4 day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is for those who want to get out off the beaten track but still want to see Machu Picchu. Lares hiking takes you to a place so hidden that very few people have gone there.
The Lares trail is known for its crystal-clear lakes and stunning mountain chains, high Andean Glaciers, its network of valleys and its indigenous Incan people who live amongst these mountains.
You will really get an in-site into the authentic communities and see thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas, and even guinea pigs running loose inside the houses.
In the town of Lares itself you can enjoy the thermal springs, a unique place to learn about traditions and a new way of life.
It begins from a small village in the Sacred Valley and ascends over two major passes (over 4,000 meters / 13,234 feet)
Day 1: Cusco / Lares / Quishuarani/Cuncani
Our bus leaves Cusco at around 06:00. It’s a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, passing through Pisac and stopping quickly in the town of Calca. Here you can buy any last minute snacks or water, and use the bathrooms before we start our hike. Departing Calca around 08:00 we head off for the 2-hour drive to Huacahuasi (3700m) that is the starting point for the trek. Along the way you will be able to observe small Andean communities, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of llamas and alpacas.
We will start to hike up a small valley until we arrive at a lake, then its time for our steep climb up a narrow trail to the top of the first pass known as Abra Huillquijasa (4200m), about 3½ hours from Quishuarani village. Below you will be a series of stunning turquoise lakes where we will have lunch. Next we trek to the town of Cuncani (3750m) at the bottom of the valley. We will arrive to Cuncani at approximately 4pm where we will set up camp. Walking distance approx. 12km (6 hours).
Day 2: Cuncani / Isaycocha Lake
About a 6am wake up and we set off on the trail downhill for 2 hours then onto the Chancachaca Valley (3600m). We continue walking up for about 1½ hours to the small village of Huacawasi (3700m) where you will see many houses built from stone and have thatched roofs. The people of this village produce beautiful colorful textiles and you can even learn weaving techniques. We will rest and have lunch here while you spend time with the local Andean people. We will then continue to climb for approximately 2 hours to the top of Ipsayccasa pass at 4500m and is the highest pass along the trek. From here we get stunning views of the surrounding mountains. We will descend gently for about 1 hour until we reach the site of our second night's camp beside the beautiful Ipsaycocha Lake. We may be lucky enough to see Andean Geese, Ouna Ibis and other wetland birds. Walking distance approx 15km (6-7 hours)
Day 3: Isaycocha / Patacancha / Ollantaytambo / AguasCalienties
After two full days of hiking today is much easier. After an early breakfast we walk downhill through a wide-open valley for about 2½ hours until we arrive at the village of Patacancha. We will have a chance to view some textiles made by the people of this community - the high quality weavings are famous for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture. After we also get the chance to walk slowly down the valley to Willoq, another Quechua village where the locals still wear their traditional dress and are proud to maintain their cultural identity. From Patacancha we will take our transport further down the valley to Inca town of Ollantaytambo where we will rest and have lunch, then catch our afternoon train to AguasCalientes. This is an amazing journey that starts in the Quechua highlands and slowly descends to lush tropical vegetation as we near AguasCalientes. Total journey time about 1½ hours. Tonight we stay in the small quaint town of Machu Picchu. Walking distance approx 12km (5-6 hours).
Day 4: Aguas Calienties / Cusco
5am breakfast then at 5.30am we get the bus to Machu Picchu. We need to depart early so those who wish to climb Huayna Picchu will need to sign up before the 2 hour guided tour. During your visit to these ancient ruins you will see clouds fly past and Machu Picchu will disappear with in them, so make sure you take pictures whilst the ruins are visible. After the tour you will have free time to explore the mountain of Huayna Picchu overlooking all of Machu Picchu - by far the best view! Huayna Picchu will take approximately 2 hours return trip. It is now your choice to enjoy lunch just outside the ruins or take the bus back to AguasCalientes to explore this small and quaint village. The train back to Cusco departs late afternoon so your estimated time of arrival is approximately 9pm.
- Pick up from your hotel in the morning of trek departure
- Private bus transfer from your hotel to the beginning of trek point
- Entrance fee Machu Picchu
- Horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment and 6kgs of personal items)
- One emergency horse
- Cooks for: 4 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners, 3 Lunches (food includes: pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking. Hot drinks: Hot chocolate, coffee, and tea, including coca leaf tea that is excellent for altitude!)
- Tea time/ Snacks: coffee/ tea, popcorn and biscuits
- Bilingual & professional tour guide
- Tents for 2 people (but has capacity for 3), so there is plenty of space for your backpacks
- Accommodation for crew
- Sleeping mats, table(s) & chairs, kitchen tent
- Short bus from Machu Picchu to AguasCalientes (return)
- First Aid including spare Oxygen
- 2 nights in a tent, 1 night in a Hostel or Hotel (private room)
- Backpacker train to Cusco – Ollantaytambo (Vistadome train available upon request
- Sleeping bags (we have for rent at $4 per day and they are good for -15)
- Lunch on the last day after the guided tour at Machu Picchu
- Entrance to the Hot Springs in AguasCalientes
- Tips for guide, cook and porters
What to bring:
- Original Passport (same one you made the reservation with)
- Waterproof hiking shoes or boots recommended
- Backpack and/or Daypack (You may need one for the horse and one to carry. We do have duffel bags available for hire if need)
- Sleeping bag for up to -8 degrees Celsius (available for rent at $4 per day)
- Warm clothing (layers recommended)
- Thermals (woolen hat, socks and scarf are recommended)
- Flashlight Camera and film
- Sun protection (hat, sun screen, sun glasses)
- Insect repellent -minimum recommended 20% DEET (no malaria has been reported
- Rain jacket or Poncho
- Water proof back pack cover
- Water bottle
- Water purifying tablets (in case you want to pick up water from the rivers)
- Personal medical kit
- Passport and ISIC card if you are a student (originals required)
- Money for souvenirs, drinks and tips (easier in smaller change)
- Toilet paper
- Snacks such as chocolate, muesli, energy bars, dried fruit etc.
- Travel towel
- Swim suit
- Walking poles if you think you will want them
Options and Rentals:
- Single tent supplement $10 per day
- Extra night in AguasCalientes $35 (or email us for alternate options). We will just need to arrange your train back to Cusco for the following day. Please tell us before final booking process.
- Sleeping bag rental ($4 per day)
- Vegetarian meals
- Personal horse and horsemen for riding or carrying extra personal belongings while on the trek. Extra cost is $50 for the 4 days
Take advantage of our $20US discount for students if you hold a valid International Student Identity card (ISIC). You must send us a scanned copy of this when making your reservation and present the original to the entrance control office. Failure to do so will result in a loss of permit and denied entrance to the Machu Picchu.
If you are traveling single we will pair you up for sleeping arrangements with someone of the same sex. If you prefer to have your own tent the surcharge is $10 per day.
Is nice, clean and friendly with private rooms (Twin with 2 beds or Matrimonial with one bigger bed). Generally we have our clients stay in Machu Picchu Inn or Hotel Presidente. Please note however that alternate accommodation options may be used.