Depart Cusco early by road into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your first stop is at Pisac, a compact colonial town set in the shadow of magnificent Inca ruins, famous for its artisan market. A perusal of the richly woven textiles, bags and traditional clothing gives you a taste of the cultural delights yet to come. There’s a hiking option in the exquisite countryside of this fertile river valley, hemmed in by rugged, icy peaks.
Peru is the home of the potato and this region is famous for its many varieties. Enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha. You can drive or hike for three hours over a mountain pass at 4,328m to get there. Learn about its age-old potato cultivation techniques and be treated to an Inca ‘pachamanca’ meal, a medley of meats cooked under hot stones. Afterwards you will visit the Pisac archaeological complex, with the sun setting behind the peaks.
Spend the night at Lamay Lodge, 2,958m, in the rustic adobe village of the same name, sitting at the foot of rugged cliffs, too steep to bear vegetation. Like the other lodges operated by Peruvian firm Mountain Lodges of Peru, in conjunction with local communities, the cosy lodge is exclusive to you and any other guests on your current adventure. There are currently only 8 rooms - all on the ground floor - accepting visitors at the moment; each has its own terrace overlooking a flowery garden. Your bed is comfy and warm, and the shower hot and powerful: just what you need after a day spent outdoors. The Peruvian-style meals served here as at the other accommodation are nutritious and well presented. Lunches on hikes too are more than just a sandwich: fresh, hot meals are served in little camps set up in scenic locations.