" Urubamba - Pumahuanca - Lares to Machu Picchu"
This trek (Quishuarani to Yanahuara Route) 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 6,000 meters/19685 feet above sea level. Our route takes us through many small village communities that offer a rare & 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 Sun-Gate, etc. before heading back to Cusco.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Our private bus leaves Cusco at 05:45 AM for a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Chinchero and stopping in the town of Urubamba (2700 MASL – 8858 FASL) for a brief toilet break and the chance to buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. A small packed breakfast is served here. Departing Urubamba around 7:15, we have a further 20-minute drive to the beginning of the Pumahuanca Valley, the land of the famous giant white corn crops and chicha, the Incas’ favorite corn beer. This is the place where we will meet our horses, horsemen, and trek staff. All of our required equipment will be carried by mules and horses. We commence our hike through this beautiful Valley in the Andes with a gentle switchback ascent on a gravel path from 2850 MASL/9350 FASL to 3600 MASL/11811 FASL with stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains. We will walk 4 hours to the Inca complex of Inca–Kancha for a guided visit and will stop here for our lunch. Our expert cook will indulge you with delicious Peruvian dishes! After relaxing a while, we will continuing along the way, and you will be able to observe native trees of qeuñas and eucalyptus before we reach a small Andean community of P´accha. From here, there are spectacular mountain landscapes and herds of llamas, alpacas, sheeps, and goats. Then final 2 hours further we will pass a series of small waterfalls and stay at our beautiful campsite named Cuyoc at 3950 MASL/12959 FASL.
We will have an early wake up at 6:00 AM with a cup of hot coca leaf tea and then a good breakfast with quinua pancakes. At 7:00 AM, we recommence our trek with scenic views of the Chicon, San Juan, and Veronica mountains. Surrounded by a native forest, we will have a challenging 5 hours climb along a dirt road with some stone steps; in some parts there are zig-zag switchbacks toward the Pumahuanca Pass located at 4740 MASL/15551 FASL. Along the way, we will also see sacred Apachetas, a series of piled stones made by pilgrims as a symbol of gratitude and respect to the Apus. Once we get to the pass, we honor the top of this mountain with a coca leaf ceremony as is the local customs. Enjoy the amazing views of part of Moray, Maras, and Salineras. Then we are ready to descend for an hour along a stone road with a nice view on both sides, arriving to enjoy lunch near impressive lakes by which we rest. After our lunch, we walk for 2 more hours mainly downhill, and in route we will meet some local campesinos (people of the local countryside) in colorful costumes as is traditional with all villages around Lares. There are impressive landscape views, mountains, and flocks of llamas and alpacas. Cuncani is the major district in the area. Our campsite is in the Cuncani community located at 3700 MASL/12139 FASL where we enjoy dinner. Cuncani is also very famous for their textiles produced with ancestral weaving techniques; weavers will offer their work for you to look at or purchase.
We will take the morning to relax before our final leg of our trek, so you can sleep late until 7:00 AM. After breakfast, we have the chance at this little village to visit the house of our horseman who will share with us how they live in a simple way in deep connection with nature, preserving traditional customs in agriculture and weavings, showing their textile skills from generations past as well as use of medicinal plants in everyday life. Beginning our trek for the day, we will walk on an easy downhill for 4 hours to reach the village of Lares. Once we arrive at the hot springs, we can soak for a while and regain our energy. The village is known for these medicinal hot springs! After our lunch, we drive 3 hours in our private transport to Ollantaytambo and have dinner. We will take a breath-taking train ride through the Andes and cloud forest for 2 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes to spend the night.
Today we arrive at the long-awaited finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night at our hotel to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy its serenity in the soft morning light. You have 2 options: You may have breakfast at 5:00 AM and take the first bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30, arriving at 6:00. (The bus ticket is an extra US $12.00). The other options is to have breakfast at 4:30 and start hiking up to Machu Picchu at 5:00, also arriving at 6:00. The Machu Picchu entrance check point is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM.
When you arrive to the top, we will enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. Be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas which was so far ahead of their time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing this community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain, even bringing water in canals through its streets for the people to use. When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!
After this tour, you are free to climb up to Huayna Picchu (2 hours) or Machu Picchu Mountain (3 hours) (Be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Another lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for plenty of time before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes (or taking the bus).
Most people are ready to take the bus back to Aguas Calientes around 1pm where we will provide a buffet lunch. (If you would like to stay longer and eat a boxed lunch in Machu Picchu, you must sign up in our office before your trek). While waiting for the train, you can visit a museum, more hot springs, cafes, etc. in the town. You need to be at the train station 30 minutes before your scheduled train departure time. There will be transport waiting for you in Ollantaytambo to bring you back to Cusco. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!
We will do everything within our means to take care of you and ensure an enjoyable trip of a lifetime in Peru!.
|01 PERSON||PRIVATE||$900 PER PERSON||4 DAYS|
|2-12 PERSON||PRIVATE||$450 PER PERSON||4 DAYS|
Our 4D/3N Lares trek includes extra horse to carry up to 7kg/16lbs of your belongings.
We are the only Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu that works exclusively with specialists and experts.
The Salkantay Trek is our passion and customer satisfaction our success!”