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Sacred Valley Adventure

Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure

Example 8 Day Tour
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The Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu offers the perfect combination of traditional adventure travel and cultural immersion. This lodge-to-lodge journey will alternate between an exploration of the astounding natural scenery of the Sacred Valley and an intimate look at Andean culture, both in busy towns and in remote of mountain hamlets. Travelers can extend this trip TWO MORE DAYS for additional adventure!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lima
Day 2 : Fly Cusco
Day 3 : Choose Your Own Adventure | Explore Pisaq
Day 4 : Lares Region | Inca Sites & Villages
Day 5 : Expedition to Ollantaytambo
Day 6 : Discover Ollantaytambo
Day 7 : Visit Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco
Day 8 : Fly Lima | Fly home

Highlights

  • Explore Cusco's colonial churches, markets, & ruins
  • Adventure through the Andes as you visit small villages and meet the locals
  • Stay in luxury lodges built to match the cultural and physical surroundings
  • Explore the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu

Places Visited

  • Peru
  • South America
  • Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)
  • Cusco
  • Huacahuasi Lodge
  • Lamay Lodge
  • Lima
  • Machu Picchu
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Sacred Valley

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Group

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Sacred Valley Adventure Sacred Valley Adventure Sacred Valley Adventure Sacred Valley Adventure Sacred Valley Adventure Sacred Valley Adventure Lodge to Lodge Salcantay Trek

Day 1 Arrive Lima

Overnight.

Day 2 Fly Cusco

An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua speaking descendents of the Incas bustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors. The church walls have fallen many times throughout the years, but the Inca walls remain. The morning is yours to explore Cusco's narrow streets and bustling markets.

In the afternoon, you can tour Cusco's traditional markets, talking to the women selling natural medicines and charms for curing heartache and other afflictions. You will visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions. (If visiting the Sacred Valley on Sunday, you will visit their center in Chinchero instead). Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form.

Day 3 Choose Your Own Adventure | Explore Pisaq

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early morning departure from Cusco to the infamous Sacred Valley. This morning you have the option to visit to the celebrated market in Pisaq and visit the Textile Center of Awanacancha or take a moderate hike in the hills and mountains from the community of Amaru to the village of Viacha (approximately 3 hours). After either excursion, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha, where you will learn about its unique farming practices. For lunch, delight in a traditional "Pachamanca" meal here, cooked under hot stones. Afternoon excursion to the archaeological complex at Pisaq, a wonderful opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds, with the sun setting behind the peaks.

Hike difficulty: Moderate
Highest elevation: 14,200ft (4,328m)
Overnight: 9,705ft (2,958m)

Day 4 Lares Region | Inca Sites & Villages

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the rich Andean tapestry, today take the opportunity to go even deeper with an exploration into the heart of the Lares Valley. A scenic drive into the mountains, along the “Inca Weaver’s Trail”, allows you to visit the unique and uncrowded archeological site of Ancasmarca. After lunch, choose between visiting the traditional and ancient weavers’ village of Choquecancha, or opt for hiking amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where the group will meet to spend the night. This lodge, which is run in joint venture with the local community and aims to protect the cultural heritage and the environment, provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

Hiking Options:

Quelquena to Huacahuasi
Duration: 2-2.5 hrs
Hike difficulty: Easy to moderate
Highest elevation: 12,595ft (3,839m)

Cuncani to Huacahuasi
Duration:
3.5-4 hrs
Hike difficulty: Moderate
Highest elevation: 13,838ft (4,219m)

Overnight: 12,585ft (3,835m)

Day 5 Expedition to Ollantaytambo

Spend some time in the morning learning more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community. Then, you can choose to embark on a spectacular hike through varied terrain and over a high pass, to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest living city in Latin America. If you prefer to see more of the Sacred Valley, you can drive back for a visit to an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilizations of the past or choose to explore the valley on mountain bike (approximately 2 hours). Afterwards, enjoy lunch in the Urubamba River countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo, where you can spend time meandering through its charming maze-like streets.

Hike duration: 7 hrs
Hike difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Highest elevation: 14,646ft  (4,464m)
Overnight: 9,284ft (2,830m)

Qapaq Nan hike alternative:  For those travelers wanting a less strenuous hiking option than the full hike out to Patacancha, this Lares Pass to Totora hike still allows time out on the trail. Includes a barbeque lunch at Kuychi Rumi.
Hike duration:  3 hrs
Hike difficulty: Easy to moderate

*Optional bike excursion in the morning: From Calca Town, bike Huayllabamba to Urubamba in lieu of visiting the museum.  *Optional bike excursion in the afternoon: Drive back and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas by mountain bike from Urubamba to Pachar. Afterwards, enjoy a visit to a local brewery to sample beers made with local products! (Brewery closed Mondays and Tuesdays).  **These optional excursions are an additional cost

Day 6 Discover Ollantaytambo

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
From its beginnings as the royal estate of Inca-Emperor Pachacutec, to a stronghold against the Spanish conquistadors for Manco Inca Yupanqui, the temple at Ollantaytambo was regarded by the Incas as one of their most important ceremonial centers. On this day, an optional and short early morning hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo will give you a magnificent view of the town as well as of the main archeological site across the valley. Afterwards, as your guide leads you through a morning tour of the temple and explains its strategic architectural planning, you will also get a sense of its mystical history…a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu.  Around noon you will embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, whose charm lies in a history that began as a small railway stop and evolved into a bustling town still bisected by the train tracks.

Morning Hiking Options:

Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Hike Duration: 1-1.5 hrs
Hike Difficulty: Moderate

Higher Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
Hike Duration: 2-2.5 hrs
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Overnight: 6,232ft (1,900m)

Day 7 Visit Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

At dawn, begin your visit to Machu Picchu with a rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the Sanctuary, the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with resplendent light. Prepare to be awed by the skillful architecture of the many Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Let your imagination soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins. Some may even choose a hike to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. (Travelers can experience a hike up either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain today – permits to Huayna Picchu sell out in advance so please let us know immediately if you are interested in that particular hike!) After the visit return to Aguas Calientes for lunch before taking the train back to Cusco. 

Activity Options:

Free time to explore Inca citadel of Machu Picchu
Highest Elevation: 7,872ft (2,400m)

Guided hike of Huayna Picchu
Hike Duration: 2/2.5 hrs
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Highest Elevation: 8,924ft (2,720m)
 

Day 8 Fly Lima | Fly home

  • 1 Breakfast
Transfer to the Cusco airport for you flight to Lima and connect with your international flight home.

**An extended version of this itinerary can be offered to include one additional night at the Lamay and Huacahuasi lodges in order to further explore sites and trails in the Sacred Valley and surrounding backcountry, as well as at Machu Picchu ruins. Please inquire for more information.

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Cusco - Hotels

Huacahuasi Lodge

Lamay Lodge

Lima - Hotels

Ollantaytambo

Per person starting at
$2,875

Notes

Select a Date
Please contact us for available start dates.

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
    • 4 Nights Hotel
    • 3 Nights Lodge
  • 6 Days Private Guide Service
  • Gear Rental
  • Park Entrance Fee
    • Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Passes are included - Let us know if you want to hike Huayna Picchu!

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $425 Lima - Cusco - Lima
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $80 Meals not Included
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Rachel B

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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