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Lares Valley Trek & Machu Picchu

This four day private trek through the Lares Valley will bring you to small Andean communities who still go about their days much like their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Most are farmers or weavers, responsible for those gorgeous ponchos you will see people wearing around Peru. This trail is less well known than the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, but it is fast becoming more popular each year.

Small Group Adventure 4 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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Itinerary

Overview

The traditional way to reach the ruins Machu Picchu is the Inca Trail, which has become so well traversed that now the Peruvian government has limited the number of permits for that route. An amazing alternative that will still allow you to trek to Machu Picchu while letting you in on the Peru of today is the trail through the Lares Valley. It is dotted with small Andean villages of alpaca farmers and weavers who use natural plants for dye. The meandering mountain trails - sometimes rocky, sometimes green - wind through majestic mountains and low lying clouds. This is one of the best places in the world to get to know a beautiful natural environment and the people who live there.

Trekking through the Lares Valley will give you a glimpse into how people of the Andean mountains have lived for centuries and how they relate to and use the Earth for their livelihood. You will visit important spots like the hot springs just outside of Lares village where people go to relax and sooth their muscles in a natural way. On day one you will be able to visit some weavers in the village of Quishaurani and see how they have been making colourful ponchos and clothes for years. In addition to the quaint mountain villages you will be surrounded by mind-boggling natural beauty - mountain flowers, pastures and trees, snow capped mountains, crystal clear lakes, packs of llamas and alpacas, even part of the trail that cuts through the clouds!

Day-by-day

Trek day 1 : An early start will see you picked up from your hotel and taken through the Sacred Valley to the village of Huaran where you will start your trek. The trail will take you to the town of Quishaurani, where you'll meet up with the horsemen who will be packing the horses with everything you will need on the trek. After about two and a half hours you will arrive at the campsite. You will have some free time to just relax but it is suggested you take advantage of seeing as much as you can in Cancha Cancha - the local farmers and weavers. You'll be able to ask them about their way of life and see how they grow their crops and weave their beautiful textiles. After dinner you'll settle into your sleeping bag for a good night's sleep.

Trek day 2 : Day two begins with another early start as this is the longest day on the trail. You will first ascend to Pachacutec Pass, the highest point on the trail (4,450 meters/14,599 feet). But once you get to the top you'll realise it was all worth it as you take in the incredible views of Pachacutec Lake with the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray, Sawasiray and Chicon in the background. Your sore legs will be well worth getting to the top of the pass! Then you will descend for about two and a half hours to the village of Cancha Cancha to the campsite for the night.

Trek day 3 : You'll be happy to know that after day two, day three is the easy hike! After breakfast you will start to hike downhill and after about five hours you will reach the village of Huaran. Then you will hop on local transportation to Ollantaytambo, a gorgeous Andean mountain town. You may have a bit of time to look around but then you'll board the train for Aguas Calientes where you'll spend the night at a local hotel.

Trek day 4 : Another early start on day four is rewarded with an amazing sunrise at Machu Picchu. The bus for the ruins departs at 5.30am then after the sun is up you will have a fully guided two hour tour of the site. At that time you will have the chance to explore on your own before boarding the train back to Poroy/Ollantaytambo and a transfer back to your hotel in Cusco.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

El Mapi

Machu Picchu & Inca Trail

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Central location
- Panoramic windows in rooms
- Complimentary Pisco Sours

Details

Getting there

Cusco is about a one hour flight from Peru's capital, Lima. Getting to Lima should be relatively easy from any other major world city.

Price includes

Included:Personal porters (7kg weight allowance) Porters to carry camping equipment, Chef and supporting staff, all meals on the trek (except breakfast day 1), English speaking guide, filtered and boiled water, emergency first aid and oxygen, tents, all transport including buses and Expedition train ticket, all camping equipment including North Face tent (per 2 people), sleeping bag and Therm-a-rest inflatable mattress.

Excluded: Breakfast on Day 1 of trek, Walking poles (these are recommended and can be rented locally), tips, pillows and alcoholic beverages.

When is best?

The high season on the trail is from April – September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. June, July and August can see slightly colder night time temperatures so be sure to bring some layers.

Is it for me?

If you want to participate on a trek where you will push yourself physically, but at the same time gain an insight into an ancient people and culture, then this will be right up your street.
You do need to be in good shape to participate but it is recommended that you do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be exercise mad; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so it is recommended that you acclimatise for a couple of days before embarking on the trip.

The maximum group size is 16 people. The guide to walkers ration is 1 : 9. Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about taking too long.

This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for many years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid. To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to the Inca Trail.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • We really thought our trip was great. I would rate your service and the whole experience as a 5. The only piece that would make your service more convenient would be if the prices were conveyed in dollars instead of pounds. We would definitely recommend the trip and company to other travelers. We had our own trip for 3 people and were given lots of special attention. The transportation was very easy and all of our needs were met. Thanks so much for arranging everything for us!

    MissingRochelle L reviewing Lares Valley Trek & Machu Picchu on 07 July 2011

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

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Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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