On the Lares Luxury Lodge to Lodge Trek, daily expeditions will lead you along seldom-traveled highland trails surrounded by exquisite snow-capped peaks, past roving herds of llamas and alpacas, around impossibly hued turquoise lakes, and through graceful waterfalls.
- Lares Luxury Lodge to Lodge Trek
- Chinchero & Urquillos Inca Trail
- Lamay Lodge and Village
Trekking in Peru is one of the best and most sought-after adventure opportunities in South America. To elevate your trekking experience, there are currently two lodge-to-lodge luxury trek options to Machu Picchu: The Salkantay Trail and The Lares Trail. Both ancient Inca trails, each offers unique views on Peru’s incredible landscapes and Andean cultures- come experience the first day of the Lares Trek with our South America specialist, Gretchen!
LARES LUXURY LODGE TO LODGE TREK
We leave Cusco this morning when the clouds and fog are still hanging low. Our friendly guide, Johan, meets us at the quaint new boutique hotel: El Retabolo and escorts us up the narrow, cobblestone street to where our van is waiting. We pass a local church crowded with people and shooting off fireworks (a local soap opera was being filmed there today).
CHINCHERO & URQUILLOS INCA TRAIL
We continue on, up over the crest of one of the hills standing tall above Cusco, and then begin our journey back toward Chinchero.
Upon arrival, we follow in Johan’s wake to the Incan terraces that skirt the town. Here we find the beginning of another Inca Trail leading down to the town of Urquillos in the Sacred Valley.
The trail is still damp with the morning dew and small orchids blooming all along the trail seem to be even more vibrant when contrasted against the steep green slopes and low-hanging mist. The trail meanders for several kilometers downhill until we reach the sleepy town center with three local women gossiping on a bench and selling chicha, the local beer.
LAMAY LODGE & VILLAGE
Our driver meets us here and escorts us further south in the valley to the village of Lamay, where we arrive at the first of the luxury Mountain Lodges along the new Lares trek.
We feel beyond spoiled, as we are shown the lodge and all of its elegant comforts- we are the only ones here at the moment and feel that we have a castle to ourselves.
After a three-course lunch of exquisite local dishes, we head off walking toward the heart of the small town. Johan recommend a local bar for us to try so we steer ourselves in that direction- the promise of a cold beer sounds more than welcome on this sleepy afternoon.
We arrive at the bar and bow our heads to make our way through the short, simple wooden door. Six men line the four walls of the small adobe room all drinking large glasses of chicha. An antique radio sits on a makeshift shelf high in one corner of the room. We find two spots among our fellow patrons and are quickly greeted by a petite old woman with braids down to her knees. She is wearing traditional Andean skirts and flashes us a smile as she asks for our order. Deciding that our stomachs might not be able to handle the chicha, we opt for a bottle of the local beer, Cusqueña, instead. Our host quickly returns with a bottle and two glasses. The beer wasn’t cold but the experience was well worth it. At first regarded by our fellow patrons with something like suspicion, the din quickly picked up again after we had our own beer in front of us and the talk went back to what had been going on with local soccer teams and with such-and-such’s property.
After finishing our beer, we left the bar, saying adieu to the collective bar crowd and headed toward the town center. A small soccer pitch was set up next to the church and several young boys were playing and shouting to one another. Everyone was coming home for the evening from the terraces and fields.
We circled the church, crossed a small river winding its way through the village and went back to the cozy lodge for a deep sleep under thick down comforters and an epic sky full of stars.
Want to book your own Lares Luxury Lodge to Lodge Trek? Contact us!
Check out our previous blog for more information on how the Salkantay and Lares Treks vary:
Your friendly South America expert,