The Sacred Valley & Lares trail to Machu Picchu is a journey through the ancient history, living culture and magnificent landscape of Peru’s Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Expert guides will tailor your individual experience with a choice of adventure activities and cultural encounters. Then, as breathtaking sunsets paint the Andean sky, settle into deluxe mountain lodges to prepare for the next day.
Design your adventure through the charming towns of the Sacred Valley, to seldom-visited Inca archaeological sites, along remote highland hiking trails with breathtaking views. Travel to hidden villages for a first-hand glimpse into the culture and daily life of these traditional Andean communities. The Lares Trail to Machu Picchu has guaranteed departures from Cusco several times per week from March 1st through December 31st.
There is an option of a 7-day Lares trail to Machu Picchu including Chinchero, Maras & Moray.
The Lamay Lodge (at 2,963m)is an idyllic hideaway in the Sacred Valley town of the same name. Resplendent sun and green, flower-dotted gardens with picturesque pastoral views create a calming sensation. The outdoor hot tub and firepit in the centre garden are welcoming spaces to gather.
The Huacahuasi Lodge (at 3,840m), is an imposing structure built on the mountainside adjacent to its namesake village. Its design showcases dramatic views of the valley and beyond. It offers soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Each luxury room has a private outdoor jacuzzi to relax while you take in dramatic sunsets and star-filled evening skies.
Early morning departure from Cusco. Option to visit the important market at Pisaq or take a moderate hike in the hills and mountains over the Sacred Valley. Later, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha, where you will learn about its unique farming practices. For lunch, delight in a traditional “Pachamanca” meal here, cooked under hot stones. Afternoon excursion to the archaeological complex at Pisaq, a wonderful opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds, with the sun setting behind the peaks. Highlights: Viacha, Pisaq archeological site.
Go deeper into the heart of the Lares region. A road journey into the mountains will take you through remote archaeological sites. After lunch, choose between visiting a traditional weaver’s villager or a scenic drive and a moderate/strenuous hike amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi. Locals will give you insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco. Highlights: Ancasmarca, Choquecancha, Cuncani hike, Quelquena hike.
Spend some time in the morning learning more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community. Then, you can choose to embark on a spectacular hike through varied terrain and over a high pass, to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest living city in Latin America; or try an easygoing hike from Lares Pass- through an astonishing authentic Inca trail- along a beautiful canyon down to the Local Community of Totora.
If you prefer to see more of the Sacred Valley, you can drive back for a visit to an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilisations of the past or choose to explore the valley on a mountain bike. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the Urubamba River countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo, where you can spend time meandering through its charming maze-like streets. Highlights: Ollantaytambo old town, Huacahuasi, Local communities.
Early morning short hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo for magnificent views of the town and the temple. After, enjoy a guided tour of the fortress, one of the best examples of Inca architecture and revel in its mystical history…a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu. Midday, embark on a scenic train ride along the Urubamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes, a bustling town below the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Highlights: Ollantaytambo old town.
At dawn, begin your visit to Machu Picchu with a rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the Sanctuary, the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with dazzling light. Prepare to be awed by the skilful architecture of the many Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind…or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Let your imagination soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins. Optional uphill hike on Huayna Picchu. Lunch in Aguas Calientes. Afternoon/Early evening return to Cusco by train and private coach. Highlights: Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu.