We, my sister Janet King and niece Madonna Yoder, did the Lares Valley trek on 18-21 April with Santiago Puyo as our guide.
First and foremost, the trek was the highlight of our time in Peru! We made a good choice to go the Lares route as we were able to pace ourselves and take our time without hindering other hikers who would have been faster than we were. Our thanks to you for arranging a trek with just the three of us! That exceeded our expectation!
Addressing your points in order:
Transportation: It was good, both the bus to Lares, our ride back to Cusco and the train to/from Aquas Calientes.
Hostel: We were met by at the train station by staff person. The accommodation was good. I would recommend continued use of their lodging.
Local guide: We had the best! Santiago was perfect for us in his patience of our pace. But more important than that was his giving spirit and how he shared so much more throughout the trek than what was required. He shared his knowledge and love of the region and people we encountered. He was familiar with the vegetation and birds. We can't say enough about him and his service to us.
Highlight: Walking in the highlands among the grazing livestock and meeting the local adults and children. We also enjoyed camping in the villages.
Lares Valley Trek: I would have liked another night out camping. But this was a nice way to go for the first time doing a trek. We liked the isolation of our route. We saw one other small group of hikers.
Machu Picchu: I want to go back to Machu Picchu when I'm not so tired and can take in more of the history. We appreciated all that Santiago shared with us. We realize there is so much to learn.
Mule Drives: No comment.
Camping Equipment: The equipment was adequate. Tents were very nice and the tent for latrine was definitely adequate. The hot water bottles for our feet at night were a nice addition.
Meals/Cooking: The meals were delicious! and we loved the hot tea served arriving in camp and upon awaking in the morning. We also could have used more protein sources for breakfast. Eggs are good. Could have had nuts or some kind of nut butter when we had pancakes. Again, what was prepared and served was very very good! I was impressed with the chef's ability to prepare what he did! The vegetables were awesome!
Tour overall: Great! We would recommend your tour to others.
So for a wonderful unforgettable experience, we thank you!
for all of us
When to Travel !
|Apr - Nov||Feb, Mar & Dec||Jan|
Activities: Camping, Adventure, Inca Trail / Trekking and Hiking.
Locations: Cusco, Huchuy Qosqo, Lamay, Chincheros, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
Level of Difficulty: Normal / Easy
This is easily the shortest of the treks and is best suited for those with a limited amount of time, but who would still like to do a bit of trekking before they see Machu Picchu with fantastic views of mountains and the Andes. It is the lowest in altitude (4340 meters) of the 3 alternative treks and also the shortest in distance (17 kilometers) but still sees some great examples of Inca Stairs and other Inca ruins along the way. This trek is ideal for those passengers who really want to be far in the middle of nowhere with only nature surrounding them as they camp in an area that is scarcely seen by tourists. Huchuy Qosqo (little Cusco) is situated above the Valley of Urubamba and offers very spectacular views over the mountain range Cordillera de Vilcanota. This trek is also a great way for you to enjoy a shorter trek that still includes Machu Picchu and Inca trails (with Inca stairs that are better than the Inca Trail). You will have one night in our Hotel in the Machu Picchu town, Aguas Calientes”. Huchuy Qosqo trek 2014.
Day 1: Cusco - Lamay- Huchuy Qosqo - Chincheros - Ollamtaytambo - Aguas Calientes
Day 2: Machu Picchu - Ollamtaytambo - Cusco
HISTORY OF HUCHUY QOSQO OR " LITTLE CUSCO"
Huchuy Qosqo is a fascinating Inca site spread over several hectares of a small plateau commanding a magnificent view of the Urubamba valley, about 5 km. upstream from Calca, and 800m. above the valley floor. It is believed to have been the royal estate formerly known as Caquia Jaquijahuana. According to myth the Inca Viracocha built this settlement after conquering the previous inhabitants by setting fire to their town with a stone thrown from his golden sling. He later fled to this place from Cusco, when the invading Chankas threatened to overrun the Inca capita, around 1438. After the conquest the spaniards found the mummy said to be that of Inca Viracocha here.
The Huchuy Qosqo ruins are part stone, part adobe. There is a fine Kallanka - the "great hall" type of building common at Inca royal and administrative settlements-some 40m long. This building looks onto a great esplanade buttressed by terracing, which might have been used for parades and games. There are signs of a post-Inca "transitional" occupation here, during which fine-dressed stones were used to build cruder houses in the Inca style. There's also a Spanish-style reservoir, partly built of fine Inca stones.
From 05:30 am early pick up from your hotels, (please organize with your hotel the night before for a packed breakfast to take with you for such an early start.) We will use a private vehicle for the 1.5 hour to Patabamba a community located at 3800 masl. On route we pass Saqsaywaman and go over the mountains towards Corao where we will watch sunrise over the Sacred Valley of the Incas, beautiful Andean village with amazing landscapes and land of great wool weavers, they use ancestral Inca thecniques to create amazing textiles. We will pass on few small communities as Siwas, Qenqo and Pumamarka where you can see locals farming their lands with potatoes and beams crops as their ancestors did. This little valley is beautiful with a lot of native trees, flowers and bushes, our walk will start with a gentle walk of a small ravine after 2 hours then we need to climb around 400 meters to the reach Pumamarka ruins, the walk from here is one hour to reach the Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo, recently restored by archaeologists, located at 3,450 mals from this point it is clear to see many beautiful mountains as Chicon, Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Waccaywilca or Veronica ancient sacred mountains "Apus" so respected and venerated by the locals Incas- Quechuas descendents living in this valleys for centuries. This Inca site is amazing, we arrive and have enough time to rest, relax and recover with a delicious pack lunch, then we will be ready for our guided tour to visit and explore this interesting Inca complex. Then we start our descent down to Lamay. This is an extraodinary trail down the side of the messa and hard due to being a continual descent ( a slightly slippery trail due to loose sand on rocks in some parts in the middle section in dry season. Expect to have sore feet and knees by now and it is with views of the valley about a km below so those with vertigo may want to be aware of this although the trail is wide enough to fit 2 or more people at all times. Private car for 1 hour until Ollantaytambo town where we can visit for a short time this impresive living andean town where we will stop for our Dinner. People have preffered the option of the earlier train to Aguas Calientes to see the scenery along the train trip and have time to enjoy the hot springs and Dinner here.) This does mean Or at 6:45 pm we will be boarding our train toward Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu village) this will be for 2 hours. Our staff from Hostel will be waiting for your arrival and take you to our hostel located only few minutes from train station. Cup of tea, showers and good sleep for the next morning great day. Huchuy Qosqo 2014.
Meals: Lunch Dinner
Accommodation: Hostel in Aguas Calientes o Machu Picchu pueblo
Maximum Altitude: 4340 metres
Minimum Altitude: 2050 metres
Distance Travelled: 10 km
Early wake up at 04:30 am and after breakfast we need to wait at the Bus Terminal to get our bus. The first Bus to Machupicchu depart at 5:30am ( 8Hrs in Machu Picchu). After 30 minutes of bus ride we are at the entrance of Machu Picchu ready for our guided visit, 2 hours guided tour with our expert tour guide ,he will show and walk with you throught the most remarkable sectors areas, temples, residences, altars and he will offer a relevant history and archaeology informations. After the guided tour you will have extra time to explore by yourself, going to the sun gate “Inti-Punku”, or walking to the Inca Bridge. Then optional walk to Huaynapicchu mountain (2 Hrs) for later bookings when permits for this walk are sold out we have the walk to the mountain Machu Picchu instead. ( 2.5 Hrs) by 14:30 pm we board a bus down to Aguas Calientes for your Lunch. At 16.45 pm we board our train return to Ollantaytambo train station ( 30 minutes near Cusco). Private transport to Cusco (end of our service at your hostel).