5-Day Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu
6 days / 5 nights
Design your own adventure through ancient history, living culture and the magnificent landscapes of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Tailor your individual experience from a list of adventure activities and cultural exploration options, and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets that paint the Andean sky at the end of each exciting day, as you settle into luxurious mountain lodges with exceptional Peruvian cuisine.
Day one : Pre-trip meeting in Cusco
Day two : Exploring Pisac
8:00 AM : Day 2 Morning: Cultural option - Pisac Marketplace
8:00 AM : Day 2 Morning: Active option - Hike to Viacha (Moderate)
12:00 PM : Day 2 Afternoon: Visit Viacha & Pisac
6:30 PM : Traditional Pachamanca dinner at Lamay Lodge
Day three : Into the Heart of Lares
8:30 AM : Day 3 Morning: Visit Lamay and Ancasmarca
12:00 PM : Day 3 Afternoon: Cultural option - Visit the traditional weavers of Choquecancha
12:00 PM : Day 3 Afternoon: Active option - Hike to Huacahuasi (Moderate)
6:30 PM : Dinner at Huacahuasi Lodge (3,835 m/12,585 ft)
Day four : The Road to Ollantaytambo
8:30 AM : Day 4: Cultural Option - Visit Huilloc, Marcacocha and Pumamarka
8:30 AM : Day 4: Active Option - Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka and Ollantaytambo (Moderate)
Day five : Discovering Ollantaytambo
7:00 AM : Day 5 Early Morning: Active Option - Hike up Pinkuyllna Mountain (Moderate to Challenging)
10:00 AM : Day 5 Morning: Tour of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site
1:00 PM : Day 5 Afternoon: Train ride to Aguas Calientes (optional)
2:30 PM : Day 5 Afternoon: Visit to Machu Picchu (optional)
10:00 AM : Day 5 All-Day: Hike to the Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the Inca Trail (optional)
Day six : The Citadel of Machu Picchu
Key sights to see
Cusco, often spelled as Cuzco, is located at an elevation of 3,400 meters or 11,200 feet in southeastern Peru. This historic city served as the capital of the Inca empire from the 13th century, until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Cusco is the gateway to the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu.
Pisac is a village in the Sacred Valley best known for its Incan ruins that are scattered over a hill above the village. It is also very famous for its large market which is held every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Traversing part of the Sacred Valley, the Lares Valley is home to several weavers and farmers and is famous for homemade textiles. It is also home to several towering peaks and turqoise blue lakes. The Lares trek, which goes through the valley, is one of the main alternatives to the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu.
Ollantaytambo is a town and Inca archaelogical site that was once the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti, who conquered the region. Dating back to the 15th century, it has some of the most important Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley including Temple Hill, the Terraces of Pumatallis and the Storehouses built into the hills.
One of the seven wonders of the world, and the most iconic symbol of the Inca civilization, Machu Picchu is an Inca citadel that was constructed around 1450, but abandoned a century later. Until American archaeologist Hiram Bingham III located it in 1911, the citadel’s existence and location was a secret.
Exciting and memorable things to do
Great places to stay
El Mercado is a 4 star property located three and a half blocks from the Plaza de Armas, the heart of picturesque Cisco. Formerly part of the city’s old farmer’s market, the hotel has 32 rooms with eye-catching interiors, massage service, an original breakfast lounge and restaurant, and a cozy courtyard with live music.
Lamay Lodge is an idyllic hideaway in the Sacred Valley town of Lamay, at a height of 2,963 m (9,721 ft). Resplendent sun, and flower-dotted gardens, create a calming sensation from the moment you arrive. The outdoor hot tub and firepit in the center garden allow guests to relax while enjoying the spectacular scenery.
At an altitude of 3,840 m (12,599 ft), Huacahuasi Lodge is an imposing structure with dramatic views of the valley and beyond, with its soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Each luxury guest room is equipped with a private outdoor jacuzzi for guests to relax while taking in dramatic sunsets and star-filled evening skies.
A member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village on a 12 acre property with terraced hills, waterfalls, 83 whitewashed adobe casitas, a classic Andean spa, and a first-class restaurant.
- Ground transportation
- Local guides
- Meals during the trek
- Flights in and out of Peru
- Ground transportation to and from Cusco airport
- WEATHER IN CUSCO The weather in Cusco is defined by two seasons: green (rainy) and dry. The Green season typically runs from November through March, with the heaviest rains in January and February and an average daytime temperature of 56 F, 13 C. During the dry season, the daytime average termperature is 62-68 F or 17-20 C. Temperatures are lower during the early morning and evenings.
- ACCLIMATIZATION TO HIGH ALTITUDES Altitude sickness is common at elevations above 1,900 m (6,500 ft) as the body needs to adjust to a decreased amount of oxygen. Symptoms can include lightheadedness, nausea, headaches and dehydration. As the Salkantay trek goes as high as 4,600 m, we recommend arriving in Cusco at least two days before your departure for optimal altitude acclimitization.
- PREPARATION The Salkantay trek can be quite strenuous at times, so we recommend beginning an intensive cardio-intensive fitness regimen that includes vigorous walking or hiking three months before your trip. Wear broken-in hiking shoes or boots with adequate ankle supports and use hiking poles or walking sticks during the hikes for greater agility and ankle support.
- ARRIVING IN PERU All international flights arrive at the Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima, where travelers must go through immigration and customs before continuing on to Cusco. There are two airlines that fly round-trip between Lima and Cusco: LATAM and Avianca.
- BAGGAGE LIMITATIONS There is a baggage weight limit of 22 lbs/10 kg on the train to and from Machu Picchu. If your bag exceeds this weight, extra luggage can be stored in Cusco.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE All guests are required to provide valid proof of travel insurance, including specific coverage for adventure travel activities in Peru.