- Time 4 Days / 3 Nights
- Tour Type Hike
- Altitude 4700 m.a.s.l.
- Place Cusco
- Difficulty Moderate
We invite you to live an unparalleled experience in the Lares Trek, an alternative option to the traditional Inca Trail to reach the amazing citadel of Machu Picchu! This trek starts at the relaxing hot springs of Lares, just 3 hours away from the city of Cusco. During the hike, you will cross the Huacawasi pass, located at an altitude of 4,300 meters above sea level, and then descend until you reach Yanahuara or Ollantaytambo. There, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the hot springs and take the tour to Machu Picchu. Although it is not as well known as the Inca Trail, many travelers find this trek just as impressive and unique. It is also an excellent opportunity to get to know the rural communities of the incredible Sacred Valley of the Incas as you make your way to the archaeological jewel of Machu Picchu. Make sure you don’t miss this unparalleled experience during your trip to Peru!
Day: 01: Cusco – Sacred Valley – Lares – Huacawasi
We will pick you up early in the morning and drive to the village of Lares, from where we start our hike to Huacawasi, our first camping site.
Day 02: Huacawasi – Patacancha “Qelcanca” (3,750 m/12, 377ft)
After breakfast, we begin the longest and most challenging hike of the entire journey, ascending to the highest point of our trek (Sacsayllame at 4,400 meters above sea level). Afterwards, we will continue hiking to our second campsite in Patacancha.
Day 03: Patacancha “Qelcanca” – Pumamarka – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes “Machu Picchu”.
We start the day with the hike, during which we will pass through Willoq and Pumamarca, two villages recognized for their outstanding textile craftsmanship and colorful costumes. We will then arrive in Ollantaytambo, where we will enjoy lunch and board the train to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu Full Day
This day is the highlight of the tour, as we will visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Our last day of the tour starts early in the morning. After that, we will embark on a tour with our guide, who will accompany us for 2 hours to show us the most outstanding buildings and temples of this city.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4|
|Exit point||Cusco||Caserío de Huacawasi||Qelcanca “Patacancha”||Machu Picchu|
|Arrival point||Caserío de Huacawasi||Qelcanca||Machu Picchu||Cusco|
|Activities||Transfer from Cuzco to the town of Lares||Hike||Trek – Arrival to Machu Picchu||Visit to Machu Picchu and return to Cuzco.|
|Distance / duration||11 Km. / 6 h.||14 Km. / 8 h.||14 km. / 7 h.|
Day: 01: Cusco – Sacred Valley – Lares – Huacawasi
Cusco (3,400 masl): The day starts early, with the guide picking you up at your hotel at 6:00 am. From there, we will drive through the Sacred Valley to the village of Lares, the starting point of our trek. Throughout the trek, you will be able to enjoy the scenery and breathtaking views of the mountains, so it is important that you have your camera ready to capture those moments.
Sacred Valley – Calca (2,920 masl): According to the itinerary, we head towards the town of Calca, where we make a brief detour to start climbing towards the village of Lares, which is the starting point for our hike.
Lares (3150 masl): The duration of the trip is approximately 3 hours. Once we reach the village, we ascend to the hot springs, where we can rest and delight in the beauty of these relaxing outdoor hot springs. Lunch is offered here.
Afterwards, our bus awaits us, and then we continue our journey for approximately 20 minutes until we reach the starting point of the trail known as Pascana. Here we meet our muleteers and prepare the horses and llamas. We are ready to start our hike through the mountains of the Sacred Valley, which will last about 6 hours. This day offers us a beautiful experience full of breathtaking landscapes and the opportunity to visit various Andean villages, where we can appreciate their costumes and learn how the Andean people live in these areas.
Huacawasi (3, 800 masl): After finishing our walk, we arrive at the tiny village of Huacawasi, where everything is prepared to enjoy an exquisite dinner and a well-deserved rest. It is essential to have the proper equipment because the nights are extremely cold.
- Time: 6 Hours Approx. of trekking.
- Climate: Temperate, Cold
- Maximum Altitude: between 2, 920 – 3, 800 masl.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Overnight: Huacawasi
- Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Day 02: Huacawasi – Patacancha “Qelcanca” (3,750 m/12, 377 ft)
Huacawasi (3,800 masl): Early in the morning, we will be greeted by local children, who will show off their traditional costumes as they head to school. After enjoying a nutritious breakfast, we will begin our hike to the highest point, known as the Sacsayllame pass, which is located at an altitude of 4400 meters or 14435 feet. This hike will be steep and will take us approximately 4 hours to reach the top. Of course, we will have an emergency horse to make sure that everyone can reach the summit safely.
During this hike, you will be able to marvel at the majestic mountains, a mosaic of cultivated land and breathtaking views. It is important to keep in mind that we will be reaching high altitudes and the weather can be extremely cold. After reaching the highest point, we will descend and pass a beautiful lagoon before stopping for lunch by the river.
Patacancha (3,750 masl): We arrive at the village of Patacancha, a very emblematic place in Peru. The inhabitants of this village are direct descendants of the Incas and have remained unmixed with other communities.
The trail continues for an hour along a narrow ridge before descending into a beautiful isolated stream that is dotted with glacial lakes. There we enjoy our lunch next to the beautiful lake. Afterwards, we continue following the course of the stream, skirting its banks, descending into the next valley and passing a series of waterfalls until we reach the village of Qelcanca, where we will spend the night.
Qelcanca: If we continue going a little further, we will arrive at Qelcanca, which will be the site of our second camp and where we will have our dinner.
- Time: Approx. 8 hours of trekking.
- Distance: 14 Km.
- Weather: Cold
- Maximum Altitude: 3, 800 masl.
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Overnight: Qelcanca
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03: Patacancha “Qelcanca” – Pumamarka – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes “Machu Picchu”
Patacancha (3, 800 masl): After enjoying a nutritious breakfast, we continue our adventure and meet the small settlements. Then, we will arrive at Pumamarka, a place that has impressive stone constructions that we will explore together with our guide. Later, we continue our journey and arrive at Ollantaytambo, a place of great importance in the Inca Empire.
Ollantaytambo (2,792 masl): The hike comes to an end at the Ollantaytambo Fortress and Citadel, which was built for the purpose of guarding access to this part of the valley. There, we will have the opportunity to walk through the narrow streets of the town and get a clear vision of what this military, religious and cultural center was like during the Inca Empire. Then, it is time to board the train to head to Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes (2,040 masl): The distance between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, a time in which we can enjoy the scenery. Upon arrival, we head to our hotel to take a bath and then go out for dinner, resting up for our next adventure. If we wish, we also visit the thermal baths, with a cost of $4.00.
- Time: 7 Hours Approx. of walking.
- Distance: 14 Km.
- Climate: Cold – Temperate
- Maximum Altitude: 3, 800 masl. – 2040 masl
- Difficulty: Moderate – Low
- Overnight stay: Aguas Calientes Hotel
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu Full Day
Aguas Calientes (2040 masl): Without a doubt, this day is the highlight of our trip, as we will have the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu. After enjoying breakfast at our hotel, we will head to the bus stop to take the bus that will take us to Machu Picchu. It is advisable to do it early in the morning to make the most of this unique experience.
Machu Picchu Sanctuary:
Machu Picchu (2, 430 masl): Afterwards, we will line up to take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu, following the “arrived first, served first” system as transportation service. The bus ride to the citadel of Machu Picchu usually takes between 25 and 30 minutes, and the gates open at 6:00 am. It is important to bring your original passport, the same one you used to book your trip, as the park rangers will require it (you can also get a Machu Picchu stamp in your passport if you wish). Your guide will be on hand to help you find the perfect spots from which to appreciate the Machu Picchu Sanctuary (the photos you take will become your new Facebook profile picture immediately!). We will present our entrance tickets and passports at Machu Picchu to begin our visit.
Our guide will be waiting for us to begin our tour of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, which will be a guided tour of approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. We will explore different archaeological sites of the Machupicchu Sanctuary, such as the Agricultural Zone, Urban Zone, Temple of the Sun, Royal Residence, Sacred Plaza, Inti Huatana, Sacred Rock and many other places that will surely surprise us.
Then, at 14:30 p.m., 16:12 p.m. or 19:00 p.m., we will board our train bound for Ollantaytambo or Poroy.
- Huayna Picchu: If you wish to add a visit to Huayna Picchu, with its breathtaking panoramic views, to your adventure, you must book it in advance and it has an additional cost of $25 per person. The climb to the top takes approximately 45 minutes and is quite a challenge.
- Machu Picchu Mountain: You can also choose to climb Machu Picchu Mountain, which takes 90 minutes up and is quite challenging. There is an additional cost of $15 per person. This option offers probably the most beautiful and spectacular views of all, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramas.
- Buffet Lunch: We suggest you visit the MAPI Restaurant, with an additional cost of $20.00.
- Meals: Breakfast
Note for your trek:
The itinerary and campsites for the 4-day/3-night Lares Trek to Machu Picchu are subject to change based on availability at the time of booking. They may also vary due to climatic factors or the health condition of the hikers. The train service (to and from Ollantaytambo) included in each tour is the Expedition Service. Train schedules are only confirmed close to the trekking date. If you join a group at a later date, we cannot guarantee that you will travel on the same trains as the rest of the group. Train schedules may also change depending on availability and train company schedules.
What’s Included Lares Trek:
- Transfers In/ Out Hotel
- Transportation Cusco – Lares.
- Professional bilingual guide (English – Spanish).
- 03D-03AL- 03S -03C
- First Aid Kit.
- Oxygen Balloon.
- Pack horses and muleteer.
- Camping equipment “Triple waterproof tents for each 02 people and personal sleeping bags”.
- Camping equipment for the guides, cook and muleteer.
- Train “Ollantaytambo -Machupicchu town”.
- 01 Night Hotel with private bathroom and hot water.
- Entrance ticket to Machupicchu.
- 01 Bus up and down – Machupicchu town – Aguas Calientes.
- Return train tickets (Expeditions) to Ollantaytambo.
What Lares Trek does NOT include:
- Lunch and dinner last day
- Sleeping bag
- Pair of poles
- Air mattress
- Huayna Picchu Mountain
- Machu Picchu Mountain
- Optional upgrade (hotel)
- Original passport
- CIIU (student discount card), in case you have it.
- Small backpack
- Rain poncho
- Good hiking pants, hiking boots, sun, hat and sunglasses
- Camera batteries and extra
- 2 liters of water
- Extra money
- Insect repellent
- Trekking poles
We can help you with the rental of certain equipment such as:
- Sleeping bag US $ 25.00 for the whole trip
- Walking poles US $ 15.00 for the whole trip
- Extra horses to carry your personal equipment US $ 70.00 for 04 days.
- Supplementary single tent for camping nights US $ 30.00.
- Vistadome class tourist train (a “first class train, with panoramic windows to enjoy the view of Machu Picchu Valley”) is an additional US$ 80.00 per person.
PRIVATE SERVICE TOUR
Lares Trek to Machupicchu Tour
PRICE PER PERSON
Minimum 02 people
|Summary of the private tour
TYPE OF TOURIST TRAIN
THE VOYAGER – Inca Rail or EXPEDITION Train – Peru Rail service is available. If you prefer to add the VISTADOME train service, there will be an additional cost of US$ 45.00 per person for the round trip.
There are special prices for students, children and infants.
Frequently Asked Questions from Travelers
Can I store my luggage in your office?
Of course you can! During the tour, we can store your main luggage for free at our office or at your hotel.
What is the weather like during the trek?
The weather can be very changeable and is difficult to anticipate. Therefore, it is advisable to dress warmly to adapt to different weather conditions, whether it is rainy, cold or hot.
What Happens With Altitude Sickness?
Generally, if you exercise regularly and spend a few days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will be able to adapt adequately. Acclimatization usually takes 24 hours to 2 days.
To counteract altitude sickness, it is recommended to drink WATER, COCONUT MATE and, if necessary, OXYGEN. Our guides are trained to treat the symptoms of altitude sickness. You can get more detailed information about altitude sickness in our FAQ.
If you are satisfied with our services, a tip for our staff is appreciated but not mandatory. It is a common practice in the travel industry and shows your appreciation for exceptional service. The amount of the tip depends on your perception of the quality and length of the trip. Remember that it is not mandatory and should only be given in the case of receiving excellent service.
IS TREKKING TOUGH? Do I need to get in shape?
The four-day trek from Lares to Machu Picchu is a 37 km trek through the Andes in Cusco. The maximum altitude reached during the trek is 4,700 meters. On the second day of the trek, two mountains will be climbed. The trail presents a considerable level of difficulty and it is necessary to be well prepared and in good health before starting. It is important to be in moderate physical condition and to exercise regularly. In preparation, it is recommended to hike at least 15 km or 9 miles in one day, or to exercise in the months prior to the trek. In addition, it is essential to be properly acclimatized to the altitude. It is suggested to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (at 3,350 m / 11,047 ft) before starting the trek.
How much does it cost to enter the thermal baths of Lares?
The thermal baths of Lares are a popular attraction in Peru, known for their natural and relaxing hot springs. They are located in the town of Lares, in the Cusco region. Entrance fees to the hot springs vary according to the category of visitor:
- Foreign Tourist: The entrance fee is S/ 15.00.
- Foreign Tourist Child: Foreign children have a price of S/ 7.50.
- National Tourist: Peruvian tourists pay S/. 8.00.
- National Tourist Child: Peruvian children have a price of S/ 4.00.
Is it necessary to hire a guide or an agency to do the Lares Trek?
Yes, it is essential to hire the services of an accredited tour guide and a travel agency to do the Lares Trek. This measure is due to government regulations in Peru, which aim to preserve the environment and ensure the safety of hikers.
Is it necessary to be in good physical shape to do the Lares Trek?
Although the Lares Trek is not as demanding as the Inca Trail, it still requires a moderate level of fitness. You must be prepared to hike several hours a day on uneven terrain and at high altitudes. Training and acclimatization hikes are recommended before embarking on the trek.
What is the best time to do the Lares Trek?
The best time to do the Lares Trek is during the dry season in the Peruvian Andes, which generally covers the months of April to October. The months of June to August are considered high season due to the more stable weather, although there may be more tourists during that period.
What items should I bring during the Lares Trek?
Some essentials you should take with you during the Lares Trek include a comfortable backpack, suitable walking clothes, hiking boots, a sleeping bag, waterproof clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, personal medications, and a reusable water bottle.
How much does it cost to enter the Machupicchu butterfly farm?
This is located near the Machupicchu campsite and is a charming place where you can appreciate a great variety of butterflies in their natural habitat. This wonderful sanctuary is home to hundreds of species of butterflies, providing a unique and educational experience.
Entrance fees to the Machupicchu Butterfly Sanctuary can vary, so I would recommend you to check the updated prices before your visit. Generally, prices range between S/ 10 soles and S/ 15 soles.
Does the entrance fee to the site museum 'Manuel Chávez Ballón' cost?
The Machu Picchu Museum is a must-see for those who wish to deepen their knowledge about the ancient Inca city and its history. This museum exhibits an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts and objects found in the area, providing a fascinating insight into the Inca culture and its relationship with Machu Picchu.
Entrance prices to the Machu Picchu Museum can vary, so I would recommend checking for updated prices before your visit. Generally, prices range around 22 soles for adult tourists and 11 soles for Peruvian tourists (free with the Machu Picchu entrance ticket).
What to see in the citadel of Machupicchu?
At Machu Picchu Citadel, you will find a variety of fascinating places to explore. Some of the sites you should visit in the citadel are:
- Intihuatana: Admire this carved stone structure, considered a sundial and a point of connection with the stars in Inca culture.
- Temple of the Sun: Explore this temple dedicated to solar worship, which features impressive architecture and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Temple of the Three Windows: Observe the three trapezoidal windows that characterize this temple and marvel at the precision of Inca construction.
- Main Temple: Tour the main temple, which is one of the central points of the citadel and shows the architectural and ceremonial skill of the Incas.
- Intipunku (Sun Gate): If you access Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail, you will arrive at this emblematic gate that offers an impressive view of the citadel.
- Main Plaza: Enjoy the central space of the citadel, surrounded by important structures and with a privileged view of the surroundings.
- Residential Zone: Explore the residential areas of Machu Picchu, which include dwellings, fountains and agricultural terraces.
What does Machupicchu mean?
Machu Picchu, which in Quechua means “old mountain,” is an ancient Inca citadel located high in the Peruvian Andes. It is considered one of the archaeological wonders of the world and is renowned for its impressive architecture and beautiful natural surroundings.
How much does it cost to enter the Machupicchu hot springs?
These baths are a popular attraction for visitors who wish to relax and enjoy the hot springs after their visit to Machu Picchu. Prices to enter the Aguas Calientes hot springs can vary, but generally range from 10 to 20 Peruvian soles per person.