LARES TREK + MACHU PICCHU 4D/3N
Price from: 689USDper person
Lares Trek is a unique trail that begins near the town of Lares, 40 miles north of Cuzco and 35 miles southeast of Machu Picchu. The hike takes place in the Lares Valley, east of the Urubamba mountain range, which passes through part of the Sacred Valley.
The walk is 4 days in its classic version, the last day is the visit to Machu Picchu.
No permit is required to use Lares Trek. This means that you can arrive in Cuzco in one or two days depending on the season (not from June to August).
Of course, you will have to book your train to Aguas Calientes as soon as possible in the middle of the season, as well as your admission to Machu Picchu.
As for the current route, there are a number of options for the Lares Trek route, most of which end in Ollantaytambo.
From here, tourists can take the train to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu or return to Cuzco. Next we will discuss in detail each of the options for the routes of Lares Trek.
There are a number of factors that make this trek a great alternative to Machu Picchu.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly for some, it is that it is much quieter than the Inca Trail.
Second, the route may be easier than the Inca Trail as it is not necessary to take many steps.
The altitude above sea level is still a problem and in some variants of the route you will have to overcome 3 steps that exceed 4,200 meters (the highest, depending on your route – 4,400 meters or 4,600 meters). More information on acclimatisations and altitude sickness can be found here.
Finally, Lares Trek offers a true Andean culture. The Lares Valley is home to a number of traditional Andean communities that have changed little in the last 500 years.
You will probably see many local weavers and farmers dressed in traditional colorful clothing and depending on your tour you will have the opportunity to see or participate in some weaving activity.
The area is famous for its homemade textiles, so if you want to take home a genuine piece of Peruvian textiles, take home a few spare soles. Here you can buy the products by spending the day with the local weavers!
- Day 01
Cusco – Lares – Huacawasi: Trekking.
Huacawasi – Patacancha
- Day 03
Patacancha – Ollanta – Aguas Calientes: Trekking and train.
- Day 04
Machu Picchu – Cusco
DAY 1: Cusco – Lares – Huacawasi: Trekking.
Pick up at 6:00 a.m., then we go to the town of Lares (3,100 m.a.s.l.)here we will have breakfast and go to the thermal baths to enjoy its thermal medicinal baths, after lunch we start the trek, it is about 04 hours of walking until our first camp of Huacawasi (3,900 m).enjoying the beautiful Andean landscapes, crossing some small villages where we will have the opportunity to know a little more of the high Andean culture.
Meals included:Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
DAY 2: Huacawasi – Pata Cancha: Trekking.
After breakfast, we start the hikking of the longest and most difficult day of the entire trek taking an average of 8 hours. The first three hours will be of continuous ascent to the highest point of our journey to Abra Ipsay at 4,490 m.a.s.l. Here live the people of the Andes, they will teach us their customs and traditions, time to photograph the alpacas, llamas, vizcachas and if there is a little luck we can appreciate the condor that sometimes pass through that area. arriving at the lagoon of Ipsaycocha. Lunch, then continue the walk to our second camp.
Meals included:Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
DAY 3: Patacancha – Ollanta – Aguas Calientes: Trekking and Train.
We start the day with the hike to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This day is much easier than the previous days, especially because all the way is downhill. On the way we will pass through Willoq and Pumamarca two villages well known for their textile works and colorful costumes that come from the ancestral times, in Ollantaytambo we will have lunch and then the train to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Meals included:Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
DAY 4: Machu Picchu
This is the most important day of the tour the day we will arrive to one of the 7 wonders of the world, our last day of tour starts very early to appreciate the sunrise in the Inka citadel of Machupicchu.
Then a tour with our guide for 02 hours by the most important buildings and temples of this city, you can explore Machupicchu on your own and maybe climb the mountain Huaynapicchu or Machupicchu (book 02 months in advance, ask availability plus $ 20 dollars) later you can go down by bus to the train station in Aguas Calientes and from there take the train back to Ollantaytambo station, where a transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the city of Cusco.
What to bring? - Ultimate Packing list
We recommend carrying only the necessary luggage for the four days of the tour. Large backpacks with equipment that are not needed for the expedition should be left in the city of Cusco (at your hotel or in our main office).
This are the main things you have to bring to your inca trail 4 days adventure:
- A small backpack of 30 to 60 liters capacity, remember that a large part of your belongings (08 kg) will go with the porters.
- 04 T-Shirts.
- 02 or 03 trekking pants (fast drying).
- Pants and thermal pole (first layer).
- A light sweater.
- Waterproof clothing.
- Warm jacket (of feather or fiber).
- Hiking boots. Read our full guide about: Inca trail hiking boots.
- Flips flops.
- Hat or cap.
- Water bottle
- Repellent for mosquitoes (30% Deet or more).
- Original Passport.
- Personal medications.
- Personal hygiene items: Wet wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush.
- The most friendly and positive attitude possible.
Additional Items to upgrade your experience
These are the different options how you can improve your experience in Machu Picchu after doing our Lares trek.
1. Huayna Picchu
The cost of the ticket is $60 dollars per person.
Huayna Picchu is a mountain within the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu, it is a 45 minute hike to the top.
To purchase this additional you have to let us know at least 2 months in advance due to high demand, schedules and details of your visit to this site will be confirmed in the previous meeting that we will have.
1. Machu Picchu Mountain
The cost of the ticket is $60 dollars per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain is another place that many travelers want to climb to have a spectacular view of Machu Picchu, and of course we help you with all this.
3. Vistadome Train
This train costs $60 dollars per person.
All our tours include the Expeditions train if you want an additional one we can offer you the Vistadome train which gives you more comfortable seats, large panoramic windows and we will include transportation back to your hotel.
Do you want to know more about Lares trek? Read our useful information section and learn more about availability, campsites, food, tents, porters, entrance fees and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this trip, we recommend a 30-60 liter backpack with clothes that are only necessary for the 4 days of the trip. The rest of your luggage will be left in storage at your hotel in Cusco or at the Lorenzo Expeditions office.
To climb one of the two mountains, you must purchase the entrance ticket in advance. Huaynapicchu has an extra cost of $60 USD per person and it is recommended to book tickets at least 3 months in advance. If you wish to book the entrance ticket for Huaynapicchu or Montaña, please contact our reservations team.
02 nights camping in double tent and 01 night hotel.
Lares Trek is an alternative trekking to the Inca Trail, this tour is to live the experience with the local people and the end of our tour is in Machu Picchu.
Lares Trek is an easy-moderate hike, the last day is the easiest, as you visit Machu Picchu.
Yes, this trek combines 3 days of hiking in the mountain of Lares and the last day
This route offers all travelers to Machu Picchu an area of great biodiversity and unique access where you will see alpacas, vicuñas, llamas and even foxes and many species of flora and fauna. While walking the Lares trek we will pass through villages inhabited by people of the high Andean zone of Peru with their unique customs and gastronomy. Unlike Inca trail treks, here you can still see and maintain the originality of the Andean people.
Best time to do Lares Trek
The best time to do the Lares Trek is during the dry season (May-September). This is the busiest trekking time in the region, particularly on the Classic Inca Trail, where permits are sold out months in advance.
The Lares Trail is the third most popular trail to Machu Picchu, after the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek, so during the peak of the high season the trail can be very crowded. That said, there are so many variations on the Lares Trail that in general the routes never feel crowded.
During the dry months (April and October), the Lares Trails are particularly quiet, and the climate is often very pleasant.
The months we do not suggest are from December to March, as the rain makes the trail really unpleasant and visibility is often low due to the strong morning and afternoon fog.
Temperatures throughout the year are moderate, at 20 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, and from cool to cold at night and in the early hours of the morning. Layered clothing is important (see packing list below).
Microclimates characterize the Andes, so it may rain all year round. Always wear rain gear.
What you need to know about the Lares trek 4 days
- This 4-day trek to Machu Picchu is not recommended for travelers with back problems.
- You will have a guide during your Lares trek and your visit to Machu Picchu.
- Daily departures with a group of 2 or more people.
- No wheelchair access.
DO NOT FORGET ESSENTIALS: original passport, insurance card, personal medications.
This hike will be composed of a maximum of 8 travelers.
A travel bag will be given to you at our office at the end of your briefing. Your porters will carry them and you will only have access to them at the campsites. Pack your clothes and other personal items that you will not need during the trek. Your day pack should include items such as water, snacks, first aid kit and rain gear.
The pack should weigh 7 kg. Remember that only 4 kg will be for your personal belongings. The remaining 3 kg will be for the sleeping bag and mat.
Strikes and road blockades are common in Peru and can disrupt our Lares trek to Machu Picchu and train service to and from Machu Picchu. We will make every effort to ensure that your trip to Machu Picchu continues as planned, with some changes.
Return from Machu Picchu to Cusco
The return from Machu Picchu to Cusco requires a lot of logistics. But we have already organized it.
Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, you will take a bus to Aguas Calientes for about 30 minutes. Buses run every 15 minutes. Then train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy station. Our guide will give you train tickets. Be sure to arrive at the station 30 minutes before.
Estimated time by train is 1.5 hours from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
Estimated time by train is 3.5 hours from Aguas Calientes to Poroy.
Once at the station, our transporter will be waiting for you. He will transfer you to Cusco and then to your hotel.
The estimated time from Ollantaytambo to Cusco is 1.5 hours.
The estimated time from Poroy to Cusco is 40 minutes.
Weather on the Lares Trek 4 days
Weather is unpredictable in the Andes. The dry season on the Trail runs from April to October and the rainy season from November to March, but this does not mean no rain in the dry season or no sun in the rainy season, so be prepared. Whichever season you do the 4-day trek to Machu Picchu, make sure you have rain gear, such as raincoat, rain pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.
The Lares trek to Machu Picchu involves several microclimates. You can also experience all four seasons in a single day. So be prepared. Layers are essential, as they easily adapt to different temperature changes. Bring a down jacket, as it will be cold in the morning and evening.
The best time to hike the Lares Trek
The best time to hike the Lares Trek is from May to October, as these months are sunny, with clear skies that allow us to see the stars at night and not suffer the road wet by rain.
The rainy season starts at the end of October and ends at the end of April.
We recommend that you take out travel insurance because, in the event of a last minute cancellation of your 4-day Lares Trek trip, your prepaid, non-refundable Inca Trail travel permit can be reimbursed. Similarly, if you become ill or injured while away from home, you can be reimbursed for treatment provided as a result of a covered medical emergency during your trip.
This is a demanding hike, so good physical condition is strongly recommended. The classic altitude differences on the Lares Trek make the trek difficult, as there are two stages during the hike.
Restrooms and showers on the Lares Trek
There are no luxury bathrooms or showers along the trek, our team carries specialized tents for using the bathroom.
During the trek to Machu Picchu, single travelers will be paired to share a tent with another traveler of the same sex and couples will have a tent to themselves.
The day before departure for the 4-day Trail, a mandatory pre-trip briefing is scheduled for 6 pm at your Hotel in Cusco. You will meet with your guide, who will provide you with detailed information about your trek, a list of what you need to bring, rental equipment or general questions.
All about tipping on the Lares trek
Tipping is customary on 4-day trek. On the third day, in the afternoon, we say goodbye to our wonderful porters and professional cooks. This is the time to leave a tip, please. Anything extra is always appreciated. Please note that tipping is not mandatory and you should never feel obligated to leave a tip.
In general, our guests collect tips for the cook and porters. For the tour guide, the tip is given after the guided tour of Machu Picchu. You decide the amount depending on your experience with them. Soles are preferred by our porters and cooks. The guides can receive dollars or soles without any problem.
Tips can be for our porters: 50-90 soles per porter.
Tips can be for our cooks: 120-150 soles per cook.
Food on the Lares Trek
Our cooks are adventure lovers, they train month after month to provide you with the best experience along the Inca Trail. At the end of the trek you will see that you have made a beautiful friendship with them, many of those friendships will last a lifetime.
*Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and other options are available upon request (please advise at time of booking).