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Mountain Lodges of Peru – Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure

  • Cusco
  • Sacred Valley
  • Lares Valley
  • Machu Picchu
Mountain Lodges of Peru – Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure Mountain Lodges of Peru – Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure
£ 3462

Peru is a world-class trekking destination and has some of the most impressive mountain scenery in all of South America. This combined with its rich culture and Inca history has inspired Mountain Lodges of Peru to create the ‘Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure’ – a 7 or 5 day lodge-to-lodge trek, combining the rugged scenery of the Andes with the local communities who inhabit it.  

Unlike Mountain Lodges of Peru's Salkantay Trek, the Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure combines picturesque Andean scenery with historic towns and seldom-visited Inca archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley. It has been designed for those looking to mix an active holiday, with the history and culture of Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Every day different activities are offered and you will have the chance to design your own adventure, based on your interests and how active you want to be. One morning you may be hiking on a remote highland trail and in the afternoon you might find yourself learning to weave with a local family. Each day you will have a choice of activities, but everyone's adventure ends at the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, where you will have a full day to explore the ruins before returning to Cusco by train.

Rather than camping you will stay in two purpose built mountain lodges (as well as a couple of hotels), where you will be greeted each evening to a hot shower and a comfortable bed. The lodges have been designed to fit in with the environment and actually have been built using traditional Inca methods, but have modern comforts like Wi-Fi and even a hot-tub!

During the day you will only need to carry a day pack, as your main luggage is moved by MLP from one lodge to the next. Snacks are provided, but along route you will have lunch in local restaurants or special picnics are setup (often in remarkable locations!) Dinner is normally at the lodge or hotel and menus have been designed to show off traditional Andean cuisine (with a touch of flair!) with locally sourced ingredients. You will never go hungry!

Is this for me?

The flexibility of Mountain Lodges of Peru's Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure means it is ideal for families or couples who may have slightly different interests or not sure how active they want to be. It's also a great option for single travellers as group sizes are large enough for you to meet other travellers (normally up to 16, but often a lot smaller).

Unlike some walking itineraries in Peru, where there is often no alternative to trekking 6+ hours each day and the emphasis is very much on the scenery, the Mountain Lodges of Peru Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure, has been designed to offer a flexible itinerary, allowing guests to choose between active and cultural activities. Famous historical attractions are included along the way, but guests will also have the chance to explore relatively untouched areas and see the daily life of the remote communities in the area.

Note: The Mountain Lodges of Peru Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure has set departure dates and is in small groups (normally up to 16). It operates all year round, except for January and February.

For those short on time, Mountain Lodges of Peru also offer a shorter 5 day / 4 night Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure, which only includes one night at Lamay and Huacahuasi Lodges.

11 days from
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Day 1-3 Cusco
Cusco

On day 1 you will arrive into the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, where you will be met and driven to your charming B&B on the outskirts of the historic centre. 

Note: Most international flights to Peru will arrive into Lima and then it is a 1 1/2 hour connecting flight to Cusco. There are some airlines which fly directly into Cusco though.

Cusco is over 3,300m above altitude and it is important to acclimatise before starting the Mountain Lodges of Peru, Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure. We have included three nights for you to adjust to the altitude and on your second full day in the city, you will be taken on a private tour of the Cusco’s main attractions. 

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cusco is nestled in a green valley high in the Andean mountains and is home to some truly remarkable colonial architecture and relics left over from the Inca Empire. A private tour will show you the spectacular Inca ruins in the surrounding countryside, including the temple of Kenko, the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara and the mighty Sacsayhuaman fortress. 

In the evening of day 3 you will meet the trip leaders at the hotel El Mercado in Cusco, for a pre-trek briefing.

Stay: Three nights at El Retablo – bed & breakfast 

 

Day 4-9 Mountain Lodges of Peru - Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure
Mountain Lodges of Peru - Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure

Day 4 – Treasures of the Sacred Valley

Your journey begins from the busy streets of Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Your first step will be Chinchero, a small Andean village and Inca archaeological site. From there, choose an inspiring downhill hike from Chinchero to the town of Urquillos along historic Inca trails, or an afternoon exploring the circular agricultural terraces in Moray and natural salt mines in Maras.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Morning

All-Group Activity: Visit to Chinchero.

Afternoon

Cultural: Guided exploration of the Moray agricultural complex and the natural salt mines in Maras.

Active: Hike from Chincheros to Urquillos

Stay: Two nights at Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)

Day 5 – Exploring Pisac

Start your day with either an invigorating hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha, or a visit to the lively town and colorful artisan marketplace of Pisaq. Midday, both cultural explorers and hikers will reunite in the village of Viacha to learn about traditional Andean farming before a hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site for a guided tour.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Morning

Cultural: Excursion to Pisaq for a guided tour and free time to explore its celebrated marketplace, followed a visit to the community of Viacha.

Semi-active: Bike ride from Lamay Lodge to Pisaq (subject to additional cost). Approximately 3 hours – Easy to Moderate

Active: Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha. Approximately 3 hours – Moderate, 14,200’ / 4,328 m

Midday

All-Group Activity: Meet the Viacha locals and learn about their traditional Andean farming practices.

Afternoon

All-Group Activity: Guided tour of the Pisaq archaeological site.

Day 6 – Into the heart of the Lares

The day begins with a visit to the small town of Lamay followed by a scenic drive into the heart of the Lares Valley. Your first stop will be Ancasmarca for a guided tour of this seldom-visited archeological site. Afterwards, choose a visit with the expert textile weavers in the remote village of Choquecancha or a hike amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where both groups meet again to spend the night.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Morning

All-Group Activity: Explore the town of Lamay and visit the Ancasmarca archeological site.

Afternoon

Cultural: Visit to the remote village of Choquecancha where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.

Active:

Option A: Hike from Quelquena to Huacahuasi. Approximately 2.5 hours – Easy to moderate, 14,200’ / 4,328 m

Option B: Hike from Cuncani to Huacahuasi. Approximately 4 hours – Moderate, 13,838´ / 4,219m

Stay: Two nights at Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)

Day 7 – Exploring Huacahuasi

For a cultural morning experience, you will visit the village of Huacahuasi and learn more about its heritage and daily life of the locals. Afterwards, return to the lodge for a Peruvian cooking class with the lodge staff or take a short hike to the nearby waterfalls. Alternately, challenge yourself with an all-day hike from the community of Quiswarani to Quelquena along the ‘Trail of 1,000 Lakes’ for majestic views of the lakes, valleys, and mountains.

Morning

Cultural: Visit the village of Huacahuasi followed by a cooking class and lunch at the lodge.

Active: Hike to the the waterfalls near Huacahuasi and lunch at the lodge. Approximately 1.5 hours – Easy

All-day

Active: Hike from Quiswarani to Quelquena (lunch en route). Approximately 6.5 hours – Challenging, 14,505’ / 4,421 m

Day 8 – The road to Ollantaytambo

Begin the day with a scenic drive from Huacahuasi to the remote village of Huilloc. From there, choose a morning hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka, or explore the village and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka archaeological site. After lunch, choose to hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo or drive and spend the afternoon exploring Ollantaytambo’s maze-like alleys and passageways.

Note: Afternoon hikers will meet the rest of the group at the hotel upon arrival in the Sacred Valley.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Morning

Cultural: Visit the village of Huilloc and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and her blessings for the health of the community livestock. Drive from Marcacocha to Pumamarka for an all-group tour of the archaeological site and picnic lunch.

Active Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka. Approximately 3 hours – Moderate

Afternoon

Cultural: After lunch, take a scenic drive to Ollantaytambo and spend the afternoon exploring this charming Sacred Valley town.

Active: Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo. Approximately 3 hours – Moderate

Optional All-Group Activity (late afternoon): Visit a locally-sourced Sacred Valley craft brewery (subject to additional cost).

Stay: One night at a hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (9,284’ / 2,830 m)

Day 9 – Discovering Ollantaytambo

Begin your day with an optional early morning hike to the Inca storage houses high above the town for an impressive view of the Ollantaytambo fortress and ceremonial site. Afterwards, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided tour before embarking on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Alternately, opt for an all-day hike from train marker KM 104 to the Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the classic Inca Trail (subject to additional cost).

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Early morning

Active:

Option A:Hike up Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo. Approximately 1.5 hours – Moderate

Option B: Hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo. Approximately 2.5 hours – Moderate to challenging

Morning

All-Group Cultural Activity: Guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site.

Afternoon

Train ride: Scenic train ride along the Urubamba River to the charming town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Approximately 1.5 hours

All-day activity (subject to additional cost)

*Active: Hike on the classic Inca Trail, from KM 104 to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. Approximately 6 hours – Moderate to challenging

*Note: This is a full-day hike that replaces the standard program day itinerary. Permits are required and must be purchased in advance.

Stay: One night at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel (6,232’ / 1,900m)

Day 10 Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

The Citadel of Machu Picchu

Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with a rollicking morning uphill bus ride, followed by a guided tour of the Machu Picchu citadel. After the tour you will have free time to explore on your own or hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms overhead. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before the return train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and vehicle transfer to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours).

*Note: Permits for Huayna Picchu are subject to availability; please consult with your Ultimate Travel Specialist when you confirm your reservation. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, Machu Picchu Mountain (the second peak within the sanctuary) permits will be secured instead.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

Morning

All-Group Cultural Activity: Guided exploration of the Machu Picchu citadel (7,872’ / 2,400m)

Late morning

Cultural: Free time for further exploration

Active: Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

Stay: One night at El Retablo – bed & breakfast

Day 11 Departure from Cusco
Departure from Cusco

Arrangements end after breakfast on day 11 and you’re free to either return to Cusco airport for your onward flight connections, or continue your journey through Peru and South America.

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