Lares Trek Peru – Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

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Lares Trek Peru Tour Details
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Embark on an unforgettable journey with us through the breathtaking Lares Trek Cusco, nestled high in the mountains of Peru. The classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has garnered global fame. However, the Lares Trek Peru offers an equally enthralling yet more intimate experience. It takes us through high altitude terrains, serene valleys, and picturesque small towns.

The Heartbeat of the Andes: Lares Valley and its Local Communities

As we begin our hike on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, our senses come alive. The untouched beauty of the Lares Valley will captivate you. It’s a stark contrast to the more frequented Salkantay Trek or the Classic Inca Trail. This route introduces us to the heart and soul of the Andean world. 

Local communities, still deeply rooted in their centuries-old traditions, welcome us with open arms. A night with a local family provides an unparalleled insight into their daily lives. This ensures our journey isn’t just about the destination. It’s also about the people we meet along the way.

Navigating through the Sacred Valley, we’ll pass through historic sites and small towns, each with its unique charm and tales. As we ascend, the air gets crisper, and the landscapes more dramatic. The highest point of our trek offers panoramic views that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. 

But be mindful of the high altitude. Ensure we have the necessary travel insurance in place, and always listen to our bodies. Preparing adequately, from a comfortable sleeping bag to the right hiking gear, is crucial for an enjoyable trekking experience.

Therapeutic Bliss and Ancient Marvels: The Final Leg

One of the highlights of hiking the Lares Trek is the rejuvenating experience at the Lares Hot Springs. The warm waters are therapeutic for our muscles. They also soothe our souls. This makes it a much-desired pit-stop before we continue our expedition.

From here, the journey to the ancient ruins becomes even more exciting. The town of Ollantaytambo serves as our gateway, where we’ll catch the train to Aguas Calientes. This picturesque town, nestled at the foot of Machu Picchu, is our last stop before the grand finale.

On the final day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, we’ll rise with the sun. Then, we’ll make our way to Machu Picchu. As the golden rays illuminate the majestic ruins, we’ll realize the magic of the ancient Incan empire. It’s a moment we’ll cherish forever.

With memories to last a lifetime, we’ll return. We have not just explored a trail. Instead, we have journeyed through the annals of time, culture, and unmatched natural beauty. 

So, are you ready for an adventure unlike any other? Join us, as we tread the paths less traveled on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.

Departure Time

04:30 AM

Lares Trek Peru Includes

  • Professional Bilingual Guide: A knowledgeable guide who can communicate both in Spanish and English (or another language if specified).
  • Transportation:Pickup from your hotel and transfer to the starting point of the trek.
    Return transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
    Train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back (some packages might offer Vistadome or Expedition trains).
    Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu and back down.
  • Accommodation:Camping equipment like tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, and sleeping mats. Some operators might provide sleeping bags and walking poles for an additional fee.
    One night's accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
  • Meals:We include breakfast, lunch, and dinner on trekking days and breakfast in Aguas Calientes. Meals usually reflect Peruvian cuisine.
  • Entrance Tickets:Machu Picchu entrance fee.
    Entrance to the hot springs in Lares (if it's part of the itinerary).
  • First Aid Kit & Oxygen: For altitude sickness and minor injuries.
  • Briefing session: A pre-tour meet-up in Cusco to discuss the itinerary and answer any queries.
  • Cultural Interaction: One of the distinctive features of the Lares Trek is the chance to interact with local Andean communities. Some treks might even include a visit to a local home or school.

Lares Trek Peru Excludes

  • International and Domestic Flights: Most packages won't cover your airfare to and from Peru or any domestic flights you might need.
  • Travel Insurance: You will typically need to purchase this separately. It's always a good idea to get insurance that covers trekking at high altitudes.
  • Personal Trekking Equipment: While basic camping equipment is usually provided, you might need to rent or bring items like: Sleeping bags
    Walking poles
    Personal camping gear
  • Additional Snacks and Drinks: While main meals are usually covered during the trek, any additional snacks, alcoholic beverages, or bottled drinks might be out-of-pocket.
  • Entrance Fees to Additional Sites: The entrance to Machu Picchu is typically included, but if you want to visit other sites like Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, there could be additional fees.
  • Tips for the Trek Crew: Tips for your guide, cook, and porters or horsemen are not included. It's customary to tip them, especially if you felt they provided good service.
  • Personal Expenses: This can include things like laundry, phone calls, or souvenirs.

Recommended To Carry

  • Clothing:Breathable Base Layers: Moisture-wicking shirts and thermal leggings.
    Mid-Layers: Fleece or wool sweaters or pullovers.
    Waterproof and Windproof Outer Layer: A good quality rain jacket and rain pants.
    Trekking Pants: Quick-dry and lightweight.
    Undergarments: Synthetic or wool, including sports bras for women.
    Hats: Both a warm hat for cold nights and a sun hat or cap for daytime.
    Gloves: Waterproof and insulated.
    Trekking Socks: Wool or synthetic, with several pairs.
    Swimsuit: If you plan to visit the hot springs.
  • Footwear:Hiking Boots: Waterproof and well broken-in.
    Sandals or Camp Shoes: Useful for stream crossings or relaxing in the evenings.
  • Backpack & Daypack:Main Backpack: If you're carrying your own gear, a 40-60 liter backpack should suffice. If porters or mules are carrying your main gear, then a smaller daypack (20-30 liters) for your essentials during the day is needed.
  • Essential Gear:Sleeping Bag: Rated for low temperatures. Some treks can get very cold at night.
    Sleeping Pad: If it's not provided.
    Trekking Poles: Useful for steep ascents and descents.
    Water Bottles or Hydration Bladder: At least 2 liters of carrying capacity.
    Headlamp or Flashlight: With extra batteries.
    Sunglasses: UV protection is crucial at high altitudes.
    Personal First Aid Kit: Include any personal medications, band-aids, pain relievers, blister treatments, altitude sickness pills (like Diamox), and diarrhea medicine.
    Sunscreen: SPF 30 or higher.
  • Toiletries:Toothbrush and Toothpaste.
    Biodegradable Soap and Shampoo.
    Small Towel.
    Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes: Great for quick clean-ups.
  • Personal Items:Passport
    Money: Both in local currency and a credit or debit card.
    Camera: With extra batteries and memory card.
    Portable Charger: Useful for charging electronics.
    Water Purification Tablets or Portable Water Filter.
  • Snacks: Energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, or anything you prefer.
  • Cash. For purchasing souvenirs, snacks, or any additional costs that might arise.
  • Camera or smartphone. The sites are picturesque, so you'll likely want to take photos.
  • A small backpack or daypack to carry these items.
Lares Trek Peru Itinerary

Day 1From Cusco's Vibrancy to Cancha Cancha's Tranquility

Embark on an unforgettable journey as we set out from the bustling streets of Cusco. We will be making our way to the starting point at Huaran. Nestled deep in the Sacred Valley, Huaran’s charm lies in its blend of history and natural beauty. Here, the energy is palpable, setting the tone for our adventure.

As we leave Huaran behind, the Lares Trek truly begins. The trail gradually ascends, giving us a taste of the Andean landscapes we’re about to explore. We’ll pass by native forests, glistening streams, and local farmlands, where the Peruvian culture is as alive as ever.

On our approach to Cancha Cancha, the trail presents us with breathtaking vistas. The village itself, sitting high in the mountains, is our ultimate destination for the day. Here, we’ll set up camp, indulge in a hearty meal, and let the serenity of the Andes envelop us.

As the sun dips below the horizon and the first stars appear, we’ll gather around the campfire. We’ll share stories, connect with fellow trekkers, and let the magic of the mountains lull us into a peaceful slumber.

First Day Lares Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 12 kilometers (around 7.5 miles).
  • Highest Altitude: Roughly 3,800 meters (about 12,467 feet).
  • Lowest Altitude: Around 2,800 meters (nearly 9,186 feet).
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with some steady ascents.

Rest up, for tomorrow brings new trails and tales. Our adventure on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu has only just begun.

Day 2From Cancha Cancha's Silence to Quiswarani's Warm Welcome

Rise and shine, as we embrace the dawn in Cancha Cancha. With the majestic Andes enveloping us, we’ll start our day with a revitalizing breakfast, fueling up for the trek ahead.

Today’s journey promises a mix of ascents and descents as we traverse the heart of the Peruvian Andes. The path from Cancha Cancha to Quiswarani isn’t just about the physical trek; it’s a cultural voyage. We’ll encounter locals herding their alpacas, and witness centuries-old agricultural practices. Additionally, we will also marvel at the traditional weaving techniques that color the mountains with vibrant textiles.

As we progress, the elevation challenges us. But every step reveals another facet of the Andean panorama. Crystal-clear lakes, cascading waterfalls, and perhaps even the sight of an elusive Andean fox might grace our path.

Upon reaching Quiswarani, a warm reception awaits. Nestled amidst high-altitude meadows and guarded by looming peaks, this village offers us a glimpse into life untouched by modernity. As nightfall approaches, we’ll set up camp. The melodies of the mountains, combined with the distant hum of village life, create the perfect lullaby.

Second Day Lares Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: Roughly 14 kilometers (close to 8.7 miles).
  • Highest Altitude: Approximately 4,200 meters (around 13,780 feet).
  • Lowest Altitude: About 3,800 meters (just over 12,467 feet).
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging, owing to steep climbs and high-altitude trekking.

As the stars blanket the Andean sky, we’ll rest. We dream of the next day’s wonders on our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu journey.

Day 3From Quiswarani's Calm to the Vibrant Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes

As the first light of dawn kisses Quiswarani, we’ll start our most thrilling day yet. After a hearty breakfast, we’ll lace up our boots and head towards Cuncani. The path is laden with nature’s treasures, from blooming orchids to the melodious chirps of high-altitude birds.

Cuncani, a tranquil hamlet, offers a stark contrast to Quiswarani. Here, we’ll immerse ourselves in local interactions, perhaps sharing a cup of tea or trading stories with the villagers.

From Cuncani, our journey takes an exhilarating turn as we make our way to Lares. The famed Lares hot springs beckon us, promising a soothing embrace for our weary muscles. As we rejuvenate, the world seems to pause, allowing us a moment of pure Andean bliss.

However, the day has not yet concluded. Ollantaytambo awaits, serving as a bridge between the ancient and the modern. Its narrow cobbled streets tell tales of a time long gone. Yet, its vibrancy is undeniable, echoing the spirit of the Incas. 

From Ollantaytambo, the train ride transports us to Aguas Calientes, our gateway to Machu Picchu. As the train snakes through the scenic route, the anticipation builds, with every turn whispering the promise of tomorrow’s adventure.

Third Day Lares Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: About 16 kilometers (nearly 10 miles).
  • Highest Altitude: Roughly 4,450 meters (around 14,600 feet).
  • Lowest Altitude: Approximately 2,792 meters (about 9,160 feet).
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, interspersed with moments of relaxation and cultural immersion.

As the night falls in Aguas Calientes, we’ll find comfort in our accommodations. Knowing that the pinnacle of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is just hours away, our anticipation grows.

Day 4Unveiling the Crown Jewel

The moment we’ve eagerly awaited is finally here. As the sun begins to paint the morning sky, we’ll embark on the most iconic part of our journey. From Aguas Calientes to the world-renowned Machu Picchu.

Thanks to our package, you won’t have to worry about the climb. A comfortable bus will whisk us away from Aguas Calientes. It will navigate the winding paths that lead to the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu. As we approach, the awe-inspiring ruins emerge, leaving us spellbound.

Our guided tour commences upon arrival, diving deep into the heart of Machu Picchu for two insightful hours. Every stone and structure tells a tale, and we’ll immerse you in the history. You will be marveling at the craftsmanship and genius of the ancient Incas.

After our tour, you can choose to spend a little more time exploring. Alternatively, simply sit and absorb the grandeur of this mystical site. Once you’ve had your fill, the bus awaits to take us back to Aguas Calientes.

From Aguas Calientes, our journey back to Cusco begins. The picturesque train ride offers one last chance to drink in the breathtaking Andean landscapes. 

As we pull into Cusco, a sense of accomplishment fills our hearts. We’ve not only trekked through the majestic mountains but have also walked through history. The memories will surely last a lifetime.

Fourth Day Lares Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 8 kilometers (about 5 miles), including exploration within Machu Picchu.
  • Highest Altitude: Roughly 2,430 meters (around 7,970 feet) at Machu Picchu.
  • Lowest Altitude: About 2,040 meters (6,690 feet) at Aguas Calientes.
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate, with ample time for relaxation and reflection.

As the evening sets in Cusco, we’ll find ourselves reminiscing about the wonders we’ve experienced. From the Lares Valley’s untouched beauty to the magnificence of Machu Picchu. It truly has been a journey of a lifetime.


What is the Lares Trek?

The Lares Trek is an alternative hiking route to Machu Picchu, renowned for its stunning mountain scenery, traditional Andean communities, and lesser foot traffic compared to the more famous Inca Trail.

How long is the Lares Trek?

Typically, the Lares Trek spans about 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) and is usually completed in 3 to 4 days.

Is it necessary to have a guide for the Lares Trek?

Yes, it’s recommended to have a guide not only for navigation but also for a richer understanding of the history, culture, and flora/fauna of the region.

How difficult is the Lares Trek?

The Lares Trek is considered moderate in difficulty. While not as demanding as some other treks, it does have high-altitude sections that may challenge some hikers.

Is altitude sickness a concern?

Yes, parts of the trek exceed 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level. It’s essential to acclimatize in Cusco or another high-altitude location before starting.

What's the best time to undertake the trek?

The ideal months for the Lares Trek are between May and September, which is the dry season. Avoid the rainy season from November to March.

Do I need special permits for the Lares Trek?

Unlike the Inca Trail, there’s no permit system in place for the Lares Trek. However, you’ll need a ticket to enter Machu Picchu.

4 Reviews
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Solo Traveller

We chose the Lares Trek over the Inca Trail for a more cultural experience, and we weren’t disappointed. The interaction with the local communities was heartwarming. However, do make sure you’re prepared for varying weather conditions. It rained one day, but the team was prepared with ponchos. Great experience overall!

September 19, 2023


Couple Traveller

This trek was the highlight of our trip to Peru. The path was challenging, but our guide, Rosa, ensured that everyone kept a safe pace. The nightly camps were well set up, and the equipment was top-notch. Kudos to Explore Peru Guide for such an organized trek. I’ll cherish the memories forever!

September 15, 2023


Solo Traveller

The Lares Trek with Explore Peru Guide was a fantastic experience! Our guide, Carlos, was incredibly knowledgeable about the local culture, flora, and fauna. The meals prepared by the trekking chefs were some of the best we had in Peru. The trail was less crowded than the Inca Trail, offering a more intimate experience with nature and local communities. Highly recommended!

September 12, 2023


Couple Traveller

Overall, a great trek! The landscapes were breathtaking, and the team made sure we were comfortable throughout. I wish we had a little more time in some of the villages, but I understand the tight schedule. The hot springs at the end were a delightful treat!

September 4, 2023