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Which Lares route should do?

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Canberra, Australia
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Which Lares route should do?

My husband and I are going to Peru in June and want to do the Lares Trek. However, in researching which company to go with I have discovered there are four different Lares routes you can take, two of which appear to be the most common offered by trekking companies. I'd appreciate any advice on which is the best route to do - I am looking at either 1. Weaver's Way (Lares thermal springs to Patacancha to Machu Picchu) trek OR 2. the Huaran (Sacred Valley) to Lares to Machu Picchu trek. I'd really love to hear from someone who's done the second one as I haven't been able to find many reviews on that one.

Thurso, United...
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1. Re: Which Lares route should do?

I am like you - i am searching for info on this too - I think the weavers way is the easiest if that is any help - i think the rest are slightly more difficult but to what degree i am unsure!

Cusco, Peru
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2. Re: Which Lares route should do?

HI,

Ihave done 4 of them and even there is morethan 4 actually the the one that starts at the hotsprings , huacawasi and ollantaytambo is the most common one that many people do. here are my two nicest hikes there is.

Cusco yanahuara by Bus and walk up for 3 hours along the nice valley and lunch then one more hour to get the cap site which is a village call cancha cancha where you ahve chance to share yourlife with locals and see a lot of alpacas this day is sor of easy. the second Day coca tea wake up and breakfast and we climb to the hihest mountain is about 4 hours to go up to the pass then of course a long the way you have spectacular views of snop capped mountains, rivers, lakes hundreds of llamas and alpacas and nice traditional houses you can take some pen, pencils notebooks as present for the kids and you can share with them is always important to encorage kids to study ( not candys) once you arrived to the top you feel like you have overtaken the mountains is so nice there, then you walk around 2 hours down hill where you have lunch with a nice views and lakes and of course nice waterfalls too, then you will walk 2 more hours down hill in order to arrive to this camp call quiswarani, quiswarani is the main weaver village in the lares area, here you can visit one familys house to see how they live in the traditional house just like Incas did where your guide explains about a lot of things also you can get some memories of alpaca hand made crafts here you can invite some local kids to share perhaps some food with is great experience here is also nice spot to see some diferent tipes of farmig sistem that locals do. the next iis only 2 hours down hill to the end of the trek so if you want you can visit to the hot springs because is only 30 minutes bus drive to get there and 3 more houra after hot springs bus drive to get ollantaytambo where you can atch the train to agus calientes and arrive in the evening hotel that night and the next day to Machu picchu and back to Cusco. this is really nice hike, the other one is mor challenging but offers nice views too the one that stars at quiswarani , cuncani and yanahura that seems to be crowded because only the big companys do that way. hope this helps you a little thanks for your time. I was rise around lareas area and im a tour guide now that have taken many visitors to machupicchu

Edited: 16 March 2012, 01:26
Canberra, Australia
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3. Re: Which Lares route should do?

Thank you very much, that's really helpful. It sounds as though the first trek you describe is the one I was leaning towards. I think I will go ahead with that trek many thanks for making this decision easier

Cusco, Peru
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4. Re: Which Lares route should do?

Hi,

Hope this helped you out with your decicions and if you need more info you can contacted us too

Edited: 16 March 2012, 23:34
Cusco, Peru
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5. Re: Which Lares route should do?

Bringing pencils etc for the kids is not a good idea. I know people think it is nice but really it just encourages begging. This happens the world over and the kids in Lares have changed tremendously in that aspect over the last few years. First time I trekked there they were just nice curious kids, but by the next year as more and more companies came into the area they soon started to ask for things and associate gringos and trekkers with presents.

So please do not make it worse

As for routes there are indeed lots but as everywhere most companies tend to offer the same ones. The weavers way is a made up name for promotional purposes and I have seen a number of routes called that..

Let me try and explain the lie of the land:

Lares is an area of mountains sandwiched between two valleys. One valley is better known as the sacred valley and the other valley most would call the lares valley. The sacred valley consists of the river urubamba which runs past Ollantaytambo ( train station for trains to Macchu Picchu) and heads eventually onto Macchu Picchu. The Lares valley by contrast is rather more remote. So your choice is start in the sacred valley and trek across to Lares ending up at the hot springs. Which is great but if you want to go to Machu Picchu you are the wrong side of the mountains. Or alternatively drive from Cusco to the start in Lares valley and trek across the mountains to end up in the sacred valley , thus ideally placed for the train from Ollantaytambo to Macchu Picchu.

You ask specifically about two routes: Lares to Patacancah first. This goes from Lares ( a 4 hour drive from Cusco) to the sacred valley, coming in just above the town of Ollantaytambo.This is the route that most companies started in Lares with and it is quite pretty still but nowhere near as nice as it used to be for a few reasons. One trekkers and agencies have left rubbish in the streams and lakes. 2. Patacancha is a great example of a traditional village completely ruined by progress. It used to be famous as a great village to visit to see Andean life and weaving etc. But with progress came development and it is to be honest a roadside badly developed ugly place now, no planning, tin roofs, So I do not recommend that route

Huaran to Lares: this starts about an hour from Cusco and ends up at Lares, so you get the big drive at the end, you are wrongly placed for Macchu Picchu but you do get the hot springs to finish.

Anymore questions just ask away

The Huaran route is harder, it starts at 2900m and the high pass is 4600m

Lares Patacancha starts at 3200m and the high pass is 4490m. This is a bit less steep than the first option and breaks you in more gently too, whereas going from Huaran you just climb hard straight from the off.

Personally I think the best route that is commonly offered at present is the one that starts Lares side and comes out in the sacred valley at Yanahuara. The high pass is 4607m but it is one of the steadiest climbs in the lares region. Some agencies start from Lares hots springs, so you basically walk up the valley over the pass then down, others start from Quishuarani which is one of the valleys that run roughly 90 degrees to the sacred and lares valley ( not quite but easiest way to imagine it).

So if starting from Quishuarani you cross a 4400m pass going west to east before crossing the Yanahuara pass north to south- you get an extra pss to climb which is either good or bad depending on what you like. Beautiful route scenically, very long downhill though ( as would Huaran route done direction Lares Huaran)

Edited: 21 March 2012, 05:30
Toronto
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6. Re: Which Lares route should do?

I'm coming to Peru for three weeks from mid-December to early-January with my wife and two boys (ages 8 & 11). We'd like to do a 3 day / 2 night trek -- either from the Cusco or Araquepa area.. Can anyone recommend a route (and guide/agency?) that would be suitable for young people? We'd like to avoid narrow paths on steep slopes, for instance.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Jamie

7. Re: Which Lares route should do?

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Cusco, Peru
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8. Re: Which Lares route should do?

First of all when you say 3D/2N bear in mind when you look at treks on websites most agencies include going to Macchu Picchu in their itineraries so the say 4D/3N is generally 2 and a half days trekking, 2 nights trekking and the rest is visiting Macchu Picchu.

Lares region would be the obvious choice. The paths are generally not too precipitous and you take horses on the trek so on booking mention the children to the agency and make sure they have the option to jump onto a horse if they get tired walking.

Also the local villagers will love to see kids trekking through their area so you will be made most welcome and there are lots of kids around in the villages which may be interesting for your kids to see how different life is for kids here.

There is also vehicle access to most of the camps so while that does not mean you will be seeing vehicles it does mean that should it come to needing to evacuate you have the extra reassurance that a vehicle can get in and evacuate ( for some with kids that may be important for others it is not a worry at all). Horses are also used to evacuate people should it ever be needed so Lares is a very safe area to trek in really.

Not sure what your kids are like at trekking but the routes that go from Lares to Huaran or to Yanahuara both have big downhills on them which I think would be hard for kids and they are a bit gravelly so not great for riding horses down either. A route that comes out above Ollantaytambo, say Patacancha or Pumamarca has a gentler desent and indeed a shorter descent.

Are you thinking about joining group trek or a private one. If the latter you can basically tailor your route.

One more valid point that applies to Lares routes: Huaran, Pumahuanca and Yanahuara are used as starting points by some companies- these are in the sacred valley and are much warmer than Lares. So starting here makes the ascent harder because you will be ascending in the heat. Starting from Lares you descend to these places in the heat instead, and get to ascend in the cool

Toronto
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9. Re: Which Lares route should do?

Thanks for the quick response! Can you tell me if these routes are along the edges of a cliff? We're happy to go with a group or privately. Lastly, can you recommend an operator?

Cusco, Peru
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10. Re: Which Lares route should do?

These routes are not along cliff edges- Lares is far more secure feeling in that aspect than say the Inca Trail which has a lot of big drop offs along the edge of the path.

Looking at operators, personally I would maybe do a private tour and tailor it a bit to my own specific needs if I went with my kids: It would be interesting to see if anyone on the forum has come and trekked Lares with kids as a visitor it would be interesting to hear their experiences. Yes there are people I could recommend but I am interested to see if anyone else has that specific experience of trekking lares with kids with a particular company