful bird’s eye view of Machu Picchu and are able to experience alternate ruin sites as well.
After your Machu Picchu visit, you will head down to Aguas Calientes by bus and take the train back to Poroy station.
A Peru Path representative will be at the station to welcome you and bring you by private van back to your hotel in Cusco.