Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 5d will give you an excellent combination of adventure, view sightseeing and experiential tourism. This alternative path with a high altitude greater than the Inca Trail, but slightly shorter and easier than the one mentioned before. One of the best months to trek Lares is during the dry season.
Home of different communities of quechua natives, Lares Valley is home of traditional weavers famous for its handcrafted textiles which techniques inherited from their ancestors.
Its amazing geography, composed of altitude floors reaching peaks of 4600 m, gives us the chance to watch a variety of flora and fauna, typical of the area. One of their principal income is from breeding, which permits us to be able to see different types of camelids during our road trip.
The 5 days Lares trek, invites you to discover incredible mountain landscapes, quiet trails, pass into the high mountains, visit the small towns in the area, get to meet the locals and their customs such as weaving women, Andean shepherds working along the path of the Llamas.
You also will have the magnificent Machu Picchu experience, having the train to Aguas Calientes from Lares and being able to learn more about the famous Inca empire, as well as their culture and its incredible architecture.
Tour operators offer this alternative route to the ones who want an adventurous trip but not too hard to do. Machu Picchu Kingdom of the Inca Empire offers you a complete and detailed service with different group tours to choose from.
Do take a moment to check our reviews on Trip Advisor.
Cusco Airport Transfer
We will pass for you at 6:00 AM in the morning from the hotel, to drive you to Pisac until reaching the Huaran stream (2840m / 93152ft) in our private vehicle.
Here the road begins, we will climb up to a small side valley that gradually narrows while ascending on an original Inca trail, you will be able to observe a great variety of native flora and fauna that enhance the surroundings.
After a 3-hour walk, we will arrive at Cancha Cancha (3800m / 12464ft), a community that lives from agriculture and camelid breeding. You will be received with some typical food and have the opportunity to share a vision of the traditional lifestyle and culture of this Andean community.
Later, we will set up our camp here to rest for the night.
In case you feel a little dizzy, remember you can drink some coca tea (or from a different plant as Muña) or chew coca leaves to help you with altitude sickness during the trek).
We will have breakfast before we begin our journey.
The hike will start slowly uphill until we reach Accopata, an extension of Cancha Cancha Community, then we continue northeast through the valley, while passing you will notice small stone houses with thatched roofs. After half an hour the trail flattens out before climbing steeply for the 2 ½ hour hike to the first pass, called Pachacutec Pass (4458m / 14622ft).
From the hill you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Pachacuteq lake and the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray and Sawasiray that are part of different andean mountain ranges.
The trail continues for an hour along a narrow ridge until descending into a beautiful secluded stream filled with glacial lakes and rich in birdlife. Also we will watch a lot of alpacas, llamas and sheeps during this part of the journey.
Descending into the next valley, afterwards following a series of waterfalls to the village of Quishuarani (3700m / 12136ft) where the Queñua forests predominate and are preserved as they serve as a climate regulator for birds that live there.
Finally, we will be camping and enjoying traditional food while we spend time with children and weaving women of the community.
First we will have our usual breakfast, then be heading west up a small valley, you will have access to a lake at the head of the valley and start a steep zig-zag up a narrow path to the top of the second pass known as Abra Huillquijasa (4200m / 13776ft).
It will be possible to observe the Chicón and Colque Cruz glaciers, as well as appreciate 7 lakes full of huallatas (Andean geese), ducks and other aquatic birds.
At the highest point we will continue downhill and at last have a well-earned rest by the lakes before we keep the journey a little bit more for about 1½ hours from the pass to the reach at the neighbouring town of Cuncani (3750m / 12300ft) placed at the bottom of the valley.
A similar town as the one we camped the night before, very original and colorful. Here, we will set up our campsite for resting and share a delightful night.
As usual we will share breakfast to be able to start our journey slowly downhill towards Lares.
Our path will follow the river valley downhill for approximately 1 hour on the way to the city of Lares (3100m / 10168ft). We will have another opportunity to meet and spend time with the local people in Huacawasi town while we have our lunch. Also we will enjoy a bath in an outdoor hot spring (don’t forget to bring a swimsuit).
Once we finish lunch, you will board a private vehicle that will be taking you back to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the train station is located.
From here we will take a train ride to finally reach Aguas Calientes.
We will spend the night in Aguas Calientes hotel to have a nice hot shower and good rest for tomorrow’s tour.
After relishing an early morning breakfast, we will transfer you to the bus terminal where you will board the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu citadel. Once at the entrance of the citadel, our representative will be meeting you and will be assisting you in entering the citadel.
As you will be walking into the citadel, the clouds would be clearing by as the golden rays of the sun would shimmer on the walls of the citadel.
Our local expert will be giving you a detailed tour of the citadel for two hours. During the trip, you will be visiting some of the important parts of the citadel like the ceremonial centre, main plaza, house of the priests and more.
After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our tour guide will be directing you to the respective trail head.
Alternatively, you can hike to the Sungate. This is the point of entrance to those on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
After you finish your visit to Machu Picchu, you will be taking a bus back down to Aguas Calientes town. Here we will be stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.
Later in the evening, we will be taking the train back to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will be meeting you and will transfer you back to the hotel in Cusco.