Lares Trek To Machu Picchu

The Lares trekking route is the most scenic and culturally enhancing trail you will ever experience. Our four-day trek through the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu takes you to isolated villages, spectacular  snow covered mountain peaks, with striking lakes, rivers and streams snaking their way through the most tranquil and serene places in the Andes Mountains. What makes Lares trekking the most unique and special is your encounters with indigenous communities, a truly culturally enriching experience, that can only be exclusively experienced on this amazing trail. Learn about the Inca culture from their decedents, who still maintain their ancestor’s way if life, herding llamas and alpacas, weaving and farming using ancient technics and using the star constellation to guide their planting and harvesting seasons.

Our trek also includes a complimentary detour to  The Salt Mines (Salineras) in the colonial town of Maras.  Discover an age-old tradition that has not changed much in centuries, dating back pre-Incas. This small isolated community still extracts salts the same way their ancestors did.

This trek will enhance your visual senses and take you back to a time when life was as simple as could be.


Day 1: Cusco – Cuncani – Kiswarani

The adventure begins with an early pick up at 5:00am from your Cusco City hotel, making our way through the sacred valley along the Urubamba River towards the small town of Calca. Our first stop is at the Calca market so you can purchase any last-minute snacks, like fruits, nuts or water.  What makes this trek unique and special is the countless interactions you will experience with the indigenous Quechua speaking communities we pass along the way. So, we recommend that you consider purchasing small gifts like toys or bread to extend some goodwill to the villagers. Our journey continues to Cuncani, a village that sits above the clouds. We stop here for our first of many hearty breakfasts prepared by our talented chef. While you tuck into your food, enjoy spectacular views of waterfalls, mountain peaks, green hills and the lush valley.

Once we finish breakfast, we handover our duffel bags to our horsemen, keeping only your day backpack with daily essentials. We embark on our first incline towards the highest point for the day, Willqaqasa (4,200m/13,779ft). On arrival, we take a break to enjoy the stunning scenery with fleeting clouds gently flowing over the mountains and a number of beautiful lakes scattered across the mountain sides. This is a perfect spot to dig into our extensive 5-course lunch, a spread that can rival some of the best restaurants in Cusco.

After lunch, our trail passes the Pacchayoc Waterfall (7 waters waterfall), a stunning natural phenomenon. We continue on a short 2-hour descent towards Kiswarani. This small isolated village has access to humble flushing toilets, nothing fancy, but definitely a welcomed convenience.  Experience the traditional lifestyle of this indigenous community and interact with the rose-cheeked children eager to play and get to know you. Later, we tuck into our delightful dinner that our chef cooks to perfection, before settling into our spacious tents for our first night under the stars. 

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with bathroom building
  • Distance: 12kms / 7 miles
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
Lares Trek map

Day 2: Kiswarani – Pachaqutec Pass -Cancha Cancha

Awaken on day 2 surrounded by green lush mountains covered in snow. Your morning call is your guide serving you hot cup of tea in your tent followed by a basin of warm water to freshen up. Eat breakfast like a king, clearing your mind for the exciting and challenging day ahead. ¨All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. ¨ John Gunther.

We begin our day following an uphill zigzag pattern to Pachacutec Pass at 4,700 m / 15,420 ft. It is a somewhat intense walk, passing through small thatched stone houses, the transverse landscapes and high passes. At the summit, immerse yourself in breath taking views of the turquoise Pachacutec lake and the heart of the glazier atop mount Pitusiray. Close to here is our lunch spot, which we tuck into surrounded by the magic of the mountains. The fog that gently flows over the mountain tops gives an overwhelming sense of peace, serenity and calmness.

After another abundant lunch , we start a slow descent towards our second camp in the village of Cancha Cancha. Upon arrival, our horsemen will have camp already set up and the chef will serve afternoon tea with snacks. Also use this opportunity, if you wish, to purchase some homemade textiles from the locals made from the wool of the many alpacas you see grazing in the fields. Later, we settle in for dinner, which many consider a phenomenal tent dining experience. After dinner, we join our guide for a tail of how the Incas used the constellations to guide their farming seasons. Up to and including today, the locals still follow this ancient farming method. We retire into our tents for our last night of camping in the Andes.   

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with bathroom building
  • Distance: 14kms / 10.3 miles
  • Time: 7 to 8hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: challenge

Day 3: Cancha Cancha – Huaran – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

This is the most relaxing day so far! After breakfast we will possibly visit the local school of Cancha Cancha, depending on the time of the year. You get to explore the village, its people and maybe play a soccer game or two with the kids. Once ready, we continue on a relaxing descent to end of the of the Lares Valley Trek. Along the way we have a small river to accompany us.  The climate also changes, becoming significantly warmer and the trees and foliage become a bright green, sprouting a variety of vibrant colors. We also pass by many alpacas and llamas and for the first time on the trail cows and sheep. You will see farmers harvesting potatoes and beans by hand, and see firsthand Peruvian agriculture and tradition.

When we arrive to Huaran, we stop at the river bank for one last meal for our dedicated chef before they have to bid us farewell and head back to their respective highland villages. From Huaran, our private transportation picks us up for a ride though the Sacred Valley to the Salineras, the Salt Mines of Maras. We spend some time, exploring these fascinating Pre- Inca Salt Mines. The locals have full mining rights and extract salt the same way their ancestors did. It is also another ideal spot to buy some souvenirs, with locals have stall nearby selling this pure pink salt.

Finally, we drive to Ollantaytambo town to catch the train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town).  We stop at a carefully selected restaurant for dinner before checking into our hotel for an exciting day ahead.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Ferre Hotel or similar
  • Distance: 9kms/ 6 miles
  • Time: 4 hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

The day has come! After an early breakfast at your hotel, we are ready to get an early bus at 5:30am up to Machu Picchu just in time to witness the sunrise. It is a truly mystical site out of history you’ll not want to miss! After enjoying the sunrise your guide will provide a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu. Our guide will take you to the most important sites and explain the history of each section of the ruins. You will learn about the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, the House of Inca and much more! If you booked ahead of time, you may have the opportunity to do an extra hike after your tour!

When we are all set, we will board the bus down to Aguas Calientes to have lunch (not included). There are many good restaurants in Aguas Calientes that you may choose from. We will be boarding the train which departs from Aguas Calientes at 14:55 or 15:20 to Ollantaytambo. At the exit from the train station, your driver will meet you to take you in our private transportation back to Cusco, arriving approximately 7:00pm at your hotel.

  • Meal: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Extra Hikes

  • Huayna Picchu, the ‘Young Mountain’ in Quechua is the most well known for being part of the vast majority of the panoramic photos of Machu Picchu citadel. Climbing Huayna Picchu, you may see some archaeological sites, including the Temple of the Moon built in a natural cave. At the top of Huayna Picchu, there are small terraces and some buildings that were a part of an astronomical observatory and is a point of guardianship to the citadel.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain is above the Sacred City of Machu Picchu with breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, a unique sight like no other place in the world. The Quechua name translates to ‘Old Mountain.’ Machu Picchu Mountain’s summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals high above their sacred citadel!


  • Transfer from the airport to hotel
  • Private transportation
  • Local Licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua
  • Exclusive access to our private swimming pool and sauna at the Veronica View Hotel
  • Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and a transfer back to Cusco
  • 2 Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes 
  • Admission ticket to the Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Private guided tour in Machu Picchu for 2 hours
  • Hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, storage and buffet breakfast included
  • 4 person EUREKA tent for every 2 trekkers
  • Comfortable foam sleeping pad and camping pillow
  • Delicious gourmet meals at camp
  • Chef and cooking equipment, dining tent, cooking tent and toilet tent
  • Horseman and mules, to carry all camping and personal equipment (7 kgs of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag will be carried by our mules)
  • Provision of a horse in case of emergency – In case of illness, to ensure trek can be completed by all participants
  • First-aid kit, including emergency oxygen tank
  • Boiled water to fill your bottles
  • Interaction with the local kids and community people
  • Backpack rain cover


  • Sleeping Bag –$20 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
  • Air Mattress –$20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles –$15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent -$30 USD – (It applies ONLY for single traveller, Please request when you book your trek)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade -$67 USD per person (Return Only )
  • Huayna Picchu Mountainn  -$75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Single supplement for standard hotel: $40USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)


  • VISTADOME TRAIN: $67 USD per person (Return Only)
  • La Cabaña Hotel: $60 USD per person
  • Tierra Viva Hotel: $90 USD per person
  • El Mapi Hotel: $120 USD

Get a quote from our recommended local trek operator in Peru.

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