Trekking Lares Mountain
15.07.2016 - 19.07.2016 50 °F
Last week, we took a 4-day trek through the Andes. On day one, we arrived at the Incan village of Písac just in time to see the sunrise over the Sacred Valley.
The Incan city sits high above the Urubamba River on a triangular plateau with plunging cliffs on either side, which was ideal for defense in pre-colonial times.
Researchers believe that Písac was the southern gate of the Sacred Valley as well as the only pass leading to the Incan jungle territories in the North.
Since we were the first to arrive that morning, we were so lucky to explore the ruins all by ourselves!
The most impressive feature is the agricultural terracing , which cups around the mountainside in sweeping arcs.
From there, we drove to the Lares Mountain trailhead in the rural Sacred Valley. Here we are starting the trek.
Lares Mountain is about 40 miles north of Cusco and 35 miles east of Machu Picchu.
The first day of trekking was a gradual ascent along the Urubamba River.
Since we were at a lower altitude, the terrain was lush.
The red you see to the right of the river is a Peruvian woman in typical clothing making yarn by hand from her llamas pictured above.
The Lares Valley is home to many weavers and farmers. This is a house with llama corrals we passed long the way.
Check out this bridge the locals made with sticks and mud.
We camped the first night in Cancha Cancha with some pretty incredible views.
On day two, we were up at dawn for a 7-hour summit of the Lares pass.
We were all smiles for the first few hours.
The terrain went from green to rocky the higher we pushed.
The farmers let their alpaca and llama herds out in the morning to graze and then hike up to bring them down in the evenings.
We began to think of these llamas as summit cheerleaders!
There were also many incredible glacial lakes.
When we turned a corner and saw a glacier, we knew we were getting close.
We were thrilled when we made it to the top!
During our descent, we passed this beautiful waterfall just before it started to rain.
On day four, we were lucky to wake up to sun as we hiked the final 8 miles.
We walked along the Urubamba River to the Lares village thermal springs.
Here's our group after shot, following a soak in the hot pools.
Our trek over Lares Mountain was an amazing journey, and a rewarding challenge we will never forget.
Stay tuned for our final post from Peru: Machu Picchu!