This is a fantastic trek that takes you well off the tourist trails as you climb out of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and continue over into the valley of Lares. In crossing these mountains you have the chance to enjoy spectacular Andean scenery, including lakes and wildlife, and also visit traditional Andean villages and Incan ruins. Many of these people still dress in typical clothing and they can be seen far off in the distance in their red and black clothing while tending their sheep or llamas.
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4.30 am - 5.30 am and travel by bus for approximately 1 hour to Calca, where we stop to buy personal supplies and bread for children we will meet during our trek. From here we drive 3 hours further to Lares (3100m). Here you have the option of spending the morning in the hot springs and having lunch. Then, with horsemen and mules, we walk 4 to 5 hours to our first campsite at Huacahuasi (3850m).
After having an early breakfast, we commence the most challenging day of the trek - hiking over the Ipsaycocha Pass at 4350m. We descend for half an hour past the breathtaking Lake Ipsaycocha and on to the village of Patacancha where we will have lunch. Along the route the scenery is stunning - there are glacial lakes, waterfalls and snow-peaked mountains. This area is also rich in birdlife and there is the possibility of seeing Andean ibis, Andean geese, flamingoes and more. From Patacancha we will travel by bus to Ollantaytambo where we catch a train to Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes we have dinner and spend the night in a hotel.
We get up very early today to get the first bus up the mountain to Machu Picchu. After a walking tour of the ruins provided by the guide there will be free time to explore Machu Picchu independently. We need to be back in Aguas Calientes 30 minutes before the train departs back to Cusco.The exact program, including the campsites, train schedule and pickup is subject to change, due to weather, the client's walking ability, and other unexpected circumstances.