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LARES TREK TO MACHUPICCHU 04D/03N

Description

This unforgettable and less-travelled hike combines amazing mountain scenery, glacier lagoons, cloud-forest vallies and authentic Quechua textile communities as well as a visit to the Lares hot springs. A wonderful hike offering a unique view into the lifestyles and traditions of the Andean people.

Day 1: Cusco – Calca - Lares Hot Springs – Huacawasi

The transport leaves Cusco at around 6am (hour to be confirmed). It is a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Pisac and stopping for breakfast in the provincial town of Calca. Departing Calca around 08:00 we head off for the 3 hours drive to the town of Lares (3100m) which is the starting point for the trek. Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean communities, and spectacular mountain landscapes spotted with herds of llamas and alpacas.

Before we start the trek we'll visit the hot springs which are located in meadows just out of town. For those of you who remembered to bring your swimwear we will take a relaxing dip in the warm waters which are famous for their healing powers. Feeling fully refreshed, we begin a leisurely walk up the Trapiche River Valley. After about 2½ hours we will arrive at Vilcabamba village where we will stop and have lunch. We will then continue up the valley for another 1½ hours to the small village of Huacawasi (3700m) where we will set up camp and spend the night. Walking distance approx 12km (4-5 hours).

Day 2: Huacawasi – Abra Ipsay – Patacancha

Many of the houses that we see in this small village of Huacahuasi are built from stone and have thatched roofs. The people of this village produce beautiful colourful textiles. In the morning we will learn about the weaving techniques and be able to admire some of their high quality ponchos, chullos (wool hats) and other garments. After lunch we will climb for approximately 2 hours to the top of Ipsayccasa Pass which, at 4500m, is the highest pass along the trek. From here we get stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We will descend gently for about 1 hour until we reach the site of our second night's camp beside the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake. We may be lucky enough to see Andean Geese, Puna Ibis and other wetland birds. Walking distance approx 9km (6-7 hours).

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Day 3: Patacancha – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Today is a much easier day. After an early breakfast we'll walk gently downhill through a wide-open valley for about 2½ hours until we arrive at the village of Patacancha. The people from this area are known locally as "Huayruros" - the name of a red and black seed reminiscent of the colour of their ponchos.

We'll have a chance to view some textiles made by the people of this community - the high quality weavings are famous for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture. We'll walk slowly down the valley to Willoq, another Quechua village where the locals still wear their traditional dress and are proud to maintain their cultural identity.

Our transport will be waiting for us to take us further down the valley to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo where we will rest and have lunch. In the early afternoon we will catch a train to Aguas Calientes. This is a spectacular journey that starts in the Quechua highlands and slowly descends to lush tropical vegetation as we near Aguas Calientes. Total journey time by train is about 1½ hours. We'll spend the night in a hostal in Aguas Calientes where you'll no doubt enjoy the opportunity to soak under the hot showers!! We will make it an early night to bed to prepare for your Machu Picchu visit the following morning. Walking distance approx 12km (5-6 hours).

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Rise early around 4:20am to start walking up to Machu Picchu, or take one of the first buses at 5:30am (US$9 each way). You'll have plenty of opportunities to take photos and have some peaceful time alone to enjoy the sun rising from behind the mountains. Your guide will give you a tour of Machu Picchu telling you about Inca history and the significance of the major sites of interest. The tour takes about 2 hours, after which you will have free time to explore the ruins on your own or climb Huayna Picchu (if you book it in advance; US$10 per person) - the mountain that overlooks the ancient Inca city (allow a minimum of 1½ hours).

Most people are ready to take the bus back to Aguas Calientes around 1pm where you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants (not included). You need to be at the train station half and hour before your train departs at 9:30pm. There will be transport waiting for you in Ollantaytambo to bring you back to Cusco - estimated arrival time 1:30am. If you prefer to be back in Cusco earlier, you can select the 16:22 pm (US$12) or the 18:45 pm (US$7) return train.

What is the difference between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain?

Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are two mountains peaks which tower over the Machu Picchu archaeological site. To climb one of the mountains you need to purchase a pass in combination with your Machu Picchu entry ticket-passes cannot be purchased separately from entry ticket, and once entry ticket has been purchased a mountain pass cannot be added or cancelled.

Huayna Picchu (Wayna Picchu).

This is the more popular of the two optional mountain treks but it also can be very crowded. 200 people start climbing between 7am-8am, and 200 people start between 10am-11am so in total 400 people climb every morning. The trail is quite steep and takes about 1.5 hours to climb up and down - people who have trouble with vertigo may not enjoy this trek. There are some interesting archaeological ruins on the top of Huayna Picchu.

Machu Picchu Mountain.

This hike is less popular than Huayna Picchu but no less beautiful. MPM is located on the other side of the ruins from Huayna Picchu. There are 500 passes available daily. You can begin your climb between 7 and 11am. The trail is less steep than Huayna Picchu but it is a longer hike (takes about 3 hours total).

Check this amazing link out for views from the Huayna Picchu mountain and Machu Picchu mountain (it will open with the Huayna Picchu mountain, click on the right side of the picture and the other views will open).

http://www.airpano.ru/files/Machu-Picchu-Peru/2-3

IMPORTANT FACTS:

PRICE:

With private Transport Cusco-lares 04 paxs
USD: 460.00 adults
USD: 440.00 students with valid ISIC cards

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DURATION:

04DAYS/03NIGHTS

AVAILABILITY:

All Year

GROUP SIZE:

Minimun 04 people per booking
If you want to go with only 2 people you will need to pay an extra USD 30.00 per person, contact us for more details.

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OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

*US$12 Huayna Picchu

*US$09 Machu Picchu Mountain
• US$15 Early 16:22 (4:22pm) return train
• US$10 Early 18:45 (6:45pm) return train

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We recommend that you bring:

  • Backpack
  • sleeping bag (Minus 8ºC - can be rented at our office.
  • Sturdy Hiking boots
  • Warm clothes and trekking pants. not jeans
  • layers for variable temperatures specially at night
  • Flash light with extra batteries
  • Camera, extra film & batteries
  • Sunprotection : sunscreen : sun hat : sunglasses
  • Thermals : wool socks : Gloves / scarf and woolen hat for cold nights
  • Insect repellent
  • Rain poncho : a good rain jacket
  • extra plastic bags especially in wet season and plastic garbage bags to line your back pack
  • Toiletries / toilet paper / small towel
  • Bathing clothes for the hot springs
  • Water bottle : water purifying tablets optional
  • Personal medical kit with a simple whistle
  • Original passport and ISIC student card if applicable
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks
  • Trekking poles

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