Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days – Lares Trek Peru

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4 Days – 3 Nights

Max Guests: 8

Max. Altitude: 2850 – 4400m

Act. Level: Formidable

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4d3n Overview
Lares Trek Peru

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, a 4-day, 3-night journey, will guide you through Peru’s highlands. You’ll be hiking the Lares Trek, a less traveled path than the traditional Inca Trail. This trek will cover a distance of roughly 33 km or 20 miles, full of unique experiences.

We’ll begin in the small town of Lares, after which the trek gets its name. The trek to Machu Picchu will take us through the Andean mountains. With time to hike at a steady pace, we’ll marvel at the beauty of the Sacred Valley.

Our route will reach its highest point at the Condor Pass. At a high altitude of 4,600 meters or 15,092 feet, we will feel as if we’re touching the sky. It’s a challenging climb but worth every step for the view.

As we traverse through the mountains, we’ll leave the dry season’s dust behind. Be prepared though; at these altitudes, some may experience altitude sickness. That’s why tour operators usually include an aid kit in the packing list.

Naturally, we will not subject you to undue hardships throughout this journey. You will be needing a good sleeping bag and an air mattress. Along the trail, we’ll rest in camps with these necessities provided.

On the third day, we’ll board a train to Aguas Calientes. This small town serves as the gateway to visiting Machu Picchu. From Aguas Calientes, we’ll take a short bus ride uphill to the majestic Incan citadel.

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu:

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is not the Salkantay Trek, nor the Inca Trail. It is a unique journey that offers a different perspective on Peru’s history and culture. And if you choose the 4-day, 3-night option, you will have ample time to soak it all in.

We will offer a guided tour around the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to end your adventure. Here, you will learn about the rich history and architecture of the Incas. As the tour concludes, we can guarantee you’ll leave with unforgettable memories of your Lares Trek Peru adventure.

Why choose X Treme Tourbulencia for Lares Trek Peru?

Choosing Xtreme Tourbulencia to guide your Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, you will experience a unique adventure. Our expert guides will be leading the way, ensuring your safety and enriching your experience with insightful stories and history. 

We understand that the journey is just as important as the destination. Hence, you will receive personal attention, and your comfort will be our top priority throughout the trek.

Moreover, your satisfaction is our success. You can check out our Tripadvisor page to read testimonials from fellow adventurers who have embarked on this journey with us. 

When you hike the Lares Trek Peru with Xtreme Tourbulencia, we make a guarantee. You will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We will fill your experience with discovery, fun, and unparalleled service.

Inca Trail Availability - 2023/2024

Lares Trek Peru Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Cuncani – Yanacocha – Huacawasi

On the first day of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, we will begin early. At around 6:00 am, we will pick you up from your hotel. A 6-hour bus trip will bring us to our starting point. 

During our journey, we’ll make a pit stop in the town of Calca. Here, you will have an opportunity to visit the local market, enjoy breakfast, and purchase any last-minute supplies. You might want to buy extra bread to give to local children we will encounter on the trek.

Reaching Cuncani village, the beautiful starting point of our Lares Trek, you will begin to experience the Andean landscape. As we journey onward, we might spot small herds of llamas, alpacas, and guanacos. You may even see the rarer vicunas, representing the diverse Andean camelid species. We will also get a glimpse of typical Andean communities at Cuncani.

Post our first pass, we will arrive at Yanacocha. A picturesque lunch by the lake will be a treat to your senses. After lunch, we will trek to our first campsite at Huacawasi, located at 3600 meters or 11,811 feet. The gradual ascent of 5 to 6 hours will serve as a perfect warm-up for the challenging second day.

As for the statistics of the first day of the Lares Trek Peru:

  • We will cover a distance of approximately 12 kilometers or 7.5 miles.
  • The highest altitude we’ll reach will be 4600 meters or 15,092 feet.
  • The lowest altitude will be our campsite at Huacawasi, standing at 3600 meters or 11,811 feet.
  • Level of difficulty for the day is moderate to challenging.

On arrival at Huacawasi, you’ll meet the rest of the trekking team. Your tents will be ready, and hot tea and a snack of popcorn and sweets will be waiting. This will be a perfect time to explore the small town and immerse yourself in its rich Andean culture before dinner.

The Art of Andean Textiles:

The local tradition of weaving textiles in the Andes dates back millennium. Numerous indigenous communities in the region, like the Huacawasi, have preserved their knowledge and techniques of weaving textiles in the ancient tradition. The weaving is done using a special weaving tool consisting of 2 bars with a weaving thread in between.

The local people take the wool from the llamas to make their traditional clothing. First, the wool is spun and then colored with natural ingredients such as plants and flowers. Every community’s weaving is unique, distinguished by different colors and designs, representing the daily activities of the local communities.

Day 2Sondor – Huacawasi C’asa Pass – Aruray Cocha – Yurak Cocha – Mantanay – Pucara

On the second day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, we’ll start with a nutritious breakfast. After that, we’ll set off toward the highest point of the trek, the Huacawasi Pass. Standing at an altitude of 4500 meters or 14,763 feet, this pass will challenge us with a steep, 4-hour uphill hike. To ensure everyone’s success, an emergency horse will accompany us.

We will traverse through incredible landscapes of enormous mountains and a patchwork of farms. Breathtaking views of the Andean highlands will reward you, epitomizing their beauty. But remember, we will be hiking to high altitudes, and the weather can get very cold.

Having conquered the summit, we will descend, passing by beautiful lagoons. A well-deserved lunch stop awaits. Here, while our cooks prepare a hearty meal, you’ll have time to recuperate.

Post lunch, we’ll descend further through a beautiful forest. You will spot Queuña trees, a species native to the Peruvian Andes. You will also see several other flora and fauna that enrich this wonderful park. 

The descent will continue until we reach our second campsite at Pucara, located at 3000 meters or 9,842 feet. Upon arrival, warm tea and snacks will be ready for you to enjoy before dinner.

Statistics for the second day of the Lares Trek Peru are as follows:

  • The distance covered will be about 16 kilometers or 10 miles.
  • We will reach the highest altitude at the Huacawasi Pass, standing at 4500 meters or 14,763 feet.
  • The lowest altitude will be at our campsite in Pucara, positioned at 3000 meters or 9,842 feet.
  • The level of difficulty for the day is challenging due to the high altitude and steep climbs.

Day 3Pucara – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu enters its third day. We will proceed with our journey, heading towards the Yanahuara Inca agricultural terraces. Here, locals still cultivate the famous corn with giant kernels of the Sacred Valley, known as “maiz parcay”. It’s a vibrant showcase of traditional Andean agriculture.

Moving forward, we’ll head towards Pachar, joining the Inca Trail to Ollantaytambo over the Inca terraces. Along the route, we’ll encounter Choccana, a small archaeological site. This trek will take us to Ollantaytambo, a town in the Sacred Valley that’s renowned for its well-preserved Inca heritage. We will stop for lunch in this historic setting.

At 1:00 pm, we’ll board a train to Aguas Calientes. The afternoon is yours to explore this quaint town. We recommend a visit to the natural springs in Aguas Calientes to relax and rejuvenate. After a day full of awe-inspiring sights and treks, we will retire for the night at a local hotel.

Statistics for the third day of the Lares Trek Peru include:

  • Total distance covered will be approximately 12 kilometers or 7.5 miles.
  • The highest altitude for the day will be in Ollantaytambo, at around 2792 meters or 9,160 feet.
  • The lowest altitude will be at our destination, Aguas Calientes, at around 2040 meters or 6,690 feet.
  • Level of difficulty for the day is moderate due to the lower altitudes and flatter terrains.

Day 4Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

The fourth day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu marks the climax of our journey. We’ll begin with an early morning bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. This iconic Inca city, perched on a mountain ridge, is a sight to behold. A guided tour around the ancient ruins will deepen your understanding of the Inca civilization.

Post the tour, you will have some free time. You can explore more of Machu Picchu or take some stunning photos. After soaking in the magnificence of Machu Picchu, we will return to Aguas Calientes by bus. Here, we’ll have a final lunch before boarding a train back to Ollantaytambo.

From Ollantaytambo, a bus will take us back to Cusco. We aim to arrive back in Cusco by the late evening. With your arrival in Cusco, your unforgettable Lares Trek to Machu Picchu concludes.

The statistics for the fourth day of the Lares Trek Peru are as follows:

  • Distance covered will be about 4 kilometers or 2.5 miles, mainly within the ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • The highest altitude for the day will be at Machu Picchu, at around 2430 meters or 7970 feet.
  • The lowest altitude will be at Aguas Calientes. Here we will start and end the day, at around 2040 meters or 6,690 feet.
  • Level of difficulty for the day is low. We will spend most of the day exploring the ruins and traveling back to Cusco. 
Lares Trek Peru Gallery
Lares Trek Peru Inclusions

Lares Trek Peru Includes

  • Transport from the hotel to the Lares Valley
  • Tourist train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco.
  • Entrance to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
  • Hotel with private room and bathroom in Aguas Calientes.
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
  • High-quality camping equipment (professional tents Doite, Cima 4, extra light/4.5kgs for 2 persons. Camping mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
  • Meals during the trek (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Vegetarian option available on request.
  • Cook and kitchen.
  • Horseman and mules for all camping and personal items (up to 7kg/15lbs per person).
  • Emergency horse (for 2 persons).
  • First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.
  • Cold, boiled water during the entire trek.

Lares Trek Peru Excludes

  • Breakfast on the first day and the last lunch in Aguas Calientes
  • Sleeping bag (If you don`t have a sleeping bag, you can rent a warm bag for $6.00 per day)
  • Bus going downhill from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes for $12.00USD, you can walk down, which takes about 1 hour.
Travel Info

Briefings

All briefings are done at our office at 7:00 PM one or two nights before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Xtreme Tourbulencia office team. Briefings are approximately 40 minutes long.

Pickups

Xtreme Tourbulencia is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city, we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Smaller hotels and Airbnbs are often located on streets that cars can´t pass through. They also are frequently on hillsides with long steep climbs, making it difficult to carry luggage. We highly recommend that you book accommodations with better access. We have a list of hotels that are all comfortable with easy access to pick up and drop off. HOTEL LIST HERE.

Some treks will allow for pickups in the Sacred Valley, which is outlined below.

Huaynapicchu/Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu is most beautiful when seen from above, which is why hiking one of the mountains next to the ruins is very popular to do after your tour.

Huaynapicchu is the most popular and must be booked in advance since it sells out very quickly. This hike takes approximately 1 hour to the top, and another 45 minutes back down. Tickets are sold in time sessions stating when you can start this hike. The first session is from 7-8 AM, and the 2nd session is from 10-11 AM. Again, this refers to the timeframe when you can start your hike. We usually book the second session so you can enjoy your tour with your guide first. You will do this hike on your own, but your guide will show you where to begin.

Machu Picchu Mountain is a bit longer and a bit less popular. It takes 2 hours to the top and another 1 hours to the bottom. Again there are two time windows – from 7-8 AM and 9-10 AM and we usually purchase the second time window. 4 Day treks, the Trekkers CAN NOT do this hike and enjoy a tour of the ruins. Time will not allow for this.

Hiking either mountain will allow you to have some extra time at the ruins once you complete, as listed above.

Machu Picchu Entrance Times

Machu Picchu now has two different time windows of when you can visit: either morning or afternoon. Your entrance ticket will be for only one session, morning session, and when your time window is over, the Rangers will ask you to leave.

MORNING SESSION: 6AM – 12PM

AFTERNOON SESSION: 12PM – 15:00PM

** If you have tickets to hike either Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will need extra time 3:00 hours.

Health Concerns

You must be honest with your guide about any health conditions or concerns you might have. While our guides are not medical professionals, they do have first-aid training. We also work with a clinic in Cusco that can help assist our team.

You are responsible for assessing whether Inca Trait to Machu Picchu is suitable for you. We recommend you to consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. Xtreme TourBulencia will not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level, and medical requirements.

If you develop extreme altitude sickness or any other illness that prevents you from hiking, and you still wish to visit Machu Picchu by train, we will work with you to coordinate this trip. Since this will be a new trip, it may require additional fees. We will use as much of the original itinerary to keep costs low.

If you experience issues while hiking and can not continue, a porter will accompany you to the closest road and wait while a car comes to pick you up and bring you to the nearest health clinic.

Group Tours

Group tours are made up of all different types of people, with various hiking skills and ages. By agreeing to a group tour, you agree that some people might be slower or faster than you are. Everyone can go at their own pace for the trek, and the guide will work with the group to spend time with everyone. Groups might request some modifications to the tour, and the guide will work with everyone to make the best decision for the group.

Strikes

Unfortunately, strikes are frequent in Peru and can disrupt our tours. Roads are often blocked, and trains stopped. We will make sure your trek continues as planned, even if that means leaving the night before your start date. Under these circumstances, tours might need to be canceled. But our operations department will coordinate with you in this situation. Your safety is always our top concern and will dictate how we decide.

Lost Items

You are responsible for your items throughout the Tour. Please be diligent about where you leave your things and remember to remove all items from our vans, your tents, restaurant, etc. Do not leave anything unintended during your hike. Other trekkers or teams might pick it up not knowing whos it is.

Tips

Tipping is part of the tradition of any trek to Machu Picchu. While we pay good wages to our entire team, anything extra is always appreciated. Please know that this is not obligatory and that you should never feel pressured into this.

Typically the participants in a group pool their tipping money together for the porters and chef. The amount recommended is different per trek and listed below. For the guide, this is more personal and needs to be decided based on your relationship with them and done separately from the group. Porters and Chefs prefer soles if possible. Guides are happy with U.S. dollars, Peruvian Soles, or even your credit card ????

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is inexpensive and strongly recommended. With trips being planned months ahead of time, you never can predict what could happen. Adventure travel includes more risk than the average trip. Insurance is a way to protect the investment you have made on this journey. We can help recommend an agent to walk you through this type of insurance if needed.

Weather

Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

Also, prepare for four seasons. Several of the treks through the Andes involve various microclimates and you will need to be prepared. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.

It’s also important to note that the weather can change a listed itinerary. There are times that routes become impassable, and our guides will be forced for your safety to rework your tour.

Lares Trek Peru Altitude Sickness

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitudes, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate you won´t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.

Lares Trek Peru Altitude Sickness:

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca-tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Xtreme Tourbulencia guides are trained to help you get through it.

Getting To Cusco

The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

FAQs

Does the Lares Trek go to Machu Picchu?

Yes, the Lares Trek can be combined with a visit to Machu Picchu. The Lares Trek is a popular alternative to the classic Inca Trail, and it passes through the stunning Andean landscapes and remote Quechua communities. The trek ends in Ollantaytambo, where you can take a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu.

There are several variations of the Lares Trek, and the exact itinerary and duration can vary depending on the tour operator and starting point. Some Lares Trek itineraries include a visit to Machu Picchu on the last day of the trek, while others may include an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes before visiting Machu Picchu the following day.

Overall, the Lares Trek offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path trekking experience that combines cultural immersion and stunning natural landscapes with a visit to one of the world’s most iconic historical sites.

How high is the Lares Trek?

Lares Trek is a high-altitude trek that reaches a maximum elevation of 4,450 meters (14,599 feet) at the Pachacutec Pass. It starts in the town of Lares, which sits at an elevation of around 3,200 meters (10,498 feet) and covers a distance of approximately 33 kilometers (20 miles) over several days.

The Lares Trek passes through stunning Andean landscapes, remote Quechua communities, and several archaeological sites, offering a unique cultural and trekking experience. However, the high altitude can cause altitude sickness, which can make the trek challenging for some hikers.

It is important to be well prepared physically and mentally before attempting the Lares Trek, including proper acclimatization, physical training, and packing appropriate gear. It’s also recommended to choose a reputable tour operator that provides knowledgeable guides, high-quality equipment, and proper safety measures.

How long is the Lares Trek?

Lares Trek is a multi-day trek that covers a distance of approximately 33 kilometers (20 miles) and typically takes 3-4 days to complete. The exact itinerary and duration can vary depending on the tour operator, starting point, and trekking pace.

The first day of the trek usually starts in the town of Lares and includes a visit to the Lares hot springs before camping for the night. On the second day, the trek reaches its highest point at the Pachacutec Pass (4,450 meters/14,599 feet) before descending to the village of Patacancha, where you will camp for the night. On the third day, the trek passes through several remote Quechua communities before camping for the night at the village of Huacahuasi or Ollantaytambo. Finally, on the fourth day, you can take a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, before visiting Machu Picchu the following day.

It’s important to choose an itinerary that matches your physical abilities and time constraints and to properly prepare for the trek by acclimatizing to the altitude, physical training, and packing appropriate gear.

Where does Lares Trek end?

The Lares Trek typically ends in the town of Ollantaytambo, where hikers can take a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo is a charming Inca town located in the Sacred Valley, approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Cusco. It is known for its well-preserved Inca ruins and narrow cobblestone streets.

After completing the Lares Trek, hikers usually spend the night in Ollantaytambo before taking an early morning train to Aguas Calientes. From there, hikers can take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu or hike up to the entrance. The train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the type of train and the departure time.

Ollantaytambo is also a popular destination in its own right, with several restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. It’s a great place to relax and unwind after completing the Lares Trek before continuing on to Machu Picchu or other destinations in the Sacred Valley.

How difficult is the Lares Trek?

The Lares Trek is considered to be a moderate to challenging trek, with varying altitudes, rugged terrain, and rapidly changing weather conditions. It involves several days of hiking at high altitudes, reaching a maximum elevation of 4,450 meters (14,599 feet) at the Pachacutec Pass.

The difficulty of the trek can depend on factors such as the individual’s fitness level, previous experience with high altitude trekking, and how well they are acclimatized to the altitude. It is important to be well prepared physically and mentally before attempting the Lares Trek, including proper acclimatization, physical training, and packing appropriate gear.

Overall, while it is a challenging trek, it is also a highly rewarding experience for those who are prepared and up for the challenge. The trek offers stunning Andean landscapes, remote Quechua communities, and cultural immersion that make it a unique and memorable experience.

Is the Lares Trek worth it?

Yes, the Lares Trek is worth it for those seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path trekking experience in the Andes. The trek offers stunning landscapes, remote Quechua communities, and cultural immersion that make it a memorable and rewarding experience.

Lares Trek is a great alternative to the Classic Inca Trail, which can be overcrowded and heavily regulated. This four-day trek offers a more authentic and less-traveled route through the Andes, with fewer tourists and more opportunities to interact with local communities and learn about their culture and way of life.

Lares trek includes visits to hot springs, archaeological sites, and stunning mountain passes, providing a diverse and exciting trekking experience. The trek also offers the chance to visit Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most iconic historical sites, making it a perfect combination of natural and cultural attractions.

Overall, the Lares Trek is a highly recommended trek for those looking for a challenging and rewarding experience that combines stunning Andean landscapes, cultural immersion, and a visit to Machu Picchu.

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