Machu Picchu & The Lares Valley, Tesco trek for Diabetes – Kieran McCartney

Machu Picchu via the Lares Valley

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Machu Picchu & The Lares Valley is a unique alternative to the touristy Inca Trail. Off the beaten track, this trek offers a unique glimpse of the Peruvian way of life as you explore untouched Peru in its natural beauty.

Starting off in the Inca capital of Cusco, we had the opportunity to experience the busier side of Peru, its vibrant colours and the Spanish influences on the city. All this while having the opportunity to acclimatise to the high altitude. Staying in the heart of the city, in an amazing hotel, which set the scene for what was to be an incredible experience.

The next day we travelled outside the city to see both Inca and pre Inca sites with our local guides Jose and Edwar. Both so proud to share the historical sites with us. All this followed by a picturesque lunch next to a lake before going to a local village where we visited an amazing church “Ruta del Barroco Andion” which was lavished in gold inside. After another night in Cusco, we prepared ourselves for the challenge which was ahead of us.

From Cusco we travelled into Peru’s sacred Valley to begin our 4 day trek to Machu Picchu which means “Old Mountain” in the Quechua language. Traversing its striking mountain range, where we met the local Andean people in their bright traditional dress and the farmers tending to their Llamas & Alpacas. The views were simply breath-taking, with each day offering something new from snow-capped peaks to glacial blue lakes.

Staying in tents added to this magical experience, adding to the sense of adventure. Something some of us found harder than others. However we had the support of an amazing team of guides, porters, drivers and cooks that took care of our every need. And with an opportunity to unwind at a local hot spring came as a nice surprise.

An early rise for the morning train, where we disembarking at KM 104 and where our trek joins the latter part of the classic Inca trail. With our permits checked we began to make our way through the cloud forest, climbing along the mountainside, taking in the spectacular views. Before we knew it we could see Inca ruins nestled high up in the Andes and our goal before lunch. Just amazing how these spectacular structures were even built. As we continued on trekking the lost city of the Inca’s was revealed to us tucked between two peaks. An image that is so iconic to Machu Picchu. A real sense of achievement was felt by all when we arrived.

The following day was an opportunity to explore the Machu Picchu ruins with our guides and a further opportunity to get in some more pics. Once the tour was over, 4 brave souls took on Machu Picchu mountain and its many steps all the way to the top. Certainly a challenge but one that was well worth it once we had reached the summit. Words can’t even explain the views. Having made our way down we got the train back to Cusco. A train journey like none that I had ever taken before, with a fashion show and dancing, not to mention the stunning scenery. One last night in Cusco where we had a celebration dinner and a final farewell to of Peruvian guides. A trip of a lifetime leaving you wanting to explore even more of this amazing world!!!!!

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