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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4D/3N)

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4D/3N)
ITINERARY
Day 1: Start of the Lares Trek
An early morning start (6am) allows us the best possible views of the incredible mountainous surroundings of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  Our hike begins in the village Qishuarani, from where we begin our leisurely pace through the valley of Cuncani.  Before the high pass of Cuncani we will have our picnic lunch and then continue our path to the highland village of Cuncani, our destination for tonight.  From our campsite, we will have stunning views of the snow-capped Colque Cruz.

Day 2: Over two high passes to the Lake Ipasayqocha
After pausing to admire our surroundings in the early morning mist, we will proceed around Sondor Mountain to the high pass (altitude of 4440m), from which we will have great photo opportunities:  the scenic Huacahuasi Lake and snow-capped Veronica Mountain (amongst others!) are visible from the path.  After this good morning hike, we stop for a rest in an authentic living Inca settlement, where the people still farm the traditional crops of potatoes in the exact same way their ancestors did.  After this we start climbing to the second pass of Ipasayqocha (4550m).  Here we stop to make an offering of coca leaves to the Andean Gods, then we descend to our campsite near the Lake Ipasayqocha.

Day 3: Trough the spectacular Valley of Patacancha to Aguas Calientes
Today our gentle path is covered in Andean flora, and animals such as llamas and alpacas are fairly common.  If we’re lucky, we might even catch a glimpse of Andean geese, puna ibis, Andean cara caras or condor.  We will feel welcomed by the warm Quechua people, whose homeland we have the rare opportunity to see firsthand.  The traditional dress and lifestyle of these people is both fascinating and enticing to outsiders.  Our descent takes us through the spectacular valley of Patacancha, where everything remains as it has since ancient times.  After our five-hour hike, we reach the town of Patacancha, where we eat lunch and wait for our private bus to take us to Ollantaytambo, we catch the train for an incredibly scenic ride to Aguas Calientes (the village of Machu Picchu), where we will spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Machu Picchu
Rise early to take advantage of viewing Machu Picchu in the early morning light, the best time to view the "Lost City of the Incas".  Join our local guide for a detailed interpretation of the site and Inca history without the pressure of other tour groups that arrive at midday.  There is free time to explore on your own after our tour, and the opportunity to go up to the Sun Gate, providing the chance to see Machu Picchu from a great panoramic view point. In the afternoon return to Cuzco by train, arriving in the evening.
 


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