The popular Lares Valley Tour is definitely one of the top treks in the Peruvian Andes mountains and it is an excellent short trek option, recommended for those who want to visit the Lares Valley in a short period of time to experience the true Peruvian culture in the remote mountains in Peru. Lares Valley Tour enables travelers to see beautiful landscapes in the highlands as well sensational valleys which are home of numerous native communities, who are descendants of the Incas, they also inherited all the weaving techniques from their ancestors; so they are the best group of weavers in the region.
Hiking the Lares Valley trek, it is very likely you will see many local women on the trail, llamas, alpacas and farmers wearing bright colorful traditional clothing, and depending on your trek option you might have a chance to watch or participate in some weaving activity. To the end of our Lares Valley tour trekkers will connect to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo by train.
At the beginning of Lares Valley tour, hikers will be picked up from the hotels in Cusco, we then drive through the Sacred Valley to arrive to the village of Huaran which is the trail-head of our Lares valley Tour. We’ll gently start hiking uphill one of the side valleys, covering about 04 hours of hiking uphill until we reach the village of Cancha cancha. On our way up we’ll see beautiful landscapes full of qeuña trees(polylepis racemosa) and we will have chance to learn about the native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region.
This particular trail for the Lares valley Tour is not commonly used by many groups of travelers so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the valley without distractions or disturbance, only a few travelers visit the area, so there is a good chance to see the wildlife (hummingbirds and Chinchillas).after lunch the trail lead us along the stream surrounded by potatoes farming fields, some herds of llamas and alpacas. Finally we will reach the campsite for the night, at Accopata (4100m / 13451ft); this will be the coldest night in the whole Lares valley Tour, sometimes you can expect snow and frost during the winter time so warm clothes are definitely recommended.
Overnight at camping.
After a delicious breakfast we will set off from the campsite, 3 hours of slow hike will let to arrive to the highest point of our Lares Valley Tour , for many people this is the hardest section in the whole trip because the altitude but is the most spectacular day!. Once you reach the mountaintop, there will a good reason to feel proud of yourself because you survived one the highest passes on this mountain range. After we enjoy all the wonderful and scenic views it’s time to head down to the village of Quiswarani for approx. 2 hours.
As we make our way to Quishuarani we’ll see some snow capped peaks in front of us, beautiful lakes (Qoyalay – dark lake) and get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. We will observe the real Peruvian country life style, the people in this region are descendants of the Incas so the culture is very different from any other place in Peru. In our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their style of life. They are Quechua spoken families.
After lunch our transport will pick us up and then we will have a ride of 3 hours to Ollantaytambo train station, in the evening we will catch the train to Aguas Calientes, at our arrival there will be 10 minutes walk to the hotel and rest.
Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning the guide will lead you to the bus station and then take one of the first buses running to the entrance of Machu Picchu. travelers want to arrive earliest possible to this Majestic place to see the Sun-rise especially in winter time. Once you enter to the citadel you will participate in a guided tour for 2 hours, visiting the most important structures as the Sun temple, three windows temple, main temple, royal palace, sun-dial and some other places. After the guide show you Machu Picchu there will be free time to explore more places by yourself, or you can take the additional walks around as the hike to Wayna Picchu, Inti Punku (the gate of the Sun) or the famous Inca bridge.
In the afternoon at specific time travelers will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and then start the return journey to Cusco.