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lares trek

Lares Trek & Incan Immersion to Machu Picchu 4 Days

Time to escape the beaten path and experience a true mountain adventure. This is the trip you’ve been longing for.

An alternative to the crowded Inca Trail, the Lares Trek is far from expected, ordinary, or overdone.

One of the highlights of this memorable trek is that you’ll get to immerse yourself in the beautiful culture of a true Andean village.

Get up close and personal with Andean farmers as you learn ancient Incan farming techniques. Learn and participate in traditional music and dance. Try on stunning garments woven by the local women. As we teach you our community’s history and feed you the delicious local fare, you’ll begin to imagine what ancient Incan life was like.

Because of our relationship with Choquecancha village, True Mountain Traveler is the only tour operator who can give our travelers this interactive experience. The best physical journeys are also journeys of mind and soul, and we’re proud to to share our home with you in this special way.

cultural immersion travel
Cultural Immersion Travel a unique experience on your hike to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco – Huaran – Cancha Cancha

We will begin at 5:00am where we will pick you up directly from your hotel and drive 2 hours to the village of Huaran (2840m) located in the Sacred Valley between Pisac and Urubamba. Before heading off on your trek, you will meet your horses and your horsesman (Arrieros). Breakfast will be prepared and served before you start hiking and the team will be introduced at that time. After breakfast you will get ready to begin the trek. The first 4.5 hours will be gradual uphill until lunch. . After lunch we will continue leaving the Sacred Valley behind us, we head northwards following a gently climbing trail that goes along the small River 3 hours walking to our campsite called Accopata, an extensión of the small village named Cancha Cancha where we spend the night, which is the village that does not have modern technology. Accopata is located about (3,800 m/ 12,467 ft) where people still practice real traditions of the Incas. In this Incan village, 85 percent of the houses are still composed of original, ancient construction, made of stone, with grass-thatched roofs. Unlike any other village in the Lares Valley, this village where has no electricity or cars. Here, you will not only enjoy the wilderness, but your porters will also set up your tents. You will have some time to meet with the local children. We provide them with food in each Lares trek we do and school supplies, so we invite our travelers to share this support in the education and the health of this native village. You can join us and bring anything you would like to supplement the lives of these Quechuan-speaking children. In the evening you will enjoy hot drinks and dinner.

Walking distance: 14 km

Campsite Elevation: 3800 meters

Weather: warm/Cold

Trail Conditions: Rocky , dusty and slippery (trekking shoes required)

Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Quishuarani – Lares hot springs

Leaving Cancha Cancha we continue north-east up the valley, passing small thatched stone houses. After 1 hours the path flattens out before climbing steeply for 2 hours up to the highest pass called Pachacutec Pass (4758m). From there you will be rewarded with superb views of Pachacutec Lake and the snowy peaks of Pitusiray. After time to enjoy everything we head down to Quishuarani village for lunch, It will be 3 hours of walking downhill, along this lovely path, where you will pass by lagoons, stunning waterfalls, more llamas and alpacas. After lunch we will catch a van and make the short drive into the valley at the Lares Hot Springs camp site. You will have time for happy hour with hot, cold drinks and jump any time to natural hot springs before and affter dinner. Which are divided into cold to boiling pools. They are all composed of pure volcanic water, which is medicinal in nature and considered to be good for your bones, stress, muscles and headaches.

Walking distance: 14 km

Campsite Elevation: 3150 meters

Weather: Cold, rainy, windy, warm.

Trail Conditions: Rocky , dusty and slippery (trekking shoes required)

Difficulty: challenge

Day 3: Lares – Choquechancha – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, we will visit a Choquecancha farm nearby,t he time here will be filled with fun as you:

  • Learn about Andean agriculture
  • See how music and dance are incorporated into the fabric of Andean farming culture
  • Drink chicha, learn the importance of the sacred drink, and learn proper Andean drinking etiquette
  • Try on clothing weaved by local Choquecancha women
  • Lunch featuring traditional Andean food

After lunch we take our private transport to Ollantaytambo from and we catch the train to Aguas Calientes.

Extra time to wander Ollantaytambo village before dinner

Head to Aguas Calientes where we stay the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Wake up time is at 4:30am, breakfast is at 5:00am at hotel and then we will line up to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (they are first come, first serve – like a shuttle). The bus takes 25 minutes to get up the seitchback road to Machu Picchu (which opens its gates at 6:00am. Please make sure you bring your original passport – the same one that you used to book your trip because the rangers will ask for it (you can get a Machu Picchu stamp on your passport if you like as well). Your guide will help you find the perfect spots ot get perfect pictures of Machu Picchu (which will immediately become your Facebook profile photo!). You will be able to enjoy the sunrise, if the weather is good in Inka site. Then you will have your 2-hour guided tour. You will have some extra time to explore the site on your own, if you have booked Huayanpicchu or Machupicchu mountain your guide will show you where to begin this hike. Huaynapicchu takes 2 hours nad Machupicchu 3 hours roundtrip, but if you did not book for this mountains you can still clumb to the Sun Gate 1.5 hours or to the Inka Bridge (45 minutes) with great views. Once you are done exploring, you can make your way back to the buses and head down to Aguas Calientes to enjoy some lunch. After lunch you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and we will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Important Notes

  • Huayna Picchu or machupicchu mountain is $25 per person and needs to be arranged in advance
  • If you want to stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes please let us know in advance. We can adjust your train tickets and arrange a hotel if you would like for us to help.
  • Rangers do not allow people to carry large backpacks, day packs only are allowed.
  • No trekking poles are allowed to be used in Machu Picchu.
  • Snacks and water are allowed but they must be inside your backpack (not in outer pockets)
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