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Lares Hike

US $
Per person
Tour Type:
Highest Altitude:
Group Size:
Phisycal Level:
1:1 / 5
Recommended Departures:
/ 5

DESCRIPTION: In this hike and rarely visited region, you will meet real Andean farmers dressed in traditional brightly-colored ponchos. You will pass through local communities and see thatched roof stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas. In the kitchens, you’ll see guinea pigs running loose, ready to be captured and cooked. (We’ll have the opportunity to eat guinea pig for lunch or dinner, if you’re up for it!).

Perhaps one of the most interesting parts about Lares is seeing the difference between this area and the Machu Picchu area. In Ollantaytambo and AguasCalientes, in the heart of Peruvian tourism, mostly everyone wears western clothing and speaks Spanish, or is bilingual. In Lares, you will see that there are no roads and sometimes no electricity. The people here have very little education, speak only Quechua, and wear traditional dress.

Acclimatization: There is one pass over 14,600 feet (4,450 meters), so it is essential that you are well acclimatized to the altitude before beginning the hike. If you are arriving from sea level, plan on spending at least 3 days in Cusco and the surrounding area before starting.

* Note: We need a minimum of two people to book the tour.


valle-de-lares02DAY 1: Cusco – Lares – Wacawasi

We will pick you up early from your hotel in Cusco and take a four-hour drive through the Sacred Valley to the start of the trail. Here in the town of Lares, you can take a dip in the local medicinal hot springs to warm up your muscles for the hike. We will have lunch right beside the hot springs, and then hike a few hours to our first campsite, called Wacawasi at 12,300 feet or 3,750 meters. We will meet a few local families and perhaps even have the chance to try guinea pig!

DAY 2: Wacawasi – Patacancha

This morning, we will continue to hike uphill until we reach the highest pass of the trail called Ipsayjassa at 14,600 feet (4,450 meters). After resting and taking in the incredible views, we will descend to a beautiful lake where we will have lunch and then head to the next campsite, called “Patacancha.”

DAY 3: Patacancha – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

valle-de-lares03This day, we will reach Ollantaytambo, where we will take the afternoon or night train (depending on availability) to AguasCalientes. Depending on the train schedule for that particular day, we might have time to tour the famous ruins in Ollantaytambo. Situated in a fertile river valley and sheltered by huge mountains, this ancient Inca village is considered one of the most important living museums in the world. It is a perfect place to appreciate the vast archeological remains and a wide variety of flowers and bird species.

We will spend the last night in Aguas Calientes in a comfortable hotel, where you will get to have a hot shower and rest from the hike.

DAY 4: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Cusco

After an early-morning breakfast the next morning, we will take the bus to Machu Picchu, where your guide will give you a thorough three-hour tour. After your tour, you will have some downtime to explore the site on your own or free time to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain (if you reserve your ticket in advance), before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where we will have our last meal together. From there, we will send you on the train back to Cusco.

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