Trekking, Adventure, Experiential, Historical, Cultural and Ecological
Lares, hot springs, Huacawasi, Arurayoq, Mantanay, Yanahuara, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes & Machu Picchu
As with all of the Lares programs, you will appreciate the beautiful natural geography of the Peruvian Andes on this Lares route, leading to the famous and mysterious Incan city of Machu Picchu.
After your breakfast in hotel, we will pick you up in the morning and transport the group in touristic transport until Lares. We pass through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, arriving to the small village of Calca where we will take a short 30 minute break to stretch the legs and pick up last minute supplies needed for the trek. We then continue travelling to the highest point on this route at an altitude of 4265 meters above sea level, where we can see the mountains of Sawasiray and Pitusiray in the distance. We then make our way downhill to the warmer Lares Valley, to an altitude of 3207 m.a.s.l.. Lares is a village of typical colonial structures, a central Catholic church, main plaza and narrow cobblestone streets.
In this village, we will also meet up with our horsemen and mules, with time to enjoy the medicinal hot springs while the cook prepares an exquisite lunch. After lunch we start out on our Lares Trek adventure. We will be slowly ascending to the community of Huacawasi located at 3600 meters and where we will make our first campsite. Along the way are lamas and alpacas, and the homes are picturesque- constructed of adobe and straw common to the area.
After breakfast, we will part ways with our campsite, heading out in the early morning in ascent to the direction of Aruraycocha, the highest point of our trek (4500 meters). From here we will have a surprise view of the other side, as the terrain changes and we head downwards to a couple of lakes, where we will also stop for lunch. The area here changes to a conservation area of Mantanay, full with new flora and fauna to be enjoyed. There is a typical Incan tree by the Quechua name of Q’euña, growing abundantly between the two lakes which are formed in part by the melting glaciers of the Pumahuanca and Kiswarani mountaintops. On just the right day and with a little bit of luck, hikers sometimes catch a glimpse of the famous Condor. There are also many other types of birds, some in risk of extinction that can be seen in this area. As we continue, we descend through a forest of trees, ultimately arriving to the second campsite in the village of Mantanay (3800 meters).
After a restful night and filling breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the third day of our hike, heading for Yanahuara, located at 2950 m.a.s.l.. This is a pretty village with a comfortable warm climate, located in Urubumba, part of the Sacred Valley. This area largely produces certain products for Cusco, especially the unique large-grained white corn that is well known and admired world-wide. Arriving at Yanahuara we will have our last lunch together as a group, taking a small break, and then our touristic bus to the train station in Ollantytambo where we catch the train to Aguas Calientes town and later to our respective hotels. There are many touristic restaurants to choose from here, hot springs to enjoy and a large hand-craft market to peruse.
After breakfast provided in hotel, we will walk to the bus station where we take a 30 minute bus ride up the mountain to the Machu Picchu entrance (2400 m), with opportunity to see the sunrise in the famous temple and take advantage of the few other tourists around at this time. We will have a guided tour including various points of interest such as main plazas, the circular tower, solar sun dial, living quarters, Temple of the Three Windows, and cemeteries. There is free time afterwards to explore more, take photos, and then catch a bus back down to Aguas Calientes where you will finally catch the train to Cusco city.
Note: it is optional to climb Waynapicchu Mountain, but must be booked at an extra cost ahead of time, as space is limited.
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