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Tours and Activities in Lares Trek

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This trek combines beautiful lakes, local Quechua communities of farmers and weavers who are still... ... Read More

Inkayni Peru Tours

4 Day Lares Trek To Machu Picchu

  • Starts/Ends Cusco/Cusco
  • Operator Inkayni Peru Tours
  • Next Departures Jul 30 Jul 31
From US$ 540 4 days

Lares Trek

The Lares Trek is an alternative to the famous Inca Trail, where trekkers can enjoy magnificent mountain scenery and the legacy of the Machu Picchu region. With remote settlements and striking landscapes, 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.

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.
  • Get fascinating and unique insight into the traditional Andean life.

Trek Facts

  • Trek Difficulty: Moderate. It takes you off the beaten track with three different trails and each of them gives a unique flavor of the region. It is higher in altitude with the highest point at 4,450 meters and slightly shorter than the Inca trail with only one high pass to cross.
  • 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. Lares Valley Trek is suitable for adventure lovers who want to take the not-so-popular trekking routes. They can escape to a secluded area of Peru that has not faced many changes over the last 500 years.
  • Maximum altitude: 4,550 m
  • Accommodation type: Tents that can accommodate 2 - 3 travellers per tent. Trekkers will also find permanent but rustic toilet facilities on the trail and when they are not available, the tour operators will set up toilet tents.
  • Best Season: May to September. It is the dry season with clear sky and temperatures between 15° C and 21° C
  • Accessible during winter (Dec – Jan): Yes
  • Start / End Location: Cusco / Aguas Calientes - Cusco
  • Permits required: None

Classic Itinerary

2 to 5 days are required to complete the trek and explore the stunning landscape of the region. However, you can also opt for a traditional 4 days (4 days / 3 nights) for a short trekking experience.

A full 5 days itinerary will entail the below,

  • Day 1: Cusco - Huaran - Cancha Cancha

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 traditional community 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 - Quiswarani

Start hiking after breakfast to the Upper Cancha Cancha village and an area with two charming glacial lakes namely, Suirococha and Yuraccocha. Trekkers here watch several rare bird species including Andean geese and Andean Ibis. From there, you will reach the first pass, Pachakutec. Enjoy the string of nine gushing waterfalls on the way to Quiswarani. Camp for the night at Quiswarani.

  • Day 3: Quiswarani - Concani - Lares Hot Springs

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, 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 Hot Springs - 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.

For people looking for a longer trekking experience, travel to Calca and from there reach Ollantaytambo and catch the Vistadome Train to Aguas Calientes. Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.

  • Day 5: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Head towards the Machu Picchu by bus in the morning and enjoy a guided tour for nearly 2.5 hours. It is also exciting to climb the Huayna Picchu where you can visit the famous Temple of the Moon. However, there are only 2 entry times to climb the Huayna Picchu with a limit of 400 entries. If you plan the Lares trek during peak 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, it is wise to walk back towards the Aguas Calientes village to enjoy its natural charm. If you take the backpacker train in the afternoon, you will reach Cusco after 4 hours.

Good To Know

  • Give yourself enough time to acclimatize in Cusco.
  • It’s always good to buy bottles of water before you start as the first day is quite strenuous.
  • Trekkers need to sleep at 3,600 m above sea level for one or two nights. Although, the temperature is really cool throughout the year and it can drop to 0° C at night during winters. Bring a warm sleeping bag and thermal wear if you plan to do this trek.
  • Carry a waterproof jacket even if you are visiting during the dry season.

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 here

Physical fitness

You must be moderately fit as it involves multiple days of walking. Enjoy the trek with a positive attitude.

The 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.

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