Lares Trek to Machu Picchu involves 4 day hike in the High Mountain and Machu Picchu. The Lares trek is blessed with plenty of high mountain scenery, alpine lakes and waterfalls. This region is rich for adventure, and crisscrossed with paths and routes used by the local folk. Women and children in the Lares Valley continue wearing traditional clothing of bright red and its varying shades of natural dyes. The Lares Valley trek is sometimes known as the 'Weaver's Way' or the Weavers Trail and is a wonderful way to immerse yourself into Peruvian culture. In the Lares region the red of the typical ponchos and skirts stand out from a distance as children herd flocks of sheep, llamas and alpacas. Stone houses are covered with thatched roofs and it’s seems like you have stepped back into the middle ages while great herds of llamas roam the landscape as you hike. The hot springs in Lares have healing waters and are situated on the side of a mountain looking over a stunning narrow valley.
You will discover the Quechuan culture in the heart of the Inca land. After finishing our hike we take the train to Aguas Calientes and visit the famous Inca fortress of Machu Picchu World Heritage Site (It’s essential for every tourist to visit this part of the world). In the afternoon we take the train to Ollantaytambo and there we will take the bus to Cusco.
Day 01: Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi
Day 02: Huacawasi - Ipsaycocha - Patacancha
Day 03: Patacancha - willoq - Pumamarca - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes
Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Departure Point: Cusco - We pick you up from your hotel.
Departure Time: 05:30
Briefing Point: Our guide will visit your hotel 2 or 1 day before the trek
Briefing Time: Between 17:00 - 18:00
Return Point: Cusco - Our driver will drop-off in your hotel or Airbnb department
Service Level: Confortable tourist - Class accommodations with character, emergency horse and private transport.
Physical Rating: 3 - Demanding - Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.
Age requirement: 12+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Crew: A professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook, a Muleteer and Horses.
Accomodation: Campsites (2 nights), Hotel (1 night).
Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon tea, Snack every morning.
Highest Altitude: 4780m / 15,682ft.
Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train Expedition.
How long is the Lares?: 34km / 21 miles
Climb up to Huayna Picchu Mountain
Do I need to book it in advance? The Lares trek to Machu Picchu has departures 100% guaranteed, but train tickets and entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain are subjet to availability. For that reason, we HIGHLY recommend booking it in advance to ensure you receive exactly what you want!
PLEASE NOTE! May, June and July are peak months of a HIGH TOURIST SEASON in Cusco. It means that train tickets ARE SELL OUT QUICKLY!! Please be aware that the trek leaves daily; however, return train tickets may not be available, if you like to book on last moment. To avoid this inconvenience, please book it several weeks in advance!
If you want to know about our foundation, please click Responsible Travel
If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children, Social Help Cusco
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. Porters Inca Trail
Each Year Tierras Vivas hots a Christmas party in Patacancha. Family porters Tierras Vivas
We pick you up from your hotel between 4 and 4:30 am to take you on a scenic ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas stopping for breakfast in the provincial town of Calca. You have an opportunity to buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. there too. At 8 am, we leave Calca and continue our ride for about 3 hours observing small Andean villages, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of lamas and alpacas on the way. Finally, we get to the small town of Lares (3,100 m), a place famous for medicinal power of its thermal baths so that we enjoy bathing (do not forget your swimsuits!!) before seting out on our hike!!
After being fully refreshed, we start a leisurely walk up to the Trapiche River Valley. We arrive to the village of Vilcabamba after 2 and half an hour approximately. There, we have lunch and a short rest to later continue hiking up the valley for another one and half an hour. When we reach the small village of Huacawasi (3,700 m), we set up a campsite and overnight there after being served dinner.
Many of houses that you can see in Huacahuasi are built of stone and have thatched roofs. Local people produce beautiful colourful fabrics. In the morning, we learn about weaving techniques while we can admire their high quality products such as ponchos, "chullos" (woolen hats) and other garments. We start trekking later today, it means after having lunch in the village. We climb for about 2 hours to reach the top of Ipsaycocha Pass (4,500 m), the highest point of the trek. There, we can appreciate stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Then, we descending gently for about 1 hour until getting to the place of our second campsite near the stunning Ipsaycocha Lake. If we are lucky, we can see Andean geese, Puna ibis and other wetland´s birds around the lake. We then continue downhill until we arrive at our camp in Patacancha (3,750m/12,377ft) whwer we have tea and then dinner.
We continue our journey through the Patacancha Village, people of the village are locally known as "Huayruros" because of the colours of their ponchos are red and black, reminiscent of the huayruro seed. We have a chance to view some textiles made by those villagers. Their top quality weavings are well-known for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture! We see various local communities, like Willoq, (3,600m/11,877ft),this is another traditional Andean village where locals still wear typical cloths and are proud to keep their cultural identity! then further downhill to Pallata. After we go uphill to discover the archaeological site of Pumamarca, an astonishing Inca site. We then take transport to Ollantaytambo, passing farming terraces and an ancient cemetery. We arrive at Ollantaytambo for lunch. In the afternoon we take the train to Aguas Calintes (2,040m/6,727ft), enjoying spectacular views of changing countryside from Andean highlands to lush tropical vegetation of the lower located Aguas Calientes. Here we stay the night at a hostel.
We wake up very early to climb up for 2 hours to the Inca citadel - Machu Picchu! Although it is hard to scramble up there, it is definitely worth seeing the "Lost City of the Incas" at its quietest in the early morning light!! This gives you an opportunity to take some exquisite photos and enjoy the peaceful time during the sunrise above Machu Picchu!! Then your Tour Guide shows you around the Inca city and explains you about its history and a purpose of each place during an about 2 and half an hour guided tour. Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb for about 45 minutes up to Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain, a climb up takes 1.5 hour), a peak that overlooks the ancient city and serves to take some panoramic pictures of if in this way. Then, you are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on your own. When you have enjoyed the place enough, you can take either a shuttle bus back down to Aguas Calientes (it is not included in the price of the tour; one way costs $12) or walk down slowly and take more panoramic pictures of surrounding amazing nature (recommended)!!
When in Aguas Calientes, you can visit one of many very good restaurants offering traditional Andean as well as international cuisine. You can also go to swim to the local thermal baths (entrance fee is 10 Soles and it is not included in the tour price).
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing. Our guide will provided the duffel bag for your personal belonging,
Note: It is very important let us know, where you will be staying in Cusco;
Experienced bilingual Tour Guide. They all grew up in this region and have a true passion to teach others about their heritage. They are fun yet professional, and will ensure you are safe and happy.
Note: A group up to 8 participants has 1 Tour Guide, a groups over 8 participants receives 2 Tour Guides
Camping (3 Nights) and Hostal in Machu Picchu (1 Night)
Our tents are of the brand Eureka Mountain 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.
Hostal in Machu Picchu with private bathroom and hot water (Single, Double or matrimonial room)
We provide with inflatable mattresses of the brand Therm-A-Rest. The mattresses are 3 cm heigh that will ensure you a sufficient isolation from the cold earth!
This inflatable mattress for more comfort to sleep in the trail
We use only feather sleeping bags that are suitable up to minus 16°C. This means you do not need to be worry about cold as temparature at night at each trek reaches just up to 0°C (maximum -5°C)!!
Included the Lares Valley and Machu Picchu.
3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner, 2x afternoon´s hot beverages and Snack every morning
The Tierras Vivas chefs cook delicious meals that many previous trekkers have raved about. If you are a vegetarian or have any restrictions, our chef will prepare special food, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost. Food is typically served and buffet.
Excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own, Tierras Vivas will supply all the water needed. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributing. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. We will refill our waters at each meal.
Our horses will carry the all camping equipement for your trek and 7 kg for your personal beloging + Sleeping bag;
An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
Muleteer is responsible to take the horses; Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our horses carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!!
Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo (Incarail), you can choose two time of your train return to Cusco
Leaving from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu at 12:36 and you will be in Machu Picchu at 14:00
Return train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo
If you take the train return at 14:55, you will be in Cusco at 18:00
If you take the train return at 19:00, you will be in Cusco at 22:00
On the high season, it is very important let us know in advance, because it is very difficult find spaces available.
Tables and chairs, cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas
A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town
Early morning transfer by private bus to Lares - the initial point of the trek;
The train service is finishing in Ollantaytambo Train station, then our driver is waiting for you and he will take to Cusco;
Our guide has received training in first aid from a physician. Your tour guide will always have a first-aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen.
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!
Day 1 - 2: We pick you up from you hotel at 06:00 and transfer you to the Lares community, hot springs and then continune the hike to Lares Trek until Huacawasi camp. Next day, we wake up early and start the trek to Lares, we appreciate the Ipsacocha Lake and the beautiful landspaces of high mountain. Homestay in Patacancha or camping.
Day 3: Breakfast in homestay where we share the andean culture. In the afternoon we take the train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu
Day 4: Wake up very early and continue the trek to the lost city, guided tour of Machu Picchu and in afternoon we take the train to Ollantaytambo and then bus to Cusco.
The camping equipment to Lares trek will be returned to Cusco on day 3rd, you need to give to chef the sleeping bag, mattress.
This trek to Lares included 7 kilos of personal items in the tour price carried by horses. You will need to carry with you a daypack with your Camera, water bottle, snacks, cold weather clothing and a poncho in case of rain (unlikely in Dry season May to October)- but as a precaution) and anything you will need before lunch as horses do not walk alongside you.
You will meet up with your bag at lunch and then it will be waiting for you in your tent at campsites.
The bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes included in this trek and our guide will provided on day 3th
Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. The horses carry your luggage from Lares (1st day) to Patacancha (2th day). 3 day hike, you will take your luggage by train to Aguas Calientes. You are expected to carry your own luggage (max 10 min). We recommend keeping the weight under 7 kg/14lb. You will need to carry clothes, sleeping bag.
If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Lares trek to Machu Picchu is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended putting your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machu Picchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
Climate: The highland region of Cusco has well defined winter and summer seasons. Winter days (June - August) are very sunny and warm, but the temperature drops to near freezing at night. Rainy season is from January to March. December and January are two of the nicest months for trekking with only the occasional shower and blooming flowers.
An adventurous trek through the mountains, Salkantay is the daunting road less traveled that reaches an altitude of 4,550 meters above sea level. With this altitude, however, comes the magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the forests below, which the trail also passes through, which makes this trip so special. In very few other places in the world is it possible to go from snowy mountain peaks one day to warm jungle the next. These two wildly different ecosystems mean that there are opportunities to see hundreds of different species until reaching the historical ruins of Machu Picchu.
One of the main reasons why the Inca Trail is as popular of a method for reaching the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu is the unique opportunity to enter the city through the Sun Gate, which on this trip happens in time to watch the sun rise over these mysterious ruins. The trail passes multiple different ruins on the way to the most famous of all, and the hikers have the opportunity to explore each of these sites. Three days of hiking this trails offer a range of experiences from mountain passes to cloud forests full of all kinds of flora and fauna.
This trip through the Sacred Valley of the Incas includes the best of both the Valley and the Inca Trail, culminating in a visit to the famous city of Machu Picchu. The Cachicata trek takes in views such as ancient farming terraces, towering waterfalls, mountain lakes, and the many ruins along the Inca Trail. There is also a visit to both the city and quarry of Ollantaytambo, which was part of the estate of an Incan emperor. From that city, a train takes travelers to Km 104 to have the opportunity of hiking along the trail used by the Incas so many years ago.
This is a challenging alternative to the ever-popular Machu Picchu and Inca Trail. The ancient city of Choqeuquirao was the final location of resistance of the Incas against the conquistadores and a gateway between the mountains, jungle, and coast in the height of the Incan empire, but despite its rich history has been largely ignored by the tourism industry. This Cradle of Gold is a two day hike in each direction, with a guided tour of the site on the third day. The hike itself is an unforgettable experience and the efficient nature of this trip will prove to be an exciting undertaking for any hiking enthusiasts.