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On this 10-day trip, you will travel from the bohemian streets of Callao, through the winding Sacred Valley, over the planes of the Andean Mountains, and into the oasis of the Huacachina desert. And of course, Machu Picchu. Plus, taste all 3800 varieties of potates that Peru has to offer. (LOL, not really. But you will eat many potatos and they will all be delicious, we promise.)
The name of our trail is called Lares (we might say it's Peru's best kept secret). This route offers a glimpse into local life as we follow the trail through small Quechua villages and traverse through the Sacred Valley. Being a lesser-travelled route, you'll feel like you have the Andean mountains to yourself, (not to mention, breathtaking views of the surrounding vistas).
This trek starts and ends in the ancient Inca town of Ollyantaytambo, where you will continue your journey to Macchu Picchu via train. Take the scenic train ride to the mountaintop town of Aguas Calientes, and stay over night, opting to relax your muscles in the nearby hot springs. The next morning, catch a bus ride to Machu Picchu through the winding mountain peaks at sunrise.
DAY 1 | LIMA | Airport Pickup + Hotel Check-In + Orientation at 6:00pm.
DAY 2 | LIMA | Today you will wander around Lima's bohemian district of Monumental Callao- a part of the city being revived by its artisan population. Get your first taste of ceviche - an original Peruvian seafood dish made. Flight to Cusco.
Day 3 | THE SACRED VALLEY | The Sacred Valley in within the Andes mountains, and originally home to part of the ancient Inca empire. Take a gentle climb up the ruins of Pisac. Meet the women of a local textile cooperative and learn the art of dying wool.
Day 4 | LARES TREK | Start your hike through the incredible, rolling Andes landscape. Stop for lunch before continuing to the Cuncani community, our first campsite. Relax your muscles in natural hot spring baths to prepare for the next day of trekking.
Start elevation: 3,150 m
End elevation: 4,032 m
Day 5 | LARES TREK | Take in views of the glacier-capped Colque Cruz - a mountain providing a natural water source for the surrounding communities. Trek up rocky terrain, passing through high altitude lagoons. Push towards the summit, passing by stunning views of Pampas of Anta plateau and through the polylepis forest of endangered, high-altitude trees. Your camp tonight is a peaceful forested spot by the river.
Start elevation: 4,032m
Highest elevation: 4,809m
End elevation: 3,742m
Day 6 | LARES - OLLYANTAYTAMBO - AGUAS CALIENTES | Rise early to complete your last few hours of hiking, and make your way by car to Ollyantaytambo, an inhabited village in the Sacred valley that is also an incredible archaeological site. Catch a train to Aguas Calientes and opt for a well-deserved soak in the local hot springs.
Start elevation: 3,742m
End elevation: 2,792m
Day 7 | MACHU PICCHU | Rise early to catch a bus to the Machu Picchu - a mountaintop ancient Inca citadel, nearly forgotten until excavations uncovered it in the 20th century. Take a guided walk of the mystical ruins, but don't forget to look around. The surrounding, steep and lush mountain tops will take your breath away (and we aren't just talking about the altitude).
If you feel like an uphill challenge, you have the option to climb the infamous mountain of Huayna Picchu.
Day 8 | Travel back to Cusco, take a free day to explore the continent's longest inhabited city. Opt to learn how chocolate is made, get a massage, hang out in the artisan quarters of San Blas, or explore San Pedro market.
Day 9 | LIMA I Hop on a flight back to Lima. For those who have booked the 9 day trip, we say goodbye to you here!
Fo those who booked the 11 day trip, take the day to explore on your own. We recommend taking a cooking class, or renting a bike and cycling along the coastline around the vibrant district of Baranco.
Day 10 | ICA | Rise with the sun and drive toward Paracas Beach to catch a boat ride out to the Ballestas Island - the Peruvian Galapagos. Over the years, scientists have found over 1000 species of animal life here! Catch views of a series of animals ranging from birds, to sea lions, penguins and possibly dolphins.
Return to shore and continue to a local winery where they produce artisanal Pisco - the local spirit. End the day in the desert as you gaze across the the Huacachina Oaisis - an unexpected patch of lush vegetation amidst a sea of sand. Return to Lima for our last night.
Day 11 | LIMA | Departure day and sad goodbyes! Group shuttle to the airport.
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