Andean adventure into the barely "discovered" Urubamba mountain range, across high-mountain peaks, through subtropical valleys and meadows, where we travel to the "edge" of Peru, with stops along the way to gawk at the humbling reminders of what is important in life.
Amazing views of lagoons, visits to natural hot springs and explorations of the remnants of archaeological ruins; reminders of the sacred societies who once populated this corner of the planet. The remoteness of the area has allowed high-Andean communities to preserve their ancestral traditions: colorful textiles, hand-made with ancient techniques and andean cuisine, wholesomely prepared without fuss. This fascinating tour offers a first-hand glimpse of the Andean peasant lifestyle and a journey into the beautiful Lares Valley region.
Pick-up at hotel at 6:00 am. We travel by bus for about three hours to arrive at the medicinal hot springs of Lares. After a relaxing bath, we start a three-hour trek to the small village of Huacahuasi (3.200m), where we camp. The indigenous weavers of this high-Andean community work with traditional textile techniques. Here we have the opportunity to watch them in action, making ponchos and other regional garments. Lunch and dinner are included.
Early wake-up and breakfast. The toughest part of the trail begins, bringing us up to the Ipsaycocha Pass at 4350m above sea level. From our upper vantage point, we catch our breath while we marvel at the prominent view of the Pumahuanca (5330m), Sahuarsirai and Pitusirai mountains. We descend to the Ipsaycocha Lake (4200m) where we set up camp. Lunch and dinner are included.
The stirring view of the valley rattles our consciousness as we trek down to the Village of Willoc (3200m) and then on to Pumamarca. Passing through ancient agricultural terraces, we finally reach Ollantaytambo, whose archaeological ruins are considered to be one of the most important sites in the world. While the ruins may have been abandoned by their builders, it is now occupied by a complex and sweeping variety of flowers and birds. From here we take the train to the portal town of Aguas Calientes, arriving around 8 pm for our overnight in a comfortable hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.
After breakfast we head to Machu Picchu for a three hour guided visit of the ruins. We return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and free time in the town including the opportunity to shop in the local markets or relax in the Hot Springs, for which the town is named. Return to Cusco by train.