Lares Valley Trek 4 Days: is one of the most picturesque in Cusco, and is home to many traditional weavers and farmers. You’ll visit them to see a weaving demonstration, done in the traditional method, using natural dyes and home-spun yarn. The people live day-to-day, growing what they eat and knitting what they wear. Each day of the trek is reasonably paced with ample time to enjoy the incredible scenery. It’s a challenging trek, but the strenuous hike is amply compensated by the landscape, lunch by cascading waterfalls, and a new understanding of the reality of the Andean farmer.
Day 01: Cusco – Cuncani – Yanacocha – Sondor
At about 6:00am, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for the 6-hour bus trip to the beginning of the trek. We’ll make a stop in the town of Calca to visit the local market, have breakfast and buy any supplies you may have forgotten. Your guide might suggest that you buy some extra bread to hand out to children that you encounter on the trek. The beautiful route goes to Cuncani village, which is the starting point of the Lares trek. On the first day, we might see small herds of llamas, alpacas, guanacos and even the rarer vicunas, all of which belong to the famous Andean camelides. We can also see an example of a typical Andean communities at Cuncani.
After the first pass, we’ll arrive to Yanacocha and enjoy lunch near this beautiful lake. After lunch, we’ll to the first campsite at Huacawasi (3600m/11811f). You’ll gradually ascend for 5 or 6 hours, which is a good warm-up for the next day when we reach the highest point of the trek. There you’ll be joined by the rest of the trekking team.This is the perfect opportunity to explore this little town better, as well as its Andean culture. Your tents will be ready and you’ll have a snack of popcorn, sweets and hot tea before dinner.
The local tradition of weaving textiles in the Andes dates back millennium. Numerous indigenous communities in the region, like the Huacawasi, have preserved their knowledge and techniques of weaving textiles in the ancient tradition. The weaving is done using a special weaving tool consisting of 2 bars with a weaving thread in between. The local people take the wool from the llamas to make their traditional clothing. First, the wool is spun and then colored with natural ingredients such as plants and flowers. Every community’s weaving is unique, distinguished by different colors and designs, representing the daily activities of the local communities.
Day 02: Sondor – Huacawasi C’asa Pass – Aruray Cocha – Yurak Cocha – Mantanay – Pucara
After a nutritious breakfast, we’ll ascend towards the highest point of the trek, Huacawasi Pass at 4500m/14763f. This steep, uphill hike takes about 4 hours. An emergency horse will accompany us so that everyone will be able to reach the top. You’ll see enormous mountains, a patchwork of farms, and breathtaking views.
Be aware that we’ll be hiking to high altitudes, and the weather can be very cold. After reaching the summit of the pass, we’ll descend and pass beautiful lagoons, and stop to have lunch. You can recuperate while our cooks prepare a delicious, hearty lunch. Next we’ll descend further through a forest where you see queuñas trees, typical of the Peruvian Andes, and other flora and fauna of this wonderful park. We’ll continue descending until we arrive to the second campsite at Pucara (3000m/9842f). There you’ll enjoy tea and snacks before dinner.
In the afternoon, we can observe local and migratory birds, including hummingbirds, in the cloud forest, as well as see some orchids and bromeliads.
Today will be another spectacular day as we continue walking to the Yanahuara Inca agricultural terraces, where Andean people still grow the famous corn with giant kernels of the Sacred Valley called “maiz parcay.” From there we continue to Pachar, where we join the Inka trail to Ollantaytambo over the Inka terraces. On the way, we’ll see a small archeological site called Choccana. We’ll continue to Ollantaytambo, a town in the Sacred Valley famous for being mostly preserved from the time of the Incas and lunch. We’ll take the train at 13:00pm to Aguas Calientes, and in the afternoon, you’ll have time to visit the natural springs in Aguas Calientes to relax and spend the night in a hotel.
Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We’ll leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am. and head for Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. You’ll have a guided tour of the archaeological site, including information about the daily life and culture of the Incas. After the tour, you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu on your own, and hike Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) if you have an advanced reservation. We’ll leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 14:55pm or 18:10pm. Until then, you can have lunch at one of the many restaurants in Aguas Calientes relax a bit.
Items to Bring
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