The Lares Trek (Weavers’ Way) & Machu Picchu
Lares - Patacancha - Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu
4 days / 3 nights (2 nights camping & 1 night at a Sacred Valley hotel)
Set Departures or PRIVATE DEPARTURES
The Cordillera Urubamba in southern Peru is the last great range of snowcapped mountains before the eastern slope of the Andes falls away to the Amazon basin. Tucked behind this 40-mile chain of 18,000 ft.-plus peaks lies a region of high altitude valleys. Here the Quechua people maintain an ancient way of life, herding alpacas and llamas, farming the Andean slopes, and practicing a tradition inherited from their Inca ancestors: the making and wearing of superb textiles.
This short trek begins at the eastern end of this mountain chain, at the colonial village of Lares, with its delightful hot springs baths, and ends with a road journey to the famous “living Inca settlement” of Ollantaytambo. In between we follow a hiking route that skirts the northern slope of the Cordillera, crossing one high pass. We encounter villages where the colorful ponchos of the men vie for attention with the exquisite “manta” shoulder garments of the women, and each wear a distinctive local headgear that announces their origin from this part of Peru. The villagers along the way are generally friendly and welcoming, and some will offer to sell you their excellent weavings. The program finishes with a one day trip to Machu Picchu and your return to Cuzco.
The Weavers’ Way & Machu Picchu
Day 1. To Lares/Huacahuasi
We leave Cusco in the early morning, driving to the provincial town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and climbing northward to a spectacular high pass before dropping down to the village of Lares on the east slope of the Andes. Here we take a delicious dip at a hot springs in the meadows outside of town and then enjoy a picnic lunch. Then we begin a leisurely half-day hike up the valley of the rushing Rio Trapiche, before reaching the highland village of Huacahuasi, where we camp for the night. (L,D)
Day 2. To Patacancha
We climb steadily, traversing an open, treeless landscape of ground-hugging plants and flowers among pastures of Andean bunch-grass scattered with roaming herds of alpacas and llamas. Reaching an altitude of 4,500m, we cross the pass of Ipsayccasa then descend into the Patacancha watershed, with the lake of Ipsaycocha to our right. We may see Andean Geese, Puna Ibis and other waterbirds in the wetlands here as we journey through the heartland of these Quechua people, who are locally nicknamed “Huayruros” – the name of a red and black seed reminiscent of the color combinations of the local textiles. We reach the village of Patacancha and camp nearby. (B,L,D)
Day 3. To Pumamarca/Ollantaytambo
Our transport takes us downvalley to Pallata, where we begin a short, half-day hike to Ollantaytambo, via the scenic early-Inca site of Pumamarca (Puma town). This well-preserved Inca outpost was apparently a fort protecting the approaches to the Sacred Valley. From there we hike down a trail that winds gently across steep mountain slopes, through a stupendous series of agricultural terraces built by the Incas and now partially restored to agricultural use. At the village of Munaypata we rejoin the main road, where our transport makes the final short drive to Ollantaytambo. After lunch we visit the impressive ruins here, and tour the nearby village, where people go about their daily lives among original Inca streets and houses. Overnight in Ollantaytambo at a hotel of your choice. (B,L)
Day 4. To Machu Picchu/Cusco
We take the morning train from Ollantaytambo to the town of Aguas Calientes, and then ascend by bus to the fabled ruins of Machu Picchu. Guided exploration, visiting the best-known features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. After a full experience of this glorious monument to the Inca, we return to Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Cusco. (B,L)
|Weavers’ Way & Machu Picchu
Lares & Patacancha & FD Machu Picchu
|4 days / 3 nights
2 nights camping &
1 night at a Sacred Valley hotel
Monday, all months except February.
|Minimum 2 persons||Single Supl.|
|Price per person||$ 1128||$ 49|
|Does NOT require an Inca Trail Permit|
| Weavers’ Way & Machu Picchu
Daily all year.
|2||3||4 - 6||7 - 9||Single Supl.|
|$ 1366||$ 983||$ 803||$ 606||$ 49|