SACRED VALLEY AND LARES ADVENTURE TO MACHU PICCHU
5 day lodge-to-lodge journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas
SACRED VALLEY AND LARES ADVENTURE TO MACHU PICCHU
The Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu, a journey through the ancient history, living culture, and magnificent landscapes of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Expert guides will tailor your individual experience from a daily list of adventure activities and cultural exploration options. Then, as breathtaking sunsets paint the Andean sky at the end of each exciting day, you will settle into our signature mountain lodges to enjoy exceptional Peruvian cuisine and top-notch accommodations.
DAY 0 CITY OF CUSCO – TRIP BRIEFING
Meet your guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A.
Location: El Mercado Hotel
Address: Calle 7 Cuartones 306, Centro Histórico de Cusco, Cusco
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes*
*We recommend that you stay for dinner at ‘La Taberna’ in El Mercado Hotel, which offers Peruvian and other international cuisine in a cozy, elegant setting
DAY 01 Exploring Pisaq
Begin your journey from the busy streets of Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Start your day with either an invigorating hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha, or a visit to the Awanakancha textile center followed by an exploration of the lively town and colorful artisan marketplace of Pisaq. Midday, both cultural explorers and hikers will reunite in the village of Viacha to learn about traditional Andean farming techniques. Afterwards, hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site for a guided tour, followed by a traditional Pachamanca dinner back at Lamay Lodge.
-Cultural (morning): Excursion to Awanakancha for an introduction to traditional Andean textile weaving techniques and an up-close visit with some friendly llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, all camelids indigenous to both this region and other high-altitude regions throughout Peru. Next, visit the town of Pisaq for a brief tour and time explore the unique goods for sale in its colorful artisan marketplace.
- Exploring Pisaq (cont.)
Active (morning): Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha.
Approximately 3 hours, Moderate 14,200’ / 4,328 m
All-Group Activity: Meet the Viacha locals and learn about their traditional Andean farming practices, followed by an optional hike (or drive) and guided exploration of the Pisaq archaeological site.
Meals: Lunch (box lunch en route), Dinner (Lamay Lodge)
Overnight: Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)
DAY 02 Into the Heart of Lares
The day begins with a visit to the small town of Lamay followed by a scenic drive into the heart of the Lares Valley. Your first stop will be Ancasmarca for a guided tour of this seldom-visited archaeological site.
Afterwards, choose a visit with the expert textile weavers in the remote village of Choquecancha or a hike amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where both groups meet again to spend the night.
Day 2 Activity Options:
-All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Explore the town of Lamay and visit the archaeological site of Ancasmarca.
-Cultural (afternoon): Visit to the remote village of Choquecancha where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.
- Option A: Hike from Quelquena to Huacahuasi
Approximately 2.5 hours Easy to moderate 14,200’ / 4,328 m
- Option B: Hike from Cuncani to Huacahuasi
Approximately 4 hours Moderate 13,838´ / 4,219 m
Meals: Breakfast (Lamay Lodge), Lunch (Cultural – Choquecancha; Active – Box lunch en route), Dinner (Huacahuasi Lodge)
Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)
DAY 03 THE ROAD TO OLLANTAYTAMBO
Begin the day with a scenic drive to the community of Huilloc. From there, choose a morning hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka, or explore the village and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka archaeological site. After lunch, choose to hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo or drive and spend the afternoon exploring Ollantaytambo’s maze-like alleys and passageways.
Day 3 The road to Ollantaytambo (cont.)
Note: Afternoon hikers will meet the rest of the group at the hotel upon arrival in the Sacred Valley.
Day 3 Activity Options:
-Morning: Visit the village of Huilloc and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and her blessings for the health of the community livestock. Drive from Marcacocha to Pumamarka for an all-group tour of the archaeological site and picnic lunch.
-Afternoon: After lunch, take a scenic drive to Ollantaytambo and spend the afternoon exploring this charming Sacred Valley town.
- Morning: Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka. Approximately 3 hours Moderate
- Afternoon: Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo. Approximately 3 hours Moderate
Optional All-Group Activity (late afternoon): Visit a locally sourced Sacred Valley craft brewery (subject to additional cost).
Meals: B (Huacahuasi Lodge), L (Pumamarka), D (Hotel in Sacred Valley)
Overnight: Hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (9,284’ / 2,830 m)
DAY 04 DISCOVERING OLLANTAYTAMBO
Begin your day with an optional early morning hike to the Inca storage houses high above the town for an impressive view of the Ollantaytambo fortress and ceremonial site. Afterwards, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided tour before embarking on a scenic train ride to Machu Picchu Pueblo, followed by your first visit to Machu Picchu citadel in the afternoon. Alternately, optional for an all-day hike from train marker KM 104 to the Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the classic Inca Trail (subject to additional cost).
Day 4 Activity Options:
Active (early morning):
- Option A: Hike up Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Approximately 1.5 hours Moderate
- Option B: Hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Approximately 2.5 hours Moderate to challenging
All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archeological site.
- Optional: Afternoon visit to the Machu Picchu citadel
Day 4 Discovering Ollantaytambo (cont.)
Optional*: Hike on the classic Inca Trail, from KM 104 to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. (Subject to availability and additional cost). Approximately 6 hours Moderate to challenging
*Note: Replaces the standard program day itinerary; this activity must be booked upon confirmation of your Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure departure date in order to secure the necessary permits.
Meals: Breakfast (Hotel in Sacred Valley), Lunch (Box lunch on the train), Dinner (Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel)
Overnight: Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel, Machu Picchu Pueblo (6,232´ / 1,900m)
DAY 05 THE CITADEL OF MACHU PICCHU
After breakfast at the hotel, you will once again have to opportunity to visit Machu Picchu for a two-hour guided tour of the citadel. After the tour, you will have free time to explore on your own or hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms over the citadel, or Machu Picchu Mountain** for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River Valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. After the visit you will have lunch in Machu Picchu Pueblo town before the return train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and a scenic sunset drive back to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours). As night falls and you arrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation that will linger long after your journey home.
*Entrance time – Huayna Picchu: 10:30am
*Note: Permits for Huayna Picchu are subject to availability; please consult with your travel specialist when you confirm your reservation.
**Note: In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, Machu Picchu Mountain (the second peak within the sanctuary) permits will be secured instead.
Day 5 Activity Options:
-All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Guided exploration of the Machu Picchu citadel (7,872’ / 2,400m).
-Cultural (late morning): Free time for further exploration.
-Active (late morning): Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
Approximately 2.5 hours Moderate to challenging 8,924’ / 2,720 m
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch (Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel)
END OF ITINERARY
5 DAYS-4 NIGHTS AT WASAI LODGES
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