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Sacred Lakes Trek ~ 9 days / 8 nights

The Sacred Valley, Cusco & Machu Picchu

This beautifully woven combination of an authentic cultural journey with classic destinations, cuisine, special events and an exhilarating two-day trek offers the opportunity to experience and authentically engage in a cultured Indigenous point-of-view.

Hike the remote and pristine highlands above Pisac, visiting several sacred lakes with local traditional community members of the Apu Runawana Association as your guides. Experience the Andean culture first hand, hear their stories, and enjoy a remarkable trek off the beaten track with a perfect combination of spectacular landscapes and authentic cultural interaction.

Savor the ambiance of the Sacred Valley, find yourself surrounded by breathtaking scenery and begin your exploration of the Inca legacy through our Quechua descendants. Visit ancient sites, colorful markets, and partake in an ancient living culture rooted in agriculture. Immerse yourself in the spirit of this Inca land. Discover the profoundly elegant simplicity of Andean people and celebrate our customs, cuisine, music and dance. Admire our arts. Delve into our philosophy; understand our history and way of life. Walk our ancient pathways.

Enrich your perspective. Confirm human quintessence.

Recommended for a profound unforgettable cultural immersion that enhances the spirit.

Sacred Valley Highlights

Trip Highlights:

  • Engage in this rare opportunity for authentic social interaction, personal comfort and cultural participation while visiting rural Peru.
  • Experience the Sacred Valley of the Incas stepping back in time, visiting its finest archeological sites, picturesque villages and colorful markets.
  • Savor exquisite Peruvian cuisine rooted in ancient agriculture.
  • Stay at charming Pisac Inn, situated on the main plaza of Pisac ~ settle into your room in the quaint little town in the Sacred Valley for the duration of your stay. No packing and unpacking.
  • Absorb small town life in the Sacred Valley.
  • Enjoy daily excursions with in depth, educational stories and explanations by local native guides with our indigenous voice.
  • Trek through the highlands visiting several sacred lakes in a traditional community and participate in their communal workday for a cultural exchange that deepens the appreciation of Quechua history and social life.
  • Marvel at Machu Picchu, one of the 7 wonders of the world.
  • Explore Cusco, capital of the vast Inca State, navel of the ancestral world.
  • Join in our commitment in the preservation, protection and celebration of endangered Andean traditions and cultural heritage. Traveling with us directly supports sustainable tourism.
  • Enrich your life. Expand your horizons.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas surrounded by magnificent mountain Apus, extended fields replete with crops and the stunning Wilkamayu river running through this fertile valley’s heart. Where sacred corn grows and iridescent hummingbirds emanate their joy. Pisac offers a pleasant climate and the enchantment of a colorful small town with cobblestone streets and friendly faces. The Andes… snow peaks soaring in the distance over charming communities, Inca sites, and quaint village markets. Delve into this journey full of pre-Columbian reflections. Pristine nature. Blossoming fuchsia and kantu flowers that entice. A profound heritage wrapped in layers of colorfully elegant wisdom and contemporary sophistication. The inspiration of authentic Peruvian hospitality.

Sacred Lakes Trek Sample Itinerary

Day one / Friday

Arrival Sacred Valley

This beautifully woven combination of classic destinations, cuisine and special events offers the opportunity to experience and authentically engage in a cultured Indigenous point-of-view.

Hike the remote and pristine highlands above Pisac, visiting several sacred lakes with local traditional community members of the Apu Runawana Association as your guides. Experience the Andean culture first hand, hear their stories, and enjoy a remarkable trek off the beaten track with a perfect combination of spectacular landscapes and authentic cultural interaction.
PCJ Intinerary - welcome

Take a spectacular morning flight to Cusco, “the navel of the world”, land in the heart of the Andes and be greeted at the Cusco airport to begin your exclusive journey. Enjoy a stunning 45-minute scenic drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Revel in the striking beauty of the snow topped peaks, mountainsides delineated by Inca terraces, and fields that cover the valley floor. Arrive to Pisac with lower altitude and small town charm. Settle into your room at Pisac Inn and enjoy a cup of coca tea to help you acclimate. Savor your first in a series of delicious meals spun into a select set menu prepared by the Inn’s Restaurant, Cuchara de Palo so you may explore the diversity and richness of Peru’s ancient agrarian heritage. Take the afternoon to rest or explore the cobblestone streets of Pisac on your own.

Gather for an orientation reception with a welcoming Pisco Sour followed by a fireside dinner.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: L, D

Sacred Valley Highlights


Day two / Saturday

Cusco Archeological Sites

After breakfast enjoy a 30-minute scenic drive to explore pre-Columbian sites outside of Cusco including the sacred spring of Tambomachay, and the lunar and solar observatories of Kenko. Hike along Qhapaq Ñan, an ancestral pathway, to Sacsayhuaman whose zigzag walls are built with some of the largest stones to be found in Inca masonry. You will be captivated by the introduction to Andean astronomy and sacred geometry, the foundation of Andean culture that will be expanded on each day of your journey. Enjoy lunch at one of Cusco’s fine restaurant recommended by your guide, and return to Pisac for a quite afternoon.

Upon return to Pisac Inn relax before dinner or enjoy a treatment at *Unucha Spa. You can make an appointment ahead of time for any afternoon after your excursion.

Dinner followed by festive traditional music and dance with Wiñay Taki Ayllu, a local group of musicians, artists and visionaries dedicating their lives to preserving their Andean culture. This remarkable presentation follows the Andean Agrarian Ritual calendar. Enjoy this evening full of music, dance, in depth explanations, the sharing of stories; and connect to the natural cosmic cycles of the Andes.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, D (lunch not included) (spa treatments not included)

Cusco City and Wiñay Taki Highlights


Day three / Sunday

Pisac Archeological Site & Market

In preparation for your trek, hike to the spectacular archeological site above Pisac admiring the staggering agricultural terrace work among the most extensive in the area following the shape of the mountainsides in entrancing concave and convex forms. You will be captivated by the introduction to Andean astronomy and sacred geometry, the foundation of Andean culture that will be expanded on each day of your journey. The central astronomic and ceremonial area is widely acclaimed as some of the finest stonework, comparable to that of Machu Picchu. This expansive site provides an ideal setting for a picnic lunch with magnificent vistas up and down the valley. Embark upon a breathtaking walk down to the town of Pisac and enjoy the afternoon exploring Pisac’s colorful Traditional Indian Market. Visit the traditional food section where locals buy and trade their produce and admire the beautiful faces and calm excitement that transforms Pisac on Sunday. This is a wonderful opportunity to buy gifts to take home with you. Enjoy a sunset stroll along the cornfields or simply relax with a Pisco Sour as you people watch either at the sidewalk café or on the balcony before dinner.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, Picnic, D

Pisac Archeological Site Highlights


Day four / Monday

Sacred Lakes Trek – Trek Amaru, Maraway Lagoon, Limancocha

Working with the Amaru Community

Delight in a 45-minute drive into the majestic high Andes and hike through the patchwork fields replete with potatoes, fava beans and corn to the traditional highland community of Amaru, where a genuinely authentic way of life is still practiced to this day. Meet your expedition crew, members of the Apu Runawana Association, and begin the four-hour trek to MARAWAY LAGOON. After lunch continue approximately 2 hours to Limancocha Lake. Here, we will set up camp and enjoy dinner underneath the great starry sky. Enjoy of stargazing in the Southern hemisphere, interwoven with rich local storytelling. Reflect on this genuine way if life still practiced by this authentic community that is consciously preserving and practicing their ancestral heritage. Feel part of this human quality, as you slowly begin to understand the interconnectedness and sacredness of this territory.

Camping Meals: B, L, D


Day five / Tuesday

Sacred Lakes Trek – Isku Isku, Cultural Center of Amaru

After an early breakfast we will begin an approx. 5-hour walk to Isku Isku and on to the Cultural Center of Amaru. See and learn about the medicinal herbs and their uses along the hike, as well as identify flowers, roots and plants used as natural dyes for wool. Upon return to the Cultural Center either rest, or participate in communal work. Appreciate the profound cultural exchange that has naturally evolved, and allow yourself to step back in time as you appreciate a quality of life with an admirable simplicity that is strikingly moving and profound. Enjoy a traditional lunch prepared with their prized agrarian products as the women begin to spin their naturally dyed wool. Others meditatively set up their back strap looms to share their ancestral weaving skills with us. This wonderful opportunity to purchase textiles directly from the weavers and support fair trade ethic is not to be missed. After a festive farewell, begin the 20-minute return walk down to the private transport and a 40-minute drive back to Pisac Inn.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, L, D

Amaru Community Highlights


Day six / Wednesday

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo-Wall

Begin your day with a breathtaking one-hour drive through the heart of the Sacred Valley to the Inca town Ollantaytambo. Visit Ollantaytambo’s magnificent archeological site with an impressive astronomical observatory, irrigation waterways and ceremonial site. Learn about the Llama constellation and explore the quaint town that was built in the shape of a corncob. After lunch enjoy a spectacular train ride to Aguas Calientes, where you will have a nice dinner out and spend the night in preparation for an early start to Machu Picchu the following morning.

Hotel: La Cabaña Boutique Hotel Meals: B, Picnic (dinner not included)

Ollantaytambo Highlights


Day seven / Thursday

Machu Picchu

IMG_1179

Get an early start to take the 20-minute bus ride up steep slopes to magnificent Machu Picchu, renown as a wonder of the world. Isolated among mountain peaks, this awe-inspiring site carries sacred mathematical and scientific wisdom yet to be fully discovered. Explore the important sectors full of astronomic explanations, and revel in the beautiful natural setting and ancient ruins. Take bus down to Aguas Calientes to catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and drive back to Pisac. Enjoy dinner upon your return to Pisac Inn.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, D (lunch not included)

Machu Picchu Highlights


Day eight / Friday

Cusco City

Coricancha Cusco Site

After breakfast, drive to Cusco to enjoy a day in the city. Stroll through the streets of Cusco, admire the Inca walls, and visit the Plaza de Armas and the main pre-Colombian Inca Temple, Coricancha. Have a relaxing lunch out on the town in a fine restaurant and shop at boutiques that feature high quality alpaca in contemporary designs, or visit the central market. Upon return to Pisac finish packing and enjoy a special farewell dinner.

Hotel: Pisac Inn Meals: B, D (lunch not included)

Cusco City and Archaeological Highlights


Day nine / Saturday

Departure

Transfer to Cusco airport after breakfast.

Meals: B

*The order of your itinerary may change depending on the day you arrive.

Useful Information

Useful Information

Destinations: The Sacred Valley, Cusco, Amaru & Machu Picchu

Description: High altitude, mountainous terrain with hiking & trekking

Altitudes: Cusco 11,200 ft, Pisac 10,000 ft, Machu Picchu 7,500 ft, Amaru 10,500 ft, Trek 12,500 ft.

Length: 9 days / 8 nights

Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult

Category: Boutique (3 star level)

Journey Series: Trekking Series

Available: Small group or private

Season: All year (Trekking is not recommended in rainy season, January & February) Availability is limited; no daily schedule, not on a daily basis. Prior arrangements are absolutely required.

Pace: Moderate, with time for relaxation

Trek Description: Very high altitude walking with strenuous physical exertion. Camping in rugged conditions, high altitude, with possible intense weather conditions.

Not recommended for people with difficulties walking in high altitude.

Interests: Hiking & trekking, Cultural & Culinary, Andean heritage & worldview, Sacred geometry, astronomy & agronomy

Recommended: Bring layers for drastic temperature changes; be prepared for extreme sun, extreme cold and rain. Bring sunblock and sunhat, and plenty of drinking water. Be prepared for authentic cultural immersion at its height; come with respect, honor and open mindedness as guests invited into a sacred ancestral culture.

Special notes: Photographs are welcome; please do not tip for photos in the community. Photos cannot be used for commercial use or for financial gain without consent of the members of the community. You can bring healthy snacks such as fruit; trail mix etc., or thoughtful gifts to share, though this is not expected. Please do not bring candy, gum, or money to give in the community. If you feel moved to make a gift that will make a difference, please ask about making a donation to support events at their Cultural Center and projects of the Apu Runawana Association.

Bargaining: Textiles will be exhibited offering an amazing opportunity to purchase directly from the weavers. We encourage purchasing their exquisite textiles as a wonderful way of showing appreciation and support, and we highly suggest not bargaining when purchasing hand made, one of kind weavings. We support fair trade prices that honor the time, energy and ancestral knowledge that is invested in each piece, which are unique works of arts. We feel this is an opportunity for travelers to practice respect, reciprocity and solidarity with this ancient culture full of profound values and teachings preserved by them, and that enrich our lives. Each textile you acquire will be personally from the weaver, and we assure that it will carry profound meaning and will be a most special memoir of your journey in Peru.

Dates: We specialize in weaving dream journeys with our guests; therefore we do not have set dates unless it is an organized Special Interest small group. Please contact us directly to check availability and coordinate dates.

Accommodations: This trip is based out of Pisac Inn on the historic plaza of the small town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Small and comfortable, our boutique hotel is charming, full of artistic details that celebrate our local Andean heritage. Settle into your room for the duration of your stay, no packing and unpacking allows you to create a personal relationship to the land and the people.

  • A hotel upgrade is possible for part of the trip.

Meals: This trip includes meals with exclusive daily set menus that are creatively designed and prepared by our chef at the hotel’s restaurant, Cuchara de Palo, The Wooden Spoon. We use the finest local products with the clear intention of exploring the richness of Peruvian cuisine, while celebrating the diversity of legendary and nutritious ingredients that are fresh, organic and native of Peru.

Sitting down for a lovely meal, including a soup or salad, main course, dessert and beverage, is one of our trip highlights, with no dish repeated. We love food, and invite you to savor Peru’s culinary explosion.

Vegetarian and special diet menu’s are available.
Beer, wine and cocktails are available, but are not included in price.
The few meals not included in your program will be eaten out at restaurants recommended by your guide.

Unucha Spa Treatments: Upon return to Pisac Inn after your daily excursions, you can spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring the market, or enjoy a treatment at our Spa before dinner. The treatments are inspired by the ancestral legacy of our pre-Columbian healing tradition. We recommend the herbal bath and massage combo. Reservations are required; space is limited and treatments are not included. Please make appointments ahead of time for any afternoon.

Peru Cultural Journeys: To learn more about our vision, our commitment to socially and environmentally responsible tourism, our cultural projects, and our recent international certifications with TourCert and AENOR click here and see our Sustainability section

Extensions: Add on extensions if you want to explore more areas of Peru.

Travel Information: Click here for information on flights, passport, visa, & immunizations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Please see our FAQ section for more information.

Once you book the trip and make a down payment, we will send you a complete Travel Pack with detailed information, including reading and packing lists.

Prices

  • Starting from $2,150 US dollars per person for a minimum of 6 passengers
  • Pricing according to number of travelers and time of year
  • Private and customized prices upon request

Included:

  • Airport transfers and all ground transportation upon arrival to Cusco airport in a private tourist level vehicle
  • Private, specialized, professional, English speaking native guides on excursion and special events
  • Entrance fees to all historical sites on daily excursions
  • Cultural events with local Andean specialists
  • Fresh, organic meals celebrating Peruvian cuisine in special set menus as on program
  • Charming accommodations at Pisac Inn 6 nights, standard double occupancy
  • Optional visit to our social projects; the Kusi Kawsay Andean School & Kusi Ñan Organic Farm, exceptional educational projects that honor Andean tradition with elements of Waldorf pedagogy; day of visit to be determined depending on final itinerary.
  • Sacred Lakes Trek 2D/1N with local community members of the Apu Runawana in the traditional community of Amaru
  • (see details below)
  • Camping 1 night, standard double occupancy
  • Tourist class train from Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Overnight Aguas Calientes 1 night, standard double occupancy

Not Included:

Airfare, travel insurance, personal expenses, special events not included in program, spa treatments, any tips or donations, meals eaten out as indicated on program, and any snacks or beverages not included at mealtime.

SACRED LAKES TREK Included:

  • Professional English/Spanish speaking guide
  • Local Andean specialist guide from Amaru
  • Participation in communal work day, spinning & weaving demonstration
  • Double Occupancy tents and mattresses
  • Cook, porters and horses to carry food, tents, and cooking gear
  • All meals
  • First aid kit / Oxygen
  • Hot water in the evening and morning for washing purposes, boiled water to fill in your water bottle

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING:

  • Personal Sleeping Bag
  • Backpack and Daypack
  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Trekking poles if required
  • Water bottle (that can hold hot & cold water), flashlight, hat, sun block, sunglasses
  • Warm clothes & light clothes, for variable temperatures and drastic weather changes, very cold conditions at night
  • Warm socks & warm hat
  • Sunhat, sunglasses & sunblock
  • Snacks; energy bars, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, trail mix
  • Insect repellent, tissue, hand wipes
  • Personal medications
  • Chocolates, candies or other snacks
  • Camera + Film/Video camera, batteries (they consume more quickly in the cold)
  • Cash for tips & textiles
  • The cost of our tour is in U.S. dollars per person.
  • Our small group sizes are minimum 6 & maximum 12 passengers, and private groups can be any size, and will be priced accordingly.
  • Prices per person are based on double occupancy – a single room has an additional cost, upon availability.
  • You can customize your trip with hotel upgrades; add on special events, and extensions.
  • Taxes may apply.
  • Programs and prices are subject to change and availability, and may not be applicable on some dates and holiday seasons.