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Into the Incan Wild

Trekking Lares Mountain

all seasons in one day 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.

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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.

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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.

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Since we were the first to arrive that morning, we were so lucky to explore the ruins all by ourselves!

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The most impressive feature is the agricultural terracing , which cups around the mountainside in sweeping arcs.

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From there, we drove to the Lares Mountain trailhead in the rural Sacred Valley. Here we are starting the trek.

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Lares Mountain is about 40 miles north of Cusco and 35 miles east of Machu Picchu.

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The first day of trekking was a gradual ascent along the Urubamba River.

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Since we were at a lower altitude, the terrain was lush.

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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.

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The Lares Valley is home to many weavers and farmers. This is a house with llama corrals we passed long the way.

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Check out this bridge the locals made with sticks and mud.

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We camped the first night in Cancha Cancha with some pretty incredible views.

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On day two, we were up at dawn for a 7-hour summit of the Lares pass.

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We were all smiles for the first few hours.

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The terrain went from green to rocky the higher we pushed.

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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.

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We began to think of these llamas as summit cheerleaders!

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There were also many incredible glacial lakes.

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When we turned a corner and saw a glacier, we knew we were getting close.

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We were thrilled when we made it to the top!

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During our descent, we passed this beautiful waterfall just before it started to rain.

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On day four, we were lucky to wake up to sun as we hiked the final 8 miles.

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We walked along the Urubamba River to the Lares village thermal springs.

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Here's our group after shot, following a soak in the hot pools.

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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!

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Posted by wintermaasz 14:27 Archived in Peru

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Wow It is beautiful! What an experience and an accomplishment!

by alan wintermeyer

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