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The Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu is one of the very best ways to immerse yourself in the rich culture and wonderful landscapes of the Sacred Valley. During the five or seven night trip, in the company of expert local guides, you will explore ancient Inca ruins, hike spectacular mountain trails and visit small hamlets and thriving Andean market towns. Along the way you will encounter snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, remote waterfalls and herds of wandering llama and alpaca, as well as gaining an intimate glimpse into local life here. At the end of it all you will arrive in style at the Sun Gate to get your first sighting of the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Each night you will relax and unwind in a luxury mountain lodge, enjoying a fabulous meal and glass of wine as the sun goes down. Outdoor jacuzzis and welcoming goose-down bedding will soothe your legs and leave you refreshed for the next days' activities.

Every day brings a choice of new adventures and activities, offering a balance between hiking and cycling or group visits. The programme can therefore be perfectly tailored as you go to your interests and physical capabilities. The itineraries lead you to the most popular areas of the Scared Valley, including the Inca ruins at the towns of Ollantaytambo and Pisac and the Maras Salt Ponds. However, blended in with these are lesser-undertaken hikes, hidden ruins and privileged cultural experiences and encounters with local people.

Mountain Lodges of Peru
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5 Day Adventure: Essential Treasures of the Incas

DAY 1 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | EXPLORING PISAQ

The town square is often the center of activity throughout this region, but so too is the town market, and none is more alive than the famous market at Pisaq. A morning visit to check out its unique array of products will inspire you with a small taste of the rich culture
yet to be explored on your journey. Travelers seeking inspiration in nature can opt for an invigorating morning hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains that guard this magnicent valley. Later, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of
Viacha, where you will learn about its artisanal potato farming practices and enjoy a traditional “Pachamanca” meal, cooked under hot stones. After lunch you will 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.

DAY 2 LARES REGION | INCA SITES AND 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. After lunch, you can 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 we all meet to spend the night. This lodge, which is run in joint venture with the local community and aims to protect the cultural heritage and the environment, provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

DAY 3 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | EXPEDITION TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

Spend some time in the morning learning more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community. Then you can choose to embark on a spectacular hike through varied terrain and over a high pass, to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient
town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest living city in Latin America. If you prefer to see more of the Sacred Valley, you can drive back for a visit to an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilizations of the past or choose to explore the valley on mountain bike. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the Urubamba River countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo, where you can spend time meandering through its charming maze-like streets.

DAY 4 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | DISCOVERING OLLANTAYTAMBO

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, an optional and short early morning hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo will give you a magnicent 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 you will embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, 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.

DAY 5 MACHU PICCHU | THE SANCTUARY

At dawn, you 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 journey back to the city lights, and hustle and bustle of Cusco.

7 Day Adventure: Deep Immersion into Ancient Cultures

DAY 1 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | TREASURES OF THE SACRED VALLEY

Begin your adventure with a journey from the urban setting of Cusco into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green elds and surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Explore the archeological site of Chinchero, where colonial buildings rest atop Inca foundations. 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. If you prefer you may choose on this day to embark on a full-day, challenging yet memorable hike amongst impressive views of the Ausangate mountain range to the Inca complex of Huchuyqosqo, thought to be the Palace of Viracocha (the eight Inca ruler), where it is said he would enjoy the ‘reworks of the gods’ during thunderstorms.

DAY 2 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | EXPLORING PISAQ

The town square is often the center of activity throughout this region, but so too is the town market, and none is more alive than the famous market at Pisaq. A morning visit to check out its unique array of products will inspire you with a small taste of the rich culture yet to be explored on your journey. Travelers seeking inspiration in nature can opt for an invigorating morning hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains that guard this magnificent valley. Later, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha, where you will learn about its artisanal potato farming practices and enjoy a traditional “Pachamanca” meal, cooked under hot stones. After lunch you will 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.

DAY 3 LARES VALLEY | INCA SITES AND VILLAGES

Now that you have gotten a glimpse into this 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 to the hub-town of Lares. After lunch, you can 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 you will spend the night. This lodge, which is run in joint venture with the local community and aims to protect the cultural heritage and the environment, provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

DAY 4 LARES VALLEY | EXPLORING HUACAHUASI

If you’re in the mood for a cultural experience today, you can 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 with the rest of the group. 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.

DAY 5 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | EXPEDITION TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

Spend some time in the morning learning more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community. Then, you can choose to embark on a spectacular hike through varied terrain and over a high pass, to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient
town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest living city in Latin America. If you prefer to see more of the Sacred Valley, you can drive back for a visit to an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilizations of the past or choose to explore the valley on mountain bike. Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the Urubamba River countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo, where you can spend time meandering through its charming maze-like streets.

DAY 6 SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS | DISCOVERING OLLANTAYTAMBO

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, an optional and short early morning hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo will give you a magnicent 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 you will embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, 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.

DAY 7 MACHU PICCHU | THE SANCTUARY

At dawn, you 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 journey back to the city lights, and hustle and bustle of Cusco.

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