Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP), well respected for their high quality hiking and horseback riding tours complemented by guest lodging in world-class mountain lodges, has announced the addition of a new hiking program along the Lares Adventure to Machu Picchu and in the Urubamba Valley, “Sacred Valley of the Incas,” with exclusive accommodations in three new lodges.
The Lares Trail, a wonderful alternative to the more heavily traveled Inca Trail, is noted for its cultural attractions, including traditional weavers attired in colorful dress, roving herds of alpacas and llamas, and a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and glacial lakes. The new mountain lodges, built in the towns of Lamay and Ollantaytambo and in the rural community of Huacahuasi, serve as deluxe “base camps” forday hikes in the surrounding environs. Guests may join a fixed departure or exclusive group from Cuzco, complete with an expert guide who will be with the group for the entire journey to Machu Picchu.
An extensive network of trails throughout the region lead to traditional Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where guests can meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past, and to spectacular Inca archaeological sites including Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle. The lodge at Ollantaytambo is also an excellent gateway to visiting the spectacular site of Machu Picchu. More challenging trails bring guests to remote passes with views of Andean peaks, with the occasional condor soaring above. Two programs (7-day and 5-day) are designed to offer different hikes daily for a variety of experience and abilities.
Established in 2001, MLP began offering tourism services at destinations along the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu in 2008, and currently operates five deluxe mountain lodges primarily catering to travelers from the United States and Europe. MLP's lodges on the Lares Trail and in the Sacred Valley will be an extension of these same facilities, with architecture designed to blend into the existing landscape, reducing their visual impact to a minimum, and the use of local materials—stone, adobe, wood, and straw—that reflect the region's traditional construction. The lodges are also energy efficient, with high-performance solar and space water heaters.