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5/7 - Day experience

Upper Sacred Valley & Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu

A 5- or 7-day lodge-to-lodge journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Design your own adventure through the charming towns of the Sacred Valley, to seldom-visited Inca archaeological sites, along remote highland hiking trails with breathtaking views, and to hidden villages for a first-hand glimpse into the culture and daily life of these traditional Andean communities. We offer guaranteed departures from Cusco several times per week from March 1st through December 31st along with lodging and other services for before and after your MLP journey.

ITINERARY

DAY 0 EVENING BRIEFING IN CUSCO

Meet your MLP guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A.

  • Approximately 45 minutes.
DAY 1 EXPLORING PISAQ

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 in the village of Viacha to learn about traditional Andean farming before a hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site for a guided tour.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

In the morning

/ Cultural: 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.

Midday

/ All-Group Activity: Meet the Viacha locals and learn about their traditional Andean farming practices.

Afternoon

/ All-Group Activity: Guided tour of the Pisaq archaeological site.

/ Active: Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha.

Overnight: Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)

  • 14,200’ / 4,328 m
  • Approximately 3 hours
  • Moderate
DAY 2 INTO THE HEART OF LARES

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 archeological site. Afterwards, choose a visit with the expert textile weavers in a remote village 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.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

In the morning

/ All-Group Activity: Explore the town of Lamay and visit the archeological site of Ancasmarca.

In the afternoon

/ Cultural: Visit a remote village where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.

/ Active:
Option A: Hike from Quelquena to Huacahuasi
Approximately 2.5 hours
Easy to moderate
14,200’ / 4,328 m

Option B: Hike from Cuncani to Huacahuasi
Approximately 4 hours
Moderate
13,838´ / 4,219m

Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)

    DAY 3 THE ROAD TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

    Begin the day with a scenic drive from Huacahuasi to the remote village of Huilloc. From there, choose a morning hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka, or explore the village and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka archaeological site. 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

    Morning

    / Cultural: Visit the village of Huilloc and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and her blessings 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: Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka.
    Approximately 3 hours
    Moderate

    Afternoon

    / Cultural: After lunch, take a scenic drive to Ollantaytambo and spend the afternoon exploring this charming Sacred Valley town.

    / Active: Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo.
    Approximately 3 hours
    Moderate

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

    Overnight: Hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (9,284’ / 2,830 m)

      DAY 4 DISCOVERING OLLANTAYTAMBO

      Begin your day with an optional early morning hike to the Inca storage houses high above the town for an impressive view of the Ollantaytambo fortress and ceremonial site. Afterwards, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided tour before embarking on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Alternately, opt for an all-day hike from train marker KM 104 to the Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the classic Inca Trail (subject to additional cost).

      ACTIVITY OPTIONS

      Early morning

      / Active:
      Option A: Hike up Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
      Approximately 1.5 hours
      Moderate

      Option B: Hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo
      Approximately 2.5 hours
      Moderate to challenging

      Late morning

      / All-Group Cultural Activity: Guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site.

      Afternoon

      / Scenic train ride along the Urubamba River to the charming town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.
      Approximately 1.5 hours

      All-day activity (subject to additional cost)

      Note: This is a full-day hike that replaces the standard program day itinerary.

      / Active: Hike on the classic Inca Trail, from KM 104 to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu.
      Approximately 6 hours
      Moderate to challenging

      Overnight: Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel (6,232’ / 1,900m)

        DAY 5 THE CITADEL OF MACHU PICCHU

        Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with a rollicking morning uphill bus ride, followed by a guided tour of the Machu Picchu citadel. After the tour you will have free time to explore on your own or hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms overhead. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before the return train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and vehicle transfer to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours).

        *Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu Mt. (8,924’ / 2,720m) may be available subject to additional cost. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, you may opt for a hike up Machu Picchu Mt. (10,112 / 3,082m), located next to the Machu Picchu Citadel on the southern side. Please consult with your MLP Travel Specialist for detailed information.

        Morning

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

        Late morning

        /Cultural: Free time for further exploration.

        /Active: Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. *Subject to availability, please read the note above.

        • 8,924’ / 2,720 m
        • Approximately 2.5 hours
        • Moderate to challenging
        DAY 0 EVENING BRIEFING IN CUSCO

        Meet your MLP guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A.

        • Approximately 45 minutes.
        DAY 1 TREASURES OF THE SACRED VALLEY

        Your journey begins from the busy streets of Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Your first step will be Chinchero, a small Andean village and Inca archaeological site. From there, choose an inspiring downhill hike from Chinchero to the town of Urquillos along historic Inca trails, or an afternoon exploring the circular agricultural terraces in Moray and natural salt mines in Maras.

        ACTIVITY OPTIONS

        Morning

        /All-Group Activity: Visit to Chinchero.

        Afternoon

        /Cultural: Guided exploration of the Moray agricultural complex and the natural salt mines in Maras.

        /Active: Hike from Chincheros to Urquillos

        Overnight: Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)

        • Approximately 3 hours
        • Easy to Moderate - mostly downhill
        DAY 2 EXPLORING PISAQ

        Start your day with either an invigorating hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha, or a visit to the lively town and colorful artisan marketplace of Pisaq. Midday, both cultural explorers and hikers will reunite in the village of Viacha to learn about traditional Andean farming before a hike or drive to the Pisaq archaeological site for a guided tour.

        ACTIVITY OPTIONS

        Morning

        / Cultural: Excursion to Pisaq for a guided tour and free time to explore its celebrated marketplace, followed a visit to the community of Viacha.

        / Active: Hike from the village of Amaru to the community of Viacha.
        Approximately 3 hours
        Moderate
        14,200’ / 4,328 m

        Midday

        / All-Group Activity: Meet the Viacha locals and learn about their traditional Andean farming practices.

        Afternoon

        /All-Group Activity: Guided tour of the Pisaq archaeological site.

        Overnight: Lamay Lodge (9,705’ / 2,958m)

          DAY 3 INTO THE HEART OF LARES

          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 archeological site. Afterwards, choose a visit with the expert textile weavers in a remote village 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.

          ACTIVITY OPTIONS

          Morning

          / All-Group Activity: Explore the town of Lamay and visit the Ancasmarca archeological site.

          Afternoon

          / Cultural: Visit a remote village where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn from the community’s expert textile weavers.

          / Active:
          Option A: Hike from Quelquena to Huacahuasi
          Approximately 2.5 hours
          Easy to moderate
          14,200’ / 4,328 m

          Option B: Hike from Cuncani to Huacahuasi
          Approximately 4 hours
          Moderate
          13,838´ / 4,219m

          Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)

            DAY 4 EXPLORING HUACAHUASI

            For a cultural morning experience, you will visit the village of Huacahuasi and learn more about its heritage and daily life of the locals. Afterwards, return to the lodge for a Peruvian cooking class with the lodge staff or take a short hike to the nearby waterfalls. Alternately, challenge yourself with an all-day hike from the community of Quiswarani to Quelquena along the ``Trail of 1,000 Lakes`` for majestic views of the lakes, valleys, and mountains.

            Morning

            / Cultural: Visit the village of Huacahuasi followed by a cooking class and lunch at the lodge.

            / Active: Hike to the the waterfalls near Huacahuasi and lunch at the lodge
            Approximately 1.5 hours
            Easy

            All-day

            / Active: Hike from Quiswarani to Quelquena (lunch en route)
            Approximately 6.5 hours
            Challenging
            14,505’ / 4,421 m

            Overnight: Huacahuasi Lodge (12,585’ / 3,835m)

              DAY 5 THE ROAD TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

              Begin the day with a scenic drive from Huacahuasi to the remote village of Huilloc. From there, choose a morning hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka, or explore the village and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha before regrouping for lunch and a midday exploration of the Pumamarka archaeological site. 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

              Morning

              / Cultural: Visit the village of Huilloc and nearby sheepherding community of Marcacocha to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor Pachamama (Mother Earth) and her blessings 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 Hike from Huilloc to Pumamarka.
              Approximately 3 hours
              Moderate

              Afternoon

              / Cultural: After lunch, take a scenic drive to Ollantaytambo and spend the afternoon exploring this charming Sacred Valley town.

              / Active: Hike from Pumamarka to Ollantaytambo.
              Approximately 3 hours
              Moderate

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

              Overnight: Hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (9,284’ / 2,830 m)

                DAY 6 DISCOVERING OLLANTAYTAMBO

                Begin your day with an optional early morning hike to the Inca storage houses high above the town for an impressive view of the Ollantaytambo fortress and ceremonial site. Afterwards, the entire group will meet at the entrance of the site for a guided tour before embarking on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Alternately, opt for an all-day hike from train marker KM 104 to the Machu Picchu Sun Gate on the classic Inca Trail (subject to additional cost).

                ACTIVITY OPTIONS

                Early morning

                / Active:
                Option A:Hike up Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo.
                Approximately 1.5 hours
                Moderate

                Option B: Hike up Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo.
                Approximately 2.5 hours
                Moderate to challenging

                Morning

                / All-Group Cultural Activity: Guided exploration of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site.

                Afternoon

                / Train ride: Scenic train ride along the Urubamba River to the charming town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.
                Approximately 1.5 hours

                All-day activity (subject to additional cost)
                Note: This is a full-day hike that replaces the standard program day itinerary.

                / Active: Hike on the classic Inca Trail, from KM 104 to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu
                Approximately 6 hours
                Moderate to challenging

                Overnight: Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel (6,232’ / 1,900m)

                  DAY 7 THE CITADEL OF MACHU PICCHU

                  Your journey to Machu Picchu begins with a rollicking morning uphill bus ride, followed by a guided tour of the Machu Picchu citadel. After the tour you will have free time to explore on your own or hike up Huayna Picchu*, the iconic mountain that looms overhead. After the visit you will have lunch in Aguas Calientes before the return train ride to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours) and vehicle transfer to your hotel in Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours).

                  *Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu Mt. (8,924’ / 2,720m) may be available subject to additional cost. In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, you may opt for a hike up Machu Picchu Mt. (10,112 / 3,082m), located next to the Machu Picchu Citadel on the southern side. Please consult with your MLP Travel Specialist for detailed information.

                  ACTIVITY OPTIONS

                  Morning

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

                  Late morning

                  / Cultural: Free time for further exploration

                  / Active: Hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. *Subject to availability, please read the note above

                  • 8,924’ / 2,720 m
                  • Approximately 2.5 hours
                  • Moderate to Challenging

                  MAP

                  Our mountain lodges, each uniquely conceived through thoughtful architectural design that includes traditional Inca building techniques and a nod to their respective environments. We offer all the comforts of home along with top-notch amenities and exceptional service.

                  Spots to relax and meditate abound at each lodge: welcoming patios, private guest room balconies, fire pits, and outdoor hot tubs…all with inspiring views of the region.

                  Our exceptional lodge menus are comprised of traditional recipes prepared with an innovative neo-Andean cuisine flair. Each ingredient is locally sourced with an emphasis on farm-to-table sustainability.

                  Our local staff provides exceptional service and care from the moment you arrive…warm towels and refreshments in the afternoons…hot water bottles and herb-infused pillows at night…our goal is to make you feel at home.

                  Our Lamay Lodge is an idyllic hideaway in the Sacred Valley town of the same name (9,721’/2,963m). Resplendent sun and green, flower-dotted gardens with picturesque pastoral views create a calming sensation that envelops you from the moment you arrive. The outdoor hot tub and firepit in the center garden are welcoming spaces to gather, as are the cozy indoor nooks.

                  Our Huacahuasi Lodge, an imposing structure built on the mountainside adjacent to its namesake village, was designed to showcase dramatic views of the valley and beyond with its soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows (12,599’/3,840m). Each luxury guest room is equipped with a private outdoor jacuzzi for you to relax while you take in dramatic sunsets and star-filled evening skies.