Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu

AdventureSmith Explorations
Price From $1,899
What's More One Free Night
Duration 5 DAYS
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The Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu is a lodge-based trip in the famed Sacred Valley and remote region of Lares, Peru, culminating in Machu Picchu.

This 5- or 7-day trip offers a-la-carte daily options for each traveler to choose their own adventure: from hiking to biking to cultural activities to getting to know the local Peruvians. The shorter 5-day route is especially popular as a trip extension for a Galapagos cruise; many travelers combine these two experiences due to the regularity of flights between Ecuador and Peru.

Ideal for multigenerational families and travelers who like to trek but want cultural village visits too, the Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure is an option that can suit many traveler styles. The itinerary focuses on remote regional exploration into wilderness and culturally rich villages. Visit the celebrated Inca Weaver’s Trail, take a cooking class, tour museums and archeological sites far from crowds, and hike up mountain passes topping 14,600 feet if you wish. Hiking options are offered each day, but are totally optional and vary from easy to moderate to strenuous. Accommodations are at two remote lodges, as well as boutique hotels in Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. Your Machu Picchu visit caps off the journey, with tickets to hike the towering Huayna Picchu if you wish.

Choose your Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure each day, and opt for a trip of 5 days or 7 days. The full 7-day itinerary is listed on the Itinerary tab and truly explores the region in depth. Scroll down to the Alternative Itinerary for details on the 5-day adventure, which spends one less night at each of the Sacred Valley and Lares-region lodges.

Book any 2019 Salkantay Trek or Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure trip with AdventureSmith, and receive one free night in Cusco at MLP’s El Retablo B&B (subject to availability).

Trip Itinerary

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Day 1 / 7

Day 1 - Sacred Valley of the Incas: Treasures of the Sacred Valley

Begin with a journey from the urban setting of Cusco into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields and surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Explore the archeological site of Chinchero, where colonial buildings rest atop Inca foundations. From hereguest can opt to go back in time and study the natural inca salt mines of Maras and the astonishing circular terraces of Moray ( believed to be an inca laboratory dedicated to the study of foreign plant species), or enjoy an astonishing hike through authentic Inca trails from Chinchero to the town of Urquillos.

Culture

Guided tour of Moray Inca Agricultural site and the Salt Mines of Maras.

Hike

From Chinchero to Urquillos. Duration 3 hrs. Easy to moderate.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Lamay Lodge (9,705 feet)

MEALS: lunch and dinner

Day 2 / 7

Day 2 - Sacred Valley of the Incas: Exploring Pisaq

In the morning either visit the town of Pisaq to check out its famous market’s unique array of products, bike along the Urubamba River or opt for an invigorating morning hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains that guard this magnificent valley. Later, all guests reconvene to explore Viacha, where you will learn about its artisanal potato farming practices and enjoy a traditional “Pachamanca” meal, cooked under hot stones. After lunch hike or drive down to visit the archaeological complex at Pisaq, an afternoon excursion that offers a unique opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds, with the sun setting behind the peaks.

Culture

Visit the town of Pisaq and local market, and experience an encounter with members of the local community of Viacha.

Bike

Bike ride along the Urubamba River from Lamay to Pisaq Town. Duration 2-3 hrs. Easy to moderate.

Hike

From the local community of Amaru to the local community of Viacha. Duration 2.5-3 hrs. Moderate. Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,200 feet.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Lamay Lodge (9,705 feet)

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 / 7

Day 3 - Lares Valley: Inca Sites & Villages

Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the rich Andean tapestry, today you will have the opportunity to go even deeper with an exploration into the heart of the Lares Valley. A scenic drive into the mountains, along the celebrated “Inca Weaver’s Trail,” allows you to visit the unique and uncrowded archeological site of Ancasmarca along the hub-town of Lares.

In the afternoon, choose between visiting the traditional and ancient weavers’ village of Choquecancha or opt for hiking amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where all guests meet to spend the night. Lunch is served in Choquecancha for guests opting for the cultural visit or en route to hikes. Tonight's accommodation, Huachahuasi Lodge, is run in joint venture with the local community and aims to protect the cultural heritage and the environment. Accommodation here provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

Culture

Visit the town of Choquecancha, meet with local weavers and experience an encounter with members of the community.

Hike

  1. From Quelqena to Huacahuasi. Duration 2-2.5 hrs. Easy to moderate. Mountain pass at an elevation of 12,595 feet.
    2. From Cuncani to Huacahuasi. Duration 3.5-4 hrs. Moderate. Mountain pass at an elevation of 13,838 feet.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585 feet)

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 / 7

Day 4 - Lares Valley: Exploring Huacahuasi

If you’re in the mood for a cultural experience today, walk through the village of Huacahuasi and learn more about its heritage and daily activities, with a possible visit to a farmer’s home. The expert weavers and farmers will share their stories, each depicted in artful textiles full of traditional Incan symbols and imagery. Then take a Peruvian cooking class and test your skills during lunch. For those who want to go deeper into these remote mountains, challenge yourself with an all-day hike from the community of Quiswarani onto the “Trail of 1,000 Lakes.” Although a strenuous hike, you will be amazed and awakened by the simple but majestic beauty of this eden, as you enjoy the company of herds of alpacas and llamas grazing on hillsides, and make your way over challenging mountain passes.

Culture

Explore the village, meet local weavers and participate in a cooking class.

Hike

  1. Visit the community of Huacahuasi and walk to a nearby waterfall. Duration 1-2 hrs. Easy.
    2. From Quiswarani to Quelquena. Duration 6-7 hrs. Challenging. Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,505 feet.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585 feet)

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 / 7

Day 5 - Sacred Valley of the Incas: Hiking Among Authentic Inca Trails

Begin the day with a scenic drive to the community of Huilloc from where you may choose a hike to the historic ruins of Pumamarka, or an extended visit to Huilloc and the nearby archaeological site of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka ruins. After lunch, choose to hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo or drive and spend the afternoon exploring Ollantaytambo town’s maze-like alleys and passageways.

Culture

Drive back to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit a local farmer’s market and a Pre-Inca and Inca cultural museum. Enjoy a barbeque lunch at Kuychi Rumi Lodge and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.

Hike

  1. From Lares Pass to the village of Totora on an Inca trail. Duration 3 hrs. Easy to moderate. Enjoy a barbeque lunch at Kuychi Rumi Lodge and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.
    2. From Huacahuasi to Patacancha. Duration 7 hrs. Moderate to challenging. Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,646 feet. Route lunch at Ipsaycocha Lake. Afternoon arrival in Ollantaytambo.

Bike (added cost):

Drive back and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on mountain bike. Duration 2 hrs. Easy to moderate. End with a visit to an artisanal brewery where many of their beers are made with local products (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). This activity has an additional cost and is available only for guests that opt for the cultural or Inca trail hike 1 activity.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Kuychi Rumi Hotel (9,284 feet)

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 / 7

Day 6 - Sacred Valley of the Incas: Discovering Ollantaytambo & Aguas Calientes

From its beginnings as the royal estate of Inca-Emperor Pachacutec, to a stronghold against the Spanish conquistadors for Manco Inca Yupanqui, the temple at Ollantaytambo was regarded by the Incas as one of their most important ceremonial centers. On this day, two hike options lead to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo, which offer a magnificent view of the town as well as of the main archeological site across the valley. Afterwards, as your guide leads you through a morning tour of the temple and explains its strategic architectural planning, you will also get a sense of its mystical history… a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu.

Around noon, reconvene with the group to embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes (6,232 feet), the town below Machu Picchu, whose charm lies in a history that began as a small railway stop and evolved into a bustling town still bisected by the train tracks. Your accommodation tonight is at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Your afternoon is free to explore the Inkaterra property, 12 acres of exquisite natural beauty where 214 bird species and the world's largest native orchid collection (372 species) have been registered. A Spectacled Bear Conservation Center is also on site and available for guided tours. Conditions and time dependent, there may also be an added-cost option to visit Machu Picchu this afternoon for additional time exploring the Sanctuary.

Hike

  1. Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo. Duration 1-1.5 hrs. Moderate.
    2. Higher Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo. Duration 2-2.5 hrs. Moderate to challenging.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (6,232 feet)

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

Day 7 / 7

Day 7 - Machu Picchu: The Sanctuary

At dawn, begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short and rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the “Sanctuary” (as locals refer to it), the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with resplendent light. Prepare to be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind… or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Your imagination will soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins. Some may even choose a hike to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. Either way, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation, which will linger even as you transfer by van back to the city lights and hustle and bustle of Cusco.

Culture

Free time to explore the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (7,872 feet).

Hike

Guided hike of Huayna Picchu Mountain. Duration 2-2.5 hrs. Moderate to challenging. Mountain pass at an elevation of 8,924 feet.

Terms & Conditions

Book any 2019 Salkantay Trek or Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure trip with AdventureSmith, and receive one free night in Cusco at MLP's El Retablo B&B (subject to availability).

Conditions:

Offer valid on new bookings only, made by February 28, 2019 for departures occurring during 2019.

Rooms subject to availability.

Excluded Dates: June 21-June 28, 2019 and Dec 20-31, 2019

Room Type: Superior Room (single or double)

Cannot be combined with any other offer. 

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