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8 days, 3 trekking - Big Andean scenery and small Andean villages in an off-the-beaten-path trek, plus a section of the Inca Trail.
International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.
Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets, green parks, beaches and great restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.
Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!
The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.
The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllana” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.
If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.
A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the fascinating cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.
This morning our Lares Valley trek begins. By private transport we make our way from Cuzco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the town of Calca. From here we head up into the mountains on a spectacular road, finally arriving at Lares Pass at 4,470m for the drop into the Lares valley. In Quiswarani village, the starting point of our trek while lunch is being served our horsemen will prepare the equipment for our 42km/26m trek. Our trekking over the next three days offers spectacular views of several peaks over 20,000 ft., passing by pristine glacier lakes and remote native communities. Visits to these native communities are a special feature of the Lares Valley trek, as we learn about the weaving and shepherding traditions of these villagers. This afternoon we will ascend to the beautiful Queuña Qocha lagoon and continue on to Huillca Punku pass (4,400 m), At the top of the pass we will eat lunch while taking in more spectacular views. Then we will continue hiking until we reach our first campsite in Cuncani Village.
Distance to hike 14 km/9m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs. a day.
Min altitude 2,900m/9,515ft
Max altitude 4,400m/14,435ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.
Today will be another amazing day hiking in the Andes mountains of Peru! Early in the morning we wake up and have breakfast. Then our hike begins, and we walk for approximately 4 hours until we reach Chaqcha Pata where we will have our lunch. After we eat, we will continue the hike for about 2 more hours until we get to the Aruray pass (4,450 m), here we will be able to see the beautiful scenery with snow-capped mountains and and a truly amazing lake. From this point we will descend to walk by two lagoons and a Polylepis forest. There is a significant change in the scenery before we arrive at our beautiful campsite in Mantanay approx. two hours later.
Distance to hike 16 km/10m.
Estimated hike time 8-9 hrs. a day.
Min altitude 3,950m/12,959ft
Max altitude 4,450m/14,599ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.
Mantanay – Yanahuara – Aguas Calientes. After breakfast we will descend to Yanahuara village, in the Sacred Valley, where we will have lunch and also meet our private transport for a short drive to the Ollantaytambo train station where we will hop the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here we will enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant and spend the night in comfortable lodging. Tonight, you can visit the medicinal hot springs on your own if you wish.
Distance to hike 12 km/7.5m.
Estimated hike time 4-6 hrs. a day.
Min altitude 2,700m/8,858ft
Max altitude 3,950m/12,959ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. After your tour you might like to visit the local hot spring. Overnight in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
The extra day at Machu Picchu can be dedicated to hiking the many miles of Inca road surrounding the site or just relaxing and taking in the views. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Return by train and car to Cusco in the evening.
Morning flight from Cusco back to Lima and a free day in Lima or our included city tour. International flights may depart any time after 2pm.
We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip, just ask.
Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!
This tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four -or five-star, please ask then we can work it into your custom itinerary.
A single person supplement will be added to your quote if you plan to travel alone.
The Sun Gate/Lares Trek is an eight-day tour which includes a moderate trek as well as walking around ruins and during city tours. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.
On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.
All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.
No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malaria or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
During our trek, mules will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds / 7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the mules. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course, most people also carry a camera.
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows: Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cuzco. Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Lares Trek: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy, but you probably won’t be cold while hiking. Nights are cold, and there is always the chance of rain.
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$4-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30. Currency Converter