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Peruvian Highland trek

Peruvian Highland trek

The Peruvian Highland Trek tour takes us to a scenic and rugged mountain route following an authentic Inca path leading us through the Lares Valley offering splendid views of unspoiled Andean nature. This Lares Trek leads us to Machu Picchu meeting local farmers and villagers wearing traditional colourful cloths continuing their way of life in an unchanged way during the past 500 years.  These people excel in weaving techniques so we can learn or buy something from them while passing impressive snow peaks and mountain lagoons in a company of lamas (Andean cameloids) and mulas. The trek offers a unique insight into ingenious people lifestyle. The trek is an ideal Inca Trail treks alternative.  In the end of the trek, we are given a guided tour of the splendid "New Wonder of the World" - Machu Picchu then plenty of time to explore this magnificent archelogical site.
During the tour, we also visit Cusco, which was once considered as the "Navel of the World" by the Incas, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas observing its ancient monuments and natural beauties. 
Another highlight of the tour is a visit of the Amazon Rainforest called the "Lungs of the World" because of its enormous production of oxygen.  There, we can explore its amazing flora showing us 500 year old trees and other exotic plants that cannot be seen in any other part of the world. We can also observe a huge number and variety of rainforest animals such as capybaras, Giant River Otters, black and white caymans, jaguars, tapirs, anteaters, peccaries, deer, 13 monkey species, 10 species of toucans and uncountable number of colourful birds.  So you surely will enjoy the tour.

Quick Itinerary:

 

Day 01: Arrival to Lima

Day 02-04: Peruvian Jungle Tour/Cusco

Day 05: Sacred Valley Tour 

Day 06-09: Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 10: Cusco City 

Day 11: Departure Day


Important info about your Trek:

  • Start of the tour in Lima
  • 3 day holidays to the Amazon Rainforest
  • Discovery of the jungle with a naturalist local Tour Guide
  • A unique opportunity to observe rare species of rainforest animals and plants
  • Guided tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Experiencing the amazing Lares Trek representing a perfect Inca Trail treks alternative 
  • A 4 day hike to Machu Picchu following an authentic Inca path leading through the stunning valley of Lares
  • A trek supported by an experienced Tour Guide, a Cook, a Muleteer and llamas
  • Observation of magnificent mountain sceneries
  • Meeting people of remote Andean villages
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Exploration of the Cusco City
Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representatives in Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Cusco and a professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook and a Horseman during the Lares Trek

Accommodation: 3* hotels (5 nights), jungle lodges (2 nights), campsites (2 nights) and a hostel (1 night).

Meals: 10x breakfast, 5x lunch, 5x dinner and 02 afternoon tea.

Transportation: 3x domestic flight, transportation by private van, motorboat transportation, 1x train (Expedition Class).

Camping equipment: All camping equiment included


Packing List:


  • Passport: Carry it is very important
  • Inmigration Card
  • ISIC card: if you booked as a student
  • A good hiking shoes: Comfortable and useful on all terrain
  • Waterproof: Especially in rainy seasons
  • Sunscreen: Avoid the ultraviolet ray
  • Coca leaf

 

Interesting Information

Day 01: Arrival to Lima

The Peru Highland Trek tour starts with an arrival to the airport of Lima where our Representative awaits you holding a sheet with your name to take you to your hotel afterwards. 

Please note! The first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time!

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.

Day 02-04: Peruvian Jungle Tour/Cusco

Today, your holidays to the Amazon Rainforest starts so we take you early in the morning to the Lima´s airport to take a flight to the city of Puerto Maldonado. Then, we travel by a motorized boat over the Madre de Dios River to our lodge settled deeply in the jungle. On our journey to the lodge, you have a chance to see bird species typical for the river and the forest´s outskirts such as a black skimmer, a pied lapwing, a capped heron, a roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris), a kingfisher, a swallow or a tyrant flycatcher.

The jungle lodge combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge as well as multilingual Naturalists-Guides mostly consist of local communities' members.

 

Every day, you have a chance to discover loads of typical rainforest animals and plants while receiving explanations and advices of our local specialist Tour Guide. The Amazon jungle covers about a half of Peruvian territory and it is located in the Amazon Basin.  Thanks to its isolation it keeps hidden to casual travellers. Puerto Maldonado is the main city of the region and is mostly accessed by air from the capital and from Cusco. The city lies on confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. It is a busy and booming tropical frontier city which principal activities are gold mining, cashew nut collecting, timber exploitation, agriculture and ecotourism.

 

The area of Tambopata ranges from Andean highlands situated around headwaters of local rivers through last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of the Peru´s Amazon Basin. Tambopata is famous for a wide variety of plants and animal populations that include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot specias that are equal to 10% of the world parrot population), 200 mammal species (4 species of primates included), 90 species of frogs, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants! All of them are protected by law!!! Harpy eagle, a prehistoric looking hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters inhabitating its oxbow lakes are just a few to name some of these rainforest rare species.

 

On the last (third) day of this Amazonian trip, we transfer you back to the airport at Puerto Maldonado for your flight to Cusco located in the high Andes. You are welcomed by our Representative there and taking to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to be able to acclimatize to the high altitude as well as relax and explore some of this  fascinating city.

Day 05: Sacred Valley Tour

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. 


Ollantaytambo is strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. We spend the night in this small town to absorb its atmosphere in its total as well as to get ready for our hike to Machu Picchu the next morning.

Day 06-09: Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

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 the 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 the so called "Lost City of the Incas".  Today, we hike to Machu Picchu for about 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 the peak of Wayna Picchu 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 (Expedition Service). They overnight in a hotel there. 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 advice us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your 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.

Day 10: Cusco City

After having experienced the Peru hike, we deserve a relaxing day today. So we can explore the fascinating 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!

We can also visit some of many very good museums such as Inca Museum, Qoricancha Museum, Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), Regional Historic Museum and Religious Art Museum.

Cusco has got numerous colonial churches too. 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 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.

The city is a perfect base for those more adventurous too 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.

Day 11: Departure Day

In the morning, we take you back to the Cusco´s airport to take a flight to Lima.

Please note: A return flight to Lima can be arragend upon request! 
 

End of service, or a suitable time to extend your trip.

What is included in this tour?

  • Welcome by our Representative at arrival;
  • Domestic flights: Lima - Puerto Maldonado - Cusco;
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers;
  • Accommodation: 3* hotels (5 nights), a hostel (1 night), jungle lodges (2 nights), campsites (2 nights);
  • All entrance fees according to the itinerary;
  • Bilingual professional Tour Guides as per itinerary;
  • A Cook for the Lares Trek;
  • A Muleteer for the hike to Lares;
  • Mules and lamas to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passanger´s stuff during the Lares Trek;
  • Meals: 10x breakfast, 5x lunch, 5x dinner, 3x afternoon tea during the Lares Trek;
  • Camping equipment for the Lares Trek: personal double tents, sleeping foam matts, tables and chairs, a dining tent and a toilet tent;
  • Cooking tent with cooking equipment for the trek;
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C) for the trek;
  • Transport by a private van during the tours and local transfers;
  • A round trip by tourist train (Expedition Class) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes;
  • A shuttle bus round trip between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes;
  • Motorboat transportation during the Peruvian Jungle Tour.

Not Included

  • Pre & post tour accommodation,
  • Last local flight Cusco-Lima,
  • International flights nor airport departure taxes,
  • Travel insurance,
  • Meals not mentioned,
  • Tips and baggage portage to local staff (Please note: It is a custom to give tips in Peru, however, it is not obligatory.),
  • Optional tours,
  • Other extras not specified.

Meal budget: Please allow USD 150-200 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 during trekking.

Local flights:
 Two local flights are included in the cost of your tour. There is not included the last flight from Cusco to Lima. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process all air tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to each flight departure.

Highlights by Archaeological Sites

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Explore the ruins from the Mountain
  • Visit Lares town
  • Walk through the amazon rainforest
  • Beautiful views from mountains, vegetation and animals
  • Interact with natives of the area
  • See the traditional rituals

 

Best moment of the Trek

  • Walk among the ruins and the landscapes from the amazon rainforest

 

Encampment Equipment

  • Inca Trail Machu Tour operator will provide the double tent. Our tents are of the brand  EUREKA MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary
    Inca Trail Machu will provide the clean Sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow and blanket. Our porters will leave inside your tent. Once arrived to the camping, you will find inside your all camping equipment.

 

Additionals

  • Walking sticks or poles cost $20 to rent.
  • Daypack for your hike U$ 10
  • Rain Poncho U$ 10 
  • There are emergency porters available for rent along this trek if you are unsure you will be able to complete the hike, cost $80.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Peruvian Highland Trek

Here is everything you need to know about Peruvian Highland Trek, one of our most impressive routes.

Where is located the Amazon Rainforest, the Sacred Valley and Lares?
In Peru, is named Amazon Rainforest to all the territories that are located to the East of the Andes mountain and hydrographically to all the rivers of the Amazon River basin. It is a huge geological depression in which the large plains, mountains, and plains predominate. Some locals call it Amazon jungle.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located 35 kilometers from Cusco, and about 600 meters below the level of Cusco. It covers the part of the basin of the Vilcanota river between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
"Lares" is a district that is located in the province of Calca, in Cusco. Lares is interesting product of the natural and archaeological resources that can be found in the district.

Altitudes in Peruvian Highland Trek
In the Amazon Rainforest we can find two natural regions:
  • Selva Alta, located on the eastern slope of the Andes, at an altitude between 400 m. and 1000 m a.s.l.
  • Selva Baja or region of freshwater fish, located at an altitude between 80 m. and 400 m a.s.l.
In the Sacred Valley, we will find the following altitudes:
  • "Cusco" at 3,399 m.a.s.l.
  • "Pisaq" at 2,974 m.a.s.l.
  • "Ollantaytambo" at 2,972 m.a.s.l.
  • "Chinchero" at 3,762 m.a.s.l.
And, during Lares Trek:
  • "Lares" at 3,150 m.a.s.l.
  • "Condor´s Pass" at 4,100 m.a.s.l.
  • "Veronica Mountain" at 5,750 m.a.s.l.
  • "Machu Picchu" at 2,430 m.a.s.l.
What does "Pisaq" and "Ollantaytambo" mean?
The origin of the name "Pisac" comes, probably, from Quechua word "p'isaqa", which means partridge (abundant in this place).
The word Ollantaytambo is made up of two words: "Ollantay", which comes from Aymara and means to observe, to look from above, and "Tambo", which comes from Quechua and means shelter, resting place. Therefore, the meaning of Ollantaytambo would be: "resting place from where you can look out"

Is it possible to do the Peruvian Higland Trek on my own?
First, to get to the "Amazon Rainforest", the quickest and easiest way, is fly from Lima to Iquitos. The duration of the trip is usually a couple of hours, and the price of the air tickets ranges between 80-120 dollars, depending on the season. And, the economic alternative is to travel by boat sailing from Pucallpa to Iquitos, but the journey takes 3-4 days and you have to sleep in a hammock ... very adventurous, yes, but surely exhausting due to the heat and mosquitoes.
Then, from Cusco, there are two direct roads that connect the city with the Sacred Valley and the towns of Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. To reach the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you must first reach Cusco; generally your visit will begin in the town of Pisac and continue through the city of Urubamba to then visit the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo. Buses leave every day from Cusco to all the cities of the Sacred Valley. You will find buses that leave every 15 minutes heading to Ollantaytambo. Bus tickets cost around 15 soles. Getting to Pisac by bus will take you 45 minutes to an hour and costs approximately 7 soles. From Pisac, you can go to Urubamba in 30 minutes, or to Ollantaytambo in one hour; the prices vary between 5 and 10 soles.
And, about Lares Trek, this walk does not require permits so there is always availability, however, it is better to book your walk in advance to ensure the Machu Picchu entrances and the best train locations.
PARTIDAS
GALERIAS
RESERVACION
Days  11 
From $ 1320.00
per person
Code PPA
Activity level
responsible people foundationThe Responsible People Foundation is registered under Peru’s not-for- Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas to support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs. If you would like to help us. You can bring clothes for the cold or school supplies and you can win a Rainbow Mountain free or other tour in Cusco. Do not worry if your gift is not new. Only help us to help the children and families.
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