The Lares trek is a two or three day moderate trek around the Andean mountains surrounding the Sacred Valley. This off the beaten track is slightly shorter and higher in altitude than the Inca Trail and is also quieter for it sees only a handful of trekkers per day compared to the hundreds of trekkers who tread the Inca Trail daily. The Lares Valley is home to many Indigenous weavers and farmers who speak Quechua – language of the Inca Empire – and still maintain very much of their traditional lifestyles. This remote and rarely visited region offers you an insight into the daily lives of the Andean natives, dressed in their traditional brightly colored ponchos. Highlights of this trek include mighty snow mountains, high passes, snow fed lagunas, river gorges, adorable llamas and alpacas and possible sighting of wild animals like chinchilla and wetland birds.
CUSCO – CALCA – LARES – HUACAWASI
Our friendly guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning. We will drive through the Scared Valley and stop at the provincial town Calca (approx. 1 hr drive) where you can have your breakfast and buy some snacks and sweets for the village children. Thereafter we will head towards Lares town (approx. 3 hrs drive) which is the starting point of the trek (3100m). Before the trek, we will visit a hotspring located in a pretty meadow just out of town for a refreshing dip follow by a picnic lunch. Today’s trek is a gentle uphill walk to Huacawasi village (3700m) where we will set up camp for the night (approx. 12km, 4-5 hrs trek). Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean communities with thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas amid spectacular mountain landscapes. Look out for domesticated guinea pigs which are reared by the farmers as food.
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
HUACAWASI – LPSAYCOCHA PASS – LPSAYCOCHA LAKE
Today’s trek is short but tough (approx. 9km, 4 hrs trek). It begins with a climb up and over the Ipsaycocha Pass (4,450m) – the highest point along the trek – which takes about 3 hours, and then an hour descent to the campsite beside the pristine Ipsaycocha Lake (4200m). Along the trail, you will get to see farmers with their alpacas, llamas, and sheep, as well as local children dressed in traditional customs. Towards the pass, there is a good chance of seeing wild chinchilla (yes, the cute rodent which you keep as pet in Singapore!) whose grey and white coat forms an excellent camouflage against the mountain rocks. At Ipsaycocha Pass, you will be rewarded with amazing view of the rugged Cordillera de Vilcanota range. Look out for Andean Geese hunting fish in the Ipsaycocha Lake. The fishing enthusiast can even try to fish trouts to complement for dinner.
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
LIPSAYCCASA LAKE – PATACANCHA – WILLOQ – OLLANTAYTAMBO
Today’s trek is an easy one; downhill all the way (approx. 12 km, 4 hrs trek). From Ipsaycocha Lake the trail descends for 2-3 hours to the Quechua weaving community in Patacancha (3,700m). The people from this area are known as “huayruros” name of a red and black South American seed which is reminiscent of their ponchos colour. The trail then continues downhill to another traditional Quechua village called Huilloc where you will be picked up by private transport to Ollantayambo (2790m). You will have a chance to view some of the intricate and high quality knitwork produced by the villagers.
- All meals and drinks (boiled water, coffee and tea) during the trek
- All camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags)
- Local Peruvian trekking guide (English speaking)
- Porters for tents, sleeping bags, food and communal equipment
- Return international air ticket*
- Travel insurance*
- All meals not indicated
- Tips for guide and porters
- All expenses of a personal nature
*International fights and AIG Travel Guard Insurance can be arranged on your behalf.
Other than the basic 3D2N Lares Trek, we also offer longer (and tougher) duration treks into other parts of the Lares Valley. Our 4D3N Quishuarani-Yanahuara trek will bring you up to two high passes: Huillquijasa Pass (4200m) which overlooks Laguna Quellacocha (3900m) and Huacahuausaijasa Pass (4500m) with impressive views of Mount Pumahuanca (5300m) and Laguna Aruraycocha (4250m). The hardcore adventurer can opt for the 5-6 days Huaran-Yanahuara trek which covers a larger section of the Lares Valley and brings you to some of its remotest corners via three high passes; Pachacutec Pass (4200m) Huillquijasa Pass (4200m) and Huacahuausaijasa Pass (4500m).
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