The Lares Trek is a perfect alternative to the Inca Trail. As there are only a few hundred permits a day issued for the Inca Trail, you would need to book it as soon as you can. When you are thinking of the Lares Trek, however, you can take it easy.
The Lares Trek is, of course, a lot more than just an alternative to the Inca Trail. On the Lares Trek, you feel like you have the Peruvian Andes to yourself. As you are trekking your way over the pristine hiking trails of the Lares, you feel that not everyone has experienced this gem of a trek. You are high in Andean Mountains where at night you can fantasize about the endless galaxy and you can try count the stars. Also, when hiking the Lares Trek, you are likely to meet the locals.
As you are off the beaten track, you will navigate through small indigenous villages that are very welcoming to adventurers. At the end of it all, you also get to experience Machu Picchu. What more do you want?