Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4 Days)

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Tour Details
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is a high altitude trek. It is one of the lesser known treks to Machu Picchu from Cusco, when compared with Salkantay Trek or Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. However, Lares Trek offers a rewarding experience and has its own distinct charm. This is the only trek that offers a closer interaction with the remote Andean communities.

The trek starts at Lares, a small town known for its thermal baths. Lares is some 35 miles to the south east of Machu Picchu. Most part of the trek lies in the Lares Valley itself and covers a part of the Sacred Valley of Incas.

The four days trek offers sights of stunning mountains, Inca sites, valleys and Lakes. Lares Trek is often considered as one of the best alternatives to the Classic Inca trail. 

What makes Lares Trek the best alternative to Inca Trail?

  • Being one of the off the beaten track trek, the trek is less crowded, this would allow to explore the sites quite tranquilly. 
  • Unlike Inca Trail, to do Lares Trek you don’t need any permit. 
  • Although this is a high altitude trek, the route is relatively easier than Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek. 
  • Finally, this is the only trek to Machu Picchu that provides an authentic cultural experience. 

The Andean community you will be meeting on this trek have preserved their age old traditions and customs. They are famous for their handmade clothings. Along the way, you will be meeting many farmers and weavers wearing their traditional colourful clothings.

The region is popular for homemade textiles, if you want to bring home some authentic handmade Peruvian souvenir, this is the best place to get a deal. 

We offer the trek both as a small group tour and in private. 

Please Note:

We highly recommend you to get acclimatised before participating on this trek to avoid altitude sickness. The highest point of Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is at 4600 metres above the sea level. As you arrive in Cusco, we recommend you to do the Cusco City Tour or Sacred Valley Tour to get acclimatised and avoid altitude sickness


Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

4:00 AM

Price Includes

  • Cusco Hotel Transfer
  • Round trip train tickets
  • Cook Tents and camping mattresses.
  • Mules and the equipment, duffle bag to carry 5 kg of your things
  • First Aid Kit.
  • 01 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (Day 3)
  • 02 nights camping
  • Entry to hot spring in Lares.
  • 03 breakfasts, 03 Lunches and 03 Dinners
  • Snacks during the 2 days
  • An experienced, bilingual Adventure Tour Guide
  • Admission to Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Day Packs

Price Excludes

  • Guide Gratuity (Optional)
  • Entrance to Lares hot springs
  • Any Private Expenses

Recommended To Carry

  • Travel Insurance
  • Multiple layers of warm clothes.
  • Good trekking shoes or boots.
  • Walking stick / pole. Extra money.
  • Bathing suit and towel for those who wish to visit the Hot Springs.
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Air Mattress
What to Expect
  • Tour Type: Trekking/Hiking, cultural, adventurous
  • Good For: Those in moderate shape, families.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. It's not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals.
  • Consideration: Since you are hiking in the Alpine, this is one of our coldest treks. Please be prepared with lots of warm layers.
  • Season: Open all year - January through December.

Day 1Cusco - Lares - Wacawasi

We will be picking you up from your hotel quite early in the morning. Our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu experience will start with a three and a half hours drive to Lares. Lares is a small town at 3200 metres above the sea level. It is home to the hot springs.

On the way to Lares from Cusco, we will be stopping in Calca. It is another small town in the Sacred Valley of Incas. Here, we will be visiting the local market where you can pickup some las minute things for trail, if you want any.

Once in Lares, after taking a dip in the hot springs (entrance fees not included), we will be meeting our muleteers. After organising our things, we will start the trek. It starts with a gradual hike up the Lares Valley. We will be stopping for lunch at around 01:30 PM, half way to our first campsite. 

After lunch, we will be continuing our trek. On this section of Lares trail, we will be crossing Andean farms where you will get to see herds of Llamas and Alpacas grazing. You will also see many local family.

We will then reach our first campsite in Wacawasi Village at 3,800 m / 12,464 ft. Upon reaching our campsite, we will be serving you a hot cup of tea/coffee with some snacks followed by dinner. 

  • Hiking Time: 3-4 Hours (approx)
  • Total Distance: 8 Kms/ 4.97 Miles
  • Highest Point 3,800 m/ 12,464 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 3,200m/ 10,496 ft.
  • Highlights: Hiking in the Andean valleys with pretty scenic views, interact with local people (children), llama and alpaca herds along the trail, and camping in a highland village.

Day 3Wacawasi - Mantanay

After an early breakfast, we will start hiking up to the highest point. The highest point of Lares Trek is Puerto pass at 4,420 m / 14,498 ft. It will take about four hours to reach there from our campsite. This section of the trek offers sights of some llamas and alpacas.

After reaching Puerto pass, we will take a break and see the beauty of the valley below. Your guide will also introduce you to an Andean tradition called Apacheta. Apacheta is basically a tradition of piling up stones as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path. Incas did this to express their gratitude to “Pachamama” mother earth for offering safety to them during their travels. 

From here, it will be a downhill hike to our lunch spot. We will be stopping for lunch next to a beautiful lagoon. Our chef will serve you a freshly prepared lunch and some hot drinks. 

After lunch, we will continue descending to our second campsite in Mantanay Valley. Mantanay Valley offers a beautiful view. It is home to Andean trees called Queuña (a typical tree from the highlands of Peru that grows up between 3,400m / 11,152 ft trough 4,300m/ 14,104 ft, polylepis “Rosaceae” is a genus of low trees with rugged scaly bark). 

In the evening we will be serving you dinner. 

  • Hiking Time:7-8 Hours (approx)
  • Hiking Distance: 14 Kms/ 8.69 Miles
  • Highest Point 4,420 m/ 14,498 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.
  • Highlights: Llama and alpaca herds along the trail, reaching the highest point, beautiful lakes along the trail, and camping in a highland valley.

Day 4Mantanay - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, we will be descending for three hours to Yanahuara Village in Sacred Valley of Incas. Here we will have lunch and bid good bye to our muleteers and chef. 

After lunch, we will be taking our private transport to Ollantaytambo train station. Here you will be boarding the train to Aguas Calientes town. The train ride offers excellent views of Andean Village and tropical forest. It takes about an hour and forty five minutes train ride. At Aguas Calientes, you will be accommodated in a basic ensuite hotel room. 

You can later stop for dinner at one of the local restaurants (not included). 

  • Hiking Time:2-3 Hours (approx)
  • Hiking Distance: 7 Kms/ 4.35 Miles
  • Highest Point 3,700 m/ 12,136 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 3,050 m/ 10,004 ft.
  • Highlights: IncaRuins, Original section of Inca Trail, jaw dropping views. Hiking through the highland forest, train journey to Aguas Calientes town, hotel in Aguas Calientes town.
  • Train schedule: It can be at 3:37 pm or a later train in expedition class (depends on the availability).

Day 5Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taking the bus from Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu. It takes about 25 minutes. Once at the main entrance, our guide will assist you in clearing the security control to enter the citadel.

Normally as you will be entering the citadel, you will be rewarded with a sight of a thick blanket of clouds clearing by as the golden rays of sun would beam on the walls of the citadel. After a detailed guided tour of the citadel, you will have some free time to explore the citadel. 

If you have booked your hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, please advise our guide. Alternatively, you can walk up to the Sun Gate. It requires no permit and is free. Sun gate serves as the entrance to Machu Picchu for those on Inca Trail. You can also visit the small Inca bridge, if desired. 

After the tour, you will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here you can stop for lunch (not included).

In the afternoon, we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo train station or Poroy train station. Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will be driving you back to your hotel in Cusco. 

1 Review
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Couple Traveller

Exceptional Trek! We had a fantastic time with Jose. He is an excellent guide. Overall it exceeded our expectations.

March 3, 2020
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