Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
An adventure through the peaks of the Andes, trekking through both ancient archaeological sites and 21st century villages. On this trip culture and adventure go hand in hand.
from $2,400 pp 5 Days/4 Nights $480/Day
LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU
CUSCO | SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | MACHU PICCHU
Tucked in the high reaches of the Andes lies the Lost City of the Incas, an extraordinary monument to a civilization we often relegate to the pages of our history books.
This trip invites you to step into the world of a people who mesh ancient customs with the 21st century. The Inca Empire may have fallen nearly 500 years ago, but the traditions and culture of the people have lived on. Five days of hiking on the Lares trek, ultimately leading to a sunrise over Machu Picchu, will take you past breathtaking landscapes and into high villages where many people still speak the native Quechua. With a mix of authentic local encounters followed by hikes through mountain passes and lush valleys, this trip is designed for the traveler who wants a culture focused adventure, without losing the thrilling action-focused itineraries Outside GO is famed for.
PISAQ ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
Time is precious, especially when we're spending that time exploring a new country, which is why this itinerary hits the ground running on its first day. You'll depart Cusco this morning and make for Pisac's famed town market and its brightly colored wares, where a glimpse into the local culture will be waiting for you. If spending your first day in the stunning surrounds is your preference, then choose to take a hike in the nearby hills, ending in the remote community of Viacha. An afternoon excursion to the Pisaq archaeological site wraps up your first day in this incredible country. An afternoon visit means you'll have the luxury of experiencing the site as the sun dips below the mountain peaks, without the tourist crowds.
DRIVE TO THE LARES VALLEY
If yesterday was a peek into the Andean culture, today we begin the immersion. A fascinating drive along the historic "Inca Weaver's Trail" treats you to scenic mountain panoramas and charming scenes of village life. The hidden gem of Ancasmarca, an uncrowded and unspoiled archaeological site, waits to be explored at the end of your drive. After lunch the afternoon can be spent either visiting an ancient weaver's village or trekking amongst mountain peaks and past azure lakes to the village of Huacahuasi, where everyone will rendezvous for your night in a delightful, locally-run lodge.
SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca city who can boast some of the oldest continuously inhabited buildings in all of South America, will be your resting place for the evening, but arriving is part of the fun! Set out from Huacahuasi and venture over a high mountain pass or choose the less strenuous option and roam through a beautiful canyon. Regardless of the path you choose to explore on your way to Ollantaytambo, you'll be rewarded with spectacular views, remote villages and trailside picnics where you can simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings.
History is the name of the game today as you venture out to walk in the footsteps of those who came long before you. From 13th century cobblestone streets, to timeworn storage structures perched high above the valley floor, and an ancient temple that once served as a royal residence for the Inca Emperor Pachacutec, Ollantaytambo serves as a remarkably well-preserved window into Inca life at its prime. You'll be given a chance to explore and experience all of these sights - imagining, as you do, how drastically life has changed over the course of this city's story. After your day of touring the city a scenic afternoon train ride along the banks of the Urubamba River takes you on to Aguas Calientes, the doorstep of Machu Picchu.
As dawn approaches a bus ride brings you the last short distance to your ultimate destination. With a sight as iconic as Machu Picchu we sometimes wonder if perhaps our imagination has oversold how great seeing it will be. Rest assured, that when you watch the sun rise over the famed Sun Gate, your expectations will be wholly outstriped. The awe and majesty of Machu Picchu, or simply the 'Sanctuary' to locals, is felt as fully by first-timers as it is by those who are intimately familiar with the ancient site. For a photo op guaranteed to be a family favorite, choose to hike to Huayna Picchu - the towering mountain frequently spotted in photographs of Machu Picchu. From the heights of Huayna you'll have an expansive view over the entirety of Machu Picchu, the Urubamba river valley, and even on to the edge of the Amazon jungle. Time spent at Machu Picchu is utterly sublime, and the lingering feeling of peace will stay with you long after you begin your journey back to Cusco.
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP
- Experience first-hand the unique ways of life in the Andes Mountains
- Visit lesser-known Inca archaeological sites, without hordes of tourists
- Spend evenings in locally managed lodges, full of local charm
- Choose from a variety of excursion options; you choose the difficulty level of your hikes
- Trek through the Andes on foot and see the beauty of this remote region up close.
- Watch the sunrise over the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu
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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
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