Explore Peru: Lares Trek and Inca trail, an Authentic Fusion of Culture and Nature

9 Days
May - November
From $4,450

Explore Peru: Lares Trek and Inca trail, an Authentic Fusion of Culture and Nature

Hike the Lares Trek and one day on the Inca Trail

Explore Cusco and Mountain Bike or Hike the Sacred Valley

Ancient Inca Trails criss-cross the Andes and weave a tapestry of history, culture, ruins, and mystery throughout Peru. Our new Inca Trail Experience combines the stunning Lares Inca Trail with one of Bio Bio Expeditions’ core values: to provide our guests with the most authentic adventure experience while engaging in sustainable, regenerative tourism.

Our new itinerary combines the multi-day Lares Trek with the famous final approach of the classic Inca Trail through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu. By trekking the Lares route, we avoid the crowded, mismanaged classic Inca Trail and are rewarded with a remote wilderness and cultural experience while providing a source of work and income for the Quiswarani tribe. This Peruvian adventure combines the stunning majesty of the high Andes terrain with the rich history of the ancient Inca while engaging with, and supporting, their descendants.

Before we hop on the trail, we spend few days in Cusco, acclimatizing and exploring the many ruins and sites that are so unique to the city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire! We then travel to the Sacred Valley where we bike or hike through the Peruvian countryside, stopping to see Maras salt mines and the Moray ruins, a large-scale agricultural research area.

All of these experiences combined will give you a true sense of the magic of Peru!

Lares Trek: Dive Deep into Andean Life
●Natural Marvels: Traverse breathtaking valleys with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and pristine lakes, all framed by ancient Inca pathways.
●Cultural Immersion: Engage with communities that seem to be stopped in time, where traditions persist, and weaving is an art passed down through generations. Stay at Mauro Quispe’s home in the quaint Quiswarani hamlet and get a genuine taste of Andean life.
●Scenic Diversity: Marvel at serene lakes like Condereancocha and Hatuncocha against majestic peaks such as Pitusiray and Sahuasiray.

One-Day Inca Trail: Walk the Path of Legends
●Historical Significance: Tread the historic path connecting the ancient Inca Empire to the iconic Machu Picchu.
●Archaeological Wonders: Delve into Inca masterpieces like Chachabamba and the intricate Wiñay Wayna, and of course, Machu Picchu, reflecting the zenith of Inca engineering.
●The Grand Entrance: Traverse a vibrant cloud forest, home to over 300 orchid species, and make your grand entry to Machu Picchu via the awe-inspiring Sun Gate.

Regenerative Tourism: Journeys with Purpose
Impact Lives: Your journey reaches beyond exploration; it extends a helping hand to local communities, strengthening their economy, preserving traditions, and financing our sustainability initiatives.
●Huaypo Project: For over 15 years, we’ve reveled in the enchantment of the Huaypo lagoon. A couple years ago, we decided to take it upon ourselves and uplift the indigenous communities around Huaypo Lake. So far, this educational project has served over 200 children, providing them with high-speed internet, playgrounds, and cold-protective gear. Each guest embarking on this Lares Trek + One-Day Inca Trail journey will receive a certificate for their contribution.

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco, the Inca Capital of the Andes
Your journey begins in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and cultural heritage of humanity. At the airport, a guide will welcome and accompany you to your hotel. The city of Cusco is located at 3,300 meters above sea level, so we recommend you rest a little to acclimatize optimally. In the afternoon, discover one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America, full of archeological remains and colorful colonial neighborhoods, witnesses of the passage of time and the events that shaped the history of Peru.

Meals included on Day 1: None*
*Lunch and dinner reservations can be arranged depending on the arrival times. Paid directly by guests.

A few words about Cusco…
If the Incas were the Romans of pre-Columbian America, Cusco was their Rome. The Incas built a vast empire that stretched from modern Ecuador and Colombia to southern Chile. The empire, much larger in size than any previous new-world empire, was called Tawantinsuyo (the “Four Quarters of the Earth”). Cusco was the heart of the empire, and its exact center was considered to be the main square of the city. Today, Cusco is still laid out much as it was in Inca times. Seen from above, it takes the form of a puma, with the river Tullumayo forming its spine, the ruins of Sacsayhuaman the head, and the main city center the body. The center, or torso, was a tongue of land bordered on the east side by the Tullumayo and on the west by the Huatanay. These two rivers now run under concrete. Cusco was more than just a capital city to the Incas and the millions of subjects in their realm. Cusco was a holy city, a place of pilgrimage that was as important to the Quechuas as Mecca is to Moslems.

Cusco is a thriving marketplace where goods and services of all kinds tempt the eye and the pocketbook. The city has an impact on all the senses: sounds greet the ears and the aromas of spicy local kitchens tantalize the nose. The colorful locals draw our attention as they display their wares. Merchants smile and make a sale with characteristic cheerfulness. A good place to take it all in is the central “Plaza De Armas”, where on the second floor balconied terraces of the many restaurants, you can enjoy a beer or a cool drink and see the action from above.

Day 2: Discover Cusco´s Inca sites, Awanacancha Camelid Center & Pisac Town
Before heading to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit the most iconic archeological site on the city´s highest point: Sacsayhuaman, the most important ceremonial fortresses built by the Incas during their heyday in Cusco.

Then, continue to Awanacancha, a camelid center where you will appreciate these fascinating animals: llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos, this is a great introduction to the Andean culture. On the way you will discover the Andes, the longest mountain range on the planet, inhabited by legendary indigenous communities and areas untouched by modernity. In the following days, this place will allow you to connect with many different ways of seeing the world.

We then visit the Pisac handicraft market, famous for bringing together artisans from neighboring communities. Immerse yourself in the colorful world of Andean ceramics, jewelry, and textiles.

Meals included on Day 2: Breakfast
Lunch and dinner paid directly by guests

Day 3: Mountain Biking through Moray Inca lab & Maras Salt Ponds. Walking options available
Explore one of the most beautiful areas of the Sacred Valley on Specialized bikes, 29” rim, disc brakes, and double suspension. You will ride from the town of Cruzpata, through vast and colorful crop fields with spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of Verónica and Chicón, towards the circular terraces of Moray, an ancient center of agricultural experimentation. If biking is not your thing, walking options available.

Then you will continue biking to the famous salt mines of Pichingoto, an impressive conglomerate of over three thousand wells where salt has been stored since the time of the Inca Empire to the present day. After exploring them, depending on how you feel, you can continue riding on a “single track” to Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Enjoy a luxury picnic in the outdoors under the deep blue sky and surrounded by the snow-capped peaks and mountains found in this beautiful place in the Andes.

Meals Included on Day 3: Breakfast and lunch.
Dinner paid directly by guests.

Fast Facts
Duration: 6 hours with lunch
Best for: Intermediate bikers

Overview Day 4-8: 5 days, 4 nights: Lares Trek & One Day Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
Not often explored by travelers visiting Peru, this trek takes us to the heart of high Andean native communities and gives us the unique opportunity to learn more about its inhabitants’ lifestyle and millenary traditions.

You will cross different valleys for three days, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and lakes, while traveling along ancient Inca trails.

Lastly, travel the last 13 km. (8 mi.) of the legendary Inca Trail that takes you to Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of Inca architecture and engineering and considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Along the way, explore archeological remains, cross the “Intipunku” (Sun Gate) and enter through a cloud forest into this sacred sanctuary.

Fast Facts
Duration: 5 days, 4 nights with 2 nights camping, 2 nights at hotels
Total Length:
Lares: 24 kilometers (14.9 miles). Click here for Lares Trek altitude & distance graph
One day Inca Trail: 13 km (8 miles) Click here for Inca Trail altitude & distance graph
Best For: Intermediate and seasoned hikers
Altitude: Max: 4,650 m / 15,250 ft

Day 4: Day 1 of trek – Cuncani to Quiswarani
Our trek begins in the Lares Valley at Cuncani community, where the surroundings feel wonderfully untouched by modernity. From there, we’ll make our way along three mountain lakes and passes until we arrive at Mauro Quispe’s home, a cornerstone of the remote Quiswarani hamlet, and an esteemed friend of Bio Bio Expeditions.

Mauro’s hospitality offers a genuine taste of Andean life. Besides working the land and cattle for subsistence, Mauro’s family are skilled weavers, which you’ll witness firsthand.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Overnight: Camp at Quiswarani community (camping)

Day 5: Day 2 of trek – Quiswarani to Cancha Cancha
Wake up to the serenity of the Andes. After saying goodbye to the Quiswarani community, we’ll hike along the lakes of Condereancocha and Hatuncocha. As we journey on, the majestic peaks of Pitusiray, Sahuasiray, Colquecruz, Chicón, and Helancoma offer a breathtaking backdrop.

We then traverse the Pachacutec pass before descending towards the Cancha Cancha community. Here, stone houses and farmyards with llamas and alpacas provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the Andes residents.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Overnight: Camp at Cancha Cancha community (camping)

Day 6: Day 3 of trek – Cancha Cancha to Huaran’s Ravine
Starting in the heart of Cancha Cancha, we bid farewell to this magical community and trek down an ancient Inca trail. Passing through a lush valley and crop fields, we finally reach the neighborhood of Huaran, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There, we’ll have lunch by the river. This marks the end of our journey through one of Peru’s most scenic treks. Transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley: Casa Andina Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch. Dinner paid directly by guests.

Day 7: Day 4 of trek – One Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Early morning transfer from the hotel to Ollantaytambo train station. A train will take you directly to Km 104 (Mile 64), the starting point of the trek. Along the way, with a spectacular view of the Urubamba Valley, visit the remains of Chachabamba and the impressive archeological complex of Wiñay Wayna, built by the Inca Pachacutec in the fifteenth century.

Continue hiking through one of the best-preserved sections of the Inca Trail, cross a cloud forest with abundant flora and fauna, including more than 300 types of orchids, until you reach the Sun Gate. Enter through the gate and be amazed by the majestic Inca citadel, an image that will surely remain in your memory forever.

Take the 25-minute bus ride from the Sacntuary down to Aguas Calientes, where your hotel is located.

Overnight in Machu Picchu town: El Mapi Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 8: Machu Picchu & return to Cusco city
After a bus ride up to the Inca citadel, leisurely explore Machu Picchu and discover the history of Peru as you walk through squares, temples, fountains, monuments, and residences of what once was the most important religious, political, and cultural center of the Inca Empire.

Optionally, climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain (extra fee) or the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, two natural viewpoints with striking views of the entire citadel.

In the afternoon, board the Vistadome train back to the Sacred Valley where a car will be waiting to take you back to Cusco city.

Overnight in Cusco: Casa Andina Premium
Meals included: Breakfast.
Lunch and dinner paid directly by guests.

Day 9: Transfer To The Airport
Our expedition came to an end and its time to say good-bye! The boat transfer departs the lodge at 8am, arriving at 10am in Puerto Maldonado. Transfer to the airport on time for your flight back to Lima.


Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Property Overview
The hotel is located just 5 minutes away from the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) of Cusco and a few steps away from the main tourist attractions of the city. It’s a beautiful 17th-century house that will transport you to the Republican era of Peru with its colonial courtyards and balconies. The hotel has 93 well-equipped rooms as well as the Alma Restaurant & Bar which offers an enjoyable breakfast buffet and a varied menu.

Superior Room (Two Full Beds)
This is a 28 m² comfortable room with 2 full-size beds, a safe-deposit box, air conditioning, and free wifi. It radiates a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy a peaceful rest.
Superior Double Room (King Bed)
This is a 19.8 m² comfortable room with a king bed, a safe-deposit box, air conditioning, desk or breakfast table, and free Wi-Fi. A great option for couples. It radiates a cozy atmosphere where you will have an unforgettable experience.


Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Property Overview
The hotel is located in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, only 40-minutes away from the town of Aguas Calientes and 30-minutes from the city of Cusco. This is a cozy environment in the middle of the Urubamba Valley. Alma Restaurant & Bar offers a breakfast buffet and a wide range of dishes. There are games available for children and they can also feed the sheep.

Superior Double Room
You can view the mountains of the Sacred Valley from the balcony of this 32 m² comfortable room that has all the amenities you need to have a great time. It’s ideal for friends or couples with children looking for a comfortable and functional atmosphere to stay in.


El Mapi

The hotel is conveniently located in the village of Machu Picchu (formerly Aguas Calientes) some steps from the town center and Museum. Discover an efficient, lively and friendly atmosphere, welcoming guests expecting an unfussy, down-to-earth break. The flowing lobby creates a sense of vitality. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and an open café allow natural light to filter between tall eucalyptus dried branches, creating an ambience of order and wellbeing. Relax in a pleasant and wholesome ambience after your enlightening visit to Peru’s most famous destination: the Machu Picchu Archaeological site.


Please note: lodging may change depending on availability

Trip Length: 9 Days
Trip Price:

From $4,450 per person, based on double occupancy

Upon registering for the trip, please send a clear, scanned copy of your passport so that we can obtain your Inca Trail permit!

Deposit: $1,000


U.S. citizens are required to have a passport that is valid for 6 months after your travel dates begin.The Inca Trail requires a permit. The passport you give Bio Bio to get this permit MUST match the passport you have with you when you are in Peru. If, for any reason, you get a new passport, it is of vital importance that you tell us and send us a copy of the new passport. This situation can arise if you, perhaps, lose your passport, get married and change your name, or use different names on different documents.Return to top of page


You are responsible for booking all flights, international as well as domestic.  However, if you need help, please feel free to call or email the Bio Bio office.

One travel agent we often use is:
G&G Travel | Gilda Gutierrez

Flying In…The tour officially begins in Cusco on Day 1. You will fly into Lima and then transfer to a domestic flight. Please try not to arrive in Cusco before 10:00 AM as your hotel room will not be ready and most things are closed in the city. You may want to fly in the day before and spend the night in Lima.  We can arrange a hotel for that evening if you prefer, or we can arrange extra nights for you in Cusco.

Flying Out…You can fly out of Cusco to Lima and then home all on the last day. We suggest spending a big part of the day in Cusco and then departing Cusco in the early evening. Or you can choose to spend more time in either of these cities and fly home at a later date. We are happy to help you arrange tours and lodging.
When you leave Lima, there is a departure tax of approximately US$30.

Miami to Lima: 5:25 hrs
Lima to Cusco: 1.5 hrs

Peru is on Central Standard Time


Baggage Allowance and Suggested Gear

Please see what restrictions your airline imposes, as the rules and allowances are constantly changing. Typically you are allowed two checked bags up to 50 Lbs each, plus one carry on bag and a purse.

You will be provided with one soft duffle bag when you arrive to Cusco to pack all your gear for the Inca trail. The porters will carry this duffle bag. Your suitcase will be left at the hotel with non-trekking clothes and items – while your suitcases are kept in safe storage we still recommend using a lock on your suitcase.  Keep all important documents, including your passport, with you in your daypack. Please note that your Inca Trail bag with your camping gear will have a weight limit of 18 lbs! This is required by law in Peru to protect the porters. That does not include your tent which will be carried in a different bag.

  • Sleeping bag: A 20 or 30-degree bag is warm enough,  a compression stuff-sack is helpful to save space.
  • Sleeping pad: This is very important, and not something you want to skimp on. Thermarest makes a good inflatable pad. We can rent Thermarest pads for you in Peru if you’d like. Please let us know in advance so we can reserve them.
  • Camp pillow or stuff sack to use as a pillow
  • Travel Clothing: 2-3 pairs of pants and 4-5 shirts that are lightweight and quick drying.  A long skirt or nice pants are also nice for special dinners in towns.
  • A day backpack: We recommend that you carry the following items in your daypack:  water, sunglasses, camera and film, extra layers in case the weather turns cool, flashlight/headlamp/blister kit, any prescription medications you use, your passport, sun hat, warm hat, sunscreen.
  • Flashlight and or headlamp, extra batteries. The days are 12 hours long on the equator so it will get dark around 6:00pm.
  • Toiletry kit, personal medicines – particularly allergy and diabetic prescriptions, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, lotion, bug repellent.
  • Rain jacket and pants– lightweight Gortex or similar.
  • Shoes 2 pairs– One pair for city visits, towns, villages. One pair of lightweight hiking shoes for hiking.
  • 1 fleece light or mid weight – for layering or a lightweight wool sweater.
  • 1 fleece zip up mid weight jacket
  • 2 pairs long underwear – synthetic material both top and bottom
  • 2 or 3 T-shirts
  • Hiking pants of synthetic material or fleece pants: 1 pair of pants that are comfortable to hike in, smart pants by Exoffico or similar that have zip off options.
  • Hiking shorts
  • Down Jacket: The temperature at certain camps can drop below freezing and a warm down jacket as well as multiple layers of fleece are important to have.
  • Wide brimmed sun hat
  • Lotion and sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent – minimum recommended 20%deet (Jungle Juice) please note: no instances of malaria have ever been registered on this trip.
  • Camera and batteries – back up memory cards and batteries
  • Personal Snacks- You will be provided with great snacks (energy bars, trail mix, fruits) everyday and delicious food on the Inca Trail. Only bring snacks if you have a have a favorite kind or personal preference.
  • Swim Suit
  • H2O bottle (water bottle or camelback) key item! You should have at least a 2-liter water carrying capacity. Filtered water is provided. You will be able to refill your bottles in the morning, at lunchtime and when you arrive to the camp in the afternoon.
  • 2 heavy duty trash bags to keep your camp gear dry inside your duffel (and later for laundry)
  • Ziplock bags: several sizes to help organize your camp items, lotions, socks, underwear, etc.
  • Moist Towlettes: for personal cleaning
  • Small towel for washing up at camp
  • Trekking Poles (optional) – must have rubber tips on the bottom to protect the trail

*Remember when packing your carry-on bag to bring any medications needed as well as any toothpaste or lotions in a plastic zip loc bag for security.  You may want to bring a toothbrush on your overnight flight as well as a change of clothing.

BioBio Expeditions has partnered with Tahoe Mountain Sports, our local outfitter, to help you collect the gear needed for your upcoming adventure! Use the promo code BioBio1 at checkout and receive 15% off all full priced items in your shopping cart. Click this LINK to see some products offered at TMS that are on your packing list or visit their online store at: http://www.tahoemountainsports.com



Peru is typical of many South American countries in that it effectively operates a dual-currency system. Both the US dollar (dólares) and the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (soles) are in circulation and although the government prefers people to use soles, most sizeable purchases are made in dollars. In practice, this means that anything costing more than, say, a meal in a nice restaurant, is paid for in dollars. The Nuevo Sol is perfectly stable so you don’t have to worry about inflation problems during your stay!

Extra Expenses

You are responsible for some meals as stipulated in the itinerary. These meals will cost between $5 and $25. And of course, you can go all out at a high-end restaurant. For meals that are included, you will need to pay for your own alcohol. You will also need money for gifts and tipping.


Plus, Cirrus and other networks connecting ATMs are available in Peru. The exchange rates you get when withdrawing from cash machines are standard. This is the approach we usually recommend. Cash machines dispense both dollars and soles and most accept the major debit cards. Be aware of counterfeit currency and avoid being followed to and from an ATM machine! Go in pairs!

Credit Cards

If your credit card has been programmed with a PIN, it’s likely you can use your card at Peruvian ATMs to withdraw money as a cash advance. Always ask your bank before you leave home about the number of withdrawals you may make abroad, the limit each day, and also let them know where you are going so they do not put a hold on your card. You may be charged a fee for each transaction.

Most of the bigger restaurants and shops accept credit cards. If you have American Express, Visa, Master Card and Diners Club, you’re probably equipped for any establishment that takes cards. If you only have one, have VISA. A shopkeeper may require you to pay the credit card fee for purchases, so for the most ease, we recommend you use cash whenever possible.

Banking Hours

Banks are generally open from 9am to 6pm. Some banks close for 2 hours from 1pm to 3pm. Banco de Credito del Peru does NOT close. In Cusco you will find many banks on Sol Avenue, one block from the main square. It is recommended to go to an “exchange office”. You must bring your passport to exchange money. Never change a large sum (more than $100) and again, go in pairs, and avoid being followed by robbers.

Personal Checks

Personal checks are not accepted in shops or at your hotels. It’s a good idea, however, to bring a few for possible emergencies.

Travelers Cheques

Travel checks are less desirable as fewer and fewer places will change them, and you may end up in long bank lines. You will need to show your passport to cash your checks at the bank.


Tipping is, of course, entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received. Typically, you should designate 10-15% of the land cost of the trip for tips. For example, a $4000 trip would mean $400 in tips. This will be split up on 2 different occasions:

  1. At the end of the Inca Trail, each client should tip the porters $75-100. This will be divided up among the 20-30 staff that have made your Inca trek possible.
  2. At the farewell dinner of Day 8 in Cusco, you can give the largest portion of your tip to the trip leader and he will divide it up amongst himself and the various tour guides.

Other smaller tips might be for airport luggage carriers, hotel staff and drivers. This is where $1 bills or single soles come in handy. The norm at restaurants is approximately 5-15%.

For some background information, Peru has a minimum salary of 550 Nuevo Soles (US$170) monthly for a 6-day, 48-hour week. However, in many of the lower paid jobs (e.g. waiters, porters etc) this is not always enforced. 1 Nuevo Sol (soles) is roughly the equivalent of US$30.Return to top of page


Trip Insurance

Bio Bio Expeditions recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 05-8655. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 55Y


Although there are no immunizations required to travel to Peru, it is usually recommended that typhoid and diphtheria-tetanus protection be current. Hepatitis A, taken just before departure, is also recommended. The cholera vaccination is no longer officially required, and cholera can be avoided by practicing strict food and water precautions. In general, we advise that you consult your physician regarding recommended immunizations and other health precautions. Bio Bio Expeditions does not take responsibility for which medications or inoculations you and your physician deem necessary for your safe participation on the expedition in Peru.

For further information, call the CDC’s International Traveler’s Hotline:

Phone: 1-888-232-4636
Online: www.cdc.gov


Although it requires a little extra caution when drinking fluids in Peru, it is essential to stay well hydrated. We advise that you not drink any of the tap water in Peru; this includes no ice in your drink. Bottled water is fine to drink and can be ordered at most restaurants and found in local grocery stores. Ask for “agua mineral, sin gas (non-carbonated) or con gas (carbonated)”. When ordering sodas, it is best to request them without ice (sin hielo), as the ice is usually made from tap water. Additionally, be sure to brush your teeth with bottled water.


The major precaution regarding food pertains to raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables (including lettuce) – avoid them unless you are dining in a high-end restaurant! If you can’t peel it, don’t eat it as it has probably been washed in tap water, or not washed at all, and that can make you sick. The high altitude also affects one’s digestive system so it is recommended to eat in moderation and avoid rich, thick foods (such as mayonnaise). However, don’t be afraid to try new foods and dishes – just be cautious. Peru has some of the finest, most delicious cuisine in the world! We want you to experience the many new flavors and local cuisine, but there are some things to consider when making food choices, especially where you are eating. The more high end restaurants in Cusco are fairly safe bets for trying new things. Street food should generally be avoided. This brings us to our next topic…

Digestive Worries

Traveling to Peru is going to have a notable impact on your body. Despite the many precautions we all take to stay healthy, occasionally one may experience diarrhea. The major problem associated with diarrhea is fluid loss leading to severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain plentiful fluid intake. Avoid milk and avoid caffeine, as it will only further dehydrate you. The best drinks are weak tea, mineral water, and caffeine-free soft drinks. Ideally it is best to let diarrhea run its course, however you may want to bring over-the-counter diarrhea medication to minimize your potential discomfort. We also advise that you carry your own supply of toilet paper, as most of the restrooms in South America either don’t have TP, or they charge you for it. The bottom line (no pun intended) is to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest! Lastly, we encourage that you, and all our staff, practice impeccable hand hygiene – you can’t wash your hands enough! Sanitizer gels are great when hand washing with soap and water is not available.


If you currently take prescription medications, be sure to have a plentiful supply and also the doctor’s written prescription in case you need a refill. It is best to carry medications in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. Also, if you wear prescription glasses or contacts, we advise that you bring along a spare set.


Electrical current in Peru is 220 volts AC, and the plugs are different from the USA two prong.


Although the Peruvians are a warm, friendly, fun-loving people, thievery is a common problem. Always keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings. When with other people, watch out for each other. Large crowds are prime locations for pick-pocketing to occur. Keep your money in a money belt or hidden pouch around your neck and under your shirt. When purchasing items, do not pull out lots of money. We advise that you leave all valuable jewelry, including watches, at home. Thieves often work in pairs or groups – one tries to distract you (e.g.: by squirting food or paint on your clothing) and in the ensuing confusion, another one makes off with your belongings. The areas around the main square in Cusco are well patrolled by police and tourist police. However, we encourage you to be very cautious and never be walking the streets alone after dark.

Jet Lag Precautions

When you cross several time zones to reach your destination, you often lose many hours of regular sleep. On arrival, your body then must suddenly adjust to new sleeping and eating patterns. The result is jet lag. Its symptoms are fatigue – often compounded by insomnia and restlessness – irritability and vague disorientation. You cannot totally avoid jet lag, but you can minimize it. Here’s how:

  • Start your trip well rested. Try to begin a gradual transition to your new time zone before you leave.
  • Switch to your destination time zone when you get on the plane. Attempt to sleep and eat according to the new schedule.
  • Try to sleep on overnight flights.
  • Avoid heavy eating and drinking caffeine or alcoholic beverages right before and during your flight.
  • Drink plenty of water and or fruit juice while flying. You should buy a large bottle of water at a kiosk right before boarding – once you have cleared inside security and are “inside”.
  • After arrival, avoid the temptation to nap, unless you didn’t sleep at all on the plane.
  • Don’t push yourself to see a lot on your first day.
  • Try to stay awake your first day until after dinner.

Altitude Sickness

Cusco sits at almost 11,000 feet. This is one of the highest places most of us have ever, or will ever, stay for an extended period of time. The altitude can cause some physical reaction in almost anyone. Most people experience shortness of breath, headaches, and some dehydration. We recommend taking it easy your first day and avoiding alcohol and tobacco. If you feel sick, be sure to rest, breathe deeply, drink lots of fluids (bottled water), and perhaps take a mild pain killer for headaches. Locally brewed coca tea also seems to help. True altitude sickness is rare, but if the symptoms become severe, please let a Bio Bio Expeditions representative know. The front desk of the hotel often has spare oxygen bottles if needed.

How well your individual body adapts to the thinner air depends a good deal on innate factors that you have no control over. That being said, people in top shape often acclimate better because they expend less energy hiking, leaving their bodies ready for the task of acclimatization. Proper hydration has also been proven to be essential in this task. There is no substitute for being in top shape and staying hydrated

Many altitude physicians recommend bringing the following medications for prevention and or treatment of altitude related problems:

Diamox: 125 mg, twice a day. Beginning 24 hours before ascent to a sleeping elevation of 8,000-10,000 feet and continuing through duration of climb. Please discuss with your physician.



Almost the same size as Alaska, Peru is the third largest country in South America, covering 496,226 square miles. Peru is divided into three distinct geographic regions: the narrow, dry coastal plain in the west; the high Andes Mountains roughly in the center; and the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin to the east. Peru shares with Bolivia the highest navigable body of water in the world – Lake Titicaca. There is little rainfall along the coast, although he winter is foggy, humid and cool. The capital city of Lima, the temperature is moderate year-round, averaging 65*F.

Several of South America’s most advanced cultures lived in pre-Columbian Peru. The last of these groups was the great Incan Empire, which was unsurpassed in the art of stonecutting and also achieved a high degree of economic and political development. Incan and earlier Chimu ruins, notably at Cusco, Chan Chan, and Machu Picchu, make Peru a favorite destination for archaeologists and tourists. In 1532, the Spanish invaded Peru under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro. They conquered the Incas the next year. The area soon became the richest and most powerful Spanish colony in South America because of its location and many mineral treasures.

Under the leadership of South American liberator Jose de San Martin, Peru declared independence from Spain in July 1821. With the help of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan general who liberated several other countries, the fight for full independence was won by 1826. For a century, Peru worked to secure its territory and build its social institutions.

Peru is a republic. It is divided into 24 departamentos (similar to states). The president holds executive power and serves a five-year term. All citizens age 18 and older are required to vote. The unicameral Congress consists of 120 members, who serve five-year terms. Major political parties include the Change 90-New Majority Party, Union for Peru, the Popular Christian Party, and the Popular Action Party.

The population of Peru is approximately 27 million and is growing at 1.75 percent annually. Population density is generally low due to the country’s large land area. Peru’s population is ethnically diverse. About 45 percent is Indian, descendants of the Incan Empire. Many ethnic and linguistic divisions exist among Indians, some of whom are still fairly isolated in the Amazon jungle. Another 37 percent is of mixed European and Indian heritage. Fifteen percent is of European descent (mostly Spanish), and the remaining 3 percent is composed of blacks (descendants of West African slaves), Japanese, Chinese and other smaller groups. About half of the population is younger than age 20. Lima is the largest city, with more than seven million residents.

The official languages in Peru are Spanish and Quechua but Spanish will be your most useful language, even in the highlands. The Spanish spoken in Peru is almost identical to the Castilian Spanish of Madrid, albeit with slightly different pronunciation and a few vocabulary changes. In the high Andes, particularly around Cusco and Puno, many people still speak Aymara or Quechua (the language of the Incas) as a first language, although almost all will also speak Spanish. The good news is that in most places like restaurants, hotels, etc., there is usually someone who speaks English – and, of course, all our representatives and guides speak both English and Spanish.

If you do speak some ‘Spanish’ then you shouldn’t have too many problems speaking with the locals in Peru. The major difference in accent between Peruvian Spanish and Castilian Spanish is that the letters c and z are pronounced like the English s rather than the traditional th. In general, Peruvian Spanish is a little slower and less heavily accented than most Spanish you would hear in Spain.


Get a taste of our quality mountain biking, sea kayaking, gear and guides in Peru

Add a review

14 reviews for Explore Peru: Lares Trek and Inca trail, an Authentic Fusion of Culture and Nature

  1. Marc,
    WOW! Just WOW! From the minute we landed in Cusco til the minute we were taken back for departure we were treated like royalty. Darwin was amazing and I could tell we had made a lifelong friend with him. He assured that all in the party were acclimated to the altitude with our days in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. I felt humbled by our porters. They worked so hard and carried such heavy loads over the rough terrain of the trail. And they always smiled. Such genuine people I have never met. The Classic Inca Trail excursion was beyond what I expected. My sons and I will never forget so many things about the trip, especially the mountains, the porters and Darwin.

    Again, thank BioBio for a fantastic experience and especially Darwin. He was just the best.
    Mitchell J. – Peru 2023

  2. Hi Wendy – hope this finds you and the Bio Bio team well! I just wanted to thank you for all you and the team did to make our trip so amazing. Our group collectively agreed that this was one of the most incredible travel experiences ever! Everything was perfect from start to finish; and I also appreciate all your assistance with our unexpected travel snafus.

    A special thanks to Darwin and Elias for sharing their knowledge, expertise, humor, and culture. They are truly awesome guys and did such an unbelievable job with all the logistics and management of our motley crew : ) Plus, they were so much fun to be with!
    The rest of the Inca Trail team: cooks, waiters, and porters were wonderful; and it was really nice to interact with them as encouraged by Darwin and Elias. Getting to the Sun Gate and “money shot” of Machu Picchu with no one else around was also an unexpected and huge treat.

    We had high expectations given Catherine and Tom Silva’s rave reviews of their previous trip. However, those expectations were totally exceeded times 10 – we can’t say enough about what an amazing experience this was. We certainly hope to embark on another Bio Bio adventure in the future and have already told several friends about this one. I’ve also posted a trip advisor rating – thanks for suggesting it. Again, many thanks and all the best!

    Kathy & John

  3. We returned from our adventure in Peru today. I really can’t express how delighted our entire group was with the experience. We ( Tom and Catherine Silva) had taken this trip in 2016, and our description so intrigued our friends that they decided to take the trip—and we returned with them. We had heaped praise on the beauty of the country and the quality of your team, but the reality is far above what we could describe. Our guides, Darwin and Elias, were outstanding in their knowledge and explanations, took amazing care of the group, and were delightful companions – we laughed a LOT! (Tom and I had met Darwin on our last visit and were very happy to see him again. ) We were amazed at the work the porters, waiters, and cooks did, and loved that Darwin made sure we got to meet them. We are so thankful to your entire team, for the adventure and memories that we shared.

    —Catherine Silva 2019 Inca trail

  4. Hi Tory and Marc,
    I just have to say that this trip was an awesome experience and I can’t stop raving about it to my colleagues! I’m dredging up business for you guys and am happy to be your spokesperson!

    From day 1, once I arrived I’m Cusco, I felt safe and comfortable. The group was easy going. The guides were great and knowledgeable. I learned so much. The food was outstanding. Hats off to the chef and staff for providing such food in those conditions. Thank you for accommodating my dietary restrictions! The porters were an inspiration to us all. Loved the hot water in AM and upon arrival to camp. I think you guys do a phenomenal job with thinking of everything. Everyone just goes above and beyond! This trip is my top favorite along with Patagonia! Looking forward to many more with you guys!

    Thanks again

  5. Dear Marc,
    Once again, not to my surprise (but always a pleasure), BioBio hit a home run for me with this fantastic trip to Macchu Piccu. It was the epitome of worldwide CE/travel with a ‘personal touch.’ You’ve always sourced really great hike support crew…porters, cooks, et cetera, but I’m most amazed by your local guides. The know all the important little secret places and tricks as if they’ve lived there for years…and often they have!! All the safe, lovely, interesting restaurants, how to time arrival to and departure from busy but interesting places for the highest quality if experience, and a quiet awareness and anticipation of our likely needs and interests are all clearly important to our fantastic guides.

    I need to tell you that Darwin, in particular, is an employee/contractor who merits retention, promotion, or whatever else you do to let employees know that they’re unusually impressive. His depth of knowledge and interest in his subject, his passion for sharing this with us, and his sensitive awareness and support of our needs was truly impressive. He and I spoke about my BioBio experience in Kilimanjaro (I started the conversation). I think you would be VERY well served by having him there, though I’ll concede that I have too much BioBio ahead of me to consider repeating that soon.

    My fiancée and I are very excited about our upcoming honeymoon, but Galapagos is on her bucket list as well as mine…and you have enough choices available for a lifetime of travel. Still, as I sit in this airport in Peru, I wish I could go back to Macchu Piccu tomorrow!

    With gratitude,
    John Ober, DVM

  6. The trip far exceeded our expectations. The level of service could not have been better. We were exceptionally well cared for from the time we stepped off the plane in Cusco until the moment we left. Have never had better guides both in Cusco and on the Inka Trail. Truly a trip of a lifetime!

  7. Dear Bio Bio, I’ve traveled all over the world with well known touring companies and I have to say you guys are the best!! For my 40th birthday, a group of 16 friends headed down to Peru to hike the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu. We were thrilled mountain biking and horse back riding were also included. And while we knew the trip would be filled with adventure, we didn’t expect the level of luxury Bio Bio offers. The hotels we stayed in were beautiful. The food tent on the trail is out of this world! And speaking of the food, it was gourmet at every stop. We still can’t figure out how the chefs make such amazing meals on the trail. But I think the best part of Bio Bio is the people you have working with you. Our guides (Piero, Jose, Jairo and Reuben) made the trip! They are fun and great to hang out with, but also really knowledgeable about the local area. And they go above and beyond. Here are two examples. One was in the cloud forest. The guides woke up at 5am to see if the sky was clear. It was, so they woke everyone up and we climbed to the top of the hill to have a view from the top of the world. Plus, the porters had already set up our coffee table so we drank hot coffee and gazed out over the Andes. The second was when we arrived through the sun gate at Machu Picchu. Bio Bio got us there in the late afternoon. While I was skeptical about this at first (most get there at sunrise), it was the best plan! We literally had Machu Picchu to ourselves. No crowds. No lines. Plus, the guides hiked for 4 days with champagne in their packs so we could toast to our accomplishment. I can’t say enough about this trip. Our entire group is now looking at going to Chile together, of course with Bio Bio. With tons of love and admiration, Wendy W. Damonte Evening News Anchor, KTVN-TV Channel 2 Wendy W. Damonte Evening News Anchor, KTVN-TV CHANNEL 2 p. 775-861-4234 f. 775-861-4246 — Wendy W. Damonte Evening News Anchor, KTVN-TV Channel 2

  8. It as fabulous!!! The trek was as exciting if not more exciting than seeing Machu Picchu . Jose, yuri and Ricardo were fantastic – very knowledgeable, attentive to individual needs – all questions were answered. The food surpassed our expectations. The organization of the camp and trekking timing was fantastic. Please continue to use this crew!!!! We will look at bio bio for other activities. Thank you Jim Kupczak

  9. Jeff and i had an absolutely wonderful time with you. We felt pampered and safe and, most importantly, part of your very, very unique family of obviously good friends. i can’t think of a single moment I’d change. i appreciated how you changed plans when necessary but always had choices and alternatives from which to choose. each and everyone of your guides was remarkable – seemingly willing to do anything to insure us all having the time of our lives. thank you so very much. we both wish you all the success in the world!

  10. Hi Marc, We just returned home from Peru, and I just wanted to tell you how fantastic our trip was. We filled out our formal evaluation, but I wanted to personally relay how incredible Piero and Jose were as our main guides. We really couldn’t have asked for more from either of them. They were knowledgeable, funny, conscientious, and super attentive to the whole group, which isn’t always easy to do with 16 people! Whenever any of us wanted to do something a little different from the plan for the day, they always had recommendations and offered to make arrangements for us, and they never led us astray. We were really impressed with the whole trip, but the staff – from the guides to the cooks (wow Edgar, what an amazing chef – he baked a birthday cake at 12,000 feet!) to the porters – really surpassed our expectations. Thanks so much for an amazing trip; we hope to use Bio Bio again in the future! Best, Jill Peru – Inca trail May 2011

  11. I have to say that our experience in Peru exceeded my expectations in virtually every way. Piero and Patty and Zak took exceptional care of us. We were utterly free from decision making and I lost track of days and dates right away. Sign of a good trip. As you may know, Piero had more than a few amazing surprises for us, which added to the terrific itinerary that you planned, made our trip unique and wonderful. Logistics were precise and well planned. Drivers prompt, hotels expecting us and efficient check-ins, water available, bags handled behind the scenes and magically appearing in hotel rooms. I didn’t know until we were off the trail how skilled Zak and Piero were at limiting our contact with other groups. We felt like we practically had the trail to ourselves and certainly the sungate when we arrived there.

  12. Marc, The trip was honestly amazing….best trip I have ever been on! It had the perfect balance of tons of adventure and luxury mixed in (food was great everywhere!), and the fact that I didn’t have to worry about a detail because Piero had it all taken care of was fantastic! I can’t say enough good things about the trip, about Piero and the other amazing guides (specifically Jose) that made my experience with Bio Bio and the trip to Peru amazing. I’m planning to look into Bio Bio future trips…maybe Patagonia and/or Mt Kilimanjaro…and would highly recommend your travel group to others. Thanks again!! Also – I will send a few of my fav pics when we get them downloaded! -Colleen Peru Inca trail May 22nd 2011

  13. What a wonderful trip!! I have been on many adventure trips–from running across the Morrocan Sahara for 9 days in the Marathon des Sables, to the Himalayan Run and Trek, a 10-day stage run in northeastern India and Sikkim, and private treks and climbs in Nepal–yet this Inca trek in Peru was the best of them all. Likely it was our exceptional group of women “of a certain age” who laughed and struggled together up the trail that made it so special; but our spirits couldn’t have stayed so high without the special attention to detail from your Peruvian staff. Piero Vellutino kept us all smiles with his funny comments and big bear hugs. Each time we achieved a goal, a high pass, the end of a long day, the end of the trek to Intipunku, our guides Piero, Omar and Jairo, congratulated and hugged us. They quietly made sure that all camp details were perfect and had friendly words for all the porters. It was a happy trip. Some of us felt poorly from time to time, but were buoyed up by Piero and company so that no one ever considered stopping short of the goal. The trip was a wonderful blend of comraderie, physical challenge, Inca and Quechua cultural immersion and nature education. We were blessed with good weather and fun shopping excursions to top it all off. I can’t wait to go back next year to see more of Peru and its lovely people! Regarding highs and lows, there were only highs. The hotels were all very nice, with the Pueblo Inkaterra the loveliest. My only wish is that the trip were longer!!! Though it is best to leave for home wishing for more, rather than wishing to go home–so it was just the right length.

  14. Hello Marc, I suspect it is no surprise to you, but our recent trip was fantastic. Piero, Zacarias, and Elias were wonderful guides, combining both personal and professional skills. They represented BioBio extremely well. I know that the quality of their work was such, that if any of the 14 of us seek adventure travel again, our first choice would be bio bio.

Extensions available:

  • Amazon Jungle

    Explore Peru’s exotic and remote Amazon jungle with a visit to the Tambopata National Reserve. Travel by river, take a canopy tour and overnight at the Reserva Amazonica Lodge deep in the Amazon rainforest. It’s an ideal addition to any Peruvian adventure.

  • Mountain Biking in Peru

    Mountain biking in Peru offers some of the best down-hills and cross country in the world! Bike the Andes with Bio Bio and create memories that you will never forget! Ride a mix of rarely-used dirt roads, ancient Inca Trails and smooth mule tracks. 1 – 3 day options available.