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Lares trek to Machu Picchu – 4/5 days


Cost: $ 640 AUD
Flights: no flights included
Duration: 4/5 days
Departure: daily
Location: Quishuarani (Lares), Cuncani, Yanacocha, Wakawasi, Mantanay,
Yanahuara, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Cusco

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Tour Description

This 46km long trek takes us into the Lares region of the Peruvian Andes, passing green valleys, tranquil mountain lakes and high passes, with breathtaking views of snow-capped Andean peaks rising to just under 6000 meters. Our route takes us through many small village communities that offer a rare and fascinating insight into traditional Andean life. Finally we make our way by train to Aguas Calientes and continue on to Machu Picchu, the legendary Lost City of the Incas. We have plenty of time to explore this renowned and fascinating site, climb to Huayna Picchu, walk to the Sun Gate. Don´t hesitate, the trek is of moderate difficulty.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Quishuarani (Lares) - Cuncani - Yanacocha (B, L, D)
Our private bus leaves Cusco at 5.30am sharp for a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Pisac and stopping for a brief toilet break and the chance to buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. in Calca, one of the towns in the valley. Departing Calca around 6.45am we head off for the scenic drive to Quishuarani (3700m / 12,150 ft) which is the starting point for the trek. Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean communities, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of llamas and alpacas plus Campesinos (people of the local villages) in colourful costumes as it is traditional with all villages around Lares major district. A packed breakfast will be served en route around 9am with arrival to Quishuarani before 10am, where we will meet our arriero horses, handlers and trek staff. We commence our beautiful trek through the Andes with a gentle climb from 3700m to 4200m where we will arrive at the lagoon named Queuña Cocha and can observe Mount Sawasiray (5400m) and Colque Cruz (5600m). There is then a short, steeper climb to our first pass, Hualcacasa (4400m) where Mount Veronica (5700m, a sacred Apu mountain in this Valley) can often be observed in the high mountains, after which we descend for 30 minutes to reach our lunch destination beside the picturesque 'seven lagunas'. Following lunch we descend for a further 30 minutes through the community of Cuncani, then gradually ascend beautiful hillsides for 2 hours to reach our second pass, Qolqecasa (4200m). 30 minutes descent from here past lagunas and waterfalls till we arrive at Yanacocha, our campsite for the night around 4.30pm.
Walking distance approx 14km (6-7 hours)

Day 2 – Yanacocha - Wakawasi - Mantanay (B, L, D)
After our 6.30am breakfast we leave Yanacocha and will gradually descend for approx 2 hours until Chaqchapata (3950m). We will be able to observe potato crops, flocks of llamas and alpacas developed in this part of the Andes (part of the cameloid family) and the local communities of people who continue living in houses made of stones. Along the slope we can observe the campesinos of Chaqchapata and 30 minutes further on of Wakawasi. We then ascend for approximately 1 and a half hours to our lunch destination on the 'spongy grass' by a glacial stream, Champacocha. After our lunch rest we ascend for approximately an hour to reach the highest point of our trek, the passage of Auroracasa (4600m) where we will observe the lagoon Auroracocha. From Auroracasa we will descend to walk near two lagoons and traverse one more pass to enter the valley of Queuñas. We will notice a wide change in scenery before arriving at our beautiful campsite in Mantanay (3900m) after approx. 2 hours.
Walking distance approx 16km (7-8 hours).

Day 3 – Mantanay – Yanahuara (B, L, D)
After breakfast we start our walk at 7.30am with a much easier day ahead as we descend to lower altitude and enjoy amazing views of part of Moray Maras and Salineras, mountains and the queuñas bush valley. You will notice the sudden change of weather and environment and observe local campesinos farming different crops of corn, potatoes and local vegetables to sell later in villages in the Sacred Valley. This walk will take approx 4 hours to reach the picturesque village of Yanahuara where we enjoy the last lunch in our trek and farewell our staff, arrieros horses, handlers, cooks and assistants. A private bus will then take us for the 30 minute ride to Ollantaytambo train station where we will board the train for the 2-hour trip with our tour guide to Machu Picchu town, Aguas Calientes.

Day 4 – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco (B, L)
Early breakfast (5am) before taking the bus directly to Machu Picchu at 6am. (Optional for those still able/wanting to walk! - leave 4.30am and walk up to Machu Picchu arriving approx 6am). In Machu Picchu it is still a 15-minute walk from the drop-off point to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy the early tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, showing you the very best of it! Your guide will spend about 2 hours relating to you interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu should finish between 10 and 10.30am then you have free time to take your photos before the 10.30 crowds arrive. You will also have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu (minimum 90 mins - please arrange with your tour guide to get a pass for it!!), Inca bridge or Sun´s gate. We provide a Buffet lunch in Aguas Calientes after the walk down from Machu Picchu. If you prefer a packed lunch to have in Machu Picchu you must sign up for it in the office before your trek.

Package Inclusions

Collection from your hotel in the morning or meeting at our departure point: Plaza Cusipata; Transfer in private transport to Lares – Quiswarani (starting point of the trek); 2 Person Igloo tents and a roll pad mattress; Dining and cooking tents with tables and chairs; English speaking professional guide (2 guides for groups over 10 people); Full board meals (3 meals per day , tea time every afternoon); First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank; Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent; Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment); Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning; Tourist Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes; Back Packer Tourist Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollanta and private transport to Cusco; Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archeological Complex; Guided tour of Machu Picchu, plenty time to explore on your own; Hostel in Aguas Calientes double or triple accommodation; Optional climbing to Huaynapicchu
(B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner)

Package Exclusions

Dinner on the last day; The bus down from Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes $7; International and regional flights; Meals and services not detailed on the program; Tips; Personal expenses, sleeping bag

Supplements

Personal porter (9Kg $40 / 18Kg $80)

Hotel in Cusco

Upgrade Vistadome train to Cusco instead of Standard

Note

When to go: Best from April to October. The trek has usually good availability and it is a good alternative to Inca Trail.


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