This abandoned city has lots of similarity with Machu Picchu and there are a variety of theories about its origin. It is relatively clear, it is said that there are many areas to discover, so visiting it is a true adventure and mystery.
When you go to the Lares Trek Valley, you are impressed because this trip is very beautiful for the eyes, due to its mountains, its landscape, its ravines, its spectacular sky, the people and their clothes, particularly one is amazed.
The Lares Valley is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, on the way to Machu Picchu, making a detour in the town of Calca to undertake the trip to the Lares Valley, in Calca one can make a stop to buy supplies, with water , cookies and fruit, you can also enjoy a delicious breakfast in the main market of the town of Calca, it is advisable to leave early
Lares has allowed maintaining the nuance of its Andean people although it is located not far from the Sacred Valley, this valley is very pleasant to walk, experiential tourism, and take a dip in its hot springs as well as the bathrooms Hot springs of Machu Picchu, if one does the Lares trekking it is usually 4 days, including Machupicchu this is the most common that travelers do.
The thermal baths in the valley of Lares, said baths have a separate mention since the one that goes to Lares goes to the thermal baths, I am baths are medicinal and relaxing and are characterized by their color and their smell, the color of yellowish color and a smell of sulfur since these waters probably come from some volcano, particularly it is not known exactly where they come from, Lares thermal baths are very hygienic and are contained in pools made of very well treated stones these pools are cleaned daily and maintain a cleanliness at the height of the visitor.
The Qhapaq Ñan, is the word that defines the road system of the Inca Civilization and is definitely the best material test, which can give us an idea of the magnitude of this empire, becoming one of the greatest achievements in indigenous America. An estimated 23 thousand km is calculated, although other studies say that up to 40 thousand km could be registered, from an extensive network of roads, built on one of the most rugged territories in the world, which communicates the cities and settlements of the state most important in America, before the Spanish invasion.
This network of roads crossed the Empire of the Incas, along roads drawn from north to south (from end to end) along the coast, mountains and jungle; through the Cordillera de los Andes, with small sections, which communicated from the east of its territory to the Pacific coast. Designed in harmony with the topography of the place, wide in some areas, very narrow in others, with completely cobbled sections and others simply of land.
Like all the important cities of the Empire, the city of Machu Picchu, connected to Cusco (capital of the Empire), through the Inca Trail that we have traveled so far, at least two important accesses to the Sacred City (Inca Trail and Camino Salkantay), although there may be two others; one that descended through the Urubamba valley from Ollantaytambo, and another that crossed the high part of the Andes. And together with these, a complex network of secondary roads, to communicate the existing settlements throughout the region.
The world-famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, is only part of this complex network of roads, which goes up the Urubamba River basin to the Inca City, named for being the most suitable name. At present it is considered by many, the most beautiful of all, for the complement present between its landscapes and its history, you can visit it in three or four days, on a perfectly planned tour.
This Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, allowed to join production sites, with storage and administration centers. It is located in the middle of the jungle, which provides adequate environmental conditions for the production of specific foods. It is very likely that the entire Empire was supplied from this area. Therefore, this road articulated Machu Picchu with the capital and this with the other cities.
The gigantic network of roads of the Inca empire (Qhapaq Ñan) was built with the main purpose, to keep a huge territory communicated, this allowed to mobilize armies very quickly for the time. But it had other very important uses, as it served as trade routes, acting as an economic articulator, in a civilization with a tendency to redistribution and exchange, in the same way that Machu Picchu’s corn or coca reached Huánuco, In Huánuco, surplus production (potatoes and others) was redistributed in other locations, such as Machu Picchu. Another extremely important purpose was the representation of the central power of the empire, as it was thought ideologically; -Yes, I know Cusco because I have seen the road- Then, the road was the essential ideological representation of the power of the Empire, both economic and ideological.
This path, a means of communication and transport par excellence, fundamental in economic articulation and ideological dissemination, was essential for the existence of such a vast territory. It crossed the central squares of the main towns of the Empire, joining places of worship, commerce and administration, passing through water sources, an element (fundamental for life) that symbolized the goodness of Mother Earth and the reproduction of life.
And despite the information available, the Inca Trail is only a small branch of the Empire’s road network, an important tourist attraction in Peru and one of the largest in the world. Although the fact in itself, of knowing new places, what we offer is fantastic, goes beyond a visit to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary in Peru; We offer an approach to the culture of the people who built those places, to the people who currently inhabit those places, their customs and their history. So you can transform visible material evidence into an experiential learning experience.
During the time of the Incas there was a great network of roads called “Camino Real” to unite the Inca empire. However, due to its rugged geography many places were joined by suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber.
The Qeshuachaca is the only bridge that has been renovated from generation to generation by the families of Cusco until today. The bridge is located in the department of Cusco, over the Apurimac River at 3,700 m.a.s.l. About a thousand people from different communities, near the bridge, meet for four days to renew it.
Now, we will know the four days of tradition that delays the reconstruction of Queshuachaca:
On the first day, the inhabitants of the communities leave in search of a solid straw of vegetable fiber called Ichu in Quechua. Once the necessary amount of Ichu has been collected, the women weave this solid straw to form the ropes of the bridge, and the men are in charge of joining the rope from end to end and then braid it.
When the second day arrives, the structure of the old bridge is taken apart, the stone nails that support the bridge are removed, and four ropes are placed, which are the base of the structure of the new bridge.
Tired, but with strength, on the third day, the villagers conclude with the assembly of the handrails and the bridge surfaces where the communities will cross.
And finally, on the fourth day, they celebrate the reconstruction of the bridge to the sound of music with native dances, since the work is considered as a holiday by Peruvian ancestors.
Ausangate is the fifth highest mountain in Peru, with its 6384 meters high, located in the Pitumarca district, Canchis province, Cusco region, in southern Peru; Ausangate is considered the most important mountain in the Andean worldview.
The “Apu” Ausangate is for the Andean culture, life giver and guardian of one of the most varied ecosystems in the world; Its name means “copper” in Quechua. When you are on this mountain, remember that it is sacred to local people; In fact, many of the nearby Andean communities still have pilgrimage dates to the top of the mountain. As the community of Chillca; of shepherds of llamas and alpacas, which have inherited Inca and pre-Inca cultural traditions. It is possible to share the daily life of the shepherds and work with the llamas.
Climate change has discovered the multicolored beauty of these mountains located in the Vilcanota, Vinicunca or Winicunca mountain range, also called Seven Color Mountain, Rainbow Mountain or Mountain of Colors (the inhabitants call it Cerro Colorado) is a mountain of Peru with a altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level and owes its incredible coloration to the richness of minerals that houses its soil, the Winikunka mountains are behind the imposing snowy Ausangate.
A walk through these parts constitutes a very special experience, combining the fact of being at such levels with the enjoyment of an outdoor activity and the contemplation of a visual wonder.
Leaving the city of Cusco, you drive along the Longitudinal race of the Peruvian Sierra del Sur in the direction of the town of Checacupe where you take the fork towards the town of Pitumarca, and from this town you travel the journey through a carrosable trail passing through several rural communities such as Ocefina, Japura, Hanchipacha, until arriving at the community of Pampa Chiri, where the road ends and the 5km walk begins approximately until the Vinincunca pass. where you can see the Natural Formation in the shape of a Rainbow, considered the Mountain of Colors.
5 Days is an amazing and less-known trek surrounding the snow-capped Sacred Mountain Apu in Quechua of Ausangate (6.372m/20900ft) that takes you over mountain passes, awesome mountain scenery, remote Andean villages, hot springs, turquoise lakes and the new natural wonder the rainbow mountain.
– PRIVATE SERVICE:
• $480 p/p (Min. 2 pax)
• $460 p/p (Min. 3 pax)
• $440 p/p (Min. 4 pax)
• $420 p/p (Min. 5 pax)
– SHARED SERVICE (RETURN ONLY):
• $470 p/p (Min. 2 pax)
• $450 p/p (Min. 3 pax)
• $440 p/p (Min. 4 pax)
• $430 p/p (Min. 5 pax)
DAY 1: CUSCO- QUESIUNO- JAMPA
Pick-up times in Lodgings:
• Private Transportation: 06:00 A.M.
• Shared Transportation: 03:00 A.M – 4:00 A.M.
Our pickups start from 06:00 a.m. (private transport) or 03:00 to 04:00 (shared), depending on the service contracted from their respective lodgings, to direct us to Urcos, bordering the Vilcanota river to reach our destination that will be the community of Quesiuno (3 hours by car) where we will receive our breakfast in the camp, after that we will travel about 20 min. more by car to start our journey through a part of the Andes, observing the wonderful Apu Ausangate on your side, after a 3 hour walk, we will go to our base camp, located in the hampa community, where they will receive your dinner and small information for the next day.
DAY 2: CCAMPA- 7 LAGOONS- PACCHANTA
In the morning (06:00 am) we will start preparing for our breakfast at 07:00 am, after that we will start our hike to the 7 lagoons of Ausangate (4 hours approx.), Where you can observe the existing biodiversity in the place and in addition to those appreciate these beautiful turquoise lagoons, we will do one for about 1 to 2 hours to receive lunch and then we start our trekking to the town of “PACCHANTA” (2 hrs.). The community of “PACCHANTA” is located on the slopes of the snowy “Ausangate”, at 4200 masl. Its inhabitants, who are dedicated to the raising of alpacas and the cultivation of native tubers, are all expert weavers. With the fiber of the alpaca they make their clothing and use their meat as a source of protein. Native potatoes, fresh or traditionally converted into chuño and moraya, provide the carbohydrates they need to fight against cold and physical exertion.
Here is where we will set up our camp and then you can enjoy some refreshing and replenishing thermal baths located in the same community. Dinner, rest and small information for the next day.
DAY 3: PACCHANTA – UPIS – YANACOCHA LAGOON
In the morning (06:00 a.m.) we will begin to prepare for our breakfast at 07:00 a.m., to begin our journey in the middle of mountains and colors towards the town of Upis (2 hrs and a half), where we will receive our lunch. During the journey we can see different types of turquoise lagoons in the middle of these wonderful mountains, such as: “Azul cocha, Puccacocha and Ccomercocha”, after 3 hours walking and enjoying the scenery, we will arrive at a beautiful lagoon called Yanacocha, in which our camp will be located. Dinner, rest and small information for the next day.
DAY 4: YANACOCHA LAGOON – ANANTA
Our fourth day will start early (06:00 a.m.), to prepare for our nutritious breakfast at 07:00 a.m., and start saying goodbye to this wonderful lagoon. We will walk approximately 5 hours to reach the town of Ananta, where you will have the afternoon free to share and explore the surroundings of this beautiful landscape, since our camp will be in this same place. Dinner, rest and small information for the next day.
DAY 5: ANANTA – RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – CUSCO
Very early in the morning (05:00 AM) we will get up and prepare for our nutritious breakfast (06:00 AM) and begin our adventure towards the wonderful “RAINBOW MOUNTAIN“, step of 5,029 meters above sea level, where you can see beautiful landscapes , lagoons where South American camelids (alpacas, llamas and vicuñas) and other species of mammals such as pumas, Andean birds, condor etc. live. The place called Montaña VININCUNCA, is where you can see the wonderful colorado hill with the sunrise shows its best impressive valley and colored hills of magical colors that only exists in this place in Peru. Around you can see mountains like Apu Sarinini and “Montaña Ausangate”, with a height of 6,372 m.s.n.m. being one of the highest in Cusco. In the Inca mythology of this mountain and the nearby lakes – among which Sivinacocha stands out, from where the masculine energy that fertilizes the sacred earth mother Pachamama is born. We will be visiting the Mountain of Colors approximately 30 minutes, in which our guide will give us a small explanation of their surroundings and take some pictures of this wonderful landscape. After this wonderful experience, we will begin our descent (2 hrs and 30 min approximately) to the town of quesiuno, observing the wonderful landscape it offers us and the small towns that are there and live in this wonderful valley, upon arrival we will receive our exquisite lunch buffet, which consists of typical Peruvian food, then pack and return to Cusco around 19:00 hrs. approximately.
The Sacred Valley for the Incas
With the river feeding the valley, its fertile lands were one of the main centers of food production during the time of the Incas; Some places, such as Moray, were used as agricultural laboratories, to experiment with species of plants brought from across the empire. The Incas cultivated potatoes, white corn, coca, fruits and vegetables, on terraces like those that can be seen in many valley villages specially designed for this purpose. Today the valley produces lucuma, peach, avocado, and one of the best corn grains in the world.
But it was more than just an important agricultural center; The Urubamba River Valley, “Willcamayu” for the Incas, was one of the most important elements in the religious cosmology of the Incas. They believed that the flow of the Urubamba was closely linked to constellations and mountains, they also believed that it was the counterpart of the milky way on earth.
Where is the Sacred Valley of the Incas?
The Urubamba river valley or “Sacred Valley of the Incas”, is located 15 km northeast of the city of Cusco, is reached by a paved road. A trip by car to one of the nearest villages will take around 40 minutes. From there you can move to the other villages in the valley.
What is the weather like in the valley?
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is 2,800 m.s.n.m., 600 meters below Cusco, and enjoys one of the best climates in this region, daytime temperatures vary between 19 ° and 24 ° C. This privileged climate made the Incas take it as their main center of agricultural production, experimentation and research. Nowadays, travelers use the valley to acclimatize themselves, before starting their tours through Cusco and Machu Picchu, and without a doubt one of the best ways to avoid altitude sickness.
What to see in the Sacred Valley of the Incas?
Known by the Incas as Willcamayu, the beautiful valley extends from the town of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, along the Urubamba river. The ancient Inca settlements in these cities are presented as checkpoints, before entering the “Inca Trail” that leads to the sacred city of the Incas, Machu Picchu; They are simply amazing, and one of the best before what you will see in wonder.
The town of Pisac is located 33 kilometers from the city of Cusco and is presented as the door to the Sacred Valley. It is world famous for its craft market and its impressive archaeological remains, located on a mountain above the town. This town was a kind of capital of the region in the time of the Incas, very important for its excellent location and its fertile lands. The Inca and colonial constructions that are exhibited in its territory, are admirable for its great bill and for the platforms that surround the mountains and polished stone structures, assembled to perfection. On the other hand, the people of Pisac has become the spiritual center of the Sacred Valley, in it you can have all kinds of experiences and spiritual retreats, in addition to meeting people from all over the world interested in this.
Urubamba is one of the most important cities in the valley today, it is a city that was born during the colony and is considered the world capital of corn. This is possible because it is watered by numerous rivers that are born in the peaks of the glacial mountains; This whole territory was highly appreciated by the Incas due to the fertility of their lands and the great qualities for cultivation. It is one of the best places to relax in the valley, you will see many foreigners, but beware, they are not tourists, they are people who left their countries and decided to stay in this cozy town.
Ollantaytambo, also known as Ollanta, is located 97 km northwest of the city of Cusco; approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes by car. It was during the time of the Incas a fortified city, with temples, urban, agricultural and defense walls. It is known that the Inca city of Ollantaytambo served as an administrative checkpoint. After the Spanish invasion, it became one of the favorite places of the viceroys. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Peru and South America; In addition, many people consider that after Machu Picchu, the town and the ruins of Ollantaytambo contain the most impressive Inca stone work in Peru; However, it is not the only amazing thing about this place. Only a few years ago, global positioning systems allowed us to discover that Ollantaytambo is aligned with other ancient constructions throughout the world; the pyramids of Gíza, the Easter islands, the Nazca lines, are just some of them; In addition, the most important archaeological remains around the world are aligned around this line. We recommend you visit the Inca city of Ollantaytambo, otherwise, you will be missing out on something very big.
On a normal tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the town of Chinchero will be the one you will visit after touring most of the valley, back to Cusco; It is located 28 km from the city of Cusco at 3,772 m.a.s.l. and it has important archaeological sites, a beautiful 17th-century colonial church with canvases of the “Cuzqueña School”, and a typical market where bartering can still take place.
The llaqta (city) of Machupicchu is an Inka political, religious and administrative center, which includes temples, platforms, houses and water channels.
Where it is located?
The llaqta of Machupicchu is located in the district of Machupicchu, province of Urubamba, of the Cusco region, at the height of km. 112.5 of the railway line and it was a graben between the mountains of Machupicchu and Waynapicchu.
History and architecture
Built during the first half of the fifteenth century, Machupicchu is divided into two large areas: the agricultural one that comprises a vast network of artificial terraces or terraces, and the urban one formed by various constructions and squares among which the temples of the Sun, of the Three Windows, of the condor and the main temple.
– The Historic Sanctuary – Machupicchu National Archaeological Park was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a mixed cultural and natural heritage, due to its exceptional universal value, considered as an important political, religious and administrative center of the Inca era.
– Its temperature ranges between 6.2 ° C 29.5 ° C, since it is located in a subtropical zone. Its rainiest months are from November to March.
– Its majestic architecture comprises about 140 structures throughout the Inka llaqta.
– The average altitude of the llaqta is 2 450 m.a.s.l.
– His scientific discovery is attributed to the researcher Hiram Bingham, who was in search of the last capital of the Incas of Vilcabamba.
– Machupicchu was declared “Historic Sanctuary of Peru” in 1981.
Machupicchu means old mountain, named for the location of the llaqta inka.
The architectural complex was built in the mid-fifteenth century and according to historians it would have been built at the request of the Pachakuteq inka.
The exact location is in the Machupicchu Pueblo district, province of Urubamba, 112.5 km northeast of the city of Cusco.
Machupicchu was interconnected with the entire Inka empire through the Qhapaq Ñan, known as the Inka Road Network.
Its annual temperature is 6.2º C minimum and maximum of 29.5º C.
The llaqta of Machupicchu has two defined zones: agricultural zone formed by the platforms and terraces, and the urban zone that fulfilled administrative functions.
The average altitude of the llaqta is 2,450 meters above sea level.
Due to the growing flow of tourists who wish to visit the Machu Picchu Inka Llaqta and to ensure that their experience is memorable, it is recommended to organize the visit well in advance, for which the following should be taken into account:
• Buy tickets to enter Machupicchu in advance, for limited daily capacity, check availability at http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe (only official page).
• In case you cannot make your purchase through the website you can make it in person at the ticket offices of the Deconcentrated Directorate of Culture Cusco – DDC, located at Calle Maruri N ° 340 (Palacio Kusicancha) and Calle Garcilaso s / n (side of the Regional Historical Museum) from Monday to Saturday between 07:00 – 19:30 hours (does not attend holidays). The sale of admission tickets is subject to availability.
• The Decentralized Directorate of Culture in Machupicchu Pueblo is the last point of sale, so a last minute purchase will mean subject to the availability of remaining spaces in the system, also the payment is only in soles and cash. Credit cards, debit cards or payment in dollars are not accepted.
• The purchase of a student ticket is in person or through a travel agency prior to the presentation or remission of a valid student card. ISIC card is not accepted.
• Entry to SHM – PANM is from the time indicated on the ticket, so early admission is not allowed.
• Bring printed the entrance ticket to Machupicchu.
• Before entering the llaka inka make use of the hygienic services, since the visit will last an average of 2 to 4 hours (There are no hygienic services within the llaqta).
• Re-entry is only allowed for visitors who have a visit to the mountains of Machupicchu and Waynapicchu, and entrance tickets for the mountains can be purchased in advance through the website http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe, they are also subject to availability, taking into account that the maximum allowed entry capacity is 400 visitors per day for each mountain, divided into two groups of 200 visitors per shift.