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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

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 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 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.


Quick Itinerary:

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:

  • 3days hiking with profesional guide, chef, muleteer and horses
  • Guided tour of Machupicchu
  • Share the culture with the Lares people
  • Explore and discover the andean life
  • Appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the mountain

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu included the double tent,  thermarest mattress and Sleeping bag, please click here


Packing List:

  • Passport: Carry it is very important
  • Inmigration Card
  • ISIC card: If you booked as a student
  • A good hiking shoes: Comfortable and useful on all terrain
  • Waterproof: Especially in rainy seasons
  • Sunscreen: Avoid the ultraviolet ray
  • Coca leaf


Interesting Information

Day 01: Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi

We pick you up from your hotel between to 4:00 and 4:30. 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 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

Day 02: Huacawasi - Ipsaycocha - Patacancha

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
Difficulty:  Challenging

Day 03: Ipsaycocha - Patacancha - willoq - Pumamarca - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

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
Difficulty:  Easy

Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco

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.

What is included in the Lares Trek?

  • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
  • Private transportation to Lares - the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights) and a Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night), optional Homestay in Patacancha community (1 night);
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu and the hot springs at Lares;
  • Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner and 2x afternoon hot beverages (please advise us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Snack every morning;
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide (a group of up to 8 participants receives 1 Guide, a group over 8 persons receives 2 Guides);
  • Professional Cook;
  • Muleteer;
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's stuff; 
  • An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Camping equipment: Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress); 
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Lares Trek Map;
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • A round trip by tourist train (Expedition Service) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu Mountain ($80) or Machu Picchu Mountain ($80) and hot spring entrance;
  • A shuttle bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu ($9.50 - one way, $18.50 - a round trip);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

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!

Highlights by Archaeological Sites

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Visit the Lares town
  • Visit Ollantaytambo ruins
  • Cherish the animals and vegetation on the road


Best moment from the Trek

  • Interact and socialize with people of the area


Encampment Equipment

Inca Trail Machu Tour operator will provide the double tent. Our tents are of the brand  EUREKA MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary
Inca Trail Machu will provide the clean Sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow and blanket. Our porters will leave inside your tent. Once arrived to the camping, you will find inside your all camping equipment.



  • Walking sticks or poles cost $20 to rent.
  • Daypack for your hike U$ 10
  • Rain Poncho U$ 10 
  • There are emergency porters available for rent along this trek if you are unsure you will be able to complete the hike, cost $80.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Here is everything you need to know about Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, one of our most impressive tours.

Where is located "Lares" an "Machu Picchu"?
"Lares" is a district that is located in the province of Calca, in Cusco. Lares is interesting product of the natural and archaeological resources that can be found in the district.
"Machu Picchu" is located in the south of Peru, belongs to the department of Cusco, "Machu Picchu" is located 112.5 kilometers northeast of the city of Cusco, with a height of 2350 meters above sea level.

Altitudes in Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
  • "Lares" at 3,100 m.a.s.l.
  • "Huacawasi" at 3,700 m.a.s.l.
  • "Ipsayccasa Pass" at 4,500 m.a.s.l.
  • "Machu Picchu" at 2,430 m.a.s.l.
How many kilometers is walked during the Choquequirao Trek and how many hours do we walk per day?
  • Lares to Huacawasi: 10 Km (Trekking time: 4 hours)
  • Huacawasi to Patacancha: 14 Km (Trekking time: 7 - 8 hours)
  • Ipsaycocha to Hot Springs: 7 km (2 - 3 hours)
What does "Machu Picchu" mean?
"Machu Picchu" means 'Old Mountain' in the indigenous Quechua language. "Machu Picchu", the lost city of the Incas, is an unprecedented historical, natural and architectural complex, a tourist destination that has earned the category of inescapable.

How difficult is the Lares Trek?
The Lares Trek is considered a moderate hike. It's not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals

Is it possible to do the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu on my own?
This walk does not require permits so there is always availability, however, it is better to book your walk in advance to ensure the Machu Picchu entrances and the best train locations.

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