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Difficulty:

Average/High

Length: 

3 nights/4 days

Brief description: 

This is a high-altitude starting point near the village of Lares, which sits approximately 40 miles North of Cusco and 35 miles East of Machu Picchu. It is home to many traditional weavers and farmers who are famous for their homemade textiles. This is an alternative trek that reaches Machu Picchu, it is slightly shorter but higher in altitude than the Inca Trail and it is much quieter than the popular 4 day Inca Trek.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Cusco - Patakancha – Champa Qocha

 

Leaving Cusco around 5.00am, stopping at Anta for breakfast. We travel 4 hours to the town of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

We arrive to Patakancha, a Quechua community where people live very much like their Incan ancestors, in their stone homes with thatched roofs. The local people make their own clothing, work the land with foot ploughs and live off their Llamas and Alpacas whilst supplementing their income working as porters. We spend some time visiting their community and school.

After meeting with our porters, your kit will be loaded and we will start our hike. Leaving the village we enjoy views of the Llama and Alpaca herds grazing along the trail. The scenery is typical of the high Andes, with high altitude grass and Polylepis trees.

After trekking an ascent for one and a half hours the trail will level out and we will reach Lake Epsayocha, a beautiful lagoon, here we stop for lunch. We continue walking and cross our first high pass of Epsaycocha Pass at 4600m. The rest of the hike will be downhill towards our campsite in Champa Qocha or Huaca Wuasi at 4200m.

Our camp will be set up and we will enjoy dinner and spend the night.


Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 2:

Champa Qocha - Huaca Wasi - Tambohuaylla - Lares

 

Starting with an early morning breakfast, we begin our 2 hour descent until we reach the community of Huaca Wasi. The scenery will be completely different from yesterday, there will be fields full of potato, barley, quinoa and corn.

In the morning we learn about the local weaving techniques and take a look at some of their high quality ponchos, wool hats and other garments.

Our walk will be continued for another 3 hours then we arrive at Tambohuaylla , where lunch will be served, before heading to the local school to meet with the children who are involved in our social project.

We will then walk another one hour and a half before reaching Hot Springs near the colonial village of Lares.

Here we set up camp and take a relaxing dip in the warm waters, which are famous for their healing powers.

Finally, we will have dinner and spend the night.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 

Day 3:

Lares  - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

 

After breakfast we take a bus journey for 1.5 miles to visit the Inca site of Ancasmarka.

Once we have had lunch we will say our goodbyes to the chef's.

The bus takes us further down the valley to the Incan town of Ollantaytambo.

In the afternoon we catch the train to Aguas Calientes, this will be a spectacular journey that starts in the Quecha Highlands and slowly descends into the lush tropical vegetation as we get closer.

Spending the night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and meeting up for dinner. Here you will be able to enjoy the opportunity to soak under a hot showers.

We will have an early night ready for Machu Picchu in the morning. 


Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 

Day 4:

Machu Picchu - Cusco

 

Breakfast will be served at 5.00am at your hotel, then we take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu taking 25 minutes. Catching a glorious sunrise over the city.

You will have a two and a half hour guided tour and free time to explore the mysterious city. If you still have energy you can also climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu at 2720m, this takes around one hour and a half to reach the top.

Afterwards we will head back to Aguas Calientes by bus, we will meet for lunch and collect your train tickets for your return to Cusco. The earliest train normally leaves around 3.00pm-4.00pm. We will head to Ollantaytambo or Poroy by train with a private bus picking us up to take us back to Cusco City Centre.

Included:

  • Spanish and English speaking professional guide

  • Private transport from Cusco - Machu Picchu - Cusco

  • Expedition train ticket from Ollantaytambo/Poroy to Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo/Poroy

  • Return bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu

  • Porters and mules

  • Chef and assistant chef's

  • Dinning Tent, kitchen tents, tables and chairs

  • All meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Tents and mattress

  • Accommodation for our guides, cooks and porters

  • First aid kit

  • Oxygen

  • Please let us know of any dietary requirements when booking

Not included:​​

  • Sleeping bags - can be rented for $25 USD

  • Trekking poles - can be rented for $13 USD

  • Lunch and dinner the last day in Aguas Calientes

Recommended items:​​

  • ​Rain clothes - Jacket and trousers, poncho, hat

  • Swimsuit

  • Small towel

  • Strong, waterproof trekking boots

  • Sandals

  • Flashlight

  • Camera - Extra batteries as they run out faster under cold conditions

  • Suncream, moisturiser

  • Insect repellant - Min 20% DEET

  • Personal first aid kit

  • Snacks - Biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.

  • Water bottle

  • Cash in Soles/$USD

  • YOU MUST BRING YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT

Extra's:

  • Huayna Picchu mountain - $16 USD

  • Student card - $20 USD discount

  • Single occupancy room in Aguas Calientes - $55 USD

PLEASE ALLOW 2-3 DAYS FOR ACCLIMATIZATION

Lares

We accept the following payment methods:

 
Group service
$535 USD
 
Prices
2 pax - $695 USD
3-5 pax - $650 USD
6-8 pax - $595 USD
9+ pax - $535 USD
 
Private service
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Please note: There will be a 6% fee for any deposits paid through PayPal

If you would like to know more about the Social Project you can have a read here