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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days

    Recommended
Duration 4 days - 3 nights
Travel Style Adventure, hike, History, cultural
Difficulty Moderate
Group size Min 2 - Max 8

Embark on an unforgettable journey with 69 Explorer as we guide you through the captivating Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 days. This extraordinary adventure will lead you away from the hordes of tourists of the Classic Inca Trail, introducing you to a world where the high-altitude beauty of the Andes meets the rich cultural heritage of the Sacred Valley.

As we set off from a charming small town, you’ll feel the excitement of exploring a less frequented route, one that offers a unique blend of natural and cultural wonders. The Lares Trek, often overshadowed by its famous counterparts, the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek, stands out with its distinct, serene paths leading to Machu Picchu.

Our journey will take us to awe-inspiring heights, reaching the highest point of the trek at a breathtaking altitude. Here, you’ll marvel at panoramic views, with each step bringing a new perspective of the stunning Andean landscape. We’ll be prepared for the challenges of high altitude, ensuring your comfort and safety throughout the trek.

Experience the warmth of local Andean communities along the Lares Trail. Unlike the bustling trails of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Lares Trek offers a peaceful journey through remote villages, where you’ll witness the timeless traditions and lifestyles of the local people.

We’ll ensure that your nights are as comfortable as your days are adventurous. With a cozy sleeping bag and the serene Andean sky as your canopy, you’ll find rest and rejuvenation under the stars.

As we approach the end of the trek, we’ll experience the unique thrill of boarding a train to Aguas Calientes. This scenic ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is a journey in itself, winding through the lush landscapes of the Sacred Valley and setting the stage for the final ascent to Machu Picchu.

On our final day, the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu reaches its grand finale. As we hike the final stretch, every step will be imbued with a sense of achievement and wonder. We’ll arrive at the iconic Machu Picchu, where history and beauty converge, marking an unforgettable end to an incredible journey.

Throughout our expedition, we’ll be vigilant about altitude sickness, ensuring that our pace and acclimatization processes are tailored to your comfort. Every aspect of this trek is designed to create a memorable and enriching experience that you’ll cherish forever.

Join 69 Explorer on this magnificent Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. Together, we will explore, discover, and create lasting memories on one of the world’s most spectacular trails.

From US$ 497

95% of travelers recommend this experience

Important information

Includes

  • Transportation:
    • Pickup and drop-off at your hotel in Cusco.
    • Private transport to the start of the trek.
    • Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back.
    • Train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and return.
  • Accommodation:
    • Tents for camping during the trek.
    • One night’s hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
  • Meals and Drinks:
    • All meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks), except for the last day’s lunch in Aguas Calientes.
    • Boiled and purified drinking water throughout the trek (excluding the first morning and last lunch).
  • Guided Tour:
    • Professional bilingual guide(s).
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Entry Fees:
    • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
    • In some cases, entrance to additional sites such as Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, if pre-booked.
  • Camping Equipment:
    • High-quality camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, dining tent, portable chairs, and tables).
    • A duffel bag for your personal belongings (carried by horses).
  • Support Staff:
    • Cook and cooking equipment.
    • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and your personal items).
    • Emergency horse (just in case).
  • Additional Amenities:
    • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank.
    • Handheld radio.
  • Extras:
    • Warm water each morning and evening for washing.
    • Afternoon tea service in camp.
    • Snacks and surprises by the chef.

Excludes

  • Travel Insurance:
    • Personal travel insurance is not included and is highly recommended for all participants.
  • Meals and Drinks:
    • Meals in Aguas Calientes, particularly the last day’s lunch and/or dinner.
    • Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks.
  • Personal Hiking Gear:
    • Hiking boots and personal clothing.
    • Backpacks, trekking poles (can often be rented from the tour company).
    • Personal items like medication, toiletries, and batteries.
  • Optional Extras:
    • Entrance fees for optional activities, such as the Huayna Picchu hike if not pre-booked with the package.
    • Hot springs entrance fee in Aguas Calientes.
    • Additional snacks or supplements.
  • Transportation:
    • International and domestic flights to and from Cusco.
    • Transfers not specified in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation:
    • Extra accommodation before or after the trek.
    • Upgrades in hotels or campsites.
  • Additional Fees:
    • Gratuities for the guide, cook, and porters.
    • Bank transfer fees or credit card surcharges.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Laundry services.
    • Phone calls or messages.
    • Any personal expenses.
  • Emergency Transport:
    • Emergency evacuation or medical expenses.

Recommend to carry

  • Clothing:
    • Quick-dry hiking pants and shorts.
    • Moisture-wicking t-shirts and long-sleeve shirts.
    • Fleece jacket or warm layer.
    • Waterproof jacket and pants (rain gear).
    • Undergarments and hiking socks (synthetic or wool).
    • Warm hat and gloves.
    • Sun hat or cap.
  • Footwear:
    • Sturdy hiking boots (broken in).
    • Comfortable shoes or sandals for the campsite.
  • Backpack:
    • Daypack with rain cover.
    • Larger duffel bag or backpack (if provided by the trekking company, this will be carried by horses).
  • Sleeping Gear:
    • Sleeping bag suitable for freezing temperatures (can often be rented from the trekking company).
    • Inflatable pillow or small cushion (optional).
  • Hydration and Eating:
    • Water bottles or hydration bladder (at least 2 liters).
    • Water purification tablets or a water filter.
    • Reusable utensils and bowl (optional, depending on the trekking company’s provisions).
  • Health and Hygiene:
    • Personal first-aid kit (band-aids, blister plasters, painkillers, etc.).
    • Personal medications.
    • High SPF sunscreen and lip balm with SPF.
    • Insect repellent.
    • Hand sanitizer.
    • Wet wipes and biodegradable soap.
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Quick-dry towel.
  • Nutrition:
    • Energy bars and snacks (nuts, dried fruit, etc.).
  • Essential Gear:
    • Trekking poles (can often be rented).
    • Sunglasses with UV protection.
    • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
    • Camera with extra batteries or power bank.
    • Spare plastic bags for dirty clothes or waste.
  • Navigation:
    • Map and compass or GPS (optional, your guide will have these).
  • Personal Items:
    • Passport and necessary visas or permits.
    • Insurance and emergency contact information.
    • Cash for tips and personal expenses.
  • Entertainment:
    • Lightweight book or e-reader.
    • Journal and pen.
    • Cards or small games (optional).

Itinerary

Your journey on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, an enchanting experience through the heart of Peru’s Lares Valley, commences with an early start. We will gather at 5:00 AM for a prompt pickup from your Cusco hotel, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure.

As dawn breaks, we will embark on a scenic drive to the small town of Huaran. Here, amidst the tranquil surroundings, we will enjoy a nourishing breakfast, the perfect fuel for the day ahead. This is also where we’ll meet our dedicated horsemen and horses, key companions for our trek.

With boots laced and spirits high, we will begin our first day’s trek, gradually ascending towards the remote village of Cancha Cancha. The initial 3-hour journey will introduce us to the breathtaking landscapes of the Lares Valley. As we ascend, the panoramic views of the Andes will unfold before us, promising a trek filled with natural wonders.

Lunch will be a delightful affair, served beside a gently flowing river. This will be a chance to savor a meal crafted by our trekking chef, replenishing your energy while immersed in the serene beauty of the Andes.

Reaching Cancha Cancha, which sits at an elevation of 3,900 m (12,800 ft), marks a significant milestone in our journey. This traditional Andean community, untouched by modern roads and only recently connected to electricity, offers a rare glimpse into centuries-old ways of living.

After settling into our tents and enjoying a refreshing afternoon tea, we will have the unique opportunity to visit a local family. Through your guide’s interpretation, you will learn about life in this traditional Andean village, gaining insights into their enduring customs and practices.

As night falls, our guide will turn your attention to the skies, introducing you to the Inca constellations. These celestial guides have played a crucial role in the agricultural cycles of the Andes for generations and continue to do so.

Throughout the day, we will ensure your comfort and safety, mindful of the challenges posed by the altitude and terrain. This first day on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu promises not just a physical journey but a cultural immersion into the heart of the Andean way of life.

Key Statistics of the First Day of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • Distance Covered: The trek spans a considerable distance, immersing you in the heart of the Andes.
  • Highest Altitude: Reach an impressive altitude of 3,900 m (12,800 ft) at Cancha Cancha.
  • Lowest Altitude: The trek begins at a lower altitude, gradually ascending to the heights of Cancha Cancha.
  • Level of Difficulty: Prepare for a moderate to challenging trek, suitable for those with a sense of adventure and reasonable fitness.

This itinerary, infused with keywords like “Lares Trek”, “Lares Trek to Machu Picchu”, and “Lares Trek Peru”, highlights the essential aspects of the first day of your journey, blending adventure with cultural immersion.

On the second day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, an invigorating adventure awaits us with 69 Explorer. As the sun peeks over the Andean mountains, we will be gently roused by your guide with a warm mug of tea or coffee, a cozy start to an exhilarating day.

Fully recharged after a delightful breakfast, we will embark on our 7-hour hike, heading northeast. This day’s journey begins with an intense walk, challenging yet rewarding, as we traverse high passes en route to the trek’s pinnacle, Pachacutec Pass. Reaching an altitude of 4,500 m (14,800 ft), we will feel a surge of accomplishment and exhilaration. Standing at this summit, we’ll take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for conquering this impressive height.

The path to Pachacutec Pass is not just physically demanding; it’s a visual feast. As we ascend, we will be surrounded by stunning vistas of glaciers, remote lakes, alpaca herds, rugged valleys, and awe-inspiring mountain landscapes. We’ll also have the opportunity to spot Caracara falcons and Andean geese soaring in the sky above.

After savoring the views from the summit, our journey will lead us on a 3-hour descent to our campsite near the Quiswarani community, situated at an elevation of 3,700 m (12,139 ft). This part of the trek takes us along an isolated trail, providing an opportunity to encounter indigenous highland people in their traditional attire, herding their llamas and alpacas. This interaction allows for a deep connection with the local culture. Your guide will facilitate communication, helping us learn about their customs and teaching us some phrases in Quechua, the language of the Incas.

The final leg of our day’s trek will bring us to the breathtaking seven waterfalls, signaling our proximity to the campsite. Upon arrival, everything will be set up for a comfortable evening. We’ll unwind with hot drinks and appetizers, followed by a satisfying dinner, before settling in for a well-earned rest under the starlit Andean sky.

Key Statistics for the Second Day of the Lares Trek:

  • Distance Covered: Approximately 10 hours of hiking
  • Highest Altitude: Pachacutec Pass at 4,500 m (14,800)
  • Lowest Altitude: Quiswarani community at 3,700 m (12,139 ft)
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging, especially during the ascent to Pachacutec Pass

Join us for this second day of adventure on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer, where we will experience the thrill of conquering new heights, witness breathtaking landscapes, and connect with the heart of the Andean culture.

On the third day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer, we will embark on what promises to be the most scenic day of our adventure. As the sun rises over the Andes, we will begin our ascent towards the majestic Willqaqasa Pass.

This 3-hour climb will take us to an elevation of 4,200 m (13,779 ft), where we’ll be greeted with a spectacular bird’s eye view. The reflections of the mountains in the glacial lakes below create breathtaking mirror images, offering an unforgettable panorama. The sight of the Colquecruz and Pitusiray Mountains from this vantage point is awe-inspiring, making the ascent well worth the effort.

After taking in the stunning views, we will continue our trek through the Puna grasslands. This region, known for its undulating landscapes and productive agricultural sites, is dotted with pristine natural lakes. The beauty of this highland terrain, with its unique flora and fauna, is a highlight of the day.

Our journey then leads us to a 2-hour descent towards the Cucani community. Here, we will have the opportunity to connect with the local indigenous children, possibly visiting their school and sharing quality time with the students. This cultural exchange is a heartwarming experience, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of the Andean people.

Leaving Cucani, we will meet our driver and ride down through a lush valley. This area is rich in agriculture, with fruit-bearing trees and a variety of native flowers like begonias and wild orchids adding color to the landscape.

Our destination for the day is the rejuvenating Lares Hot Springs, situated at 3,100 m (10,170 ft). Here, we will indulge in the natural volcanic hot springs, soaking for an hour to relax and rejuvenate our muscles. Lunch at Lares will be a time to unwind and reflect on our journey so far.

We will then bid farewell to our remarkable chef and horsemen, who have been integral to our trekking experience. After lunch, we will take a 2.5-hour private transport to Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo, we will enjoy dinner before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night, eagerly anticipating our visit to Machu Picchu the following day.

Key Statistics for the Third Day of the Lares Trek:

  • Distance Covered: Approx. 5 hours of hiking
  • Highest Altitude: Willqaqasa Pass at 4,200 meters (13,779 feet)
  • Lowest Altitude: Lares Hot Springs at 3,100 meters (10,170 feet)
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate, with a rewarding descent to Lares

Join us on this third day of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer, where breathtaking scenery, cultural connections, and soothing hot springs create an unforgettable day on our journey through the Peruvian Andes.

On the fourth day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with 69 Explorer, a truly extraordinary experience awaits us. After a restful night in Aguas Calientes, we will start our day with an early breakfast at the hotel, fueling up for a memorable visit to the iconic Machu Picchu.

We will catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, ensuring we arrive in time to witness a breathtaking sunrise over the citadel. This moment, as the first rays of light illuminate the ruins, is nothing short of magical and not to be missed.

Upon arrival, your guide will lead you on a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu. We will explore the most significant parts of the Citadel, delving into its history and marveling at its architectural prowess. You will learn how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: the agricultural, the residential, and the religious, each revealing different aspects of the Inca civilization.

For those who have pre-booked the additional hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain, this will be your moment to ascend and enjoy the spectacular views it offers. The vantage point from Huayna Picchu provides a unique perspective of Machu Picchu, making the climb a worthwhile endeavor.

After immersing ourselves in the wonders of Machu Picchu, we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Here, you’ll have time for lunch (not included in the package) and perhaps some last-minute shopping, sightseeing, or a visit to the local museum or hot springs.

Our journey back will be aboard the Expedition train, departing at either 2:55 PM or 3:20 PM. This train ride, following the spectacular Urubamba River, is a visual treat. As we near Aguas Calientes, the canyon narrows, creating beautiful sections of whitewater. Keep an eye out for the Wiñay Wayna ruins, visible high up on the steep canyon wall!

Once we arrive in Ollantaytambo, our driver will be waiting to take us back to Cusco in a private vehicle. We can expect to arrive back at your hotel by 7:00 PM, bringing our unforgettable four-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu to a comfortable and satisfying conclusion.

Key Statistics for the Fourth Day of the Lares Trek:

  • Distance Covered: Bus and train travel, with a moderate hike around Machu Picchu
  • Highest Altitude: Machu Picchu at 2,430 m (7,972 ft)
  • Lowest Altitude: Aguas Calientes at 2,040 m (6,693 ft)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, depending on the optional Huayna Picchu hike

Join 69 Explorer for this culminating day of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, where history, stunning sunrises, and the beauty of the Andean landscape come together in a perfect finale to an epic journey.

FAQs

The Lares Trek is an alternative hiking route to Machu Picchu, less crowded than the famous Inca Trail. It takes you through stunning Andean landscapes, traditional villages, and offers a more cultural experience.

The trek typically spans over 3 to 4 days, covering various distances each day, depending on the specific itinerary.

Unlike the Inca Trail, you don’t need a specific permit for the Lares Trek. However, you will need a ticket to enter Machu Picchu.

The Lares Trek is considered moderate to challenging, mainly due to high altitudes and rugged terrain.

The best time is during the dry season, from April to October, with clearer skies and fewer rain showers.

Essential items include proper hiking gear (boots, clothes, rain jacket), a sleeping bag, a water purifier, sunscreen, a hat, and personal medication. It’s also advised to bring snacks and a camera.

To mitigate altitude sickness, acclimatize in Cusco for a few days before the trek, stay hydrated, eat light meals, and consider medication like acetazolamide if advised by a doctor.

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Why choose us

These popular destinations have a lot to offer

At 69 Explorer, we are committed to providing an exceptional experience. Your safety, comfort, and enjoyment are our top priorities. We continuously strive to exceed expectations and ensure that every trip with us becomes a cherished memory.

Payment

Local Experience

Our guides are locals with extensive knowledge about the history, myths, and secrets of the region.

Small personalized groups

Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you an unforgettable experience

Our experience

Our With seven years of experience and more than 20 packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to carry out a successful expedition.

Sustainable Travel

We believe in responsible tourism. Our tours are designed to respect the local communities and environment, ensuring a positive impact.