This trek 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. Our route takes us through many small villages that offer a rare and fascinating insight into traditional Andean life. Finally, we’ll make our way by train to Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: the legendary Lost City of the Incas.
We start off our trek with scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Chincheros and stopping in the town of Urubamba, (2,700m). From there, we continue our drive to the beginning of the Pumahuanca Valley, known for its white corn crops and Chicha, the Inca´s favorite corn beer. We will have a locally guided tour of the Incan complex of Inca–Kancha, while our certified chef spoils us with delicious Peruvian cuisine. Continuing along the way, you will be able to see native trees such as qeuñas and eucalyptus. After another leg of our hike, we camp by natural scenic waterfalls in Cuyoc (3,950m).
On our trip, we will also be taking part in community service. Rising early, we will be introduced to a local family! We will join a traditional breakfast with the community before our journey for the day begins. We’ll also participate in an Incan ceremony to offer thanks to Pachamama (Mother Earth) for all that she provides and ask for her grace. Then you will plant your tree with a local family. We’ll spend the rest of the day doing community service with the family, helping them go about their daily tasks. This could include anything from shepherding llamas or alpacas to caring for guinea pigs, shearing wool, weaving or farming potatoes and quinoa. You will learn some basic Quechua, the native indigenous language, as you become friends with the family members. For dinner – a Pachamancha; a traditional Peruvian feast done by digging a hole in the Earth and cooking with hot stones. A meal you (and your taste buds) will never forget!
We’ll have an opportunity to visit the house of our ‘arriero’. You’ll be able to witness his unique way of life; deep connection to nature, traditional customs preserved through agriculture, weaving, and use of medicinal plants. Afterwards, enjoy a soak in the natural hot springs of Lares!
We will conclude our tour on the last day by exploring Machu Picchu early in the morning. Our private guide will lead you on a two hour tour, then you will have time to discover the ancient city of Machu Picchu on your own. Machu Picchu is tangible evidence of the urban Inca Empire at the peak of its power and achievement—a citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can’t be penetrated by a knife blade.
The complex of palaces and plazas, temples and homes may have been built as a ceremonial site, a military stronghold, or a retreat for ruling elites—its dramatic location is certainly well suited for any of those purposes. The ruins lie on a high ridge, surrounded on three sides by the windy, turbulent Urubamba River some 2,000 feet (610 meters) below.