Trek to Machu Picchu on the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail is ideal to combine culture, nature and living traditions. One of our most popular trips in the region. A unique experience. The number one hike in Peru and one of the most famous and popular walks in the world. Offering 8 days of hiking along the original paved Inca roads, a variety of fascinating Inca sites and the beautiful landscape of Machu Picchu National Park, the Inca Trail is one of those things that everyone should do once in their life. Whether young or old, in good shape or bad, the Inca Trail is for everyone and is essential if you plan to visit Machu Picchu.
Transfer from the airport to your respective hotel. The rest of the morning will be reserved to rest and adapt to the altitude, approximately 3400 meters above sea level (11,000 feet).
We will pick you up from your hotel around 8am, to go to Moray. The trip is absolutely beautiful with a duration of about 1 hour and 20 minutes. You will be driven through snow-capped peaks of the Andes, lush yellow wheat fields, passing through picturesque villages.
Finally you will arrive at a fascinating platform display (cultivation terraces) in Moray. Moray has 3 systems of cultivation terraces as an amphitheater made by the Incas. These platforms, which are deeply carved into the earth in the form of a bowl, are believed to have been used to determine the optimal conditions for growing different products.
After exploring Moray, we will descend a little to the salt mines of Maras located about 2 kilometers, an important production center that dates back to pre-Inca times. Here we will find more than 3,000 salt wells minted along the mountain slope, which are filled daily by the water that seeps into the earth.
The last place we will visit will be Chinchero, here we will admire the very well preserved Inca walls in the main square as well as many altars. We will also visit the beautiful colonial church, unique for its works of art and imagery. Continuing, we will participate in a wonderful introduction to the art of Andean fabrics; Throughout the afternoon we will get acquainted with the wisdom of the Andean fabrics, as they are maintained long before Inca times.
Once the tour is over we will transfer you to your hotel.
Our first day of hiking will begin in the small town of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley. We will go calmly towards one of the side valleys covering about 14 km in total and ascending about 1150m / 3373ft, while we go towards the town of Puyoc. On our way we will visit the small Inka site of Pumahuanca and learn more about native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region.
This particular route, the Lares trek, is not commonly operated by other companies, so we can enjoy the peace and quiet of our surroundings without distractions or discomfort. Because few people visit this area, there is a high probability that we can appreciate Vizcachas (a rabbit similar to a chinchilla), and perhaps also the Andean Fox. At night our camp will be located in Puyoc (4100m / 13,451ft); place that is quite sterile due to the altitude, and where it would not be unusual to appreciate snow during the dry season, therefore it is recommended to wear gloves and hats.
This will be the most spectacular day of the hike and lighter compared to the previous day. From our camp we will travel about 13 km to the town of Cuncani, a path that is mostly downhill, since the opening is only 2 hours walk from the starting point.
As we head to Cuncani we will pass through snowy peaks high above, around us, also through quiet mountain lakes (including the Yanacocha or “Black Water” lagoons). We will get to know the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothes. This side of the open is completely different culturally compared to the other side, and as we descend from the open your guide will teach you about the people in these areas and their lifestyle. You can also learn some Quechua phrases to interact with local people.
This third day we will focus on meeting the local people. After waking up early, our guide will lead us to one of the houses in the area, where we will meet a local family. People are incredibly welcoming and will be as eager to learn about you as you are from them - for this you will have already learned and mastered some phrases to be able to ask some questions (many for delight and fun). After the visit you will have the opportunity to give any gift you have brought to local people and also to buy some of the locally made alpaca products for which this region is famous.
Leaving Cuncani will take us a short distance (6km) until we reach the Lares Hot Springs. Along the way we will cross several small communities and see people growing a variety of foods such as Quinia and Tarwi, we probably also appreciate flocks of Andean parrots flying above us (they are easy to detect thanks to their penetrating squawking). After a relaxing bath in the hot springs, we will be picked up by our bus and driven back to the Sacred Valley and spend the night in Ollantaytambo
Starting from your hotel in Ollantaytambo through our transport, we will go to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, there a train will lead us through impressive Andean landscapes and after a little more than an hour we will reach our starting point, the kilometer 104. Our adventure will begin on the banks of the Urubamba River and after a slow ascent we will arrive at the Original Inca Trail in the Wiñay Wayna area before continuing to the “Puerta del Sol” (Inti Punku) and then to Machu Picchu.
Throughout our tour through Ceja de Selva, we will cross its lush and green landscapes of cloud forests that completely cover the mountains, where we will appreciate an immense variety of plants, flowers and birds along the way. We can also see some mammals such as the Viscachas (rabbit similar to chinchilla) and the spectacled bear (if we are lucky).
After a whole day of walking we will reach the Puerta del Sol (Inti Punku), where at dusk we will get our first views of Machu Picchu extending along the mountain range, the light at this time of day is ideal for taking pictures , also taking advantage of the small number of tourists. Descending from the Puerta del Sol we will continue along the beautiful stone-paved road to Machu Picchu, but only to the famous “Mirador” at the top of the citadel. From here we will descend again to the town of Aguas Calientes in the lower valley to check-in at the hotel and for dinner.
After waking up very early, we will take the first bus to get to Machu Picchu and enter the site while it opens to start the first visit shift. We will have an approximate 3-hour “on-site” tour guide during which we will learn about the Incas and visit the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour, if you have the permit and / or entrance tickets, you can ascend to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon we will take the train that will take us back to Ollantaytambo, from where we will continue by van to return to the city of Cusco.
You will have the morning free to relax or perform another activity selected by you, and according to the schedule of your flight, you will be transferred by our staff to the airport for your respective flight to Lima.
We recommend you bring a refillable bottle, as we will provide you with water for breakfast every morning.
During the walk our chefs are in charge of preparing the most suitable foods for a walk like La Caminata a lares, the menu is: pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods.
You can also choose a vegetarian alternative is available if you request it in advance
The difficulty of the walk to Lares is of moderate level, although the altitude may affect some people. We recommend buying a wooden cane while hiking in Peru, as it will help you maintain balance and reduce the load on the knees. We ask you not to use a cane with a metal tip, as it can damage the fragile environment along the way, and for example to enter Machu Picchu it is prohibited
It is impossible if altitude sickness will affect you. Most travelers will not have problems, as long as they can acclimatize properly. A full day in Cuzco (3249m), take it easy and drink plenty of water, is usually enough. The highest point is 4550 meters. You will sleep at 3600 meters for one or two nights.
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