Location: Cusco – Peru
Activities: Hiking and visit local Andean communities
Activity Level: Moderate
Season: From March to December
Lares is one of the most striking and interesting routes, it goes via ancient Inca roads through the Andes area. Lares has not been much explored yet by travelers visiting Peru. The route takes us to the nucleus of Andean indigenous communities and gives us the unique opportunity to learn more about the lifestyle lead by their ancient inhabitants, that has stay the same for hundreds of years. During four days we will cross different valleys, with spectacular views of mountains and lakes. At the end of the tour, we will have the opportunity to relax in a natural hot springs.
Day 1: Huaran to Cancha Cancha
Our walk starts at Huarán community, 60km away from the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We ascend a fertile valley for a period of 4 hours, following Huarán river and passing by local crop fields to finally reach the community of Cancha Cancha (11’000 feet). At this town houses are built entirely of stone. Our camp will be waiting ready for us on the outskirts of this community. Meals: L + D
Day 2: Cancha Cancha to Quishuarani
The starting point is Cancha Cancha, we continue climbing up until the Abra of Pachacutec (Elev.: 4710 meters.-Approximately 15,000 feet), where we will appreciate much of the Cordillera Urubamba, above the snowy peaks of Pitusiray, Sahuasiray, Colquecruz, Chicon and Helancoma. Afterwards we descend to the highland lakes of Condereancocha and Hatuncocha for lunch, while we appreciate the beauty of the landscape. We continued for another hour to reach the house of Mauro Quispe, original Quiswarani community and friend of Terra Explorer Peru. (Elev.: 3870 meters – about 12,350 feet.). He will give us a warm welcome and we camp next to his house. (B + L + D).
Day 3: Quishuarani to Lares
Today, the doors of the house of Mauro will open for us. We have the opportunity to meet his family, share the morning with them and learn more about their lifestyle. They work the land and livestock for subsistence and are also very skilled weavers. We said goodbye to the family Quispe and continue our route to the Abra of Huchuycasa (Elev.: 4415 meters. Approx 14,100 feet). Here we have a beautiful view of the Urubamba mountain range. We keep on and arrive to Lake Queñuacocha followed by Willquicocha gaps and Totoracocha, where we make a stop for lunch. Afterwards we descend to Cuncani community, (Elev.: 3821 meters – approx. 12,200 feet) where our camp will be waiting to enjoy dinner under the stars. Meals: B + L + D
Day 4: Cucani to Lares
Today the route is softer than the previous days, just one hour walk and we reach the village of Tambohualla announcing our official entry to Lares Valley. After two hours we arrive to the end point of the walk: the medicinal waters and springs of Lares. Here we have lunch and enjoy a relaxing bath before returning to the city of Cusco. Meals: B + L