Lares Valley to Machu Picchu
Lares Valley to Machu Picchu Horseback Expedtion Lodge to Lodge Inka Trail
: from the Sacred Valley of the Inkas though the Lares Valley, stay with local families, experience authentic culture.
Prices Per Person
- 1 rider - 1650$
- 2-3 riders - 980$
- 4-6 riders - 830$
- Additional: Optional Day 4 to Machu Picchu - 420$us per person
This is the best way to experience the Andes by horseback. We will start our journey in the town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Inkas before setting off for 3 full days of highland horseback riding along epic and little-known sections of the Inka Trail to ultimately reach the Inkan well-conserved Inkan village of Ollantaytambo with the option to continue on to Machu Picchu.
Itinerary AT A GLANCE
Day 1 – Travel by 4X4 to Lares Village, ride from Lares to Wakawasi Village.
Overnight: Wakawasi Inka Lodge (Altitude: 3,770 m. – 12,441 ft.)
Day 2 – Ride from Wakawasi to Patacancha
Overnight: Patakancha Inka Lodge (Altitude: 3,800 m. – 12,540 ft.)
Day 3 - Ride from Patacancha – Ollantaytambo
Overnight: Your hotel (or Ollanta if adding the Optional Machu Picchu package)
Optional Day 4 – Machu Picchu Overnight: Your hotel
The high Andean region of Lares, Cusco, Peru has changed little over the past 500 years. As true explorers looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences you will love travelling along this section of the Inka Trail that takes us through the Lares Valley. This pre-hispanic trail connects the Sacred Valley of the Inkas to the Amazon jungle.
Ukumari Expeditions/Frontierlab prioritizes community-based tourism, where local families directly benefit from sharing their culture. Along this unique route we stay in family-run lodges, enjoying the most intimate connection with Andean culture. In the villages of Wakawasi and Patacancha we have partnered directly with local families to build the Inka Lodges, rustic but comfortable lodges which are the perfect cozy homes out in the extreme landscape. These lodges provide extra comforts such as private bathrooms, improved hot showers and hotel quality beds. In the other villages we have partnered with community organizations, offering training and facility improvements to establish more basic but still comfortable lodging. This important initiative allows local families to remain together in their villages, receiving visitors and sharing their culture. Without initiative such as these in our modern times, many villagers have to leave their homes to find work or do not enjoy any benefits from the tourism in the area. Our Inka Lodges project promotes equality in tourism and provides the best opportunity for authentic experiences and holistic cultural exchanges. We work entirely without single use plastics and take great care for ecological concerns. We packs all trash out of the area, disposing of it correctly.
The peoples of the Lares valley are known for their careful maintaining of their culture details and their extremely fine traditional textile work. Our surefooted gaited Peruvian Paso horses and Andean saddle mules will take us along one of the most authentic and remote parts of the ancient Inka Trail. Peruvian Paso horses are considered to be the smoothest ride in the world and our mules are also gaited and comfortable. We use comfortable and padded 'western' style saddles.
Throughout the tour we will enjoy meals prepared with fresh ingredients from the Sacred Valley, modern gastronomical creations with traditional Andean flavours and lots of Peruvian native superfoods. Peru is famous for being the #1 gastronomical destination in the world and enjoying a fresh and healthy diet is the best way to avoid any discomfort while spending time at high altitude.
Each night after riding in the Lares Valley we will stay in the Inka Lodges family-run guesthouses. The rustic houses offer the authentic experience of high Andean life. In the villages you will see hand-tool farming, livestock including guinea pigs and llamas, eat meals made with freshly harvested produce and discover how intertwined the textile art is with everyday life. The Lares Valley is one the the last regions in the Andes where both women and men still wear their exquisite traditional clothing. The route is spectacular and exciting from start to finish.
DAY 1 – Ascend to Lares Village, Lares to Wakawasi
We will begin our journey at 7am, driving by 4X4 up from the town fo Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Inkas. On the way we will stop to visit pre-incan graineries at Ankasmarca and then emerge into the altiplano highlands between the galciers. These monumental snowpeaks have been the invaluable water source for the entire Sacred Valley of the Inkas throughout history. When we reach the village of Lares we will have lunch and then mount our horses for the ride along a prehispanic trail to the village of Wakawasi. In the small village of Wakawasi(3750m.) potato farming and alpaca husbandry are the main sustenance for life. We will learn about highland potato farming in detail and observe how the multiple water sources (waterfalls, rivers and the daily cloud of mist) are the source of life in the village and how they also feed down to the Sacred Valley. This night we will stay in our Inka Lodge, the first lodge in our own project with the local families. The rustic lodge offers private bathrooms and extra comforts while maintaining the authenticity of mountain family life. Our Inka Lodges project has given the Bernardino Mayo family in Wakawasi the opportunity to create their own hospitality business. They have received extensive training in hosting, cooking and structuring the presentation of their culture. We have partnered with them to build an upgraded lodge with hot showers, private bathrooms and down comforters, special comforts in this remote location. Often in distant Andean villages families are split up as one of them has to leave to find work, the Inka Lodges project offers then the opportunity to stay together, prosper at home and preserve and share their culture. Trekking details:
Elevation: Starting Point: 3,270 m. – 10,791 ft. / Highest point: 3,770 m. – 12,441 ft.
Total riding distance: 10 km. /6.2 mi. – 5 hrs. Approx.
Overnight: Wakawasi Inka Lodge
(Altitude: 3,770 m. – 12,441 ft.)
DAY 2 - Wakawasi to Patacancha by Horse
The following day we will cross the high pass and ride past snow-capped mountains and tranquil lakes, directing our horses towards the tiny highland community of Ipsaycocha(4450m.) to have lunch with the villagers. Following lunch we will drop down a steep trail to the small town of of Patacancha(3700m.), very famous for their textile production. We will rest at our second comfortable Inka Lodge home with the Quispe Huaman family. Patacancha is a native Andean community which maintains a lifestyle said to be “as close to that of the Inkas” as still exists in the Sacred Valley. The village has worked in community-based tourism for over 10 years and offer excellent workshops on their local culture. We will learn about fine Andean weaving, wool processing and dyeing upon our arrival and enjoy dinner full of Andean flavour. Trekking details:
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Elevation: Starting Point: 3,820 m. – 12,606 ft. / Highest point: 4,420 m. – 14,586 ft.
Total distance: 13 km. - 8.1 mi. / 7 hr. Approx.
Overnight: Patakancha Inka Lodge
(Altitude: 3,9200 m. – 12,936 ft.)
DAY 3 – Patacancha to Ollantaytambo by Horse
On the final day of riding we will start our decent back to the Sacred Valley. We'll ride through the terraces of Pumamarka, an intricate Inkan farming site, still farmed today. We will have a picnic lunch at a spectacular lookout above the village of Ollantaytambo. After lunch we ride right to the famous Inkan village of Ollantaytambo to reach the historic station of the Peru Rail narrow track trains. This town, built by the audacious general Ollanta for his Nusta princess is well conserved, in a bowl-shaped valley with narrow fortress entrances. On the mountains on both sides of the town we can see General Ollanta's graineries and ceremonial grounds, still quite intact. When the Spanish overtook this important portal to the jungle after an earthquake had weakened the town, they rebuilt colonial style building on top of the original Inkan foundations, resulting in a most particular architectural hybrid. The town is a tiny buzzing hub as excited travellers convene here before the last leg of their journey to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. In Ollantaytambo we will say farewell to our noble horses. Trekking details:
Elevation: Starting Point: 3,920 m. – 12,606 ft. / Lowest Point: 2,800 m. – 9,240 ft.
Total distance: 15 km. / 9.3 mi. – 7 hrs. Approx.
Overnight: Your hotel (or Ollantaytambo if adding the Optional Machu Picchu package)
Optional DAY 4 – Machu Picchu Optionally you can choose to remain for the night in Ollantaytambo to carry on to the enigmatic Inkan citadel of Machu Picchu. We will get up early to take our train and reach the magnetic site of Machu Picchu. Our expert guides will help us navigate throughout the day to ensure that we can reach the most intimate views of the famous archaeological zone, enjoying many stops to learn about and feel how the Inkas lived and connecting with the landscape. Culminating our journey along the Inka trail we will take a moment on-site to celebrate our group's efforts and comradeship. After a comprehensive visit of the site we will travel back to Cusco or to your next destination.
Machu Picchu Package Includes
- One night in Ollantaytambo prior to the trip
- Breakfast and Lunch
- Train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu village + Return Train from Machu Picchu village to Ollantaytambo or Cusco
- Bus to and from Machu Picchu village to the entrance of the archaeological site
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- English speaking professional guide for Machu Picchu site
- Transfer to your hotel
Your Tour Leaders
Silver Ballón, trekking guide Ukumari Expeditions
Kyd Campbell, horseback leader Frontierlab Horseback Riding
Our expert guide team includes horsewoman and explorer Kyd Campbell, born in Canada and exploring for over 7 years in the Peruvian highlands, her team of amazing horses and mules, native Quechua-speaking mountain guide Silver Ballón, bird and plant expert and a top developer of community-based tourism in the region. Our attentive team of professionally trained guides are certified in Wilderness Advanced First Aid and our program is especially designed to allow for the best adaptation to the climate, geology and altitude.
We reach altitudes above 4200 meters on these journeys. A standard responsibility release waiver must be signed by each traveler. Upon requesting a booking a detailed list of conditions, inclusions and exclusions will be provided. No cancellations or refunds will be made after booking. For any concerns please contact the ranch.