Lares: Hiking trails leading to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days with Pisac Ruins Included

5 best places to visit

Altitude

4700 m.s.n.m

Group size

Up to 8

Service

Group or private

Type Tour

Trekking, cultural

Difficulty

Challenging

Duration

4 Days

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days with Pisac Ruins Included

4 day

from $559 per person

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu route is one of the best and most unique paths, and is even better with the addition of  the Pisac Inca ruins tour.The itinerary takes you through the Lares Valley known as the “Weavers Way,” as you are taken “OFF the beaten track”. Pass by remote indigenous communities like CANCHA CANCHA that only recently got eletricity connections and have no bus service. Immerse yourself in their traditional day to day lives, as they keep their Inca culture alive. You’ll have the privilege to interact with these precious indigenous people, experience a bit of their culture and traditions, plus have fun with the children.  On this incredibly picturesque trek, you’ll also enjoy the peaking ice glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas.  On the last day make your dreams a reality and enjoy a new day watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu and explore the amazing citadel with your professional guide. An amazing alternative to the Inca Trail and a slightly easier trek compared to the Salkantay trek, this 4 day trek does truly take you off the beaten track.

Live our experience on video!:  Lares Trek video.

Please have a look at some of the blogs that our clients have written: Trek de Lares 4 hours, “It’s the journey, not the destination…”, Lares Pass – Best Lares trek informationAlli and Ellie hike to Machu Picchu

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Pisac Inca ruins – Huaran – Canchacancha.

We will pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 am to start with our expedition on the best Lares Trek. We pick you up from any hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to begin your trek at 4:00am and 5:30am respectively.  We then drive for 1 hour to the Pisac Inca ruins, where we explore this amazing Inca City with your guide as he shares with you the history of the City and the Incas. After the guided tour, we enjoy breakfast with the amazing views of the Inca city & valleys.

Then we continue in our van for 40 more minutes to Huaran. Upon arrival, we meet our horsemen and horses and begin our 3 hour gradual hike up to Canchacancha, where we will have our fresh and delicious lunch prepared by our chef. After a siesta, we explore the most isolated community called Canchacancha and visit some local homes where you may interact with the locals. It would be nice if you bring some toys, old usefull clothes, notebooks, fruits or any supplies for the residents, they are always very thankful to receive them. After learning about the lifestyle of these local people, we hike for 2 more hours to our first campsite. The tents will be set up, and you can enjoy afternoon tea taking in the amazing views of snow capped mountains and green valleys.  After dinner your guide will show you the Inca’s constellations such as the famous southern cross (cruz del sur) cosmic constellations, orion and many others.  These were very important in the time of the Incas for their agricultural seasons and still play a vital role to the local people.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12km / 7 miles
  • Time: 6h approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Quishuarani

After a delicious breakfast, we begin our hike to the elevated northeast part of the valley, it takes about 4 hours to get to the highest point of our trek called Pachacuted pass (4700 mt / 15420 ft). Once there, we’ll enjoy amazing views of glaciers, glacial lakes, llamas, rugged valleys and farmlands.  After a short break surrounded by 360º angle views of the scenic landscape, we begin our descent for about an hour towards our lunch pot.  It is located by a glacial lake, with amazing views of the Lares Valley with plenty of llamas and alpacas. After a little siesta we start to hike downhill for another 2 hours to our campsite located by the Kiswarani community (3700 mt/12,139ft). On the way to Kiswarani, we meet with local people herding their llamas and alpacas. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with them in Quechua (the indigenous language of  Peru). Of course your guide will be there to translate what they say and teach you a few phrases in Quechua. Along the path you will get a nice suprise of a stunning waterfall.  At the camp site, your tents will be ready, indulge in some afternoon tea and a dilactable dinner prepared by our talented chef and finally head to bed in our comfortable tents.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with comfortable and spacious tents, inflatable mattress, blankets, pillows
  • Distance: 14km / 10.3 miles
  • Time: 8h approximately
  • Difficulty: challenging

Day 3: Quishuarani – Cuncani – Lares – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

The most memorable day with new amazing adventure continues! We begin hiking for the next 3 hour until we reach the Hullkiccasa Pass (4200mt/13779ft).  Once there, we enjoy fantastic views of glacial lakes which loo like mirrors. Then we head downhill for the next two hours to the farmlands and the lakes of Cucani community, where we visit the local school and play with the highland students. Afterwards we take our van to the hot springs, where we relax in the natural volcanic hot spring for an hour or so, have lunch, and take a siesta. Finally we say goodbye to our amazing cook and horseman, and take our van for the nexxt 2.5 hours to Ollantaytambo where we will have our dinner at a tourist restaurant. At 7pm, we take our train to Aguas Calientes town, where we spend the night in a hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch  – Dinner
  • Accommodation: El presidente hotel, Machu Picchu hotel or comparable
  • Distance: 15km / 9.3 miles
  • Time: 6h approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After an early breakfast, we will take one of the first bus (around 5:30am) for a scenic ride up to Machu Picchu to see sun rise over the amazing Inca City.  You’ll explore Machu Picchu for the next 2 hours with your private guide learning about the fascinating history of this  charming Inca city. After the tour you’ll have plenty of time for exploring more, taking photos and the option to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain or to hike up to the Sun Gate before heading back to Aguas Calientes, for a late lunch. At 4:22 you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, and then a private van back to Cusco where you will be transferred to your hotel at around 8pm.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

WHAT IS INCLUDED

INCLUDED

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • First breakfast
  • Private transportation from the hotel to Huaran – Trail head.
  • Licensed guide fluent in English and Quechua.
  • Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Admission ticket to the Machu picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, storage and buffet breakfast included
  • 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable)
  • Thick foam mattress
  • Delicious meals during the 4 days as indicated in the itinerary
  • Cook and cooking equipment
  • Horseman and mules, to carry all camping and personal equipments (7 kilos of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag (included in the weight) , will be carried by our mules)
  • Provision of a horse in case of emergency (With helmet)) such as illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Boiled water to fill in your bottles
  • Guiding tour in Machu Picchu
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Rain poncho
  • Transfer back to Cusco only for our group
  • Local interaction with the local kids and community people.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress – US$20 per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent: US $30 – (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade  – US$57 per person (For the return to Cusco)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain  – US$35 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain –  US$30 per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • One way bus ticket from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes – It can be hiked in one hour.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES

  • VISTADOME TRAIN from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo: US$57 per person
  • La Cabaña Hotel: US$40 per person
  • Tierra Viva Hotel: US$70 per person
  • El Mapi Hotel: US$120
  • Additional Night in hotel in Aguas Calientes – From US $60 (depending on choice and availability)

PRICE

“The best Lares Trek Machu Picchu around is available on any date that is best suited for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers”

  • US$559 per person

This price includes the extra personal porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kilos,  guided tour in Sacred Valley (Pisac Inca ruins) are included in the price and we will provide you with a duffle bag.

DISCOUNTS

  • 18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: US$40  Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.

EXTRAS 

  • Sleeping Bag – US$20 per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress – US$20 per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles – US$15 per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal Tent – US$30 – (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Additional Night in Aguas Calientes – From US $60 (depending on availability)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade  – US$57 per person (For the return to Cusco)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain  – US$35 per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Machu Picchu  Mountain –  US$30 per person  (Please request when you book your Trek)

ADDED VALUES  FOR FREE

  • TRANSFER – from the Airport to Hotel (Cusco Only)
  • DUFFLE BAG AND TRASH BAGS – included in the trekking price!
  • EXTRA PORTER is included in the price, the porter will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs /14p like sleeping bag, mattress, clothes etc.
  • BOILED WATER is included along the Inca Trail.
  • OXYGEN TANK will be available along the trek
  • EMERGENCY HORSE is included in the price which can be riden if you get tired or sick.
  • SMALL PILLOW
  • PLASTIC RAIN pocho made by INCA TRAIL HIKE is included.
  • GUIDED TOUR INTO PISAC INCA RUINS: Enjoy and explore the amazing Inca city of Pisac which is one of the most important Inca cities of the famous Sacred Valley.
  • BEST ITINERARY operated by Lares Trek specialist only.

QUESTION & ANSWERS

“Please read carefully the following information; it will help with your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu” 

WELCOME TO CUSCO

You will be greeted at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to trek´s start. Look out for our representative holding an orange board of INCA TRAIL HIKE at the arrival terminal.

THE BRIEFING

It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm at our office which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2and Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE

Of course! During the Lares trek Machu Picchu your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are for free.

HOW TO BOOK THE LARES TREK MACHU PICCHU

FIRST, to book your Lares trek Machu Picchu, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click here the link BOOK NOW.

Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group).  We cannot purchase an Lares trek Machu Picchu permit without the following information:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.OB. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Lares trek Machu Picchu.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money.  You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL.  To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of info@incatrailhikeperu.com. 

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  1. According to Peruvian Law you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need student cards). For example if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  2. All students from 11 to 17 years, the discount is $30.
  3. For children from the age of 2 to 11 the discount is $40.
  4. For children from the age of 0 to 2 are free.
  5. All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  6. Send us a copy at info@incatrailhikeperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

Unfortunately the answer is generally “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure dates. Tickets are not transferable nor refundable. With alternative treks we may be able to change dates for a fee depending on what has been already purchased.  Please contact the office as soon as possible if you need to change your date.
If you cancel your Lares Trail Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT 

Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Lares Trek, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person.  We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.

If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you.  You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or the train.  If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE LARES TREK MACHU PICCHU?

The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee.  BUT you will have many different seasons as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.  Thick about dressing in layers.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS 

In general if you exercise regularly and spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatization to the altitude, you may be just fine.

The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you  for Altitude Sickness. For more detailed information on Altitude Sickness click this link: Altitude Sickness. 

We offer the Cusco City Tour and Sacred Valley tours that you can book while you are acclimatizing.  Check out our day tours on our Main Page.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. INCA TRAIL HIKE specialises in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provide a personalised service.

HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?

You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, they will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.

HIKING LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14p. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware, that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.

IS THE LARES TREK MACHU PICCHU DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

The Lares trek Machu Picchu is a 39 km hike through the Andes in the Cusco region. The maximum altitude reached is 4,700mt. On the second day of the trek we climb two mountains. The Trail is a fairly difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. You have to be moderately fit and take regular exercise.
In preparation: try walking 15kms  a day or go to the fitness club in the months leading up to the trek. It is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude. Try to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3350m/11,047ft) prior to starting the trek.

ARE THERE TOILETS?

It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet! INCA TRAIL HIKE toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.”  Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite.  At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
There are hot showers and hot water pools to soak in and relax on the 3rd day of your trek at the Lares Hot Springs. Be sure to bring your bathing suit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE TREK?

In the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, INCA TRAIL HIKE will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly, they then continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to original plan.

ARE WE GOING TO BE DROPPED AT OUR HOTEL?

Absolutely!! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you at your hotel! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too!   If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, for sure we wil pick you up there !

AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN DEPARTURE?

It will depend on the train availability (high season it could book out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you we usually book the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu

VISTADOME TRAIN UPGRADE; HOW MUCH IS IT?

For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to Vistadome, all the way back to Poroy (Cusco), the trip lasts 3.5 hours, then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at the hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires them to give excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many INCA TRAIL HIKE destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel it, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.

PACKING LIST

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU?

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3 litre Camelbaks are encouraged.
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from INCA TRAIL HIKE)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toiletpaper

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFLE BAG?

As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and  INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcious.
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us.
  • Swimming Suit

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK?

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water  at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves.
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by INCA TRAIL HIKE)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Valuable Items