Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
4D / 3N
The 4-day Lares trek to Machu Picchu is a superb alternative to the Classic Inca Trail. It is perfect to enjoy the beauty of the Andean landscape, unique folklore as well as to learn about Incan history. The trek will take you through astonishing vistas of gorgeous valleys, rivers and lagoons of crystal waters, waterfalls, forests of queuñas – native Andean trees, and splendid snow peaks. You meet with native Andean people wearing marvelous traditional clothing while your tour guide explains the meaning of costumes as well as their daily life. The trek starts at the thermal baths of Lares and continues through the Lares Valley to arrive in Ollantaytambo where you board a train to Aguas Calientes. You will spend the night in Aguas Calientes before spending an unforgettable day in the “Lost City of the Incas” – Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Day 1: Cusco/Cuncani
You will leave Cusco very early in the morning and travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will arrive at the city of Lares and its magnificent thermal baths (3,250 m/10,662 ft.). You will have time to enjoy a dip in the thermal waters that range in temperature from 82°F to 93°f (28°C to 34°C). Afterwards, you will have lunch and then start trekking for an additional 2 hours until you reach the first campsite at Cuncani (3,700 m/12,139 ft.).
Meals: Lunch, dinner
Day 2: Cuncani/ Ipsaycocha
After breakfast, you continue trekking through Lares Valley to the village of Wacawasi (3,600 m/11,810 ft.). There you will encounter the local community weaving very fine textiles using techniques passed down through the generations. You will leave the village and start ascending to the second pass of Condor Pasa (4,100 m//13,451 ft.). From here, you will have an incredible view of the snow capped peak of Veronica (5,750 m/18,865 ft.). After enjoying the spectacular view, you will descend to the tranquil Ipsaycocha lagoon (4,400 m/14,436 ft.), where you will camp for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: Ipsaycocha / Aguas Calientes
In the morning after breakfast, you will descend i to the village of Willoc (3,600 m/11,810 ft.) where you will have lunch. Then you will continue hiking for about 2 hours until you reach the village of Pumamarca (3,400 m/11,154 ft.). Here you can marvel at the agricultural terraces built by the ancient Incas. Finally, you reach the town of Ollantaytambo (2,850 m/9,350 ft.) located in a fertile valley protected by the mountains. Ollantaytambo is a perfect place to appreciate some of the local archaeological sites, as well as a variety of flowers and birds. Later on, you board a train towards Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night in a comfortable hotel.
In Aguas Calientes you will have time to enjoy dinner in one of the many local restaurants offering typical Andean specialties. For those who remembered their bathing suits, you may want to visit the namesake thermal baths.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Overnight: Aguas Calientes
Day 4: Machu Picchu/Cusco
Today you will have an entire day to explore Machu Picchu. After breakfast, your guide will accompany you on the short bus ride from Aguas Calientes to begin your morning guided tour of the citadel itself. This walking tour will include the terraced agricultural area and the legendary masonry structures of the living and working areas.
After the guided tour, you will have time to explore and experience Machu Picchu on your own before descending again by bus to Aguas Calientes. After a time to rest and enjoy lunch, you will board the train that will return you to Cusco by way of the station in Ollantaytambo or Poroy. You will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco to rest and reflect on the experience of a lifetime.
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