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SUN GATE

As on all Southern Crossings tours, you´re taken care of from beginning to end – airport transfers and domestic flights are included!

The Sun Gate

(Inca Trail section + Lares Trek)

8 days, 3 trekking: US$2850 per person
Domestic flights and porters included
Discount for groups

    Looking for something less expensive?      Econoclass tour $2325…

The Lares Valley is one of the most picturesque in southern Peru, home to high alpine lakes, snowcapped peaks, and traditional weaving and farming communities. Our trip also features hiking within the Machu Picchu sanctuary, including a beautiful section of the classic Inca Trail to the famous Sun Gate.

Day 1: Arrive Lima. City tour today or upon your return.

Day 2: Flight to Cuzco. City and ruins tour.

Day 3-5: Lares Trek.

Day 6-7: Machu Picchu tour, then free day at the site.

Day 8: Flight to Lima / Departure day.


Trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artesan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllanas” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2

A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the fascinating cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Qoricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsaywaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

Day 3

This morning our Lares Valley trek begins. By private transport we make our way from Cuzco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the town of Calca. From here we head up into the mountains on a spectacular road, finally arriving at Lares Pass at 4470m for the drop into the Lares valley. In Quiswarani village, the stating point of our trek while lunch is being served our horsemen will prepare the equipment for our 42km/26m trek.

Our trekking over the next three days offers spectacular views of several peaks over 20,000 ft., passing by pristine glacier lakes and remote native communities. Visits to these native communities are a special feature of the Lares Valley trek, as we learn about the weaving and shepherding traditions of these villagers.

This afternoon we will ascend to the beautiful Queuña Qocha lagoon and tcontinue on to Huillcapunku pass (4400 m.a.s.l.), At the top of the pass we will eat lunch while taking in more spectacular views. Then we will continue hiking until we reach our first campsite in Cuncani Village.

Distance to hike 14km/9m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs a day.
Min altitude 2,900m/9,515ft
Max altitude 4,400m/14,435ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 4

Today will be another amazing day hiking in the Andes mountains of Peru!

Early in the morning we wake up and have breakfast. Then our hike begins and we walk for approximately 4 hours until we reach Chaqchapata where we will have our lunch. After we eat, we will continue the hike for about 2 more hours until we get to the Aruray pass (4450 m.a.s.l.), here we will be able to see the beautiful scenery with snow-capped mountains and and a truly amazing lake.

From this point we will descend to walk by two lagoons and a Polylepis forest. There is a significant change in the scenery before we arrive at our beautiful campsite in Mantanay approx. two hours later.

Distance to hike 16km/10m.
Estimated hike time 8-9 hrs a day.
Min altitude 3,950m/12,959ft
Max altitude 4,450m/14,599ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 5

Mantanay – Yanahuara – Aguas Calientes

After breakfast we will descend to Yanahuara village, in the Sacred Valley, where we will have lunch and also meet our private transport for a short drive to the Ollantaytambo train station where we will hop the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here we will enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant and spend the night in comfortable lodging. Tonight you can visit the medicinal hot springs on your own if you wish.

Distance to hike 12km/7.5m.
Estimated hike time 4-6 hrs a day.
Min altitude 2,700m/8,858ft
Max altitude 3,950m/12,959ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.

Day 6

Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. After your tour you might like to visit the local hot spring. Overnight in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.

Day 7

The extra day at Machu Picchu can be dedicated to day hiking the many miles of Inca road surrounding the site or just relaxing and taking in the views. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Return by train and car to Cusco in the evening.

Day 8

Morning flight from Cuzco back to Lima and a free day in Lima or our included city tour. International flights may depart any time after 2pm.

Is this trip for me?

The Sun Gate/Lares Trek is an eight day tour which includes a moderate trek as well as walking around ruins and during city tours. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being ripped off by airport taxis!

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pickup at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guide
  • All other internal transport – (excluding transport to optional restaurants, bars, sights and excursions)
  • Domestic flights – Lima-Cuzco, Cuzco-Lima
  • Five nights of 3 star hotel accommodation, two nights camping
  • Lares Trek – including bilingual guide, mules, cook, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • All food while on the trek
  • Breakfast – included every morning with your hotel stay
  • Machu Picchu excursion – including bilingual guide, round trip Vistadome or Expedition train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and two-day entrance to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary including Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • The Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket – which includes entrance to the ruins in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, and many churches and museums in Cuzco
  • Private Cusco city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • Private Lima city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • 24 hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.

Extra accommodation

We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip:
In Lima/Cuzco/Machu Picchu: $150 double/$130 single

Extra activities

Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote.  If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes 3 star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four or five star, please ask then we can work it into your custom itinerary.

Single Person Supplement: $800

Please add this to your total payment if you will be travelling alone.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malarial or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

During our trek, mules will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds / 7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the mules. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using a your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course most people also carry a camera.

One should come well prepared for outdoor activity.  A list of things to bring would include:

  • Passport and, if necessary, visa
  • ATM card (notify your bank you will be traveling to Peru)
  • Airline ticket and Travel Insurance Policy
  • Photocopies of airline ticket and documents
  • Wearable pouch for documents and money
  • Sturdy backpack or suitcase
  • Smaller, comfortable day pack
  • Hiking boots or sneakers, comfortable and worn-in
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Sun hat
  • Hat for cold weather
  • Warm clothing for cold weather (think layers)
  • Gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Socks (thin wool or biking socks are best), undergarments
  • Camelback or Nalgene refillable bottle (optional)
  • Flashlight and/or head lamp
  • Sunscreen (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Insect repellent (biodegradable & eco-friendly)
  • Lip balm
  • Earplugs
  • Alarm clock or watch
  • Sanitizing hand wipes or gel
  • Camera / Camera batteries
  • Reading material
  • Toiletries

It is best to bring from home such items as prescription meds, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please bring all used batteries home to recycle!

Climate

Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:

Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cuzco.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain.
Lares Trek: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy, but you probably won’t be cold while hiking. Nights are cold, and there is always the chance of rain.

Baggage

For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru, you are allowed 23 kilos (46 lbs) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older-looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it un-changeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$4-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30. Currency Converter

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