Lares Cultural Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
Description of Lares Cultural Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
This Lares cultural trek to Machu Picchu, Peru, is a lovely lodge to lodge hiking adventure in the Lares mountains near Peru's Sacred Valley. It is a high quality, small group trip for five days, with some additional days to enjoy before and after the trek.
Spend two days in colourful Cusco before heading for the glorious scenery and traditional Sacred Valley mountain villages of the Lares region.
Trek along ancient routes, pass Andean hamlets, meet Peruvian farmers in their colourful traditional dress, take in the stunning mountain views, and in the end, explore the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
A great aspect of this trip is that we are able to give you options of what to do on some days, for example, instead of taking a long hike on day three.
Stay in comfortable yet remote mountain lodges with roaring fires, good cooking, comfy beds, and even a Jacuzzi! Enjoy daily hiking in incredible scenery. Find out about the lives of rural Peruvian in the Andes and at the Viacha community, have lunch cooked under hot stones. See lesser known ruins such as Ancasmarca and Choquecancha and watch out for condors. Explore Ollantaytambo and magical Machu Picchu.
After your Trek you have time in Cusco once again to immerse yourself in the Peruvian culture.
PlanetThe mountain lodges we use on this trek were built on land owned by local communities, and in an environmentally respectful manner.
RESPONSIBLE PRACTICES : Lamay Lodge receives electrical energy through the Electro Sur company, energy-saving light bulbs are used in order to take care of the electricity consumption.
Regarding water we carry out frequent maintenance (all pipes, installations etc.) including trimestral analysis of waste water to ensure it has been effectively treated before entering back into the ecosystem. In Huacahuasi, the supply of electricity also comes from Electro Sur as well as a gas generator, which we use only during operation hours since our guests are not in the lodge all the time. The personnel also use biodegradable materials to clean the lodge.
Our guests follow bridle paths which belong to communities, paths that have been established years ago where wild fauna activity didnít exist. Guests are also given bags to collect any waste they generate along the route in order for it to be recycled in the lodges. Lamay is surrounded by nature where some native flora species exist. In Soraypampa on the Salkantay route, we have a great reforestation project, it will last for 3 years and will reforest 100 hectares of native trees.
Along the route you can appreciate flocks of alpacas and flames of the settlers.
WASTE: The segregation of waste is carried out in the lodges, some of which is gathered by the corresponding municipality and is segregated for final disposal. Other waste is reused, for example, in Lamay lodge wooden fruit boxes are used for planting seeds or to display. The organic gardening and kitchen waste are destined to the compost heap.
Metal water bottles are given to our guests before they start the trek in order to avoid using plastic bottle, cloth snack bags are also given to be filled with dried fruit and nuts which reduces the use of packaging, packed lunches are given in reusable bags along the route.
The company that organises this holiday is a multi award-winning responsible travel company. We try to ensure that nothing we do at home (in UK) or abroad compromises the environment or wildlife or exploits people. We believe in ensuring that travellers are well-informed, as an informed traveller tend to be a more respectful and sensitive traveller. We also believe in giving back to the country, people wildlife and environments which are affected by tourism.
For every person that travels with the company, it plants trees through The Travel Forest initiative. Depending on where they plant and the requirement of the specific area, they plant either indigenous trees or a mix of indigenous and non-native species. Planting non-native seedlings may seem counter-intuitive but doing this can often help any remaining indigenous forest from being cut down (e.g. for fuel) as some non-native trees grow much more quickly than indigenous types. They particularly aim to save ancient or older indigenous forest, through offering an alternative option for fuel requirements of local communities. In addition to this benefit, their Travel Forest initiative helps with such things as planting for water-course retention, soil erosion, shade and even food Ė all depending on what is planted and where. They have planted almost 100,000 trees to date in various degraded locations including the Andean mountains in Peru, northern Tanzania and Malawi. This has always been done in conjunction with the local communities who plant and then tend the seedlings. Trees are far more important to the health of this planet (and us) than many people imagine. This global Travel Forest initiative can and does make a big difference.
The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). We also buy only fair trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. We also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (eg monitors).
As part of our commitment to the environment we have a programme to plant trees in Tanzania, Malawi, Peru etc. through the companyís foundation. This was set up to help alleviate poverty, conserve endangered wildlife, and protect earthís environmental diversity for the benefit of us all. All the projects have a link with tourism in some way, and many benefit the wider world as well as local people, through conserving areas of natural beauty. We donít just look overseas when considering the environment, even at the office the team planted tress in the fields surrounding the buildings to celebrate the companyís 21st birthday in 2019.
As a company we think about our partners overseas carefully. The company ethos is to use properties around the globe that have a similar ethical stance to ourselves. If they can use local suppliers for their provisions, be it food or furnishings then they do, and all offer a variety of menus including vegetarian and vegan/plant-based options. Our partners support the use of solar/renewable energies, and many are looking at ways of switching their current supplies to more eco-friendly options in order to be more efficient. The use of solar, water and air are options in use or being explored, as well as grey water run offs. Energy efficient appliances and practices, card operated in room lighting, low energy bulbs, and a change in laundry practices, are all in operation, and show just a few of the initiatives used. Our partners also use local staff within their properties. Many live on-site in seasonal properties for example reducing the travel emissions of the company, many come from the local villages and communities surrounding the properties. This includes everyone from house keeping to management and the guides that are from the locale.
Due to the nature of the holidays provided by the company, it is impossible to eliminate all flights but where possible we use the minimum flight hours an itinerary can operate with. The packages we have on offer include rail portions in some areas, which keep emissions low, many walking options and shared transportation.
PeopleWorking through a not-for-profit civil association called Yanapana Peru, our partners for this trek are a wonderful company committed to helping communities in remote area of Peru. Their aim is to reduce the often extreme poverty which is found in the Andean highlands. Most of the projects they back are education and health-related, however they also help with income-generating projects such a coffee production, helping local entrepreneurs, or crafts projects.
The mountain lodges on this trek are part-owned by the community of Huacahuasi, and they employ many local people too, so this trek brings funds to remote rural communities. Given this link, it also means that travellers learn about traditional ways of life of the people who live in these mountains, as there is an element of sharing knowledge during the trek.
In Lamay and Huacahuasi more than 95% of workers are from the local community. We have created groups of 5 people, 4 are dedicated to auxiliary works of the lodge and improvement of the community and 1 person is in charge of repopulating border zones of the lodge with native flora. The workers receive work-specific training every year and we also have a higher education sponsorship program with the community of Huacahuasi. Furthermore, we support the community of Huacahuasi in a unique way in that they directly receive a portion of the profits from the lodge, that in turn they can spend on healthcare, education or other needs of the community.
We work with partners on the ground in each destination, and only use local guides. We also primarily promote locally-owned services (hotels etc). We are very clear which accommodations have good environmental and social responsibility credentials. This information is used to ensure that any traveller wanting to ensure they are really making a difference, can choose between one property and another on eco-issues.
We also promote community-owned projects and services where applicable and possible.
The company backs a charity with funds and administration. This is a registered UK charity whose principle aim is to relieve the poverty of indigenous communities in areas outside of the UK which are affected by tourism. The charity backs poverty alleviation, education, cultural preservation and conservation projects within these regions. It has backed schools, clinics, micro-business projects and more. They are currently raising funds for 9 different grassroots projects in nine different counties, which travellers are encouraged to donate to if they would like to give something back.
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