For me, the three days spent on the Lares trek best displayed Peru in its purest, most pristine form. Sweeping Andean landscapes with an otherworldly beauty. The Quechua people living the same way they have for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. The influence of Spanish colonization, or any foreign societies for that matter, is extremely minimal. This was my experience with the Andean culture in the raw.

Alia and I hired a local group to help us foreigners on our way to 3 separate 13,000+ ft passes in one of the most scenic parts of the Andes. The photographs will tell the rest of the story.
peru 1815  The road to the trail head would bring sights along the way. peru 1820 peru 1827 peru 1838 peru 1845  Glaciers and wild lamas, a staple of the Lares valley area. peru 1846  Our trail would begin in a village called  Quishurani, some 3750m above sea level. The road ends here.
peru 1858  The first of many stone buildings and corals that we would pass along the way, as we head up from the village towards our first pass. peru 1862 peru 1871  These foot paths have been used by locals for hundreds of years. They existed before roads, and probably before the spanish arived in 1529. peru 1878  Our first group of wild alpacas! peru 1886  This small lake would become a focal point to look back on as we gradually reach our first summit/pass. peru 1891  Stangers in this strange world.
peru 1897 peru 1903 peru 1933  Higher and higher, towards our first pass! 1  By mid day, we had reached our first pass. At 4200M, this is likely the hightest point of our trip so far. peru 1950  And the view is breathtaking.. Pass 1
peru 1958  Our hike would essentially take us from one valley, over a mountain range, and into the next valley. peru 1959 peru 1971 peru 1993  As we head down into the next valley, we would pass homes, waterfalls, and locals going about their day. peru 2001 peru 2004
peru 2011  As we decended into the valley, we would head towards Cuncani village. peru 2018  Children from Cuncani village peru 2020 peru 2022 peru 2027  Near Cuncani village we would call it a night, with heavy fog and a bit of rain. peru 2030
peru 2047  In the morning we woke up with a clear view of the valley. peru 2049  At the bottom left you can see our campsite! peru 2050 peru 2051 silver cross  The way of life in these valleys has changed little over the centuries. peru 2071  Lamas along our path this morning as we head for our 2nd pass.
peru 2083 peru 2093 peru 2096  Even the horse was enjoying the specacular views at this pass. peru 2104 peru 2105 peru 2120
peru 2122  We would remain high in the mountains for most of the day. peru 2127  Looking down at the village and valley of Wacahuasi. peru 2130 peru 2132  Heavy traffic on the trail today! peru 2136 peru 2137
peru 2140 Final pass  Towards Wakahuasi pass - it would be the highest pass on the trek. 4600m. peru 001 peru 003 peru 008 Peru Andes  The view from  Wakahuasi Pass
peru 027 peru 035 peru 038 peru 057 peru 058 peru 062
peru 064 peru 070  "Valley of 100 streams" we named this final valley before camp. the woods  The path was mostly downhill from this point. We would pass through cloud forrest and a few villages on the final day. peru 075 peru 080 peru 083
peru 084 peru 085  After paying our respects to Pachamama, three days on the trail,  three 1400ft+ passes, We have earned our visit to Machu Picchu.