Trek to Machu Picchu

Trek the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu

April 14-24 2018

Walk in the footsteps of the locals in one of Cusco’s most beautiful valleys. The 4-day Lares Hot Springs Trek is a spectacular high altitude trekking experience where we climb up to 4700m/15,420ft, passing glacier covered peaks and descending past beautiful lakes, traditional stone houses and herds of llama and alpaca. To acclimatize for the trek, you will spend three days in Ollantaytambo exploring the Sacred Valley. After the trek you will journey to Machu Picchu, watch the sunrise, experience the spiritual site with a guide and then have time on your own to explore. We will end our trip enjoying two days in Cusco, exploring ruins and bargaining at busy, colorful Andean markets.

Itinerary

4/14 Day 1: Arrive in Lima
Arrive in Lima via your international flight today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the bridge to the Lima Airport Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up after your travels. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andean Mountains!

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Lima, Peru (Costa Del Sol Lima Airport)

4/15 Day 2: Fly to Cusco, explore the city and settle in

An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua and Spanish speaking descendants of the Incas hustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of eerily accurate and smooth Inca stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors.

The afternoon is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow cobblestone streets and little shops and cafes. Travelers can choose to rest and relax, explore the beautiful town of Cusco, or opt for one of the optional add on adventurous excursions such as zip lining, or stand up paddle boarding. The evening is yours to enjoy the lively Cusco nightlife and sample the delicious local cuisine.

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Cusco (San Agustin Dorado)

Optional Add-Ons: Zip lining, stand up paddle boarding, cooking class

4/16 Day 3: Sacred Valley Full Day Tour
The Sacred Valley is an area full of major Inca ruins and ancient villages. It is also well known for its fertile soil and exceptional crops. Departing around 8am from Cusco we first explore the beautiful Pisac ruins. Once we have finished exploring the ruins we will drive back down to the Pisac market where the entire town is converted into a street market (largest on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays). Here you can find local tapestries, handicrafts, antiques, wool clothing, and local produce. Once you are done admiring the local wares, we continue driving to Urubamba, a picturesque village, where you will be able to have lunch in a restaurant of your choosing.  After lunch we drive to Chincheros, a scenic colonial village where we will explore a 17th century colonial church, filled with beautiful intricate paintings that was built upon an Inca Temple. Lastly we travel back to Ollantaytambo, visiting the Ollantaytambo Fortress and Temple of the Sun, a mysteriously built structure with massive 12-foot stones. The tour ends at approximately 6pm. Relax, and enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choosing.

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Ollantaytambo (Pakaritampu Hotel or El Albergue)

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks for the tour

4/17 Day 4: Maras, Moray, Salineras ½ Day Tour
Today we will explore three beautiful sites, also located in the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas. Departing around 8:30am we will take private transport to the local village known as Maras. Here you will see colonial architecture with incredible facades made of thin stone and lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. We then drive to Moray (3450m/11,319ft) where you can explore the incredible and still mysterious circular agricultural terraces with complex irrigation system that are surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Finally we will visit the salt mines (Salineras) where you can walk amongst the 3000 salt pools and watch the salt miners harvesting the salt of the Incas! They have a cute little shop where you can buy some hand mined Andean salt to take home with you if you wish. After seeing Salineras we take our private transport back to the hotel in Ollantaytambo, arriving around 1:00pm. On the way back from the tour your guide will provide a briefing, preparing you for your Lares Hot Springs trek and answering any questions you may have.  The briefing can be arranged for after dinner at the hotel if preferred.

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Ollantaytambo (Pakaritampu Hotel or El Albergue)

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks for the tour

 4/18 – 4/20 Days 5-7: Lares Hot Springs

Walk in the footsteps of the Incas and present day locals as we journey along the beautiful Lares Valley. The Lares Hot Springs Trek is one of the most beautiful treks available through the Vilcanota Mountain Range of the Andes to Machu Picchu and ends with a delicious dip in the local hot springs and of course Machu Picchu! This route is more cultural as you see traditional stone houses and encounter local people along the way. This is an excellent and popular alternative to the Inca Trail, offering more connection to the local people and culture. On this trek you will see beautiful lakes, snow capped mountains, and herds of alpacas and llamas. This trek is easy to moderate, is approximately 32 km/20 miles and goes up to 4700m/15,420ft. Along the trail you will meet other trekkers on the same journey from all over the world, and our knowledgeable, professional, and friendly crew (guides, porters, cooks) take great care of your safety and comfort along the way. For those of you who have been to Machu Picchu before, you can opt for a four day hike through the Lares Valley (see alternative itinerary below).

Overnight(s): Spacious and comfortable 3 person, 4 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)

Meals: Full meals, snacks, boiled/purified water, and teatime provided along the trail

 Lares Hot Springs Trek (3 days of hiking) + Machu Picchu: 32km/20 miles
Day 5: Cusco – Urubamba – Pumahuanca – Cuyoc

  • Drive to Urubamba for breakfast and start hiking in Pumahuanca
  • Trek length: 13.5km/8.4 miles (6-7 hrs)
  • Camp elevation: 4010m/13,156ft
    Day 6 – Hiking Cuyoc – Pumahuanca Pass – Cuncani
  • Trek length: 13 km/8.1 miles (6-7 hrs)
  • Camp elevation: 3,900m/12,795ft
  • Trek high point: Pumahuanca pass, 4700m/15,420ft

Day 7 Option 1 – Cuncani – Lares – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

  • Trek length: 6km/3.7 miles (3-4 hrs)
  • Trek to Lares, drive to Ollantaytambo, train to Aguas Calientes
  • Overnight elevation (hotel): 2000m/6,562ft
  • Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 8 Option 1 – Tour of Machu Picchu

  • Gentle walk within Machu Picchu on guided tour: 2 ½ hrs
  • Chance to explore on your own and climb Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mtn (permit required)
  • Machu Picchu elevation: 2400m/7,875 ft

 OR

Lares Hot Springs Trek (4 days of hiking) without Machu Picchu: 53.5 km/33.3 miles

Day 5 Option 2: Cusco – Urubamba – Pumahuanca – Cuyoc

  • Drive to Urubamba for breakfast and start hiking in Pumahuanca
  • Trek length: 13.5km/8.4 miles (6-7 hrs)
  • Camp elevation: 4010m/13,156ft

Day 6 Option 2 – Hiking Cuyoc – Pumahuanca Pass – Cuncani

  • Trek length: 13 km/8.1 miles (6-7 hrs)
  • Camp elevation: 3,900m/12,795ft
  • Trek high point: Pumahuanca pass, 4700m/15,420ft.

Day 7 Option 2 – Cuncani – Lares – Huacawasi

  • Trek length: 13km/8.1 miles (6 – 6 ½ hrs)
  • Trek from Cuncani to Lares and on to Huacawasi after lunch
  • Overnight elevation (Huacawasi): 3700m/12,139ft

Day 8 Option 2 – Extra Day of Hiking along the Lares Valley  

  • Trek length: 14m/8.7 miles (7 hrs)
  • Trekking from Huacawasi, over the Ipsaycocha Pass to Ipsaycocha Lake (lunch stop), and on to Patacancha where we meet our transport and drive 45 min to Ollantaytambo
  • Trekking high point: Ipsaycocha Pass (4500m/14,764ft)

Day 8: Machu Picchu OR Extra Day of Hiking along the Lares Valley

  • Option 1: A very early morning breakfast prepares us for the amazing day we have ahead of us! We take the first (5:30am) bus directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft.). From the entrance it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Along our walk we encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.  We spend the morning on a guided tour of the city’s highlight, unfolding the mysteries, history, architecture, flora and fauna of this magical site. You will enjoy a packed lunch in sitting in this most magical of cities, after which you will also have some time for individual exploring among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and crannies.  In the afternoon a shuttle bus takes us back down to Aguas Calientes where we board our return train to Ollantaytambo. Enjoy a boxed lunch within Machu Picchu or eat lunch in a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes.
  • Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Ollantaytambo (Pakaritampu Hotel or El Albergue)
    • Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks for Machu Picchu, boxed lunch in Machu Picchu OR lunch in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes. Advanced notice required for boxed lunch option
    • Optional Add-Ons: Extra hike within Machu Picchu and second time slot for Machu Picchu Ruins (12pm-5pm)
  • Option 2: After an early morning breakfast we begin our 3 hour hike uphill to the Ipsaycocha Pass (4500m/14,764ft). After enjoying the beautiful view from this pass we descend 40 minutes to the Ipsaycocha Lake where we stop to enjoy lunch by the water. Here we can stop at a local stone house to learn how the locals live in these beautiful mountains. After lunch we continue our downhill hike for another 3 hours to Patacancha where we will meet our private transport. We will drive 45 minutes to your hotel in Ollantaytambo.
    • Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Ollantaytambo (Pakaritampu Hotel or El Albergue)
    • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and snacks along the trail

4/22 Day 9: Exploring Cusco

After breakfast we take our private transport to your Cusco Hotel. Today is yours to explore Cusco’s narrow streets and little shops and cafes. Travelers can opt to go on a half day city tour of the churches and surrounding ruins, wander through Cusco’s busy center, shop in local markets, see local artisan workshops in the old San Blas neighborhood, enjoy a massage, or just people watch in the Plaza de Armas. Join your guides for a special celebratory dinner in a delicious Cusco restaurant!

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Cusco (San Agustin Dorado)

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, celebration dinner in a Cusco restaurant

Optional Add-Ons: Cusco City Walking Tour (3 ½ hours)

4/23 Day 10: Cusco Four Ruins Tour & Shaman Blessing Ceremony

  • Four Ruins: You will explore four spectacular ruins set just above Cusco City! The Cusco Four Ruins Tour offers an amazing glimpse into Incan history and culture. It is a wonderful way to decompress after trekking and is blanketed in beautiful wildflowers in April and May. The four ruins are located just above Cusco City and therefore the tour is easily completed in half a day. The massive, towering, rounded stone walls at Sacsayhuaman and the panoramic views of Cusco will take your breath away. You will be collected from your hotel at 8:30am and driven with your guide to the first ruin site (Tambomachay). As you walk to and visit each archeological site, your guide will explain the history, architecture, and local traditions. The four sites are Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Q’enko, and Sacsayhuaman. After exploring the last ruin site you will walk down to the Plaza de Armas in Cusco City. The tour takes approximately 4 hours and is a great outing that can be done on horseback, on foot, or by car depending on your preference and fitness level.
  • Shaman Ceremony: Those who choose this option are in for a treat as you will experience a true Shaman from a remote community conduct a beautiful, authentic blessing ceremony in the Quechua language. Your guide will be there to translate the ceremony. You will be collected from your hotel at 8:30am and driven with your guide to the San Pedro market to purchase the items needed to conduct the offering/blessing (cost of items included in trip cost). You will then be driven up above Cusco City to a little ruin called the Temple of the Moon (set between the four ruin sites). The Shaman will light a fire and will begin by performing a ritual bath to purify the body. He then begins to perform the blessing ceremony, making offerings to Pacha Mama (mother earth). You can request certain blessings if you have something in mind. After the ceremony is over, private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco. The entire tour is approximately 4 hours in length.

Overnight: Comfortable Hotel in Cusco (San Agustin Dorado)

Meals: Breakfast at the hotel, snacks for the tour

Optional Add-Ons: Horseback ride between ruin sites or drive between ruin sites if you prefer not to walk (for the four ruins tour)

 4/24 Day 11: Sadly, today is your last day in Peru. Private transport takes you to the Cusco airport for your departure flight to Lima. Connect to your departure flight home.

 

Hikes within Machu Picchu

There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are The Inka Bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If any guests wish to hike one of these mountains please let us know at the time of booking as these spots fill up very quickly and we have to book them in conjunction with the Machu Picchu entrance ticket. Price per hike is 25USD. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring permits and that the Wayna Picchu trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo.

 

Is this trip for me?
This is an active itinerary of snowcapped mountains, ancient ruins, a rural pueblo and a vibrant colonial city. The Lares Hot Springs Trek is an easy to moderate hike and the Lares Valley Trek is a moderate to strenuous hike so travelers should be reasonably fit, able to walk 6 hours per day, and obtain clearance from their personal physician prior to booking. Not recommended for those with heart problems or other contraindications. All trekkers/guests will be required to sign a medical/liability waiver in Cusco prior to departure.

 

Included: 

  • All transfers to and from airport/hotels and trek, as noted
  • Pre-trek briefing en route during the Maras, Moray and Salineras Tour
  • 7 Days of professional guide service with a licensed, professional, English-speaking guide
  • 1 night in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Lima
  • 3 nights in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Ollantaytambo
  • 1 night in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes (3rd night of trek)
  • 3 nights in a comfortable hotel (double room) in Cusco
  • Maras, Moray, Salineras ½ Day Tour
  • Sacred Valley Full Day Tour
  • Cusco Four Ruins ½ Day Tour OR Shaman Blessing Ceremony
  • 4 Day/3 Night Lares Hot Springs Trek
  • 2 nights camping on the Lares Trek in 3 person, 4 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)
  • Extra thick foam mattress sleeping pads and self-inflating camp mattresses
  • Meals on the trek: 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners, snacks and teatime. Meals are made fresh using locally sourced ingredients (can cater to any dietary requests or needs).
  • Trek cook, kitchen and dining tents, tables and stools, stainless steel dishes and utensils
  • Toilet tents, toilets, and toilet paper
  • Horsemen and horses to carry each guest’s overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs per person
  • Dry bags for each person’s overnight gear along the trail
  • Boiled/purified water for water bottle/bladder every morning/afternoon/evening
  • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse(s)
  • Train tickets round-trip from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back, private transport to hotel
  • Machu Picchu Entrance ticket (first time slot 6am to 12pm)
  • Bus tickets round-trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu with plenty of time to explore on your own
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes (3rd night of trek)
  • Box lunch or lunch in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes on Day 4 of the trek
  • Celebratory dinner in Cusco at end of trek
  • Booking/credit card fees

Not Included: 

  • International/Domestic flights
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu hike permit (within Machu Picchu Ruins)
  • Personal equipment: sleeping bag/walking poles (note: walking poles must have intact rubber bottom)
  • Additional excursions or tours in Peru
  • Single Supplement (Single room, Single tent)
  • Travel/medical insurance (required)
  • Personal meals and expenses beyond what is included above
  • Tips and gratuities (this is optional but highly encouraged)
  • Souvenirs

Optional add ons:

  • Vegetarian/vegan menu (free of charge)
  • Extra nights in Hotels (price upon request)
  • Private room (Per night – Lima: $105 per person, Ollantaytambo: $90 per person, Cusco: $90 per person)
  • Private tent (Per trek: $150 per person)
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (10am slot only and may miss part of the guided tour)
    • $25 per person
  • Second entrance time slot to Machu Picchu: 60 USD per person for 12pm to 5pm
  • Extra Excursions
    • Cusco City Walking Tour: 6-10+ guests: 45 USD per person, 3-5 guests: 60 USD per person, 2 guests: 75 USD per person
    • Zip lining, paddle boarding, cooking classes: price upon request and depends on number of people participating)
  • Meals on non-trek days (price options upon request)

 Price per person:

  • $2970.00 USD per person for groups of 6-16 people going on the Lares Trek with either of the following options:
    • 3 Day Trek + 1 Day in Machu Picchu
    • 4 Day Trek and skip Machu Picchu (estimated on a group of 3-5 people)
  • $2550.00 USD per person for groups of 3 or more people going on the Cusco trip without the 3 days of hiking along the Lares Valley (includes Machu Picchu).
  • 25% non-refundable deposit due upon booking in order to book permits, hotels, & other essential time-sensitive items
  • Balance due 60 days prior to trek departure

How to Book:  Picture of each traveler’s passport bio page (this is a Peruvian Government requirement as tickets and hotels are linked to specific passport numbers/names). Please ensure you have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months past the last day of the trip.

Deposits are due by April 1st to secure your spot.

 

About Killa Expeditions

https://killaexpeditions.com/

WHO WE ARE

Killa Expeditions is a professionally-licensed tour operator based in the historical Andean city of Cusco, Peru. Killa was founded by a Peruvian with over 15 years of guiding experience and two trekking/travel/adrenaline junkies from the United States. We operate treks, tours, and adventure trips throughout Peru, with a strong commitment to sustainable, ethical, and responsible travel. Our team is made up of the most knowledgeable, passionate, and experienced resident guides and staff, all of whom have degrees in guiding, average 10+ years of guiding experience each, and receive specialized yearly training. Our guides in Peru are hand selected by the owners of Killa Expeditions. All guides for our Peru treks and tours are native to Peru and speak fluent English (some staff speak other languages, contact us to enquire) to ensure excellent communication and a positive experience overall.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The word Killa (pronounced Kee-yah) means moon in the native Andean language Quechua. In Inca mythology and religion, Mama Killa or “Mother Moon” was the third power and goddess of the moon. She was the goddess of marriage and considered a defender of women. She was also important for the Inca calendar and tracking the passage of time. Myths surrounding Mama Killa include that she cried tears of silver and that lunar eclipses were caused when she was being attacked. She was envisaged in the form of a beautiful woman and her temples were served by dedicated priestesses.

Why choose Killa Expeditions?

EXCELLENCE

We pride ourselves on providing 5 star service before, during, and after your trip. Killa Expeditions is dedicated to excellent customer service and adventure experiences. We have been awarded the 2017 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

QUALITY

When trekking through rugged mountain terrain, at high altitudes, with unpredictable weather, it is essential to have the best equipment available. We provide Mountain Hardwear 4 season tents (3 season for Inca Trail due to warmer weather), extra thick mattress pads and self inflating mattresses, dry bags for your overnight gear, and more, to ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

NO HIDDEN COSTS

Our treks and tours are truly 5 star and all inclusive. We do not charge extra to “upgrade” as we offer the best option included in the price already. There are no hidden meal costs and best of all no booking fees!

SMALL GROUPS

Our groups average about 8 guests per departure, and are typically a mix of solo travellers, friends travelling together, and couples, all of varying ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Come prepared to make lots of new best friends.

GOURMET

Only the best, quality ingredients are selected from local farmers. Our chefs prepare a specially designed menu to maximize energy and facilitate acclimatization.  And the dishes, a mix of traditional Peruvian cuisine and contemporary cuisines, are delicious too!

LEAVE NO TRACE

Our trips leave behind nothing but smiles and footprints, as it should be.

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE

We love our planet, which is why we reduce, reuse and recycle. Our gear is reusable (no paper or plastic plates/cups/utensils), we buy local goods that do not come in paper/plastic wrapping, and we recycle everything we can. This is not the norm in Peru but we hope to help it become the norm one day soon!

PASSIONATE

All of our employees are passionate about what they do. Who wouldn’t be with majestic mountains and never-ending vistas as your office! We are proud to offer our guides and staff the highest wages.

WE GIVE BACK

We buy locally produced food, hire native tour guides, and book locally owned hotels and restaurants whenever possible. We hold numerous charity events throughout the year in various traditional Andean communities. Events often involve distributing food, drinks, daily essentials (such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and more), toys for the children, shoes and clothes donated by many of our wonderful guests, and we are currently raising funds to build a school in the Willoc Community.  Ask us about how you can help!

For further information about us please see the following links:

Cancellation Policy:

A Client may cancel their booking by notifying Killa Expeditions or their booking Agent, where applicable. The applicable cancellation fees shall be determined with reference to the date on which the request to cancel is received by Killa Expeditions and are expressed hereinafter as a percentage of the total price paid for the cancelled Product, excluding any insurance products. Cancellation for Trek or Tour Product: (a) Cancellation received 60 days or more before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: 60% of the Product total shall be refunded to the Client (Inca Trail excepted where 25% of the Inca Trail product total shall be refunded to the Client). (b) Cancellation received 59-30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: an amount equal to 25% of the total Product shall be refunded to the Client. (Inca Trail excepted where no refund shall be payable to the Client). (c) Cancellation less than 30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: no refund shall be payable to the Client.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Itinerary is subject to change and Killa Expeditions, LLC is not responsible for loss of personal effects, interruption in your travels (from illness or other reason), or inclement weather/natural phenomena. Please see our disclosure agreement for further information. All trekkers will be required to sign an accident waiver form at time of departure and travel/medical insurance is required.
  • At the time of booking only a deposit is charged. The trek deposit is required to secure your spot on a trek and is non-refundable. It is used to purchase non-refundable items such as train tickets, Machu Picchu entrance tickets, etc. The balance of the trek is due within 30 days of departure.
  • Cancellations: Initial deposit is non-refundable. You may cancel your booking by notifying Killa Expeditions or Agent used and the applicable cancellation fees shall be determined based on when the request is received by Killa Expeditions or Agent. (a) Cancellation received 60 days or more before departure of the first Product to depart in relevant booking: 60% of the Product total shall be refunded to you (Inca Trail excepted where 25% of the Inca Trail product total shall be refunded to you). (b) Cancellation received 59-30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: an amount equal to 25% of the total Product shall be refunded to you. (Inca Trail excepted where no refund is payable). (c) Cancellation less than 30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: no refund shall be payable to you.
  • Travel Medical Insurance: is required to depart on any trek. We also suggest travel interruption insurance in the event of inclement weather, or other unforeseen circumstances that may arise. Killa Expeditions is not responsible for any losses incurred.
  • For Full Terms and Conditions please see the policy on the bottom of our reservations page. It is also available to read during the online checkout process.

Full terms and conditions can be viewed at the bottom of our reservations page here http://www.killaexpeditions.com/reservations/

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