The Lares trek to Machu Picchu involves a 4 day trek with a professional guide, cook, horsesman and horses, you will be hiking at times in higher altitude than in Cuzco. This Lares trek ends in Machu Picchu Santuray with 2 hour guided tour.
This is an ideal trekking to Machu Picchu package and a great alternative trek to the Classic Inca Trail. Experience peoples living in remote andean villages, herding llamas and alpacas over the vast high altitude plains. See some unique one of a kind textiles made by the woman in these isolated places, weaving alpaca and llama wool and dyed with bright naural plant material.
The Lares trek tour starts in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and passes through terraced land and long established villages as you climb in to the Andes. This remote and rarely visited region offers the trekker an insight into the lives of the traditional native people, such as the Andean farmer, dressed in his brightly colored poncho.
Being a social hike either socializing with people of the are or seeing the rituals, is not a difficult hike but the altitude will be the difficulty we'll have to pass during the hike.
The Lares trek to Machu Picchu is an excellent way to get to know the Andean landscape, with valleys, rivers, lagoons with crystal clear waters, waterfalls, forests of queuñas and to know the way of life in the Andes. In addition to the excursion in the Andes, the program connects with a visit to one of the wonders of the modern world Machu Picchu.
Day 01: Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi
Day 02: Huacawasi - Patacancha
Day 03: Patacancha - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes
Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Important info about your Trek:
Service Level: Confortable tourist - Class accommodations with character, emergency horse and private transport.
Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding - Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.
Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Crew: A professional bilingual Guide, a Cook, a Muleteer and Horses.
Lares trek accomodation: Campsites (2 nights), Hotel (1 night).
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon tea, Snack every morning.
Highest Altitude: 4780m / 15,682ft.
Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train Expedition. How long is the Lares?: 34km / 21 miles
We pick you up from your hotel between to 4:00 and 4:30 to start the Lares trek to Machu Picchu. Its a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Pisac and stopping for breakfast for about 40 minutes in the provincial town of Calca. In Calca you will also have the opportunity to use the bathroom and buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. Departing Calca around 08:00 we head off for the 3 hours drive to Lares (3100m) which is the starting point for the trek. Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean commuties, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of llamas and alpacas.
Before we start the Lares trek we'll visit the hot springs which are located in meadows just out of town. For those of you who have remembered to bring your swimwear we will take a relaxing dip in the warm waters which are famous for their medicinal powers. Feeling fully refreshed, we begin a leisurely walk up the Trapiche River Valley. After about 2½ hours we will arrive at Vilcabamba village where we will stop and have lunch. We will then continue up the valley for another 1½ hours to the small village of Huacawasi (3700m) where we will set up camp and spend the night.
Estimated trekking time: 4 hours
Trekking distance: 10 Km
Max. elevation: 3,750 m
Min. elevation: 3,200 m
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Many of the houses that we see in this small village of Huacahuasi are built from stone and have thatched roofs. The people of this village produce beautiful colourful textiles. In the morning we will learn about the weaving techniques and be able to admire some of their high quality ponchos, chullos (wool hats) and other garments. After lunch will then climb for approximately 2 hours to the top of Ipsayccasa Pass which, at 4500m, is the highest pass along the trek. From here we get stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We will descend gently for about 1 hour until we reach the site of our second night's camp beside the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake. We may be lucky enough to see Andean Geese, Puna Ibis and other wetland birds.
Estimated trekking time: 7 - 8 hours
Trekking distance: 14 Km
Max. elevation: 4, 500 m
Min. elevation: 3, 700 m
Today is a much easier day. After an early breakfast we'll walk gently downhill through a wide-open valley for about 2½ hours until we arrive at the village of Patacancha. The people from this area are known locally as "Huayruros" - the name of a red and black seed reminiscent of the colour of their ponchos. We'll have a chance to view some textiles made by the people of this community - the high quality weavings are famous for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture. We'll walk slowly down the valley to Willoq, another Quechua village where the locals still wear their traditional dress and are proud to maintain their cultural identity. Our transport will be waiting for us to take us further down the valley to Inca town of Ollantaytambo where we will rest and have lunch. In the afternoon we will take the train to Aguas Calientes. This is a spectacular journey that starts in the Quechua highlands and slowly descends to lush tropical vegetation as we near Aguas Calientes. Total journey time about 2 hours. We'll spend the night in a hostal in Aguas Calientes where you'll no doubt enjoy the opportunity to soak under the hot showers!! Early night.
Estimated trekking time: 2 - 3 hours
Trekking distance: 7 Km
Max. elevation: 3, 700 m
Min. elevation: 2, 900 m
Wake up very early and we will climb by foot to Machu Picchu. I'm sure you'll agree that, although it's tough getting up, it's well worth the effort to see the "Lost City of the Incas" at its quietest in the early morning light. You'll have plenty of opportunity to take photos and have some peaceful time alone to enjoy the sun rising from behind the mountains. Our guide will give you a tour of Machu Picchu telling you about Inca history and significance of the major sites of interest. The tour takes about 2 hours after which you will have freetime to explore the ruins on your own or climb to Wayna Picchu - the mountain that overlooks the ancient Inca city (allow a minumum of 1½ hours). By 11:00 Machu Picchu quickly fills up with tourists arriving by train and appears crowded by comparison with the early morning. Most people are ready to take the bus back to Aguas Calientes around 1pm where you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants. In the night, take the train back to Ollantaytambo where a bus will be waiting to bring you back to Cusco.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single tent and a single room in Aguas Calientes.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!
This Lares trek to Machu Picchu does not have permits, you can book it a month in advance, or weeks before, the only thing to keep in mind are the MACHUPICCHU tickets and the train tickets that need to be bought in advance, especially the train tickets that It is advisable to buy it a month in advance because there are often no spaces.
To make this Lares trek to Machu Picchu we recommend that the pax arrive in Cusco at least two days before to acclimatize, and practice tours such as a visit to the city and the Sacred Valley, which are gentle hikes at considerable heights and hiking practices.
Here is everything you need to know about Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, one of our most impressive tours.