If you are taking the Lares Trek Explorer, you are given an opportunity to explore around the capital Lima, the former capital of the Incan Empire - Cusco as well as the Sacred Valley of the Incas offering fantastic sceneries and stunning Incan monuments. Moreover, the tour involves the Lares Valley Trek, an amazing alternative to the Inca Trail hike. The trek leads through unspoiled Andean highlands where local farmers and villagers still keep their way of life as they did 500 years ago. This Machu Picchu hiking leads on a rugged mountain route observing mountain lagoons, snowy peaks, mountain passes, meeting local people living in remote areas along the Lares trail, who had to learn on how to live in these extreme weather conditions. The people live in thatched stone houses and wear their traditional colourful ponchos. They weave high quality fabrics that you can buy there for bargain prices and contribute to the living of these poor people in this way. You can also observe their unique methods developed over centuries on how to grow corn, potatoes and other products or breed llamas and alpacas within these steep and spectacular mountain peaks. In the end of the Lares trail, you take a train to Aguas Calientes where you overnight in a hostel and get ready for the following day tour of the main South American highlight - the enchanting Machu Picchu. There, you learn about this stunning antique Incan citadel during a guided tour to later continue climbing Huayna Picchu on your own to take more beautiful photos of Machu Picchu, this time from bird´s eye view. We finish this one of the best Machu Picchu tours by transport back to Cusco, where we spend the last day relaxing and exploring the Inca capital.
We pick you up from the Lima´s airport to take you to a comfortable hotel in Miraflores district where you rest after your flight. The next day, you are taken back to the airpot to take a flight to Cusco that was called once the "Navel of the World" by the Incas! There, you can walk around the city or just relax to get acclimatize to its high altitude (3,300 m.a.s.l.). The next day, you go to get to know the natural beauties and Incan monuments of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You overnight there in the end of this tour and get ready for Machu Picchu hiking following the authentic Inka´s path of the Lares Trek. You trek for 3 days and then you take a Machu Picchu train taking you to Aguas Calientes where you overnight in a hostel. The last day of the Lares trail, you just climb for two hours to reach the New Wonder of the World - Machu Picchu, and receive its two hour guided tour. After your Tour Guide, you will be climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan citadel. In the afternoon, you start returning to Cusco. The next day is dedicated to resting after you have done the Lares Trek, alternatively you can chose one of our Cusco tours (e.g. Cusco City Tour, Southern Valley Tour, Maras-Moray-Salineras Tour, etc.). You can also enjoy Cusco´s night life as this is the last night of the tour. The last day, we take you to the airport at Cusco where the Lares Route finishes.
Day 01: Arrival to Lima
Day 02: Flight to Cusco Transfer back to airport for flight to Cusco.
Day 03: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 04-07: Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu
Day 08: Cusco
Day 09: Departure Day
Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representatives in Lima and Cusco, a professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook and a Horseman (during the Lares Valley Trek).
Accommodation: 3* hotel (5 nights), campsites (2 nights), a hostel (1 night).
Meals: 8x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 3x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 100 - 150 for meals not included).
Transportation: 1x domestic flight, transportation by private van, 1x train (Expedition Class).
Camping equipment: You can view our Lares Valley Trek camping equipment here!
Please note that the first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time. When you arrive to the airport at Lima, our Representative waits for you holding a sheet with your name and transfers you to your hotel.
The capital of Lima is also known as the "City of the Kings" as it was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535! The Plaza de Armas (main square) is a heart of old Lima. There can be found the Cathedral, Governmental Palace and Archbishop’s Palace.
In the morning, we take you to the Lima´s airport for your flight to Cusco. Our Representative awaits you in front of the Cusco´s arrival airport hall holding a sheet with your name. After he/she welcomes you in Cusco, he/she takes you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore around this fascinating city as well as to acclimatize to its high altitude.
Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city of this continent as well as a hub of he South American travel network! The city attracts people from all around the world, who arrive not only to visit a unique destination, but also to experience an antique culture that differs a lot from the occidental 21st century´s way of life. One could easily spend a week just in and around this site. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and it is not necessary to go far to see other major Incan ruins. This is a city steeped in history, traditions and legends.
Every year, Cusco is visited by thousands of travelers, who come to delve into its noble, but tragic past. It is a perfect base for optional explorations around the city´s surroundings as well as for a range of outdoor activities.
The most important monument of the Cusco City is without any doubt Qorikancha - the Golden Temple and the main temple of the Incan empire - Tawantinsuyo. There, the Sun god was worshipped.
Cusco also has got numerous colonial churches. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish. The Cathedral can pride itself on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city. A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was once an important source of food to Incan people. Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keep supplying the city of Cusco with much of its production. As it lays 600 metres lower than Cusco, its average temperature is 5ºC higher so it has got a very pleasant climate.
The tour shows us around the major archaeological sites placed in Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. At Pisaq, an optional two hour (5 km) trek allows us to fully appreciate this huge antique Incan city nestled high in this Andean range. Later on, we can observe a colorful handicraft market at the modern Pisac Town that is without any doubt a unique place to find perfect souvenirs! Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, where we have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo, a place that can boast with another large Incan site. Its major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Incan urban planning and engineering! But Ollantaytambo is more than that, it is an alive and breathing Incan town!! We stay overnight here to absorb its atmosphere in its total.
Ollantaytambo is strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. We spend the night in this small town before starting one of the best Machu Picchu tours - the Lares Valley Trek the following morning.
We leave Ollantaytambo early in the morning and travel by bus through the Sacred Valley of the Incas until we get to the village of Lares. There, we enjoy local medicinal hot springs all the rest of the morning. Later on, we start our trekking upwards the Lares Valley until we reach the indigenous community of Wacawasi where we overnight.
The second day, we cross the challenging Condor´s Pass (4,100 m) offering stunning views of Mount Veronica (5,750 m)! After that, we descend slowly to the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake, our last campsite.
On the third day, we follow a trail leading us downhill passing stunning viewpoints of Willoc. Finally, we get to Ollantaytambo again, however, this time not to look around the town, but to take an evening train towards Aguas Calientes (a town just bellow Machu Picchu). There, we spend a night in a comfortable hotel.
In the morning of the fourth day, we get ready for the long-awaited trip to Machu Picchu. Today, we hike only for two hours until we reach the entrance of this historic and spiritual centre of the Incas. There, we enter and start our guided tour, during which our Tour Guide introduces us to its history and describes us each part of the "Lost City of the Incas"!
Afterwards, we are given an opportunity to hike either the peak of Wayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu Mountain to observe the Incan citadel from another perspective.
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
FREE OPTION: Those, who are not able or interested in to the trekking, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley and spend the following 2 days there. In this case, they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train, we usually use Expedition Class, but they also can chose another class operated by three railway companies: Peru Rail, Inca Rail or Machu Picchu train. Then, they overnight in a hotel. Next morning, they take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Lares Valley hikers. This option is for no additional cost!!
IMPORTANT! If you decide not to do the trek, you must advise us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your Machu Picchu train tickets!! Otherwise, we are not able to guarantee you this option for free!!
If you have any query, please do not hesitate contacting us.
Today is a relaxing day so you can explore the fascinating former capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, do some optional activities as well as get ready for the last night in the city.
You can explore some of many very good museums such as the Inca Museum, the Qoricancha Museum, the Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), the Regional Historic Museum and the Religious Art Museum.
The city is also a perfect base for those more adventurous as it offers a range of optional outdoor activities such as white river rafting on Urubamba River, horseback riding around nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara) or mountain biking down to Maras-Moray-Salineras and perhaps visiting some Incan sites on the way.
Transfer to the airport at Cusco to take a flight to Lima.
End of service.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 100-150 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights and a single tent for the Lares Valley Trek.
Local flights: One local flight is included in the cost of your. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process all air tickets. Each internal flight ticket is issued locally and it will be given to you prior to your flight departure!