Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, this town lies in a deep gorge below the ruins.

Lares trek - 9 Trips with 4 Reviews

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4 day Lares trek to Machu picchu

of 2 reviews
  • Free cancellation
  • Best price guaranteed
We booked this tour after learning that Inca trail passes were sold out for our dates. However I don ...
  • Tour Type Group Tour
  • Operator Inkayni Peru Tours
  • Activities Trekking
  • Accommodation Camping, Hotel & Tent
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range5 to 79 years old
From US$ 599 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 11
  • Dec 12
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Lares Trek

  • Free cancellation
  • Best price guaranteed
4 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Lima. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Peru Best Tours
  • Activities Trekking
  • Accommodation Hotel & Camping
  • Transport Train
  • Age Range5 to 79 years old
From US$ 780 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 13
  • Dec 14
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Lares Valley Trek & Huilloc Homestay

of 1 review
  • Free cancellation
  • Trip customizable
This wasn’t just your average planned trip, I was in a bind for a last minute trip, looking online ...
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Unu Raymi Expeditions Active 21 hours ago
  • Activities Trekking & Camping
  • Accommodation Home-stay & Camping
  • Age Range18 to 65 years old
From US$ 359 03 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 13
  • Dec 14
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Lares Trek and Machu Picchu Tour

  • Trip customizable
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4 day natural landmarks sightseeing tour in Peru, visiting Cusco, Queunacocha and Aguas Calientes. Read More
From US$ 780 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 11
  • Dec 12
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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu: 4-day Group Tour

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4 day trekking trip through Huacawasi, Laguna Aruraycocha, Aguas Calientes and 3 other destinations in Peru. Read More
From US$ 612 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Tomorrow
  • Dec 17
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Lares Trek And Machu Picchu

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
4 day natural landmarks sightseeing tour through Sacred Valley, Lares Town, Aguas Calientes and 3 other destinations in Peru. Read More
From US$ 1,390 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 29
  • Dec 30
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Lares Trek

  • Trip customizable
  • Best price guaranteed
8 day hiking tour in Peru, visiting Cusco, Pisac and Huacawasi. Read More
From US$ 1,215 08 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 19
  • Dec 20
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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu: 7 Days

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7 day trekking trip in Peru, visiting Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Lares Town. Read More
From US$ 855 07 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Tomorrow
  • Dec 17
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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
4 day trekking trip through Lares Town, Cancha Cancha, Aguas Calientes and 3 other destinations in Peru. Read More
  • Tour Type Private Tour
  • Operator Marvelous Peru
  • Activities Trekking
  • Accommodation Hotel, Tent & Camping
  • Transport Train & Bus
  • Age Range5 to 79 years old
From US$ 623 04 days View Tour
Next Departures
  • Dec 14
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Lares trek Reviews

5 - Excellent
Based on 4 customer reviews
Very Good Reviewed Tour: Uyuni Salt Flats & Machu Picchu Trek Combo 14D/13N (from La Paz)
4 - Very Good
  • Samuel Johnson
  • From USA
“Very Good”
if you want to experience beauty of Peru off the tourist path Reviewed Tour: 4 day Lares trek to Machu picchu
5 - Excellent
  • Elena Akulova
  • From USA
“We booked this tour after learning that Inca trail passes were sold out for our dates. However I don't regret a bit of choosing this tour as we experienced a real beauty of Peru far from the touristy paths. Our guide Wilfredo was amazing. He shared with us a lot of interesting facts about Inca's people and their culture. The hike was quite challenging for me personally but with his help and support I got through it with the minimal discomfort. I highly recommend bringing rainproof jackets or ponchos on the trip regardless of how nice the weather seems to be. We got tricked by the sunny morning and were soaked in the afternoon. Also it gets very very cold in the mountains at night. Please layer up and have pair of gloves on you. SPF is a must thing to use even on a cloudy day. My nose got burned from the cold wind and a sun and starting peeling. Bring coca candies or leaves with you. Helps a lot with the altitude sickness.
Overall me and my friend were very happy with the trip!”
Very professional Reviewed Tour: Lares Valley Trek & Huilloc Homestay
5 - Excellent
  • Connor McFarlane
“This wasn’t just your average planned trip, I was in a bind for a last minute trip, looking online I discovered Unu Raymi Expeditions. James was the best trip planner I could ask for, he was very accommodating to my needs, even helped me out when I got to Cusco & put me up for a couple of nights. He organised & operated my 2 day Lares Valley trek, trip to machu picchu, day tour to salt mines, moray and sacred valley! His team are very professional and handle everyone to their needs and wants in treks and tours around peru! I had met James personally as I was travelling alone, he’s a great planner as well now a great friend! I plan on returning soon and meeting up again with James!”

Lares Trek - Facts, itineraries and best time to visit

The Lares Trek is an alternative to the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, where trekkers can enjoy magnificent mountain scenery and the legacy of the Machu Picchu region. With remote settlements and striking landscapes, the Lares Valley is a relatively untouched area offering quieter surroundings and a wealth of natural splendor to delight a trekker’s soul. It is the most popular and exciting trek in Peru that starts form Cusco through Wacasawi, Sondor, Marcacocha, Aguas Calientas, Machu Picchu and then back to Cusco with variations in itineraries. This is a high-altitude hike, which normally takes about two to three days through the gorgeous Peruvian Andean mountain areas. This classic trekking starts near the village in Lares almost 40 miles north of Cusco and approximately 35 miles east of Machu Picchu. Exploring this secluded region is truly refreshing and intriguing.

Overview

The Lares Trek is the shortest of all the alternative treks to the Inca Trail, but it takes trekkers through some particularly attractive landscapes. Those undertaking this trek can expect to see waterfalls and mountain lakes as well as varied wildlife, including viscachas, Andean fox and different species of Andean birds. Lares Trek is suitable for adventure lovers who want to escape to a secluded area of Peru that has not faced many changes over the last 500 years. One particular highlight is passing several local villages that allowes trekkers to interact with people who inhabit the area – and even try their hand at traditional weaving.

Highlights

  • It takes you into the stunning Lares Valley of the Peruvian Andes, tranquil mountain lakes, majestic green valleys and high passes.
  • Trekking through the traditional Andean settlements with thatched-roof stone houses surrounded by sheep, llamas, alpacas and exotic flora. Also, interacting with Andean farmers dressed in traditional attires.
  • Less crowded than the classic Inca Trail
  • Great trek option for those short on time
  • Easy to combine with visit to Machu Picchu on the final Day

Lowlights

  • Risk of altitude sickness due to high altitudes 
  • Temperatures can plummet during nighttime 

Trek Facts

Trek Difficulty: Moderate. 
Trek Duration: 3 – 5 days. Trekkers need to cover 33 km to complete the Lares Trek. Approximate hike hours may vary based on the campsites that you choose.
Remoteness: Not remote 
Maximum Altitude: 4,758 m while crossing the Pachacutec Pass and 4,200 m while crossing Abra Huillquijasa Pass 
Accommodation Type: Camping
Best Season:

May to September. This is the dry season with clear skies, and temperatures between 15° C and 21° C

Accessible During Winter (Dec – Jan): Yes
Start / End Locations: Cusco / Aguas Calientes 
Permits Required: None
Physical Fitness Required: Good  

4D / 3N Lares Trek : Classic Itinerary

  • Day 1: Cusco (3399 m) - Huaran (3068 m) - Cancha Cancha (4781 m) 

From Cusco, you will leave for Huaran, a small village in the Sacred Valley. The hiking expedition starts from here to reach the Cancha Cancha, a beautiful Andean village located in the Sacred Valley after 4 hours of walking. Camps will be set up after passing the village in an area surrounded by alluring peaks.

  • Day 2: Cancha Cancha - Pachacutec Pass (4758 m) - Quiswarani (3700 m) 

Start hiking to the Upper Cancha Cancha village and an area with two charming glacial lakes namely, Suirococha and Yuraccocha. Here you will be able to watch several rare bird species including Andean geese and Andean Ibis. From there, you will reach the first pass, Pachacutec. Enjoy the string of nine gushing waterfalls on the way to Quiswarani or Quishuarani, where you will camp for the night. 

  • Day 3: Quiswarani - Concani (3750 m) - Lares town (3100 m)  

Move towards a small valley in the early morning from Quiswarani to reach a lake and from there go for a zig-zag climb through a narrow trail to Abra Huillquijasa (4200 m), which is the second pass. It takes almost 3 hours from Quisuarani village to reach this area. Another hour of trekking, and you will reach the Concani village. Then descend for nearly 3 hours to the town of Lares and enjoy a bath in the hot springs in this area. Camp here at night.

  • Day 4: Lares town - Cusco 

Take one more plunge in the enchanting Lares Hot Springs and then, visit the Meadery in Lares. You can pay a visit at the Ancasmarca ruins on the way to Calca. If you are on a short trekking trip, you can return to Cusco directly from here.

5D / 4N Lares Trek: An Alternative Itinerary

For people looking for a longer trekking experience, on day 4 you can travel to Calca and from there reach Ollantaytambo and catch a train to Aguas Calientes, where you will stay for the night. On day 5, head towards Machu Picchu by foot or bus in the morning. It is also exciting to climb the Huayna Picchu where you can visit the famous Temple of the Moon.

Good To Know

  • Give yourself at least 2 days to acclimatize in Cusco.
  • Trekkers need to sleep at 3,600 m for 1 - 2 nights. Although the temperature is really cool throughout the year, it can drop to 0° C at night during winters. Therefore, sleeping bags and thermal wear are must. Carry a waterproof jacket even if you are visiting during the dry season. Read more about the trekking equipment needed for the Lares trek. 
  • There are only 2 entry times to climb the Huayna Picchu with a limit of 400 entries. If you plan the Lares trek during high season, you may not get the entry to climb. In that case, you can consider other options like Inti Punku, Inca Bridge and Machu Picchu Mountain. After exploring Macchu Picchu, walk back to Aguas Calientes to enjoy its natural charm. If you take the backpacker train in the afternoon, you will reach Cusco in about 4 hours.

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness usually kicks in above 3,000 m and the highest point of Lares Trek is 4,550 m where it can be a common problem faced because of the high altitude. Trekkers may face health issues such as loss of appetite, headache and sleep issues due to altitude sickness. Therefore, allow enough time for acclimatization for a safe trek in this region, drink plenty of water and take Diamox tablets if you need to. Read more about altitude sickness and how to prevent it. 

Lares Trek is a wonderful trekking route that offers invigorating and electrifying trekking experience. This trek will give you just the right combination of culture, tradition, history and picturesque mountain landscape. For the more adventurous, you can even go for the more secluded Salkantay Trek or the challenging Choquequirao Trek – these three trekking routes make some of the best treks in Peru.