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Lares Trek Plus Machu Picchu: A spectacular, less traveled high Andean trek

Days: 10 | Contact us for pricing

Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then renew your sense of wonder exploring lost Incan cities and contemporary Peruvian culture. Journey for several days along the Lares Trek, a gorgeous and less-touristed Andean path, ending on the last part of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Lima
    1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
  • Sacred Valley
    2 nights: Andean life and ancient ruins in this magnificent river valley
  • Lares Trek
    3 nights: hike and camp among breathtaking mountain scenery
  • Machu Picchu
    1 night: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
  • Cusco
    2 nights: walk the streets of the captivating former Incan capital

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.

Private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine, or art tours for those with special interests.

Accommodations: Hotel de Autor

Located in the center of Miraflores, the 4-suite Hotel de Autor is a set in a beautiful private house. Each of the suites features either a private balcony or an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub; the suites are large rooms with charming details and local artifacts. Definitely a unique experience, being in the Hotel de Autor is more like staying in a private home than a commercial hotel.

Upgrades and alternatives: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Day 2

Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Your time here will help you acclimatize to the high altitude of the region before beginning your hike.

Visit Chinchero, a traditional small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Explore a colonial church with remarkable paintings and frescoes, which was constructed over the ruins of an Incan temple and is surrounded by impressive Incan terracing. Chinchero is also home to several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for the quality of their textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life.

Afterward enjoy lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Alternative lodging options: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who want to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Day 3

Incan Sites and Ancient Villages: Moray, Maras, and Ollantaytambo

Spend the day exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture. You’ll get out and see the Sacred Valley on your own two feet, with the chance to do some acclimatization walking (your private guide will be there to accommodate whatever level of additional hiking you want to do; additional days of acclimatization can also be added as desired/needed).

Discover the unique Incan site of Moray and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After a scenic picnic lunch, visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Begin Lares Trek: Hike to Cancha Cancha

This morning you start your trek through the Lares region. Transfer to the town of Huaran, where you begin walking upward along a mountain stream. As you leave the Sacred Valley behind you, enter into an area that has changed very little in the thousands of years that people have lived here.

Arrive to Cancha Cancha, a small village of stone houses in a valley below Pachacutec Pass. Your camp will already be set up for you when you arrive.

Total elevation gain: about 3000 feet; about 6 hours of hiking; overnight at elevation of 13,080 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Cancha Cancha

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Hike to Quiswarani

Wind your way up to Pachacutec Pass, at 15,480 feet, passing stone houses and herding communities along the way. The pass, named after the most storied leader in Incan history, is suitably spectacular, surrounded by snowcapped peaks with magnificent views in both directions. Continue down toward the traditional village of Quiswarani, where you will camp for the night.

Total elevation gain: about 2000 feet; about 7 hours of hiking; overnight at elevation of 12,600 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Quiswarani

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Hike to Lares via Cuncani / Hot Springs

Hike up to Huilquihasa Pass, at 14,600 feet, past emerald lagoons and expansive Andean views. Arriving to Cuncani, follow a gently-sloping path along the Lares River toward the Hot Springs. The temperature rises as you come out of the higher Andes where you’ve spent the last 2 nights.

Enjoy an unhurried dip in the Hot Springs and take in the easygoing atmosphere of this scenic mountain valley.

About 5-6 hours of hiking; overnight at elevation of 10,500 feet.

Accommodations: Camp at Lares

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

One Day Hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Enjoy a scenic drive down into the Sacred Valley from Lares to the starting point of your hike, which begins at the Urubamba River and follows an uphill trajectory until it meets the classic Inca Trail. Continue along the last part of the Inca Trail until you get to Inti Punku (the Gate of the Sun), where you get your first view of Machu Picchu. Descend to the ruins for a visit before heading down to Aguas Calientes to rest at your hotel. You will have a guided, in-depth exploration of Machu Picchu in the morning.

About 5 hours total hiking today.

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located in natural surroundings, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins, but just outside the town, which is quite touristy. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Unlike the other hotels in Aguas Calientes, the Pueblo is set in a natural cloud forest, allowing you to experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem during your stay.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Machu Picchu and Cusco

Return to Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to explore the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours round trip).

After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka, and others
Day 9

Private Tour of Cusco: History, Culture, Architecture, and more

Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, visiting the historical highlights of this fascinating city. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. Afterward enjoy the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 10

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

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