ATV 11: LARES TREK AND HIGHLANDS’ NATIVE COMMUNITIES (4D-3N)

Departure       :  7:30 a.m., on fixed departure dates
Duration        :  Four days and three nights
Location        :  Calca, Deaprtment of Cusco
Season          :  April to October.

DESCRIPTION:

The Lares Trek will take us to a hidden valley that very few outsiders have visited. The lama shepherds and weavers who inhabit some of the villages of this remote place of high Andean glaciers and shiny lakes, still wear the Andalucian clothes of 16th century Spain. This clothing was imposed to them by the conquerers who took their colorful textiles as a tribute.  Later on, isolation has allowed this tradition to continue. You will be accompanied by porters who will carry only 35 pounds each. You will also enjoy a double-occupancy tent; kitchen, dining and toilet tents, as well as the services of professional English and Spanish speaking guides and cook. All meals will be prepared for us during the trekking portion of the trip. You’ll only have to walk about 4 hours a day; ascending from 9,514 to 11,811 ft. and will camp by small towns inhabited by the Andean people called Huaruros; known for their vivid red handwoven ponchos.You’ll also have the opportunity to visit their villages and mingle with the children.

ITINERARY:

1st DAY: CANCHACANCHA (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Early in the morning, a private vehicle will pick you up at your hotel and take us through the Incas’ Sacred Valley, to the head of the trail, where we’ll start the trek in a fertile valley, following the Huaran River up, through a mountain corridor. After walking for about 4 hours, we’ll reach the stone houses with thatched roofs of the Canchacancha Community (Altitude 11,000 ft.). Campsite after the small town.

2nd DAY: QUISHUARANI (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Today, we’ll go by two shiny high mountain lakes; Sauirococha and Yaruccocha, the latter being fed by a beautiful waterfall. There, we’ll be able to see several bird species, including Andean ibis, geese and flamingoes. Later on, we’ll go over a mountain pass, at 14,108 ft, high above the clouds, with spectacular views of the massive Pitusiray and Chicón glaciers. Having hiked for about 5 miles, we’ll camp near a small village of stone huts with thatched roofs. There, we’ll have a treat in store… A ritual will be performed to celebrate “fiestas” or the arrival of foreigners. A lamb will be slaughtered and cooked in the ancient manner. The men of the village all have specific tasks in the preparation which is accompanied by offerings of gratitude to the Pachamama (Mother Earth). It is an amazing thing to see.

 3rd DAY: LARES’ HOT WATER SPRINGS – HUACAWASI (Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

An early start will take us to the relaxing hot water springs at Lares, where we´ll be able to bathe, pampering ourselves as we’ll languish in the warm water. After a trek of about 4 miles, we’ll arrive at the Community of Huacawasi. There, the natives dedicate themselves to the daily weaving of beautiful garments. We’ll be able to observe the shearing of lamas; carding of the wool and dying it with natural colors; as well as the actual weaving of the cloth and fabrication process of ponchos.

4th DAY: YANAHUARA – MACHU PICCHU

Early morning, we´ll walk up to the Yanahuara Mountain Pass (4,100 m.). The views are spectacular, passing by large rock formations and lagoons, as we´ll follow original Incan stone paths that once connected the Lares Valley with the Urubamba Valley. Within about another 3h.30 of hiking, our gradual descent will take us through the Native Community of Yanahuara, in the Sacred Valley. From there on, we’ll either take a short 15 minute bus ride to Ollantaytambo, to go on the extension trip to visit Machu Picchu or if it is not the case, we´ll head back to Cusco.

INCLUDES:

  • Private Transportation to the head of the trail
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Cook, porters and double occupancy tent per person
  • All meals while on the trek
  • Dining, kitchen and toilet tent
  • Bus ride from Yanahuara to Ollantaytambo or back to Cusco.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu and back
  • Hotels in Cusco, Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo
  • Local or international flights
  • Meals in towns or cities
  • Personal equipment
  • Sleeping bag and mattress.