Skip the tourist trail as you enjoy stunning scenery, visits to unspoiled Andean mountain communities and amazing ruins during this 4-day trek to Machu Picchu via the rugged Lares trekking route. Trek along the less-crowded Lares trail, enjoying visits to small Quechua mountain villages, gorgeous alpine lakes and views of majestic snow-covered peaks. Along the way you’ll traverse high-altitude passes reaching nearly 14,000 feet (4,400m) and have a chance to visit the ancient Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo.
Finish your trekking experience by catching the train to Aguas Calientes, ascending to the amazing Incan citadel of Machu Picchu in the morning to beat the crowds. This 4-day excursion includes all meals, accommodations, a guide, entrance fees and transfers.
– Avoid the crowd on a 4-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu Hike the ‘path less traveled’ to the famed Incan citadel, passing through small – Quechua villages and over mountain passes nearly 14,000 feet high (4,400m)
– Visit Ollantaytambo and its ancient agricultural terraces, which the Incas used for farming
We depart early in the morning from Cuzco and travel to the township of Calca (2900 metres above sea level) in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You might get to visit an ancient bakery to snack on delicious freshly baked bread and watch traditional cooking methods. We also visit the principal local markets selling a multitude of Andean crops including colorful corn, seeds and spices. The markets are a fantastic place for authentic photographs or simply to spend a while soaking up the local atmosphere– and everyday trading – totally untouched by tourism. From Calca we drive to the highest point of the day, passing Incan burial tombs, local farms and herds of wild llama en route. Stopping for a short guided walk we visit the vast pre-Incan ruins of Ascasmarca (4000m) with stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains. From here we continue uphill to the highest point of the day at 4340m, the small community of Lares, stopping for a short time to buy last minute supplies, before continuing on to Chancachaca for lunch and the starting point of our trek. Throughout our trek, we are supported by an experienced team of porters to tend to our daily needs. This makes our trek more authentic and inclusive of local traditions.
After two hours of hiking our first stop is at Wacawasi, located at 3800 metres and one of the largest villages of direct descendants of the Incas. We will see the unspoiled traditional activities of the locals. Continuing on, we follow the ancient trail to arrive at Sondor; at 4220 metres, this is our first campsite and home for tonight. (L,D)
Sondor – Marcacocha – Pallata
On this remarkable morning we cross our first high pass of Wacawasiqasi, at 4600m, on the shoulder of the holy Pumahuanca mountains. Next we cross the second high pass of Wayruruyoc qasa at 4600m, with spectacular views of Aruraycocha Lake below, at 4380m. We also see the surrounding valleys and the Andean farmers dressed in their traditional, brightly-colored ponchos and headgear, tending their crops and alpaca/llama herds. This is a remote and rarely visited region and our time here makes for an unforgettable experience, and ideal photographic opportunities. We will stop for a well-deserved lunch, at Siki estanque at 4120m, and in the afternoon we continue on to Pajchayoq, Ruka and Marcacocha. You will be welcomed by many children along the way who are returning from school. Late in the afternoon we will see Incan and pre-Incan ruins around Hatunayaorqo and Marcacocha before arriving at Pallata (3220m), where we will spend the night.
(B, L, D)
We have an early morning start today as we set off for Ollantaytambo. We stop to visit the dramatic Inca site of Pumamarca, which dominates the entire valley. From Pumamarca an original Incan trail carries us down the lush valley among the Incan terracing of Tambowaylla, Chuchuna and Media Luna. We arrive in Ollantaytambo in time for lunch, and after a quick rest we board the train, and following the Urubamba River we arrive at the small but well-known township of Aguas Calientes – our home for the night the starting point for tomorrow’s visit to the astounding lost Inca City of Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes is named after its nearby hot springs. There is time here to relax in the soothing pools and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from for dinner (not included). (B-Box Lunch)
Machu Picchu – Cuzco
Rising early, we take the bus up to Machu Picchu to beat the crowds, which arrive mid-morning. If members of your tour group have spent the past three days on the Inca Trail Trek, your early arrival will allow time to catch up and share stories of your respective treks before a fully-guided tour of the archaeological site. You will then have free time to explore this mystical Inca city–make sure you visit the Inca Bridge. Returning to Aguas Calientes by bus we then catch the late afternoon train and bus back to Cuzco. (B-L)
– Meals as per itinerary
– Train Tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Round trip)
– Entrance to Machu Picchu
– Bus tickets to Machu Picchu (Round trip)
– Equipment: All equipment is supplied for camping (except sleeping bags) and cooking. Facilities while camping are basic (shower on the – last night and some toilets).
– Accommodation 3-star hotel
– Private transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
– Sleeping bag (can be rented)
– Walking sticks (can be rented)
– Dinner on the 3rd day
– Other expenses
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