The Apu Salkantay (6,264 masl / 20551 ft) is a sacred mountain in the Vilcabamba range, located to the south of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu.
Within the Cosmo vision developed by the Incas, the Apu Ausangate is the most important sacred mountain in the area surrounding the city of Cusco, indeed in all of the altiplano, which is also home to Lake Titicaca, the place of origin of the Incas, according to the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. This sacred mountain is located to the south east of the city of Cuzco, capital of the Inca Empire.
The legendary Inka Trail or Qapaq Ñam crossed South America from Quito in Ecuador all the way to La Paz in Bolivia, traversing the Andes mountain range. The section of this trail that we will cover will take us to the magnificent sacred city of Machu Picchu, in a trip where history, geography, local flora and the environment will fill our senses and take our breath away. With each step we will appreciate the ingenuity of the Andean people, to survive in this harsh environment and to work the granite rock forming this incredible path through the mountains. Leaving behind them evidence of their greatness.
The Lares Valley is famous for the textile art produced in the communities using techniques and tools which date to pre-Inka times.
The tools used to make the weavings have been inherited from the time when textiles appeared in the Andes (approx. 4000BC). The colours used to decorate their textiles come from plants, oxides, earth and minerals which enrich the finished product. The iconography represented in their textiles serves to transmit basic knowledge through oral means, as it has been done for thousands of years.
The Lares Valley is an important area to the east, the land of the Antis, with whom the Inkas could exchange goods; and they also wanted to establish themselves in the area to grow the precious Coca Leaf. This area is also characterised by the production of textiles, using techniques and tools inherited from ancestral times; a good example of living culture. On our trek we will walk though altitude levels such as Quechua, Suni and Puna, with the highest altitude we reach being 4600 masl.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, in its shortest form, allows us to enjoy the exceptional experience of arriving at this magnificent archaeological site after a few hours of walking along a stone path made by the Incas. The environment and history will surprise us with each step along this section of the Inka Trail.