WHY THIS TRIP
The Lares to Machu Picchu Lodge-To-Lodge Adventure combines great trekking and adventure with cultural immersion, fantastic scenery, and comfortable lodges and great food. Each day of your journey in the Lares Valley you will have the opportunity to tailor your trip from a choice of varied hikes and activities designed to offer both adventure and cultural education, and then at night you will relax in deluxe mountain lodges run in partnership with local communities.
The former Inca capital and Spanish colonial city of Cusco is your base for this great expedition, a wonderful place full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife. You have a full-day tour of the ruins situated on the outskirts of Cusco, including the impressive Sacsaywaman.
From Cusco you travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the spectacular Lares Valley bringing you back to an ancient Andean life where hardy locals herd llamas and plant potatoes as they have for centuries amidst beautiful Andean surroundings. Their incredibly bright, high-quality woven red clothes are startling against the mountain background.
A wonderful alternative to the more heavily traveled Inca Trail, the Lares Trail is noted for its cultural attractions, including traditional weavers attired in colorful dress, roving herds of alpacas and llamas, and a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and glacial lakes. An extensive network of trails throughout the region lead to traditional Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where guests can meet local communities and get a glimpse of the distant past, and to spectacular Inca archaeological sites including the fortress of Pisac and the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle. More challenging trails bring guests to remote passes with views of Andean peaks, with the occasional condor soaring above.
After a day of hiking and exploring, the travelers return to the lodges where they can enjoy the comforts of a spacious guest room with hot shower, gourmet dining, lounging by a fireplace while recounting the adventures of the day, and even the amenities of a Jacuzzi and massage. The lodges are designed to blend into the existing landscape, reducing their visual impact to a minimum, and the use of local materials—stone, adobe, wood, and straw—reflect the region’s traditional construction.
The trip ends with a grand finale: a guided visit of Machu Picchu and a climb of Huayna Picchu peak for a rewarding view of the Sanctuary from above. A recent traveler reported, “the villages and the friendly people I encountered along the way will always be embedded in my memory. The lodges we stayed in offered warm and inviting experiences, from the fantastic views of the mountains out our windows to the friendly staff serving us drinks and dinners to the warm hot tubs on our deck.
LOCAL OPERATOR: MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU
The goal of Mountain Lodges of Peru is to provide its guests with the service, comfort and safety they need to be able to freely explore and enjoy nature, culture, history and like-minded souls. For more than 10 years, Mountain Lodges of Peru has hosted guests at its mountain lodges with top-quality service backed with a three-fold philosophy: cultural authenticity and access, remoteness in comfort and style, and exceed expectations. At Mountain Lodges of Peru, local natives are included in day-day operations, many of whom share their customs and learn how to be industry professionals by learning the business of hosting guests with outstanding service. Mountain Lodges of Peru has taken an active role in the socioeconomic development of the communities to which it neighbor, creating an NGO named Yanapana Peru, which strives to elevate the level of education for more than 150 families in the area and to give an incentive to the local population to take an active role in the development of tourism in the area.