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Lares Trek vs Inca Trail

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While planning your trip to Peru and specifically to Machu Picchu, you are undoubtedly waiting for the trip of your life, and there are many decisions to make regarding your trip. One of the most important decisions faced by visitors to Machu Picchu is how they want to get there, and many times that decision is reduced to a simple question: 

Which is best - Lares Trek vs Inca Trail? You would think that when traveling to Peru the most difficult decision would be what to pack, where to stay, and other unknowns involved with traveling to a faraway location. However, often the toughest choice is which trek to take to Machu Picchu. Most people have heard of the Inca Trail trek but there are many other trails in the region that are stunning and do not require permits, such as Lares Trek. Read the article below for more information about these two trails to help you decide!  


The Inca Trail

Undoubtedly, the most famous of the two tours, the Inca Trail is undoubtedly more widely known than its less known cousin. If the purpose of your trip is simply to show off to friends and family when you get home, the Camino del Inca is definitely the way to go, but we hope you never make such a frivolous decision! 

The Inca Trail is definitely the most historic option. Before arriving at Machu Picchu, you will walk through a variety of Inca ruins, sites unreachable for tourists by any other means, and although Machu Picchu can be full of tourists, you will surely find each of these sites comparatively quieter and more calm.

Another decisive factor in Lares trek vs Inca trail for many visitors who choose the Inca Trail trek is the fact that it is the only way to get to Machu Picchu through the famous Sun Gate of the ancient city. This experience is so beautiful that it can be emotionally overwhelming, and many visitors look back to find it one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

Also in this Lares trek vs Inca trail, there are some potential disadvantages to the Inca Trail trek. Due to its immense fame and popularity, it is necessary to plan your months of travel, and sometimes in the high season, almost a year, in advance. 500 hikers are allowed daily, half of which are guides and porters, so it can be difficult to find a place. In addition, the result is that the road can sometimes be full, especially if you are looking for a more solitary experience. 

If you do not feel like waiting so long to do your walk, or maybe if you're just waiting for a different experience, do not worry! There is still another angle in the Lares trek vs Inca trail.


The Lares trek

First of all, one good thing about the Lares Trek is that it is a little less physically complicated, but that does not mean that it is without difficulty. They are approximately 33 kilometers in comparison with the 44 kilometers of the Inca Trail. Both have a lot of altitude gains and steep descents, although once again the Inca Trail slightly surpasses the Lares Trail on this front. 

Compared to the Inca Trail trek, the Lares Trail is much less famous in the tourist circuit. This means that there is no competition for the tickets, it is not necessary to book so long in advance, and the walk will involve more privacy. 


Lares trek vs Inca trail

Which brings us to a great difference between the two paths: the Inca Trail passes through the uninhabited areas, the Lares Trail passes through villages and farms inhabited by the modern Andean people, the descendants of the Incas who built Machu Picchu. During your trip, you probably have many opportunities to interact with the indigenous peoples of Peru, so the Lares Trail is a cultural experience in a way that the Inca Trail simply is not. 

The first disadvantage of Lares Trail is the fact that you do not get to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. 

At the end of the day, there is no clear answer to the question of the Lares trek vs Inca trail: it is about your personal preferences and what you expect to get from your trip to Machu Picchu.

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