We run this trip differently from most other companies, trekking from the Sacred Valley to the Lares Valley, rather than the other way around. Why? Because camping overnight at the Lares hot springs is one of our favourite things to do in the world, and we want you to experience it too!
Maximum group size:
3 4 days
The trip in detail
We’ll pick you up from your Cusco accommodation at 6am and drive 1.5 hours through the Sacred Valley, past Urubamba and into the Pumahuanca valley, where we’ll start to hike – straight up! We’ll gain about 1,100m (3600 feet) in altitude today, over around six hours of walking, as we head up towards the top of the huge Andean cordillera (range) between the Sacred and Lares valleys.
Along the way we’ll stop to check out a cool, little-visited ruin, and have lunch next to a waterfall, before arriving to our campsite at Cuyoc, a charming spot in a native queuña forest, with incredible views across to Salineras and Maras on the other side of the Sacred Valley.
Meals: Lunch and dinner included
Walking: Nine km (5.6 miles)
Minimum Altitude: 2,960m (9,710 feet)
Maximum Altitude: 4,000m (13,120 feet)
Altitude of camp: 4,000m (13,120 feet)
Today starts with the final, two hour push to the high (4,700m/15,400 feet) pass, where we’re rewarded with breathtaking (in more ways than one!) views of surrounding snowcapped peaks including Colque Cruz, Sahuarsiray and Veronica.
From here we start to descend - through continuing spectacular views, past llamas and lagoons – about an hour to the village of Cuncani, where we’ll stop for lunch.
After Cuncani we continue descending for another three hours, emerging into the Lares Valley about halfway through, to a fitting reward for a long, hard hike: a campsite set up right next to a natural hot spring! The Lares hot springs are our favourite place in the world to arrive to after a tough day, and you’ve just done two! Sitting in the hot, medicinal water looking up at the stars tonight will make it all more than worthwhile, and is an experience you’ll never forget.
Meals: All meals included
Walking: 12km (7.5 miles)
Minimum Altitude: 3,150m (10,300 feet)
Maximum Altitude: 4,700m (15,000 feet)
Altitude of camp: 3,150m (10,300 feet)
This morning we’ll drive an hour before beginning today’s two-hour hike down through a river canyon to the village of Totora. The contrast in ecosystems between the exposed mountain tops of the high Andes, where we’ve spent the last couple of days, and the temperate forest of the Lares valley, is stunning, and makes this charming, easy stroll all the more enjoyable!
After lunch in Totora we’ll drive for an hour or so to Ollantaytambo, then take the scenic 1.5-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu mountain. Here we’ll enjoy a hot shower and a gourmet dinner, before an early night in preparation to be at Machu Picchu in time for sunrise tomorrow!
Meals: All meals included
Accommodation: Clean, comfortable lodgings in Aguas Calientes
Walking: Eight km (five miles) hiking
Minimum Altitude: 1,700m (5,580 feet)
Maximum Altitude: 3,150m (10,300 feet)
An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu – a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your trip leader will take you on a guided tour – a necessary start to orient you in this massive site – then you’ll have plenty of time to explore the site and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco.