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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
After an early breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to begin your journey from the busy streets of Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Start your day with either an invigorating hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha, or a visit to the Awanakancha textile center followed by an exploration of the lively town and colorful artisan marketplace of Pisaq. Midday, both cultural explorers and hikers will reunite to enjoy exclusive access to the remote community of Viacha to learn about Andean artisanal farming and enjoy a . traditional Pachamanca lunch. Afterwards, either hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site, an afternoon excursion that offers the unique opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds.

Activity Options: 

Cultural (morning):
Excursion to Awanakancha for an introduction to traditional Andean textile weaving techniques and an up-close visit with some friendly llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, all camelids indigenous to both this region and other high-altitude regions throughout Peru. Next, visit the town of Pisaq for a brief tour and time explore the unique goods for sale in its colorful artisan marketplace.

Active (morning): Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha. 

Hike difficulty: Moderate
Highest elevation: 14,200ft (4,328m)
Approximately 3 hours

All-Group Activity: Traditional Pachmanca lunch and demonstration of Andean farming practices with the locals, followed by an optional hike (or drive) and guided exploration of the Pisaq archaeological site.

Day 4 Lares Region | Inca Sites & Villages

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The day begins with a visit to the small town of Lamay followed by a scenic drive into the heart of the Lares Valley. Your first stop will be Ancasmarca for a guided tour of this seldom-visited archaeological site. Afterwards, choose a visit with the expert textile weavers in the remote village of Choquecancha or a hike amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where both groups meet again to spend the night. Huacahuasi Lodge is operated by both MLP staff and members of the local community through a joint venture aimed at protecting the area’s cultural heritage and natural environment–a partnership that demonstrates the evolving role of traditional Andean communities in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

Activity Options: 

All-Group Cultural Activity (morning):
Explore the town of Lamay and visit the archaeological site of Ancasmarca.

Cultural (afternoon): Visit to the remote village of Choquecancha where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.

Hiking Options (afternoon):

Quelquena to Huacahuasi
Duration: 2-2.5 hrs
Hike difficulty: Easy to moderate
Highest elevation: 14,200’ (4,328 m)

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

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

Day 5 Expedition to Ollantaytambo

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day with a scenic drive to the community of Huilloc. From there, choose a morning hike from the village of Huilloc to the historic ruins of Pumamarka, or an extended visit to Huilloc and the nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka ruins. After lunch, choose to hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo or drive and spend the afternoon exploring Ollantaytambo’s maze-like alleys and passageways.

Note: Afternoon hikers will meet the rest of the group at the hotel upon arrival in the Sacred Valley.
  
Activity Options:

Cultural (morning): Tour the Marcacocha archaeological site nearby and participate, along with the local sheep herders, in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor the Inca gods as protection for the health of the community livestock.  Drive from Marcacocha to Pumamarka for an all-group tour of the archaeological site and picnic lunch.

Active: 

Morning: Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka.
Duration:  Approximately 3 hours
Hiking level:  Moderate

Afternoon:  Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo.
Duration:  Approximately 3 hours
Hiking level:  Moderate

Optional All-Group Activity (late afternoon):  Visit a locally-sourced Sacred Valley craft brewery (subject to additional cost).

Day 6 Discover Ollantaytambo

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, early risers can choose a pre-tour hike to the Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo for a magnificent view of the archaeological site and the adjacent lush Urubamba Valley. Afterwards, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided exploration of this revered Inca ceremonial center including its historical context, strategic architectural planning, and mystical attributes. Midday, you will embark on a scenic train ride (approximately 1.5 hours) along the Urubamba River to the charming town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

Morning Hiking Options:

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

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

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

All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archeological site.

Optional: Hike on the classic Inca Trail, from KM 104 to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu (subject to additional cost).
Approximately 6 hours
Moderate to challenging

*Note: This option replaces the standard program day itinerary; this activity must be booked upon confirmation of your Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure departure date in order to secure the necessary permits.

Day 7 Visit Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with a rollicking morning uphill bus ride. As you enter the citadel, prepare to be awed by the imposing, skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among others. After a two-hour guided tour, you will have free time to explore on your own, including a hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms over the citadel, or Machu Picchu Mountain** for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River Valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle.  At some point, be sure to take a moment and sit quietly–listen to the wind, meditate, and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before the return train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and sunset drive to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours). As night falls and you arrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation that will linger long after your journey home.  

*Entrance time - Huayna Picchu:  10:30am
*Note: Permits for Huayna Picchu are subject to availability; please consult with your MLP travel specialist when you confirm your reservation.  
**Note:  In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, Machu Picchu Mountain (the second peak within the sanctuary) permits will be secured instead.


Activity Options:

All-Group Cultural Activity (morning): Guided exploration of the Machu Picchu citadel (7,872’ / 2,400m).

Cultural (late morning): Free time for further exploration.

Active (late morning): Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
Hike Duration: 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

Kuychi Rumi Lodge

Lamay Lodge

Lima - Hotels

Per person starting at
$2,367

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 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

Budgeting

  • $80 Meals not Included
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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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