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Luxury trekking to Machu Picchu – go glamping

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Lodge on the Lares trek.

Luxury trekking to Machu Picchu – go glamping

Maria discovers a new way to trek to Machu Picchu: the hike remains the same, but canvas is swapped for comfortable beds, jacuzzis and glasses of wine.

 

She writes:

“Back in November, I was in Peru travelling and hiking. I walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and took on several other treks, including hiking alongside the tremendous Ausangate mountain. These were some unforgettable backpacking adventures.

But in early December, I joined a group to hike an alternative route to Machu Picchu. A new Lares Luxury Lodge-Based trek to explore the ancient civilisations of the Andes of the Lares region, and staying in comfortable lodges instead of camping.

During this trip, I realised why I really love this modern trekking style! I remembered, that not so long ago, I was on another trek having to put my feet in the icy river just to clean them. I had cold feet all night. Now, I was drinking a glass of red wine with my feet submerged in the hot tub and spectacular views all around.

To trek doesn’t have to entail backpacking by day and camping by night.

 

Immersion

You can immerse yourself in stunning mountain scenery while enjoying the luxury of these lodges. You hike all day, finding yourself in the middle of nowhere, and when you arrive at the lodge, you have all the comforts of the modern world.

This mix is ideal for renewing energies and waking up feeling as fresh as the first day. Relax on comfortable sofas, take a nap, get warm, have a hot shower, enjoy good food, get a massage, play and chat in welcoming living rooms and more.

Feel comforted knowing that instead of a tent, you will be staying in comfortable lodges each night as you work your 55 km way towards Machu Picchu.

 

Lares Luxury Lodge-Based Trek

As well as the hike, the lodges and Machu Picchu, this new route offers excellent guided, cultural experiences for guests that prefer not to do challenging hikes, and for those who want to dip into Andean culture. You don’t just hike through the mountains, but empathise with how the locals live.

The mountain lodges have been built to fit in with the landscape and provide employment and benefits to the local communities around. You can see a local chef making innovative cuisine, taste it, and share the warmth of the local people in and around the lodges.

The Lares Luxury Lodge-Based trek started in Cusco with a drive to through the mountains to Chinchero, where the hike began. This is a seven-day trek, led by different guides that are experts in Andean culture, architecture and archaeology. We had the opportunity to learn about Andean cultural values, understand the Inca way of life and architectural vision that aligned with the sky.

The road took us to far less visited Inca ruins, like Huchuy Qosqo. From here, to look over the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the full Urubamba and Vilcabamba mountain ranges laid out before us, was a sight truly to behold.

The first mountain lodge was Lamay Lodge, our base for two nights. We visited Inca archaeological sites like Calca and Pisaq and passed through farmhouses and fields whose inhabitants had maintained their traditional way of life, growing potatoes and herding llamas and alpacas.

 

Lucma Lodge

Lucma Lodge, Peru

 

Splendour of nature

On the third day we hiked from Quiswarani to Huacawasi. As we gained height, the views were superb: distant mountain ranges and stunning turquoise lakes. At these lakes, some wild animals came to drink water and I could feel the force of nature in its great splendour.

As we proceeded on our way, we pushed out into more remote areas. We would all be amazed when we came across local people at such high altitudes – shepherds and shepherdesses, children tending livestock while playing or just some women sitting chatting by the lake.

During this trek I felt the care and warmth of the local people. We stopped in villages and although sometimes they only spoke Quechua, we got our guides involved, and we could have some enriching cultural exchanges.

 

Making Pachamanca

We were greeted in one community with a Pachamanca meal, a traditional Peruvian dish. Preparations began with the digging of a hole and making a fire in there. Next a tower of stones is built over the fire, heating them up so as to be an oven.

The ingredients were added on top of the warm stones in order of required cooking time. Long-cooking ingredients like potatoes go in first, then meat wrapped with corn leaves. Next, the rock oven is covered with some more stones and a tarp which is weighed down with a shovel-full of sand, and finally grass on top. This natural oven was opened up after around two hours – we had pork, chicken and mutton which fed us and the entire community.

 

High passes

It’s not just hike and move lodge every day. We stayed two nights at Huacawasi Lodge. Here, we relaxed in our private Jacuzzis, to get ready for the next day’s big challenge:  Ipsaycocha Pass (14,757 ft / 4,499m) the highest point of the trek.

Finally, we reached the beautiful Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After a walk around the Inca site, in the late morning, we boarded the train for a 1.5-hour ride to Aguas Calientes. We were just below Machu Picchu citadel, with expectations high for our visit.

The experience, knowledge and understanding of a good guide in Machu Picchu is priceless. Machu Picchu offered a number of viewpoints from tunnels to stairs, to walkways and passages and historical ruins. Our guides let us get lost in this citadel and it helped us to get to know all the different areas of Machu Picchu.

Some great icing on the luxury trekking cake!

 

lares-lodges trek-peru

Lares luxury trek, Peru

 

Try our lodge-based treks

We offer a variety of lodge-based treks.

In Peru: Salkantay, Lares (new), Ausangate and

In Ecuador: Walking Highlights and Lodge-to-Lodge

In Patagonia: Discover Patagonia and a series of hotel-based trips.

Contact us for more.

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