Lares, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu 5 day lodge to lodge trek
2015 price is $1990 per person.
Tika Trek invites you on a cultural exploration of the Urubamba Valley, the celebrated
“Sacred Valley of the Incas,” and the spectacular archaeological site of Machu Picchu, combined with a hike in the less visited and uncrowded Lares region north of Cusco, noted for its rural atmosphere, traditional weavers attired in colorful dress, and roving herds of alpacas and llamas—an authentic slice of Peruvian life.
Comfortable mountain lodges serve as deluxe “base camps” for daily hikes that bring you to remote passes with views of a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and turquoise glacial lakes, with the occasional condor soaring above, and to tiny Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where you can meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past.
We offer unique adventures, ideal for a variety of hiking levels and abilities. At day’s end, relax in a comfortable lodge with wonderful amenities—it’s the best of both worlds! Expert guides travel with the group for the entire journey and share their knowledge of natural history, culture, and local traditions.
All itineraries include explorations of the breathtaking Inca sites of Pisac, with its remarkable stone structures, Ollantaytambo, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle, and incomparable Machu Picchu, the crowning glory of the Incas and the archaeological wonder of all South America.
For the most comprehensive experience, we recommend our seven-day journey. Short on time? Join our five-day journey which still includes the most iconic Inca sites and some of the best trails in the Lares valley. Weekly departures from March to December.
Lares, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu 5 day lodge to lodge trek
Day 1. Pisac and your first day of hiking
After an early breakfast, we depart Cusco for the Urubamba Valley, the “Sacred Valley of the Incas.” We drive past Pisac and turn off the main road at Qoya (9,514’/2,900m), with its
charming colonial church. After about a 1 hour drive (the last section on a dirt road), we reach the AyarCancha community where we start hiking at an elevation of 12,830 feet (3,850m). The trail winds uphill for two hours to Challwaccasa Pass (13,943’/4,250m), which grants us great views of the peaks of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges and, in the distance, the giant snow-capped peaks of Ausangate and Salcantay. We then head downhill to the community of Viacha (12,950’/3,950m), where we enjoy a gourmet lunch.
After a well-earned rest, we join a restored Inca trail that leads to the stunning archaeological site of Pisac (10,826’ / 3200m), which dominates the valley below. The lower slopes of
the surrounding mountains feature impressive agricultural terraces and irrigation systems from Inca times. After exploring the ruins we continue downhill for an hour to the picturesque village of Pisac (9,750’/2,972m), well known for its colorful handicraft market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and and Sundays. Our vehicle will be waiting to take us to the town of Lamay (9,649’/2,941m), where we overnight at a comfortable lodge. Dinner and overnight at Lamay Lodge.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON DAY 1
In the event that a guest does not feel like hiking or prefers an easier hike for their first day of trekking, we suggest the following alternative:
If guests would like to take it easy on their first day, they can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and relaxing morning at the Lamay Lodge. In the early afternoon a private van takes us to join the group of trekkers for lunch at Viacha community, this exquisite meal should not be missed! If after lunch guests are feeling active they may join the other trekkers for the hike downhill towards Pisaq archeological site.
|Hiking time||6 hours including time for lunch|
Day 2. Lares Trek from Quiswarani to Huacawasi
A great day awaits us as we hike one of the most beautiful trails in the Cusco region.We depart Lamay early in the morning and take a scenic two-hour drive toward Lares, the region north of the Sacred Valley. Leaving the main road, we soon arrive at the quaint village of Quiswarani (12,562’/3,829m), where we begin our hike. Our trail heads westward up a small valley dotted with lakes and herds of grazing alpacas, then narrows into a series of switchbacks to Abra Huchuyccasa pass (14,481’/4,414m), which we reach after three hours. From the pass we have the most amazing views of distant mountain ranges and stunning turquoise lakes, whose brilliant hues are the result of bronze metal elements in their icy waters. Descending slightly, we continue hiking another hour toward our second pass of the day at Phoñoccasa (14,393’/4,387m). From here we descend to Qeywaqocha Lake for a leisurely lunch, then end our hike at the village of Qelqena (11,965’/3,647m). Along the way enjoy spotting native bird species, including Andean geese, ducks, and plovers. Our vehicle
meets us at the trailhead for the drive to the famous weavers’ village of Huacawasi (12,579’/3,835m). Dinner and overnight at Huacawasi Lodge.
OPTIONAL HIKE ON DAY 2
Lares: Trek from Cuncani to Huacawasi, Meet the Communities
A short drive brings us to Ancasmarca (13,267’/4,044m), where we explore an old Inca site that features a variety of ancient food warehouses, dwellings, and farming areas. Its location was strategic since it connected the higher part of the Sacred Valley with the cloud forest communities of Lares. Heading over the Lares Pass (14,501’/4,420m), we arrive at Cuncani (12,742’/3,884m), the starting point of our hike. Walking uphill for about two hours, we pass farmhouses and fields. The local inhabitants, descendants of the Incas, have maintained their traditional way of life, growing an amazing variety of potatoes nearly year-round and using their llamas as transportation and alpacas as food and clothing. Reaching Cruzccasa Pass (13,740’/4,188m), we enjoy an impressive view of Veronica peak, then have an hour’s descent to our picnic lunch spot. Another hour’s hike brings us to Huacawasi Lodge (12,579’/3,835m). In the late afternoon, we have an opportunity to experience a unique cultural encounter with the local community.
|Hiking time||8 hours including lunch|
Day 3. Weavers in the Peruvian Andes
Huacawasi is a famous weavers’ village, where the men still wear traditional colorful ponchos and women’s attire includes wide handmade skirts and decorated hats. Our hike starts right from Huacawasi Lodge, and as we walk through the village we are immersed in scenes of community life, including women working on looms and children heading to school. The wide and easy trail takes us uphill for 2.5 hours to the top of Ipsaycocha Pass (14,757’/4,499m) where we enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. As we hike, we often meet locals traveling from village to village with their goods and herds of animals. We descend gently for about 40 minutes to Lake Ipsaycocha (14,081’/4,292m) where we may have the chance to see condors circling effortlessly in the sky while enjoying our lunch.
We continue our descent for 2.5 hours to the village of Patacancha (12,624’/3,848m) where high quality weavings are also produced. Our vehicle will meet us here to take us to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo (9,160’/2,792m) in the Sacred Valley. Dinner and overnight at a hotel.
|Accommodation||Hotel in the Sacred Valley|
|Hiking time||6.5 hours walking including lunch|
Day 4. Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu
After our three-day hike, we can enjoy a more relaxing day by having a leisurely breakfast and visiting Ollantaytambo, which boasts an impressive archaeological site and a well-preserved Inca town structure. This was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region, building the town and the ceremonial center. Ollantaytambo dates from the late 15th century and has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. Late morning we board our train for the 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town, where we arrive in time for lunch. Optional visit to Machu Picchu Sanctuary in the afternoon hours when we can enjoy the site with less visitors. Dinner and overnight at Inkaterra
|Accommodation||Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel|
Day 5. Machu Picchu citadel and back to Cusco
After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we walk to the bus station for the 30-minute ride up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Our trip leader will give an introductory two-hour guided tour of the evocative ruins, after which we have the option of climbing the sheer Inca staircase of Huayna Picchu, a steep and vertically quite challenging hike that affords encompassing views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountain ranges (about a two-hour hike). Afterwards, we meet up with our guide again and return by bus to Aguas Calientes for a late lunch. The afternoon train ride from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1.5 hours, and then a
private vehicle drives us back to Cusco (an additional 1.5 hours).
Mid level trek, most of the days treks are optional.
- All services from pick up in Cusco on Day 1 to drop off in Cusco on Day 7.
- Transportation from hotel in Cusco to Soraypampa on Day 1 and from Ollantaytambo back to hotel
- 4 nights lodging
- All meals except breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 5
- Service of a bilingual guide from Day 1 to Day 5
- Transportation of personal belongings
- Guided visit of Machu Picchu (includes entrance and transportation to the site)
- Trains Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu & Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo)
- All beverages except alcoholic drinks
- Tips for Route & Hospitality Staff
- Lead & Assistant Guide tips are not included
- please tip Lead & Assistant Guide at the
- end of the trek)
- Alcoholic beverages
- DAY PACK
- BROKEN-IN COMFORTABLE HIKING BOOTS
- RAIN GEAR (PONCHOS OR FULL RAIN GEAR)
- LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING PANTS OR SHORTS (PANTS RECOMMENDED)
- BREATHABLE LIGHTWEIGHT TOP-WEAR
- COMFORTABLE SHOES / FLIP-FLOPS
- COLD-WEATHER JACKET
- LONG-SLEEVE FLEECE / SWEATER
- WOOL HAT
- SPORT HAT (BASEBALL STYLE OR SOMBRERO STYLE OUTDOOR HAT)
- COMFORTABLE HIKING SOCKS (4 PAIRS AT LEAST)
- INSECT REPELLENT
- BATHING SUIT
- CASUAL MOUNTAIN WEAR FOR EVENINGS
- PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERAS & CHARGERS
- TREKKING POLES
- RE-FILLABLE WATER BOTTLE
- LIGHT-WEIGHT, SMALL BINOCULARS