Classic Lares Trek

4 days
T2 trails
Distance: 10 - 15 km per day
250 - 500 m ascent per day

> Visit the Lares hot springs
> Off the beaten path
> Return on the Vistadome panoramic train

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is an amazing 4-day trek that takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Peru. You'll start at the hot springs in the town of Lares, located near the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and make your way up to the highlands. You'll pass through picturesque villages, lakes, and stunning landscapes along the way. On the final day of the trek, you'll reach Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The Lares Trek is a great way to see Peru's best scenery and experience its rich culture.

Itinerary

Day
1

Cusco – Lares Thermal Baths – Kiswarani Falls

Duration: 05:00 h
Distance: 12.4 km
Ascent: 940 m
Descent: 60 m
Lowest Point: 3240 m
Highest Point: 4120 m
The team will pick you up from your hotel at around 5:00 am (depending on your location) and drive you through the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the famous Lares thermo-medicinal baths – arriving at approximately 8:00am. We will jump straight into the medicinal pools – all of which are set at different temperatures. The water is great for your bones, muscles, stress and headaches and therefore this is the prefect way to prepare for your trek! After soaking our bodies we will enjoy breakfast in a beautiful location surrounded by the majestic Andean mountains. After breakfast we have time for an energising meditation session to help you feel at one with nature and take in your beautiful surroundings. Today’s route is relatively easy with a mellow trek uphill until we reach Kiswarani village. Our chef will be waiting with a delicious lunch that has been freshly prepared using natural, organic, local produce. It’s then another couple of hours walking to our campsite, located on the bank of a beautiful blue lake at (3750 m/ 1230 ft). Along the trail we will pass picturesque landscapes adorned with traditional Andean houses made of adobe bricks and thatched roofs. Here local villages survive by farming potatoes and raising llamas, alpacas and sheep. We will pass beautiful streams and a waterfall which is the source of the Amazon river – the largest in the world. On reaching our campsite your tents and a hot cup of tea will be waiting for you. This is a perfect place to relax, stargaze, and learn about Inca astronomy.

Kiswarani Waterfall Campsite

Info
Kiswarani Waterfall Campsite
Day
2

Kiswarani Falls – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Village

Duration: 04:10 h
Distance: 9.2 km
Ascent: 540 m
Descent: 710 m
Lowest Point: 3960 m
Highest Point: 4660 m
We will wake you up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa tea. This is our longest and most challenging day and after breakfast it is a tough hike uphill to Condor Pass (4700 m / 15354 ft) – the highest point of this journey. Along the way we will enjoy beautiful lakes where Wallatas (Andean geese or ‘love birds’) swim in the crystal clear waters and pass the imposing Andean mountains of Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Qolquecruz, all of which are over 18,000 ft. At the summit of Condor Pass we will serve you a well-deserved cup of hot tea and you can take some time to rest while your tour guide performs a spiritual offering ceremony to the sacred mountains. It is then a long descent through the breathtaking scenery. You will be able to see lagoons, exotic birds, llamas, alpacas, vizcachas (which look a lot like rabbits) and wallatas along the way. Our campsite is located at Cancha Cancha (3750 m / 12 303 ft) – the only village in the Lares Valley that is completely isolated from any modern technology. This includes no drainage system, electricity, computers, internet connection or cellphone service. Here they speak only Quehua – the ancient language spoken by the Incas. You will have the afternoon free in Cancha Cancha meet and interact with the local people, visit a local school and help teach and play games with the children. The villagers will welcome any donations of food, school supplies or anything else you would like to give to help support the health and education of this isolated community. Late in the afternoon your guide will take you to visit one of the families’ homes. Here you can experience first hand their traditional lifestyles passed down from the Incas, sample traditional food and see how they raise guinea pigs, llamas and alpacas. By the evening our chef will have prepared dinner for us to enjoy together before a well-earned nights rest.

Cancha Cancha Village

Info
Cancha Cancha Village
Day
3

Cancha Cancha Village – Huaran – Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Duration: 04:20 h
Distance: 11.1 km
Ascent: 90 m
Descent: 1120 m
Lowest Point: 2920 m
Highest Point: 3950 m
Starting the day with a beautiful view of the mountains and a delicious breakfast we then prepare for our final decent from the highlands into to the sacred valley. First we will say goodbye to the last remaining village still practicing Inca traditions, and isolated from all modern technologies, before we begin our 4 hour trek downhill. Along the way you can observe different types of ecosystems – from the colder highlands, where only potatoes are grown, to the fertile soils of the sacred valley, where maize is the main produce. Our trip concludes in a small town called Huaran (2700 m / 8856 ft), and from here a private bus will drive us to Ollantaytambo; “Last Living Incan City”. Or as it is sometimes known; “World Capital of the Native American”. We will take some time to explore these ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since Inca time. We will have dinner in a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo before catching the 7:00 pm train to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in a hotel.

Aguas Calientes

Info
Aguas Calientes
See entire itinerary

Included

  • Guides

    A well-trained English-speaking guide is included in the price. The guides all grew up in the Cusco region and are committed to sharing their history and culture with visitors. The guides are friendly and professional and will make sure you don't miss anything.

  • Camping during the trek

    During the trek, you will be staying on campsites. Your camp will be set up for you.

  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes

    On the night before your Machu Picchu visit, you will sleep in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes. This too will be taken care of.

  • Satellite phones

    Guides are equipped with satellite phones and can organise anything on the fly.

  • Taxes and fees

    All tourist taxes and permit fees applicable are included in the listed price.

  • First aid

    Your guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Mandatory training sessions are conducted every year. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. You will be escorted off the trail as quickly and comfortably as possible, if needed, and taken to a clinic for treatment.

  • Food and water

    Food and water are included and will be provided as per the itinerary. Water is boiled, filtered, and then cooled before distributing. You must bring your water bottles and or camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L worth per day. You will be able to restock your water supplies at each meal.

  • Getting to and from

    Getting to and from the start/end point of this trekking is included, as per the itinerary.

  • Gear

    All (camping) equipment will be provided, built up, and taken down again. This is included in your trekking package. Please note that a sleeping bag and air mattress are not included but are available for rent.

  • Duffel

    You will receive your duffel bag that will stay with your porters while you hike. This bag should not exceed 7kg/14 lbs and does need to include your sleeping bag and air mattress.

  • Porters

    A personal porter will carry most of your belongings using a duffel bag. There is no additional fee for this. You will have access to your duffel bag in the mornings and evenings.

  • Trekking Briefing

    The night before your trek, you will come to the local office for a briefing. The entire itinerary will be explained and the final logistics for the Lares Trek will be taken care of.

  • Permits

    Permits for both your Lares Trek trek and for the entry to Machu Picchu are included and will be taken care of.

Excluded

  • Accommodation in Cusco including breakfast

    Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

  • Rentals

    Every trekker needs a sleeping bag when camping. Inflatable air mattresses and walking sticks (with rubber tips) are optional but encouraged. If you don’t want to bring any of the above, they are all available for rent: Sleeping Bag: USD 20, Inflatable Air Mattress: USD 15, Trekking Poles (Pair): USD 15.

  • Huayna Picchu

    Huayna Picchu is the mountain that stands next to Machu Picchu. It is a 45-minute hike to the top. Going back down is quite steep if you are scared of heights. You would do this after your tour of Machu Picchu. The cost is USD 75. Arrangements need to be made at least one month in advance due to popularity. Please understand that the weather is out of our control.

  • Travel Insurance Including Repatriation

    Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel to Peru.

  • Tipping

    Tips for guides, cook and porters are not included. You decide what you want to tip, but be generous.

FAQ

  • Lares Trek vs Inca Trail - Why the Lares Trail?

  • Best Season for the Lares Trail

  • Lares Trek Altitude - How High Is The Lares Trek?

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Sierd van der Bij
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