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Lares Trek vs Salkantay Trek

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When planning your trip to Peru without a doubt your main objective is to visit the wonder of the modern world Machu Picchu. When looking for information you can find several possibilities to reach this magical place from lightning rides in a single day, traditional tours that mix important archaeological sites with a train trip to world famous hikes such as the Inca Trail. 

Therefore, if you are interested in taking a walk but without spending a lot of money or maybe you did not get a quota on the Inca Trail, we offer you two very good alternatives for hiking through valleys, pampas and mountains both destined to Macchu Picchu. 

The routes of Salkantay trekking and Lares are gaining popularity little by little worldwide since they offer you the possibility of knowing Machu Picchu but from a more experiential and less commercial perspective. Both routes have their pros and cons and in this blog we will try to indicate some of them so that you can choose the trek that suits your wishes. This is our Lares trek vs Salkantay trek


Salkantay Trek 

The Salkantay trail varies according to the preferences of the traveler between 4 to 5 days. Days in which the journey begins in the city of Cusco to go then to the valley of Limatambo to the area of Mollepata from where the walk begins, during Salkantay trekking the ascent will reach up to 4,600 meters above sea level in the Abra del Apu Salkantay and then take the Descent into the Peruvian jungle and thus finally reach Machu Picchu. 

Salkantay trek has a good view of snowy mountains, for example Huamantay and Salkantay, but it descends in the damp brow forest near Santa María.

definitely the Salkantay trek is better known, which means that there are several agencies that offer it with competitive prices. The vast majority of agencies take groups daily which facilitates your trip and the date of it. 

And a very important point that many tourists consider is the price, the Salkantay trail is more economical, due to the trip is made walking and by bus which saves some expenses. 


Lares Trek 

This route also starts in the city of Cusco from where tourist transport crosses the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the town of Calca and then to visit Lares and its relaxing and healing thermal waters. After having enjoyed the hot springs, the climb begins, which has its highest point above 4,400 meters above sea level. During the whole trip you will be accompanied by mountains and the Apu Ausangate as well as the flora and fauna typical of the Peruvian Andes. 

Lares trek offers a greater number of lagoons than the Salkantay trek and being a less commercial route there is a greater number of species of animals that can be observed.

The walk continues through communities such as Patacancha and then descend to the town of Ollantaytambo from where you will have to board the train to Machu Picchu and finally be able to visit this wonderful trip. 

Unlike Salkantay trekking, the communities that inhabit this area still preserve their traditions such as clothing, festivities and rural houses. This makes the trip an experience because you can live with the inhabitants and learn a little more about their customs.

Also, this tour is not so commercial, it is one of the few routes that still offer a path where you can feel one with nature since the influx of tourists is less. 


Lares trek vs Salkantay trek 

  • Salkantay trek actually ends at Machu Picchu (well, very close - in Santa Teresa, only a few kilometers away), while the Lares trek does not end at Machu Picchu - usually / sometimes it ends at Huaran and then you have to take the train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu - several hours of travel. 
  • Neither the Salkantay trek nor the Lares route has ruins - while the traditional Inca Trail does have. 
  • In relation with the prices, the Lares walk in general will be more expensive than Salkantay trail, since there is a return train ticket involved from Ollantaytambo.
  • Lares has MUCH less tourist influx than Salkantay trekking and you go through a couple of very traditional villages. 
  • Lares has excellent thermal waters - but there are also hot springs in Santa María and Aguas Calientes ...


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