This 3 day tour will lead you to Machu Picchu via rural Quechuan communities in the mountains but on the second day, still allows you to get a little taste of the Inca trek as it follows the trail for a short time into the Sacred Valley.
Start at the Incan site of Tambomachay, just outside of Cusco, and head through valleys, small communities and stunning lakes. With the various landscapes and grasslands, there are many varieties of wild birds including birds of prey that can be spotted along the way.
Today, will see you reach the traditional Andean community of Qenko. As tourists rarely venture into their village, they welcome those who do with open arms and are always intrigued by the visitors they receive.
Learn about the culture and traditions of the people by visiting the home of a local family, and after, if you wish, buy some locally made souvenirs. After this, follow the route of the Inca trail to Huchuy Qosqo to enjoy a guided tour around the site. In the afternoon, you will head down to the quaint little town of Lamay where you will take a bus to Ollantaytambo then a train to Aguas Calientes.
Day 3Rise and shine bright and early to head up to Machu Picchu to watch the sun rise over the stunning citadel. Following a guided tour with one of our extremely knowledgeable guides, you have time to explore the ruins yourself, before heading back to Ollantaytambo via train and then Cusco by bus.
For those that don't want to wander with the masses in Machu Picchu, why not head to Choquequirao? These lesser known ruins are equally as spectacular but a lot less famous, drawing in a significantly smaller crowd.
After a four hour drive outside of Cusco, you begin down a path to the Apurimac Valley where you will have beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains. Though there are some groups that choose to hike to Choquequirao, our guides will take you to an alternate campsite further down the trail from the other groups giving opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery without distraction.
On day 2, the hike is tough through humid conditions, however, the stunning natural floral displays to be seen make it all worth while. After a tough trek, you settle at a campsite close to Choquequirao to enjoy the views, and, on a clear night, the views of the sunset are crazy good and it can be possible to witness the condors soaring above the valley below.
Waking early, you will head into Choquequirao for a guided tour of this mysterious forgotten city. As only 25% of it has been discovered, much of it is still hidden and little is known about its history. After the tour, you begin the track back along the path on which you came, making camp in the vally by the Apurimac river.
This is the final stretch of the trek, travelling back to Cachora where you will board a bus that will take you back to Cusco, but not before a final view of Choquequirao as you wind your way back up the valley.
Get completely off the tourist trail with this 7 day trek. This challenging trail may not visit any ruins but it gives you some great cultural perspective with visits to numerous Quechuan communities in the mountains.
The first day involves a 6 hour drive to Tinki. But, don't fret. There are numerous stops at interesting points along the way. The first stop is at Urcos where you can take some memorable photographs of the colourful market. Then, stopping at Cattca, a small community where you can take in the amazing views. The final stop is at the capital of the district, Ocongate, before driving a further hour and a half to Tinki where you will rest in local lodge ready for the beginning of the adventure the following day.
After breakfast, you pay a visit to a Tinki public school where you can spend some time with the children of the local community and gift them with things like school supplies. After this will begin the two and a half hour walk the next rural village of Pacchanta. Here, we will have lunch and you can take a midday dip in the hot springs whilst enjoying the incredible views of Ausangate mountain. The afternoon sees you continuing up the valley to the first campsite, where there are impressive panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
After a morning of hiking, enjoy lunch by the group of turquoise lagoons. You will continue the hike in the afternoon, eventually stopping in a valley; making camp with views of the three peaks that surround it.
The morning takes you past the Black Lagoon, called this way because of the volcanic soil giving the impressing that its waters are black in colour. After heading over the mountain pass, you are met with beautiful coloured mountains and three spectacular lagoons.
On day 5, you will face the challenge of the mountain pass you camped next to the night before.It will be tough, but the views will be amazing! After the ascent, you cross another mountain pass before descending to the lake and lagoon of Sibinacocha, witnessing the impressive glacier that nourishes its waters. This is where you will camp for the night.
Hiking along the shores of the lagoon, you will walk until you reach the community of Yayamari beside the mountain of the same name. From here, you will continue to the final lagoon of the trek where you will make camp. It is surrounded by snow capped peaks and small, rural communities.
The final stretch of the trek takes you to the Andean community of Phinaya, where the only vehicles in the town are horses and bicycles. After lunch, you will drive back to Cusco, arriving at nightfall.
For the adventurers that want to experience the wonder of Machu Picchu but want to get off-the-beaten-track, the 4 day Lares trek is perfect for you, letting you experience the authentic communities along the way.
Leaving Cusco early, we travel to Ollantaytambo then drive to Patakancha, a rural community that live traditionally. Visit the community as well as the local school before beginning the hike up a mountain pass, past lagoons before heading downhill towards your first campsite.
After breakfast, descend into another rural community whilst enjoying the views of the vast grasslands. You will learn weaving techniques from the locals in this thatched village. Following another few hours hike, you find yourself at the hot springs where you will set up camp for the night.
After a short trail, a bus will pick you up and you will be driven to Ollantaytambo. Here, everyone can rest and enjoy some lunch in the scenic town. From there, you will hop on a train that will take you on a journey with wonderful views of the mountains and through the tropical vegetation. You will spend a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (hot showers!) and get some rest for the big day tomorrow!
After an early breakfast, you will board a bus that will take you up to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise over the citadel. The guide will take you on a tour of Machu Picchu for 2 hours, after which, you are free to explore the ruins yourself. Meeting the guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch, you will receive your train tickets and head back by train to Ollantaytambo where you will be taken, by bus, back to Cusco.
So why not give it a try? Take the road less travelled. See sights that few people have seen. Have an adventure on one of our Inca trail alternatives.