Peru - adventure holidays is a route full of adrenaline that involves Apurimac river rafting, visiting some extraordinary Incan sites during the Maras - Moray - Salineras Tour, doing some Machu Picchu walking during the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, a perfect and great adventurous alternative to the exhausting Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!! There you have an opportunity to continue improving your rafting techniques, this time on the Santa Teresa River as well as giving a try to ZIP-Line. Obviously, your holiday to Peru includes a guided tour of the antique Incan citadel of Machu Picchu.
Please note that the first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time. When you arrive to the airport atLima, our Representative waits for you holding a sheet with your name and transfers you to your hotel.
The capital of Lima is also known as the "City of the Kings" as it was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535! The Plaza de Armas (main square) is a heart of old Lima. There can be found the Cathedral, Governmental Palace and Archbishop’s Palace.
In the morning, we take you to the Lima´s airport for your flight to the Cusco City. Our Representative awaits you in front of the Cusco´s arrival airport hall holding a sheet with your name. After he/she welcomes you in Cusco, he/she takes you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore around this fascinating city as well as to acclimatize to its high altitude.
Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city of this continent as well as a hub of the South American travel network! The city attracts people from all around the world, who arrive not only to visit a unique destination, but also to experience an antique culture that differs a lot from the occidental 21st century´s way of life. One could easily spend a week just in and around this site. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and it is not necessary to go far to see other major Incan ruins! This is a city steeped in history, traditions and legends!
Every year, Cusco is visited by thousands of travelers, who come to delve into its noble, but tragic past. It is a perfect base for optional explorations around the city´s surroundings as well as for a range of outdoor activities.
The most important monument of the Cusco City is without any doubt Qorikancha - the Golden Temple and the main temple of the Incan empire - Tawantinsuyo, where the Sun god was worshipped!
Cusco also has got numerous colonial churches. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish!! The Cathedral can pride on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city! A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
You are picked-up after breakfast from your hotel and taken towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After a 1.5 hour ride, you reach the first stop at a collonial village of Maras. There you stop for a while to observe its typical colonial portals (gateways). After that, you continue to the archaeological site of Moray where you can admire Incan agricultural experimental terraces built in a rectangular shape. There, your Tour Guide explains you more details about a purpose of this extraordinary site. Later, you ride to the last stop of your today´s excursion which are the salt mines of Salineras. The salt mines involve around 3,000 of salt pools that are supplied by an underground hot salt stream sprung from a hill above the pools. You have a walk around the pools with a company of your Tour Guide. You are given also a chance to buy this natural salt there. Then, you get on a private vehicle again and return to Cusco at approx. 3 pm.
Early morning, we start out our rafting adventure by a 4 hour ride northwest of Cusco (3,400 masl) across the Andes down to the Apurimac River Canyon - a 3,000 metre deep canyon, twice as deep as the U.S. Grand Canyon!! The 690 km long Apurimac River is the most direct source of the Amazon River making it the world´s longest river! In the native language of Quechua, its name consists of two words: "apu" meaning divinity or a god and "rimaq" meaning oracle. So that the Apurimac´s name means the "oracle of the gods"!
When we reach the Huallpachaca Village (2,000 masl), we prepare our equipment (self-bailing rafts, paddles, oars, helmets, coolers, life-jackets, wet-suits and others) which takes about 2 hours. Then, we are given a talk on safety and rafting techniques such as know-how on getting back into a raft, a flip of a raft, swimming rapids, etc. Then, we have lunch to afterward start floating for about 2 hours doing rapids of class II and III. We reach our first campsite situated in an impressive narrow gorge. There, we have dinner and overnight.
Next day, we start rafting Apurimac at around 9 am after a healthy breakfast. Today, we enjoy being in the white water for approx. 6 hours doing mostly class III and IV rapids! During that, we stop to have lunch and then we continue rafting down the river towards our second campsite. On the way, we get to a really narow canyon with a very difficult rapid that cannot be overcome so we have to carry our rafts for a while (approx. 7 minutes). At about 4 pm, we reach the campsite. Tonight, we enjoy dinner and campfire on a sandy beach under the sky of the southern hemisphere!
The last day of this amazing rafting tour, we raft through a few of V class rapids! Excect this adrenaline sport, we can also observe some river otters, foxes, torrent ducks, condors and cormorants in this remote and isolated canyon! This makes the tour one of the best wildlife adventures of the whole Peruvian holiday! After 3-4 hours in water, we have to finish and pack the
equipment. Then, we return to Cusco in our private transport reaching it at about 5 pm. You are taken to your hotel where you can continue dreaming about the wildlife adventure while another adventure is already waiting for you!
We leave Ollantaytambo early in the morning and travel by bus through the Sacred Valley of the Incas until we get to the village of Lares. There, we enjoy local medicinal hot springs all the rest of the morning. Later on, we start our trekking upwards the Lares Valley until we reach the indigenous community of Wacawasi where we overnight.
The second day, we cross the challenging Condor´s Pass (4,100 m) offering stunning views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m)! After that, we descend slowly to the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake, our last campsite.
On the third day, we follow a trail leading us downhill passing stunning viewpoints of Willoc. Finally, we get to Ollantaytambo again, however, this time not to look around the town, but to take an evening train towards Aguas Calientes (a town just bellow Machu Picchu). There, we spend a night in a comfortable hotel.
In the morning of the fourth day, we get ready for the long-awaited trip to Machu Picchu. Today, we hike only for two hours until we reach the entrance of this historic and spiritual centre of the Incas. There, we enter and start our guided tour, during which our Tour Guide introduces us to its history and describes us each part of the "Lost City of the Incas"!
Afterwards, we are given an opportunity to hike either the peak of Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu Mountain to observe the Incan citadel from another perspective.
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
FREE OPTION: Those, who are not able or interested in to the trekking, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley and spend the following 2 days there. In this case, they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train, we usually use Expedition Class, but they also can chose another class operated by three railway companies: Peru Rail, Inca Rail or Machu Picchu train. Then, they overnight in a hotel. Next morning, they take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Lares Valley hikers. This option is for no additional cost!!
IMPORTANT! If you decide not to do the trek, you must advise us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your Machu Picchu train tickets!! Otherwise, we are not able to guarantee you this option for free!!
If you have any query, please do not hesitate contacting us.
After having the Machu Picchu trail done, you enjoy a relaxing day, during which you can just laze around the former capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, do some optional activities and enjoy its night life as well!
You can explore some of many very good museums such as the Inca Museum, the Qoricancha Museum, the Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), the Regional Historic Museum and the Religious Art Museum.
Cusco has got numerous colonial churches too. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish!! The Cathedral can pride on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city! A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
The city is also a perfect base for those more adventurous as it offers a range of optional outdoor activities such as white river rafting on Urubamba River, horseback riding around nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara) or mountain biking in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Transfer to the Cusco´s airport to take your next flight.
End of the service!
It is obvious that a written description of them is not enough, but we will try. The Andes of Cusco are really wonderful, because they are made up of huge series of mountains, many snow-capped mountains, rivers, lagoons, valleys, canyons and as we approach the western jungle the geography is filled with green forests and mountains. You will surely have many unforgettable views to admire, photograph, film. In addition, the route has tremendous energy that comes from nature, a very relaxing and invigorating energy, which all hikers perceive and comment on. It is a perfect tour for an immersion in ecology, to renew, strengthen physically and mentally in the peace of the heights that the Incas appreciated so much, hence their veneration and respect for nature.
It is not as long as the Classic Inca Trail, as they travel around 33 kilometers, in addition the camping nights are only 2, but it does require an adequate capacity for physical resistance, a patient and practical mental attitude at some times. It includes several sections of ascent but also of descent. It must come prepared for the cold, but as we approach the jungle the temperature becomes very pleasant. In difficulty level it is lower than that of the Classic Inca Trail and the Salkantay trek of 5 days. Our best advice is to simulate the Lares tour in your home country (with the same backpack, clothes, boots, etc.) and then come to Cusco about 2 or 3 days before to adapt to the height, as many people do. The city offers many interesting activities.
That is one of our important frequently asked questions. In general, children from 10 years old are accepted but in the form of a private tour. To do some Inca Trail in group form (that is, with the usual prices) such as Lares trek, usually the minimum age is 16 years. From there there is no specific age limit, but the idea is that teenagers, young people, adults are physically fit for this adventure. In the case of older adults, it would be advisable to have a previous self-assessment: simulate the trek in your country, know how they will react to altitude etc. For those between 10 and 16 years who wish to come to a group tour at a lower cost, it would be the decision of the parents, that is, if the teenager has physical and mental resistance, a positive and practical attitude to the inevitable efforts of Lares trek, then There would be no major problem.
Another mandatory question. Most people prefer to do the Lares tour during the dry season in Cusco, that is, between the months of April and October. Obviously, the roads are dry, there is no rain, the views are assured all the time. But the rainy season - between November and March - attracts the most adventurous, risky, those who want to challenge nature and also people who are looking for the good discounts offered, fewer people and those who do not have another date to holidays. The Lares tour receives travelers throughout the year, and unlike the classic and short Inca Trail (2 days) it is also available in February.
© Peru Top Experience