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Lares Trek 4D/3N

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The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. Taking you off the beaten track with visits to authentic Andean communities whilst being surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys this fabulous trek offers a real insight in to the lives of the people of Cusco as it once was. The route we offer starts in the village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley and finishes in the hot springs of Lares with a visit to the village of Cuncani along the way. On Day 3 of the trek you take a bus from Lares to Ollantaytambo and then carry on by train to Machu Picchu.

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Day 1 Cusco – Pumahuanca – Puyoc

Stop At:

The snowy Pumahuanca is one of the mountains of the Vilcanota mountain range, located in the upper part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, province of Urubamba, Cusco. It is a majestic scenario where we can observe a high biodiversity when traveling several altitude floors from the vegetation of the valley, middle floor and high mountain. Our first day of the trek starts of in the small village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley. We’ll gently make our way up one of the side valleys covering about 14km in total and climbing about 1150m / 3373ft as we make our way towards the village of Puyoc. On our way up we’ll visit the small Inca site of Pumahuanca and learn about the native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region. This particular route for the Lares trek is not commonly done by other companies so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbance. Because so few people visit the area there is a good chance of seeing Viscachas (a rabbit like Chinchilla) and we may also spot Andean Fox. Our campsite for the night is at Puyoc (4100m / 13451ft); it’s quite barren at this altitude and it is not uncommon for it to snow up here during the dry season so gloves and a hat are recommended. Starting Altitude – 2800m / 9186ft. Highest Altitude – 4780m / 15,682ft. Walking Distance – 14km/8.7 miles. Coldest Night – Day 1 around 0º Celsius. Overall Difficulty – Moderate. Campsite Elevation – 3700 meters ASL / 12333 feet ASL. Difficulty: Moderate. Meals: Lunch and Dinner (snacks and afternoon tea time). Accommodation: Camping. Adventure: Moderate-High!.

Duration: 2 hour

Day 2 Puyoc – Yanacocha – Cuncani-lares

Stop At:

The Yanacocha lake is a natural attraction of great popularity in the villages around Ollantaytambo. Yanacocha means ‘Black Lagoon’. This natural attraction is close to the town of Huayabamba (only 26 kilometers from Ollantaytambo). The color of the waters of this lagoon is black. The diameter of the lake is 240 meters. The depth of 14 meters. The place is surrounded by a set of mountains. Many tourists decide to camp near the lagoon. The place is also ideal for taking great pictures.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At:

Today is the most spectacular day of the trek and quite a bit easier going than yesterday. From our campsite it’s about a 13km walk to the village of Cuncani but most of that is downhill as the pass is only about a 2 hour walk right at the beginning. As we make our way to Cuncani we’ll pass by snowcapped peaks high above us, serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha – Black Water) and get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely different culturally to the other side and as we wind our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. You’ll also get to learn a few Qhechua phrases so that you can interact with the local people. Camping. Starting Altitude – 3700m / 9186ft. Highest Altitude – 4780m / 15,682ft. Walking Distance – 14km/8.7 miles. Overall Difficulty – Moderate. Campsite Elevation – 3150 meters ASL / 10500 feet ASL. Difficulty: Easy. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (snacks and afternoon tea time). Accommodation: Camping. Adventure: Moderate.

Duration: 2 hour

Stop At: Lares

Lares is the name of a small town north of Cusco, it starts in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (in Huarán) where you will have the opportunity to see stone houses with thatched roofs surrounded by herds of llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs, communities where you can appreciate the art and textiles that are preserved in these places. The road is moderate compared to the Inca Trail and where you have stunning panoramic views of different snowfalls, as well as beautiful lagoons, small waterfalls and then an original Inca stone path. When the Pachacuteq pass is reached at 4500m., You will have wonderful views of the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray (5750m.) And Chicon (5500m.). This route is highly recommended because on your journey you. You will see beautiful landscapes and meet typical people of the area who still maintain their customs and also has as a final destination the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

Duration: 3 hour

Day 3 Lares - Machupicchu

Stop At: Calca

This province highlights the presence of three ideal sites for the practice of thermomedical (or medicinal) tourism such as: - The Thermal Baths of Machacancha - The Minas Moqo Thermal Baths The focus of today is to meet the local people. Waking up early we’ll be taken by our guide to one of the houses where we’ll get to meet a local family. The people are incredibly welcoming and are just as eager to learn about you as you are of them – hopefully by now you’ll have mastered a few phrases and be able to ask a few questions (much to everyone delight and amusement). After the visit you’ll have the opportunity to give any gifts you’ve brought for the local people and also to buy some of the locally made alpaca products that the region is famed for. After a relaxing dip in the hot springs we’ll be picked up by our bus and driven back to the Sacred Valley from we board our train to Aguas Calientes. We enjoy a scenic train ride long the Urubamba River to the charming village of Aguas Calientes. Campsite Elevation – 2430 meters ASL / 8100 feet ASL. Difficulty: Easy. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch. Accommodation: Hotel Aguas Calientes- Machupicchu. - Lares Thermal Baths - Huchuy Qosqo Archaeological Center - Ancasmarka Archaeological Center

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Urubamba

Urubamba is located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, so, wherever it is observed, it will always present a great view ofthe Sacred Valley. Among the tourist attractions that are located within the city of Urubamba, there are places such as the city's Plaza de Armas. Around this central point in the city, is the main church of the city, which is known as the Church of San Francisco. Among the natural attractions found in the territory of the city, is the beautiful Urubamba River, which is presented as an interesting route for those interested in rafting. We'll have Lunchin Urubamba.

Stop At: Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is the Sanctuary of the Wind, renowned for its ancient fortress. We visit the royal baths and fountains for a shamanic energy cleansing ceremony by Unu, the Water element, and then make our way along the murmuring river to the Temple of the Condor for a few moments of reflection and silent meditation. In the afternoon we'll ride our train along the Urubamba River to the charming town of Aguas Calientes. Optional visit to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes.

Day 4 Machupicchu - Cusco

Stop At:

We make our way by bus to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu for our spiritual awakening. The Lost City of the Incas is an inspiring and beautiful sacred site, an architectural wonder, and a great testament to Incan Civilization. Once used primarily as an astronomical Observatory, Machu Picchu now attracts thousands of visitors each year to connect with the sacred energies of this special place. Because it sits within 3 corresponding high peaks of power which create an energy triangle, it is a perfect spot to sit and meditate, focus your intent, and grow your awareness. During our time here we will visit the Temple of the Sun and Moon, the Temple of the Condor, the Temple of the Three Windows, and the spiritual center of the Intihuatana, or the Hitching Post of the Sun to connect with the upper and lower worlds and the elements of air, and fire. Enjoy a few moments for private reflection and exploration, before being guided into a heart-opening ceremony to connect with Pachamama and the universal energies that encompass us a life changing experience!

Duration: 2 hour