Lares Trail Hike 4D/3N
For hikers who want to escape to a part of Peru that has changed little over the last 500 years, the Lares hike is a must. In this beautiful region, you will meet real Andean farmers dressed in traditional brightly-colored ponchos. You will pass through local communities and see thatched-roof houses made from stone and surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas. In the kitchens, you will see guinea pigs running loose, ready to be captured and cooked (we will have the opportunity to eat guinea pig for dinner on the second day). Although the people here only speak Quechua, they are very friendly, and through your guide’s translations you will be able to learn about their culture and lifestyle.
|Perfect for:||Travelers who want to experience the life of local Andean people. This place is a photographer’s dream as you will get to meet locals and will see incredible Andean views.|
|Duration:||4 days/3 nights|
|Level:||Moderate, depending on fitness level|
|Distance:||35 kilometers or 22 miles|
|Limited Spaces:||This hike does not require permits so there is always availability, however, it is best to reserve your hike in advance to secure the Machu Picchu entrances and the best train tickets.|
|Acclimatization:||The highest point is 4,450 meters or 14,600 feet, so it is essential that you are well acclimatized to the altitude before beginning the hike. We recommend that you spend at least 2 days in Cusco and the surrounding area before starting to properly acclimatize.|
Day 1 – We will pick you up at 6:00 am from your hotel in Cusco and take a three-hour drive through the Sacred Valley and will stop in the small town of Calca where we can visit the local market. Then we will continue driving until we reach the start of the trail located in the town of Lares which is at 3,260 meters (10,695 feet). Here you can take a dip in the local medicinal hot springs to warm up your muscles for the hike. After enjoying the pools, we will have lunch right beside the hot springs. Then we will begin hiking and will trek for about 4 hours. We will first ascend for about 30 minutes before arriving to an area that is relatively flat. We will cross a small stream and continue through the valley until we reach the town of Wacawasi. We will see locals wearing traditional clothing that includes colorful ponchos and hats. After passing through the town we will ascend for about 40 minutes up the side of the mountain before reaching our first campsite which is located at 3,880 meters or 12,730 feet.
Day 2 – The next morning after having breakfast, we will continue to hike uphill for about 3 hours through the highlands until we reach the highest pass of the trail called Ipsaykassa at 4,450 meters (14,600 feet). As we hike to this pass, we will see llamas, alpacas and sheep grazing close by as well as traditional stone houses. At the pass, we will rest and have time to take in the incredible view before descending for about half an hour to the beautiful Ipsaycocha lake where we will have lunch. From there, we will continue hiking to our campsite for about 2 and a half hours. Our trail will have gradual ascents and descents as we make our way to the village of Patacancha. We will descend down to our next campsite passing by picturesque farmyards and houses. Our campsite sits at 3,700 meters or 12,140 feet, and here we will be able to meet a local family and perhaps even have the chance to try guinea pig if you choose!
Day 3 – The next day after eating we will take a local car for 40 minutes to Pallata, where we will hike about halfway up the mountain for about 30 minutes to the Inca ruins of Pumamarca. This site was used as administrative center for the area, and after touring the ruins and having time to explore we will continue hiking for about 3 hours around the mountain on a part that is relatively flat. Our trail will take us through a valley and then we will follow an old Inca Trail until we reach Inca terraces. We will then descend until we reach the bottom of the valley where we will follow a path along the river until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo, where we will have lunch. We will have some time to rest and then will say goodbye to our crew. Then in the afternoon we can visit the main plaza in the town and do a short hike to the Inca Colcas (storehouses) Hike which takes 1 hour in total. Then we will have supper at a local restaurant and in the evening we will take the train to Aguas Calientes which takes about 2 hours. At Aguas Calientes we will take you to your hotel where you can check in and rest for the night.
Day 4 – After having an early breakfast at your hotel, you will meet your guide and take the 25-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. You will have a 3-hour tour with your guide where you will see and learn about the most important sites including the Temple of the Sun, the main plaza, Intiwatana, and the Temple of the Condor. After your tour, you will have some free time to explore the ruins on your own and take more pictures of this amazing place. When you are ready you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, and in the afternoon you will take the train back to Cusco where we will pick you up from the train station and drop you off at your hotel.
- Transportation from your hotel in Cusco to the start of the hike and back to your hotel at the end
- Entrance to the Lares hot springs
- Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
- Round trip train tickets in the Expedition service from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back to Cusco
- Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu and back to Aguas Calientes
- B&B Hotel in Aguas Calientes (Killa Inn or Panorama B&B depending on availability)
- The North Face Mountain 25 tents which are 2-person, 4 season tents designed for maximum comfort
- Therm-a-Rest mattress and pillow provided for free
- Duffle bag that you can fill with up to 8kg (18lb) of your personal gear that the horses will carry
- Other camping equipment, such as a kitchen tent manned by a professional cooking staff, a dining tent with table and chairs, and a bathroom tent
- Experienced tour guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua. Our guides are equipped and trained to practice First-Aid, administer oxygen if needed, and conduct radio communication.
- Complete meals and snacks during the trip starting with lunch on the first day and ending with breakfast on the fourth day at your hotel (the last lunch in Aguas Calientes is not included). Our experienced chefs make amazing meals in the middle of the mountains and are also used to preparing dishes for people with different food restrictions or lifestyles, so please let us know your preferences and we will make sure to meet your dietary needs.
- Professional chef who grew up in the countryside and a horseman with horses/mules to carry all of our gear
- One extra horse in the case of an emergency
- Breakfast on the first day and lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
- Sleeping bag or trekking poles (can be rented from us)
- Tips for guide, chef, and horseman (optional)
What to Bring
- Original passport and student ISIC card (if applicable)
- Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us)
- A small day backpack to carry your personal belongings (the horses will carry the items that you do not need during the day)
- Trekking poles (or you can rent a pair from us)
- Bathing suit (if you would like to enjoy the hot springs in Lares and/or Aguas Calientes)
- Good sneakers or light hiking boots, and one pair of flip-flops or light sandals
- Camera and extra batteries
- Rain jacket and plastic poncho (especially if traveling in the wet season, from October to March)
- Comfortable hiking clothes
- Bug repellent
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Cap for the sun
- Warm clothes for the nighttime including thermals, warm hat, and gloves
- Travel towel
- Toilet paper
- Water bottle and about 1 liter of water for the first day until lunch, and after that we will supply you with boiled water for the rest of the hike
Huayna Picchu: If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu, there is an additional fee of $25 USD per person for us to buy your entrance ticket. Spaces are limited, so please let us know when booking whether you would like to hike Huayna Picchu, and we will reserve it for you. For information about this hike, please visit our Huayna Picchu page.
Hotel Upgrade: Included in this tour is one night at a comfortable B&B Hotel in Aguas Calientes (Killa Inn or Panorama B&B depending on availability). However, if you would like to upgrade to a 3, 4, or 5 star hotel, we offer the following prices and options:
- 3 Stars: $40 USD total for a double/matrimonial or single room (Hotel Ferre or La Cabaña)
- 4 Stars: $220 USD total for a double/matrimonial or single room (Casa del Sol – includes dinner at the hotel restaurant)
- 5 Stars: $420 USD total for a double/matrimonial room or $360 USD for a single room (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo or Sumaq Hotel – both include dinner at their restaurants)
*Please note that all prices listed are for standard rooms and prices will vary for room upgrades. Also, all hotels and room types are subject to availability, and during holidays prices will increase. In addition, we work with many hotels in Aguas Calientes, so if there is a specific hotel not listed that you prefer, please let us know and we can provide you with a price.
Sleeping Bags: If you would like to rent a sleeping bag from us, the price is $20 USD per person in total for the hike.
Trekking Poles: We recommend taking trekking poles on the hike especially when hiking downhill. If you would like to rent a pair for the whole hike, the price is $15 USD per person.
Private Tent: In our service we include North Face Mountain 25 tents that are 2-person tents. However, if you would like to reserve a private tent the price is $30 USD.
Vistadome Train: Our price includes a return train ticket in the Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco, however, if you would like to upgrade to the Vistadome train the price is an additional $25 USD per person.
Cuy (Guinea Pig): On the second day of your hike you may try eating guinea pig which is a typical Peruvian dish. If you would like to try this dish, the cost is 30-40 soles for one guinea pig.
Lares in 3D/2N: We can also do the Lares Hike in 3 days instead of 4. If you are interested in this option please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Additional Information: For more information on rules and regulations of Machu Picchu, please see our Rules and Regulations page here. To see information on cancellations and other policies, please see our Cancellations page here.
How to Book
Since the Lares Hike does not require permits, there is always availability. We only require a minimum of 2 people to start this hike, so if there are at least 2 people total in your group we can organize your hike for the start date that you choose. If you are traveling by yourself, please email us to check the availability and let us know the hike(s) you are interested in and the dates when you are available to start the hike.
To reserve your hike, please email us at email@example.com with the hike you want to do, the date you want to start, and how many people are in your group. We will also need the following information for each traveler:
- Full name
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- Food restrictions (if any)
- Would you like to climb Huayna Picchu for an additional $25 USD per person?
If you would like tickets to climb Huayna Picchu after your tour of Machu Picchu, we will reserve a ticket for you as long as there is availability.
After sending your personal information, the next step is for each person in your group to make a deposit of $300 USD to reserve your hike. To make your deposit, please pay by selecting the correct amount below or by visiting our Book Now page. To receive the student discount, you must send an email at the time you reserve your spot with a scan of both sides of your student ISIC card. This is the only student card accepted by the National Park and you can find more information about this student ID on the ISIC website here. The remaining balance is due in Cusco. You may pay in cash (either in US dollars or Peruvian soles) at your briefing, or if you prefer you may pay with a Visa credit card at our office. To pay with a credit card, before your briefing please visit our office which is located at Calle Union #140 in the reception of the Cusco B&B Hotel.
Click the Amount to Deposit via Visa: