Rise and shine, Inca explorers! Today is all about the Lares Valley adventure vibes - after we leave Cusco bright and early. We'll start the trek by making our way to Cancha Cancha, with a spot of lunch along the way – enjoyed by the river and prepared by the trekking chef (oh yeah! ). Over 12,000 feet high, say hello to an isolated and traditional community that's sustained itself for hundreds of years. They introduced electricity in winter 2019, but there are still no roads.
Tonight, after we've pitched our tents, you'll have the chance to visit a local family and learn all about life in a traditional Andean village. Your guide will be on hand to interpret, and after dinner, you'll be treated (even further) to the great Inca constellations – which the locals still use for agricultural guidance to this day. (B/L/D) Stay: Inca Trail Camping
To the summit we go! (But not before another delicious brekky.) Today's 7-hour hike will be peppered with true Andean delights – glaciers, lakes, alpacas, rugged valleys and spectacular mountain vistas. Eyes on the sky for the Caracara falcons and Andean geese! After we reach the summit (plus take pics and pat ourselves on the back), we'll visit the Quiswarani community on our way back down – watch out for more llamas along the way.
The local indigenous people will open their homes and hearts to us, and we'll even get the chance to learn Quechua – the language of the Incas. Tonight, we arrive at the spectacular seven waterfalls, where everything will be ready for you at the campsite. You. Are. Welcome. (B/L/D)
Guess what? The best scenery is still to come! Today we'll head to Willqaqasa Pass, where we'll be treated to views of the Colquecruz and Pitusiray mountains, plus a bird's eye view of mountains reflected in glacial lakes. Further along the trail, you'll visit the Cucani community, connecting with the local indigenous children – with the opportunity to visit their school. Next, it's time to bathe like nature intended at the Lares Hot Springs (3,100m/ 10,170ft), with one whole hour to soak in the natural volcanic hot springs, have lunch and just… relaxxxx.
This afternoon we'll travel to Ollantaytambo, where we'll enjoy a sumptuous dinner together and then rest our heads in the hotel. Tomorrow is the big one, so you'll want to be fresh. (B/L/D)
We'll start bright and early today, with VERY good reason. Our first stop is the train station, where we'll board the Inca express to… you guessed it, the Inca trail. Epic scenery incoming. With heavy hearts, we'll alight at the famous Km104, where our hike begins – 6,000 feet above sea level! Our first Inca site lies waiting for us after crossing the Urubamba river on a picturesque foot bridge. Beginning with the Sun Gate, and a truly breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. Don't worry, we have plenty of time to absorb this actual Wonder of the World. So take your time. Savour the moment. Take lots of pics.
To make things better, we're visiting in the afternoon which is when the site is usually empty of other tourists. Our guide will give us a full tour, so you'll see all the most important parts of Machu Picchu – with minimal hassle. Once we're done, we'll take the bus to Aguas Calientes. Then it's back to Cusco (via Ollantaytambo) to go to sleep as better, more well rounded people with ticks on our bucket lists and cheesy grins on our faces. (B/L/D) Stay: Selina Saphi (or similar)