Lares Trek – Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu 4 Days

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4 Days – 3 Nights

Max Guests: 8

Max. Altitude: 2850 – 4400m

Act. Level: Formidable

Overview

The Lares valley trek offers a combination of stunning scenery, traditional cultures, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu on the 4th Day. The trek will take you through stunning Mountain scenery, over high passes, and you will spend two nights near traditional Peruvian Villages.

The Inca Trail is beyond a doubt one of the most beautiful trails in Americas and therefore an unforgettable experience not to be missed. The trail leads through the protected wild nature of the Peruvian jungle and forest steppe, passes several archeological Inca sights and offers impressive views. The Incas used this itinerary for the pilgrimage to the sacred citadel Machu Picchu.

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Huaca Casi pass – Lares Hot Springs – Huacawasi – Sondor

At approximately 6am we will pick you up at your hotel to set course to the village of Lares where we will start hiking. During this journey we will make a stop in the village of Calca, where you will be able to visit the local market and buy breakfast or other supplies you forgot.
Your guide might advise you to buy some bread to hand out to the children you will meet during the trek. When arriving at Lares we will visit the hot springs where you will be able to enjoy the hot water while our cooks prepare a wonderful lunch. After lunch we will start our hike towards the first campsite in Sondor (3800m).
During 3 hours you will walk gradually uphill so that you get a good training for the next day when we will reach the highest point of the trek. The first night we will spend the night at the house of our horsemen who are joining us on the trip. At arrival your tents will be ready and you will receive popcorn, sweets and some hot thee before having dinner.

  • Transport time: 4 hours
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Day Climate: Warm
  • Night Climate: Cold

Day 2Sondor – Paso Sacsayllame – Aruray Cocha – Yurak Cocha – Pucara

After a nutritious breakfast we will start hiking towards the highest point, the pass of Sacsayllame or Hucahuasi at 4400m/14435 feet. The hike will take about 2 hours and will be very steep uphill.
Of course an emergency horse will accompany us so that everyone will certainly be able to reach the top. During this trek you will be able to enjoy enormous mountains, a patchwork of agricultural lands and breathtaking views. Be aware that we will reach great heights and the weather can be very cold.
After reaching the highest point we will descend and pass a beautiful lagoon before having lunch next to the river. You will be able to recuperate while our cooks prepare a delicious lunch for you. Next we will descend further through a forest where you will be able to enjoy the “Queuñas” (Polylepis), a typical three from Peru. This walk will take about 4 hours before reaching our campsite at Pucara (3100m/10170f). A wonderful place where you will receive hot thee and some snacks upon arrival before having dinner.

  • Hiking time: 8 hours
  • Transport time: half an hour
  • Day Climate: Warm
  • Night Climate: Cold

Day 3Pucara – Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Wiñayhuayna – Aguas Calientes

Our journey starts early in the morning at 6am, a vehicle will bring you to Ollantaytambo village.  From here, you are able to take a tourist train to Km 104. After our arrival at km 104, the Royal Inca Trail begins with a hike to Chachabamba (2270m/7448f), where our guide will inform us about the previous function of this archeological site.

Thereafter, we will reach Wiñayhuayna (2650m/8694f), the most important archeological site besides Machu Picchu. After that, our trail continues towards the Sun Gate “Inti Punku”, a nice viewpoint from which we can enjoy the nightfall on Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f). Since we have to continue our walk to our hotel in Aguas Calientes, we will only spend little time in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu on the first day.

  • Transport time: half an hour

Day 4Aguas Calientes – Sanctuary of Machu Picchu – Cusco

We will leave our hotel towards Machu Picchu after breakfast at about 5:30 am by bus. We are leaving that early because at this time the setting is less crowded and the morning is a good time to enjoy the calmness and the ancient spirit of the best-known archaeological site on the continent.
After our arrival at the citadel around 6:00 am, our guide will give us detailed information about Machu Picchu and the history and culture of the Inca. Thereafter, you will have enough free time to enjoy and explore the site on your own (f.ex. go to the Inka Bridge, explore the variety of buildings or climb Waynapicchu for an amazing panorama picture).
A bus takes you down to Aguas Calientes. Here you have the possibility to join the town’s hot springs (S/ 10.00 Nuevos soles). We will leave Aguas Calientes in the afternoon.

  • Day Climate : warm with mosquitoes
  • Hiking time: 2 hours
  • Total distance: 4 hours

Reservation: Since the number of trekking permits is limited to 250 per day (about 200 tourists and 50 trekking staff) it is important to book well in advance – especially in the high season between May and September. In the low season between December and January, it is possible to get a ticket about 30 days in advance.

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Inclusions

Includes

  • Pre-briefing time at 19hrs in our office 1 or 2 days before your date departure (It has to be confirmed at the booking time).
  • A tourist bus from the hotel to Lares village
  • Entrance to the thermal baths in Lares village
  • Transport from Pucara to Ollantaytambo where the train station is situated
  • Tourist train from Ollantaytambo to Km 104
  • 2 ways tourist bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes and back to Aguas Calientes
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and Collective tourist transfer from the train station in Ollantaytambo to the centre of Cusco (Plaza Regocijo / Few meters of Plaza de Armas or Marriott Hotel / Calle Ruinas, beginning of San Blas neighbourhood).
  • Entrance fees to the Inca Trail and the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Hostel with private room and bathroom in Aguas Calientes
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
  • High quality camping equipment (professional Eureka tents, extra light/4.5kgs for 2 persons. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
  • Meals during the excursion (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/Option vegetarian)
  • Cook and cooking equipment
  • Horseman and mules for all camping and personal equipment of the (up to 4 kg).

Excludes

  • Breakfast on the first day and last lunch in Aguas Calientes Town.
  • Bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes where the train station is situated; you can either pay the cost of $ 12.00 for the bus-Service or walk back to Aguas Calientes which will take you about an hour.
  • Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes town (it cost S/ 10.00 Nuevos soles)
Travel Info

Briefings

All briefings are done at our office at 7:00 PM one or two nights before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Xtreme Tourbulencia office team. Briefings are approximately 40 minutes long.

Pickups

Xtreme Tourbulencia is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city, we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Smaller hotels and Airbnbs are often located on streets that cars can´t pass through. They also are frequently on hillsides with long steep climbs, making it difficult to carry luggage. We highly recommend that you book accommodations with better access. We have a list of hotels that are all comfortable with easy access to pick up and drop off. HOTEL LIST HERE.

Some treks will allow for pickups in the Sacred Valley, which is outlined below.

Huaynapicchu/Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu is most beautiful when seen from above, which is why hiking one of the mountains next to the ruins is very popular to do after your tour.

Huaynapicchu is the most popular and must be booked in advance since it sells out very quickly. This hike takes approximately 1 hour to the top, and another 45 minutes back down. Tickets are sold in time sessions stating when you can start this hike. The first session is from 7-8 AM, and the 2nd session is from 10-11 AM. Again, this refers to the timeframe when you can start your hike. We usually book the second session so you can enjoy your tour with your guide first. You will do this hike on your own, but your guide will show you where to begin.

Machu Picchu Mountain is a bit longer and a bit less popular. It takes 2 hours to the top and another 1 hours to the bottom. Again there are two time windows – from 7-8 AM and 9-10 AM and we usually purchase the second time window. 4 Day treks, the Trekkers CAN NOT do this hike and enjoy a tour of the ruins. Time will not allow for this.

Hiking either mountain will allow you to have some extra time at the ruins once you complete, as listed above.

Machu Picchu Entrance Times

Machu Picchu now has two different time windows of when you can visit: either morning or afternoon. Your entrance ticket will be for only one session, morning session, and when your time window is over, the Rangers will ask you to leave.

MORNING SESSION: 6AM – 12PM

AFTERNOON SESSION: 12PM – 15:00PM

** If you have tickets to hike either Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will need extra time 3:00 hours.

Health Concerns

You must be honest with your guide about any health conditions or concerns you might have. While our guides are not medical professionals, they do have first aid training. We also work with a clinic in Cusco that can help assist our team.

You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. Xtreme TourBulencia will not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level, and medical requirements.

If you develop extreme altitude sickness or any other illness that prevents you from hiking, and you still wish to visit Machu Picchu by train, we will work with you to coordinate this trip. Since this will be a new trip, it may require additional fees. We will use as much of the original itinerary to keep costs low.

If you experience issues while hiking and can not continue, a porter will accompany you to the closest road and wait while a car comes to pick you up and bring you to the nearest health clinic.

Group Tours

Group tours are made up of all different types of people, with various hiking skills and ages. By agreeing to a group tour, you agree that some people might be slower or faster than you are. Everyone can go at their own pace for the trek, and the guide will work with the group to spend time with everyone. Groups might request some modifications to the tour, and the guide will work with everyone to make the best decision for the group.

Strikes

Unfortunately, strikes are frequent in Peru and can disrupt our tours. Roads are often blocked, and trains stopped. We will make sure your trek continues as planned, even if that means leaving the night before your start date. Under these circumstances, tours might need to be canceled. But our operations department will coordinate with you in this situation. Your safety is always our top concern and will dictate how we decide.

Lost Items

You are responsible for your items throughout the Tour. Please be diligent about where you leave your things and remember to remove all items from our vans, your tents, restaurant, etc. Do not leave anything unintended during your hike. Other trekkers or teams might pick it up not knowing whos it is.

Tips

Tipping is part of the tradition of any trek to Machu Picchu. While we pay good wages to our entire team, anything extra is always appreciated. Please know that this is not obligatory and that you should never feel pressured into this.

Typically the participants in a group pool their tipping money together for the porters and chef. The amount recommended is different per trek and listed below. For the guide, this is more personal and needs to be decided based on your relationship with them and done separately from the group. Porters and Chefs prefer soles if possible. Guides are happy with U.S. dollars, Peruvian Soles, or even your credit card ????

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is inexpensive and strongly recommended. With trips being planned months ahead of time, you never can predict what could happen. Adventure travel includes more risk than the average trip. Insurance is a way to protect the investment you have made on this journey. We can help recommend an agent to walk you through this type of insurance if needed.

Weather

Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

Also, prepare for four seasons. Several of the treks through the Andes involve various microclimates and you will need to be prepared. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.

It’s also important to note that the weather can change a listed itinerary. There are times that routes become impassable, and our guides will be forced for your safety to rework your tour.

Altitude Sickness

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate you won´t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Xtreme Tourbulencia guides are trained to help you get through it.

Getting To Cusco

The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

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