Just north of Cusco lies a little-traveled region of tranquil lakes and rugged peaks, where farmers have grown crops for centuries and gently herded llamas through lush green valleys. Discover the traditional Andean way of life trekking through the villages and landscapes of Lares, on this remarkable journey that offers a modern twist on the classic Sacred Valley tour. Marvel at Pisac's ancient ruins, see the well-preserved Inca town of Ollantaytambo, and end your Peru adventure with a visit to iconic, mysterious Machu Picchu - the Lost City of the Incas.
Discover the mist-shrouded wonder of magical Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas
Visit lesser-traveled but also fascinating Inca ruins, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo
Explore the beautiful Spanish colonial city of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Meet your trip leader in Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Once the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, today Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its ruins and vibrant beauty. Explore the city or relax and acclimate to the altitude. Meet at 6pm for a group briefing at El Mercado Hotel in the historical center of Cusco.
Begin your adventure with a journey from the urban setting of Cusco into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, full of lush green fields surrounded by striking mountain peaks. Explore the archeological site of Chinchero, where colonial buildings rest atop Inca foundations. Afterwards, take an easy starter hike to Urquillos, or continue on to visit the natural Inca salt mines of Maras and the astonishing circular terraces of Moray, believed to be an Inca laboratory dedicated to the study of foreign plant species.
In the morning, opt for one of three choices: visit the famous market at Pisac and check out its unique array of products; take an invigorating morning hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains; or bike along the Urubamba River from Lamay to Pisac. Afterwards, meet up with the rest of the group in the isolated community of Viacha and enjoy a traditional "Pachamanca" meal cooked under hot stones. Then, take an afternoon excursion to the fascinating archaeological complex at Pisac, which has some of the finest Inca stonework in existence.
Explore the town of Lamay, then take a scenic drive into the mountains along the celebrated "Inca Weaver's Trail" and visit the unique and uncrowded archeological site of Ancasmarca. After lunch, visit the traditional and ancient weavers' village of Choquecancha, or opt for hiking amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where you will spend the night. The lodge provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.
You have two choices today: Walk through the village of Huacahuasi and learn more about its heritage and daily activities, with a possible visit to a farmer's home. Then, take a Peruvian cooking class and test your skills during lunch with the rest of the group. Or, for those who want to go deeper into these remote mountains, challenge yourself with a strenuous, all-day hike from the community of Quiswarani onto the "Trail of 1,000 Lakes," enjoying the area's majestic beauty and the company of herds of alpacas and llamas.
Set out on whatever adventure you choose this morning: Embark on a challenging but spectacular 7-hour hike through varied terrain and over a mountain pass. Or, learn more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community, followed by a barbecue lunch. Then, in the afternoon, meander the charming, maze-like streets of Ollantaytambo or go mountain biking and visit an artisanal brewery. You may also opt for a morning hike, then meet up with the second group for lunch before heading to Ollantaytambo.
Start your day with an optional hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo for magnificent views of the town and the main archeological site across the valley. Afterwards, take a morning tour of the temple at Ollantytambo, regarded by the Incas as one of their most important ceremonial centers, and get a sense of its mystical history - a perfect introduction to the wonder of Machu Picchu. Around noon, embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.
At dawn, begin your journey to Machu Picchu with a short and rollicking uphill bus ride. As you enter the "Sanctuary" (as locals refer to it), the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with light. Prepare to be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Hike, if you choose, to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle.
Explore Cusco on your own this morning. Bid "adios" to your traveling companions before your afternoon flight to Lima and connecting flight home.
Drawing on over 40 years of experience in the region, MT Sobek works with most experience travel professionals in Peru.
This itinerary is the best way to see a lesser-known part of the Sacred Valley and immerse yourself in traditional Andean life.
MT Sobek offers over 10 adventures in Peru and recommends discovering the Lares Region for its flexible dates and varied activity options.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Choose from cultural experiences, short hikes, all-day hikes, and even mountain biking in this option-filled itinerary suited to every level.
Comfortable accommodations at excellent hotels, including charming casitas and luxurious historical mansions.
Peru's dry season is April to October and the rainy season from November to March. Weather and temperatures can vary significantly depending on the altitude.
Yes, your trip includes transfers.
We recommend bringing these if you plan to do most of the hikes.
Hiking boots are recommended as the terrain is uneven and boots will help with stability.
Give yourself time to get adjust upon arrival. We recommend spending a total of 2 nights in Cusco. We recommend resting, eating light, drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol.
All lodges have been set up with Wi-Fi and telephone connections to ensure our guests can communicate with friends and family.
Yes, but the train to Machu Picchu has a baggage maximum of 8kg/18lbs per person. We highly recommend storing your extra luggage at the Cusco hotel. You will only need a daypack for each day's activities.
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
Free Extra Hotel Night
$1,000 Savings on Select April Dates
"My husband and I could not have asked for a more perfect adventure vacation. It was the best way to visit Machu Picchu and see the beautiful country of Peru at the same time. Our group ranged from 27 years old to 74 years old and we all left feeling like family. We will definitely be booking our next trip through Mountain Travel Sobek."
MT Sobek Guest, Discovering the Sacred Valley & Lares Region
"I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip and to give a shout out to our wonderful guides. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone interested in Peru!"
MT Sobek Guest, Discovering the Sacred Valley & Lares Region