Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

5 or 7 Days

Price from$3,290

The Lares Trail, a wonderful alternative to the more heavily traveled Inca Trail, is noted for its cultural attractions, including traditional weavers attired in colorful dress, roving herds of alpacas and llamas, and a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and glacial lakes. The new mountain lodges, built in the towns of Lamay and Ollantaytambo and in the rural community of Huacahuasi, serve as deluxe base camps for day hikes in the surrounding environs. Guests may join a fixed departure or exclusive groups from Cuzco, complete with an expert guide who will be with the group for the entire journey to Machu Picchu.

An extensive network of trails throughout the region lead to traditional Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where guests can meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past, and to spectacular Inca archaeological sites including Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle.The lodge at Ollantaytambo is also an excellent gateway to visit the spectacular site of Machu Picchu. More challenging trails bring guests to remote passes with views of Andean peaks, with the occasional condor soaring above.

Two programs (7-day and 5-day) are designed to offer different hikes daily for a variety of experience and abilities.

CLICK HERE to download PDFs of the itineraries.

5 Days / 4 Nights Day 1: Sacred Valley: Explore the Pisac Valley & Ruins (Total hiking time: 6 hours, including lunch) After an early breakfast, depart Cusco for the Urubamba Valley, the "Sacred Valley of the Incas." We drive past Pisac and turn off the main road at Qoya, with its charming colonial church. We reach the AyarCancha community to start hiking at an elevation of 3,800m. The trail winds uphill for two hours to Challwaccasa Pass where we will see great views of the peaks of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges and, in the distance, the giant snow-capped peaks of Ausangate and Salcantay. Head downhill to the community of Viacha for a gourmet lunch. After a well-earned rest, we join a restored Inca trail that leads to the stunning archaeological site of Pisac. The lower slopes of the surrounding mountains feature impressive agricultural terraces and irrigation systems dating from Inca times. After exploring the ruins continue downhill for an hour to the picturesque village of Pisac, well known for its colourful handicraft market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Our vehicle will be waiting to take us to the town of Lamay where we enjoy dinner and stay one night at Lamay Lodge.

Optional activities on Day 1:If you would like to take it easy on the first day, you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relaxing morning at Lamay Lodge. In the early afternoon a private van takes you to join the group for lunch at Viacha community, this exquisite meal should not be missed! If after lunch you are feeling active you may join the others for the hike downhill towards Pisaq archeological site.

Day 2: Trek from Quiswarani to Huacawasi, High Mountain Lakes & Villages (Total hiking time: 8 hours, including lunch) Today we hike one of the most beautiful trails in the Cusco region! We depart Lamay early in the morning and take a scenic two-hour drive toward Lares, the region north of the Sacred Valley. Leaving the main road, we soon arrive at the quaint village of Quiswarani, where we begin our hike. Our trail heads westward up a small valley dotted with lakes and herds of grazing alpacas, then narrows into a series of switchbacks to Abra Huchuyccasa pass, which we reach after three hours. From the pass we have the most amazing views of distant mountain ranges and stunning turquoise lakes, whose brilliant hues are the result of bronze metal elements in their icy waters. Continue hiking another hour toward our second pass of the day at Phonaccasa. From here we descend to Qeywaqocha Lake for a leisurely lunch, then end our hike at the village of Qelqena. Along the way enjoy spotting native bird species, including Andean geese, ducks, and plovers. Our vehicle meets us at the trailhead for the drive to the famous weavers' village of Huacawasi. Dinner and overnight at Huacawasi Lodge.

Optional activities on Day 2: (total hiking time 5 hours, including lunch) A short drive brings us to Ancasmarca where we explore an old Inca site that features a variety of ancient food warehouses, dwellings, and farming areas. Its location was strategic since it connected the higher part of the Sacred Valley with the cloud forest communities of Lares. Heading over the Lares Pass, we arrive at Cuncani, the starting point of our hike. Walking uphill for about two hours, we pass farmhouses and fields. The local inhabitants, descendants of the Incas, have maintained their traditional way of life, growing an amazing variety of potatoes nearly year-round and using their llamas as transport and alpacas as food and clothing. Reaching Cruzccasa Pass, enjoy an impressive view of Veronica peak, then have an hour's descent to our picnic lunch spot. Another an hour's hike arrive at Huacawasi Lodge. In the late afternoon, we have an opportunity to experience a unique cultural encounter with the local community. Dinner and overnight at Huacawasi Lodge.

Day 3: Lares: Trek from Huacawasi to Patacancha, the Weavers' Trail (Total hiking time: 6.5 hours, including lunch) Huacawasi is a famous weavers' village, where the men still wear traditional colorful ponchos and women's attire includes wide handmade skirts and decorated hats. Our hike starts from Huacawasi Lodge, and as we walk through the village we are immersed in scenes of community life, including women working on looms and children heading to school. The wide and easy trail takes us uphill for 2.5 hours to the top of Ipsaycocha Pass where we enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. As we hike, we often meet locals traveling from village to village with their goods and herds of animals. We descend gently for about 40 minutes to Lake Ipsaycocha where we may have the chance to see condors circling effortlessly in the sky while enjoying our lunch. We continue our descent for 2.5 hours to the village of Patacancha where high quality weavings are also produced. Our vehicle will meet us here to take us to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Dinner and overnight at a hotel.

Day 4: Explore Ollantaytambo Inca Sites and Transfer to Machu Picchu Town After our three-day hike, we can enjoy a more relaxing day by having a leisurely breakfast and visiting Ollantaytambo, which boasts an impressive archaeological site and a wellpreserved Inca town structure. This was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region, building the town and the ceremonial center. Ollantaytambo dates from the late 15th century and has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. After lunch at the hotel, catch our train for the 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Dinner and overnight at Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel.

Optional hike for the very keen trekkers: Sacred Valley: Hike Inca trails above Ollantaytambo and Transfer to Machu Picchu Town (Total hiking time: 4.5 hours) A short drive brings us to the settlement of Pallata, from where we hike gradually uphill to Pumamarca a small and little visited Inca archaeological site overlooking the Patacancha Valley. After exploring the site we hike downhill for about three hours through extensive Inca-built agricultural terraces and along an old Inca trail back to Ollantaytambo. After lunch at our hotel, we explore on foot the town's magnificent ruins, including the fortress, the ceremonial center, and the town itself, once an Inca capital and the last stronghold against the Spanish conquerors. In the late afternoon, we catch our train for the 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes. Dinner and overnight at the Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel.

Day 5: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary and Return to Cusco After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we walk to the bus station for the 30-minute ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Our trip leader will give an introductory two-hour guided tour of the evocative ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the sheer Inca staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and challenging hike that affords encompassing views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountain ranges (about a two-hour hike). Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch. The afternoon train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1.5 hours, and then a private vehicle drives us back to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco we are dropped off at El Mercado Tunqui Hotel (or other hotel of your choice) for overnight.

7 Days / 6 Nights Day 1: Sacred Valley: Explore Chinchero and Huchuyqosqo (Total hiking time: 7 hours, including lunch) After an early breakfast, we depart Cusco for the village of Chinchero, where we stop for a brief visit of the Inca archeological site and the 16th century colonial church. A short drive to the small community of Taucca brings us to the start of our scenic hike, which includes views of beautiful Lake Piuray and the Urubamba and Vilcabamba mountain ranges. We hike for about 2.5 hours uphill to Huallata Pass and on to Huchuyqosqo Pass, from where we can see the spectacular Sacred Valley of the Incas. We start our descent to Huchuyqosqo once an important religious and commercial center, and known as the place to observe thunder and lightning. After lunch, we continue our descent for about an hour to the community of Calca. On this section of the trail we may enjoy views of the Pitusiray and Sahuasiray glaciers. Our vehicles will meet us at the end of the hike and take us to the lush green town of Lamay. Dinner and overnight at Lamay Lodge.

In the event that you prefer a softer hike for their first day of trekking, we suggest the following alternative:

Optional Hike on Day 1 Explore the site of Moray and the salt mines of Maras After an early breakfast, we depart Cusco for the village of Chinchero, where we stop for a brief visit of the Inca archeological site and the 16th century colonial church. Then we will have a short drive to the small community of Taucca, where we say goodbye to the group doing the Huchuyqosqo hike. Another 30-minute drive takes us to the start of our day's tour. We first visit Moray, an unusual site set on a high plateau with several enormous terraced circular depressions that the Incas may have used as agricultural laboratories. We hike for about two hours along a gentle trail with views of snow-capped peaks and terraced hillsides toward the small, charming town of Maras.

After a brief visit of the town, with its eclectic mix of building styles dating from the pre-Columbian and colonial times, we hike for another 40 minutes to the nearby terraced salt evaporation ponds, called Las Salineras. Since pre-Incan times, salt has been gathered in Maras by evaporating salty water from a local subterranean stream. The effect of sunlight reflecting from the complex maze of ponds is quite stunning. After our visit we follow a downhill trail to the Urubamba River where a van will be waiting to take us to Lamay. Dinner and overnight at Lamay Lodge. Total hiking time: 5 hours (including lunch)

Day 2 : Sacred Valley: Explore the Pisac Valley and Ruins (Total hiking time: 6 hours, including lunch) We depart after breakfast for the nearby town of Pisac and turn off the main road at Qoya, with its charming colonial church. After about a 1.5-hour drive (the last section on a dirt road), we reach the AyarCancha community where we start hiking at an elevation of 12,467 feet. The trail winds uphill for two hours to Challwaccasa Pass, which grants us great views of the peaks of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges and, in the distance, the giant snow-capped peaks of Ausangate and Salcantay. We then head downhill to the community of Viacha, where we enjoy a gourmet lunch. After a well-earned rest, we join a restored Inca trail that leads to the stunning archaeological site of Pisac, which dominates the valley below. The lower slopes of the surrounding mountains feature impressive agricultural terraces and irrigation systems dating from Inca times. After exploring the ruins we continue downhill for an hour to the picturesque village of Pisac, well known for its colorful handicraft market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Lamay. Dinner and overnight at Lamay Lodge.

If you prefer an easier hike, we suggest the following alternative: Optional activities on Day 2 Start the morning with a leisurely breakfast and fun activities around the Lamay Lodge. At lunch time, a private van takes us to join the group of trekkers at Viacha community, as this exquisite meal should not be missed! If after lunch guests are feeling active they may join the other trekkers for the hike downhill towards Pisaq archeological site.

Day 3: Lares: Trek from Cuncani to Huacawasi, Meet the Communities (Total hiking time: 5 hours, including lunch) A short drive brings us to Ancasmarca, where we explore an old Inca site that features a variety of ancient food warehouses, dwellings, and farming areas. Its location was strategic since it connected the higher part of the Sacred Valley with the cloud forest communities of Lares. Heading over the Lares Pass, we arrive at Cuncani, the starting point of our hike. Walking uphill for about two hours, we pass farmhouses and fields. The local inhabitants, descendants of the Incas, have maintained their traditional way of life, growing an amazing variety of potatoes nearly year-round and using their llamas as transportation and alpacas as food and clothing. Reaching Cruzccasa Pass, we enjoy an impressive view of Veronica peak, then have an hour's descent to our picnic lunch spot. Another hour's hike brings us to Huacawasi Lodge. In the late afternoon, we have an opportunity to experience a unique cultural encounter with the local community. Dinner and overnight at Huacawasi Lodge.

Optional Activities on Day 3 For guests that would prefer not to do this day's hike, they can spend a relaxing day at the lodge and do short hikes to the surrounding local communities. We may also experience different cultural encounters with the locals, such as learning from their pottery and weaving unique abilities.

Day 4: Lares: Trek from Quiswarani to Huacawasi, High Mountain Lakes & Villages (Total hiking time: 8 hours, including lunch) A great day awaits us as we hike one of the most beautiful trails in the Cusco region! From the quaint village of Quiswarani, we begin hiking westward up a small valley dotted with lakes and herds of grazing alpacas. Our trail then narrows into a series of switchbacks to Abra Huchuyccasa pass, which we reach after three hours. From the pass we have the most amazing views of distant mountain ranges and stunning turquoise lakes, whose brilliant hues are the result of bronze metal elements in their icy waters. Descending slightly, we continue hiking another hour toward our second pass of the day at Phonaccasa.

From here we descend to Qeywaqocha Lake for a leisurely lunch, then end our hike at the village of Qelqena. Along the way enjoy spotting native bird species, including Andean geese, ducks, and plovers. Our vehicle meets us at the trailhead for the drive back to Huacawasi. Dinner and overnight at Huacawasi Lodge.

Optional Activities Day 4 This alternative option is well suited for guests that are not feeling confident in doing the longer and most challenging hike. After breakfast we drive for 40 minutes to Qelqana. From here we start an easy yet beautiful 3 hour hike back to Huacawasi Lodge. After lunch, we may visit the famous Lares hot springs, only 40 minutes away by car.

Day 5: Lares: Trek from Huacawasi to Patacancha, the Weavers' Trail (Total hiking time: 6.5 hours, including lunch) Huacawasi is a famous weavers' village, where the men still wear traditional colorful ponchos and women's attire includes wide handmade skirts and decorated hats. As we begin our hike right from the lodge, we are immersed in scenes of community life, including women working on looms and children heading to school. The wide and easy trail takes us uphill for 2.5 hours to the top of Ipsaycocha Pass (4,442m) where we enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. As we hike, we often meet locals traveling from village to village with their goods and herds. We descend gently for about 40 minutes to Lake Ipsaycocha (4,292m) where we may have the chance to see condors circling lazily in the sky while enjoying our lunch. We continue our descent for 2.5 hours to the village of Patacancha where high quality weavings are also produced. Our vehicle will meet us here to take us to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Dinner and overnight at a hotel.

Day 6: Explore Ollantaytambo Inca Sites and Transfer to Machu Picchu Town After our five-day hike, we can enjoy a more relaxing day by having a leisurely breakfast and visiting Ollantaytambo, which boasts an impressive archaeological site and a well-preserved Inca town structure. This was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region, building the town and the ceremonial center. Ollantaytambo dates from the late 15th century and has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. After lunch at the hotel, we catch our train for the 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Dinner and overnight at Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel.

Optional Hike Day 6 Hike to Pumamarca, above Ollantaytambo A short drive brings us to the settlement of Pallata (3,120m), from where we hike gradually uphill to Pumamarca, a small and little visited Inca archaeological site overlooking the Patacancha Valley. After exploring the site we hike downhill for about three hours through extensive Inca-built agricultural terraces and along an old Inca trail back to Ollantaytambo. After lunch at our hotel, we explore on foot the town´s magnificent ruins, including the fortress, the ceremonial center, and the town itself, once an Inca capital and the last stronghold against the Spanish conquerors. In the late afternoon, we catch our train for the 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Dinner and overnight at the Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel. Total hiking time: 4.5 hours

Day 7: Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary and Return to Cusco After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we walk to the bus station for the 30-minute ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Our trip leader will give an introductory two hour guided tour of the evocative ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the sheer Inca staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that affords encompassing views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountain ranges (about a two-hour hike). Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch. The afternoon train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1.5 hours, and then a private vehicle drives us back to Cusco (an additional 1.5 hours). Upon arrival in Cusco, we are dropped off at El Mercado Tunqui Hotel (or other hotel of your choice) for overnight.

• All transportation services mentioned in the detailed itineraries. • Daily activities "a-la-carte" (Daily choice of hikes, soft adventure or cultural activities). • Entrance fees to tourist and archaeological sites including a one day entrance to Machu Picchu and a permit to climb Huayna Picchu (if you wish to). • 4 or 6 nights of accommodation in lodges/ hotels. • All Meals - Starting with Lunch on Day 1 and ending with Lunch on the last day of the programme. • English speaking local guides • All gratuities to Lodge staff (Gratuities for the guides is at your discretion).

Pricing (per person) $AUD

Type TWIN SINGLE

2017

5 Day/4 Night

7 Day/6 Night

-

$3,290

$4,250

-

$4,110

$4,310

Departs

2017 5 Days / 4 Nights Mar 8, 12, 15, 22, 26
Apr 2, 3, 6, 10, 13, 21, 24, 25
May 1, 5, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 29, 30, 31
Jun 1, 5, 9, 10, 17, 21, 22, 26
Jul 4, 8, 9, 10, 21, 29, 30
Aug 6, 7, 18, 20, 27
Sep 7, 14, 15, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27
Oct 7, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 29
Nov 5, 10, 12, 18, 19, 21, 27, 29
Dec 3, 8, 12, 15, 19, 20, 28, 29

7 Days / 6 Nights Mar 9, 19, 23, 27
Apr 7, 18, 22, 26
May 2, 9, 17, 24, 26
Jun 2, 14, 23, 29
Jul 5, 13, 18, 26
Aug 3, 11, 15, 30
Sep 2, 8, 16, 21, 30
Oct 4, 10, 17, 24, 30
Nov 2, 7, 15, 24
Dec 9, 16, 21, 25, 30

Booking conditions

The Single Room rate is based on a guaranteed Single Room.

Children under 12 years of age will be granted a 20% discount off the Twin Room rate when sharing the room with the parent - Maximum two children per room. The child discount does not apply in a single room. If a child stays in a single room the full adult single room rate will apply.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Book this trek and receive 2 free nights hotel accommodation!

Book any departure on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu or The Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu between March 1 - April 30, 2017 and receive 2 complimentary (one pre-trip and one post-trip) nights at El Mercado Hotel or El Retablo Hotel, Cusco. In addition, save 15% on select departures in March 2017. Offers apply on bookings of a minimum of 2 people travelling together.

This offer is subject to availability, on new bookings only and is non transferable. Applies to departures scheduled between March 1 - April 30, 2017. Includes 2 nights in a deluxe Cusco hotel, El Mercado or El Retablo. Final selection will be based on availability and confirmed with reservation. Offer based on one room, with breakfast included.