Take the trails less traveled through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the wonder of Machu Picchu with stays in world-class mountain lodges along the way
Cusco, PERU – Mountain Lodges of Peru, an outfitter with a strong commitment to Peru’s environmental resources and communities, has announced the addition of the Lares Adventure. The lodge-to-lodge journey offers world-class accommodations in remote mountain lodges and multi-activity programs on the Lares Trail along Machu Picchu and the scenic Urubamba Valley, which is part of the greater pre-Columbian Inca Road network.
Lesser-known, though no less engaging, the Lares Trail is a wonderful alternative to the more heavily traveled Inca Trail, alive with local culture and offering something for every level of fitness enthusiast. Mountain Lodges of Peru recently opened two new lodges in the town of Lamay and in the rural community of Huacahuasi (a third lodge in the village of Patacancha will open in spring 2016), which serve as deluxe “base camps” for day hikes designed for a variety of hiking levels and abilities. All Lares Adventure itineraries depart from Cusco and include explorations of various trails and towns including the village of Chinchero; the salt mines of Maras; Inca sites at Pisac; Ollantaytambo, where the rebel leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle; Calca where guests can take in breathtaking views of the Pitusiray and Sahuasiray glaciers; Cuncani to Huacawasi for cultural encounters with local communities; and Machu Picchu, the crowning glory of the Inca and arguably the top archeological wonder of all South America. Accompanied by expert guides who share their knowledge of natural history, culture and local traditions, guests enjoy interaction with local Andean families, farmers and artisans.
Centuries after its end, the Inca Empire continues to fascinate adventure seekers from all over the globe. The Empire’s Qhapaq Nan road network, whose best-known portion is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, was the most extensive and advanced transportation system in pre-Columbian South America, running more than 20,000 miles between Ecuador and Chile and to elevations up to 12,500 feet. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the road network will be celebrated with an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian this summer.
Mountain Lodges of Peru offers travelers the option of experiencing portions of the Qhapaq Nan via fixed departures from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, with an expert guide for the entire journey. Travelers can also choose to customize their own itinerary with stays for any number of days at their choice of lodges and with daily activities led by local guides.
More challenging trails cross remote passes with views of Andean peaks and the occasional condor soaring above. Whether hiking from one lodge to the next or transferring part of the way by vehicle, the region and the adventure it holds are ideal for travelers of all abilities.
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