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The Lares Trek 4 Days to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular alternative treks to the classic Inca Trail. It doesn’t include as many Inca ruins as seen on the Inca Trail. Still, it makes up for that by offering a fascinating hike through magical landscapes and a far more in-depth look at local life in this part of Peru (a cultural element not found on the classic Inca Trail trek). It’s also slightly shorter – but for higher than the Inca Trail, and you’ll see far fewer trekkers along the route.
Our four-day Machu Picchu Lares Trek takes you deep into the heart of the Andes to a remote landscape of towering mountains, shimmering mountain lakes, and staggering views. You’ll also experience the living traditions of the local people as we pass through ancient villages, meeting friendly Quechua people who will be happy to share their culture with you.
And then, of course, there’s our final destination: Machu Picchu. We’ll get there on Day 4, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the magnificent Inca citadel, one of the seven new wonders of the world.
Departure & Return Location:
Pick up from your hotel (5:30am – 6:00am).
The first day begins early when we pick you up in Cusco. We will then drive to Calca, a small town in the Sacred Valley. Here you’ll have your last chance to buy any last-minute supplies. Continuing, we’ll drive for about three hours in the direction of Lares, passing the highest point for the day at 4,265 meters above sea level (13,992 ft), where the Sawasiray and Pitusiray mountains rise. We’ll then descend into the Lares Valley until we reach the small village of Lares.
In Lares, we can make the most of the local hot springs famous in the Cusco Region for their healing properties. These natural springs are excellent for stomach and rheumatic diseases, conditions such as arthritis, and treating fractures, muscular pains, and more. We’ll have lunch in Lares and then get ready to start our hiking adventure.
From Lares, we’ll head off on foot towards Huacawasi, a colorful little town of adobe houses and roaming llamas, located at about 3,600 m (11,811 ft) above sea level. It will take us about four or five hours to trek to Huacawasi, where we’ll have dinner and camp for the night. Huacawasi is a traditional weaving community, and you’ll be able to spend some time watching the local weavers at work and maybe have a go yourself.
We’ll start the day early in the morning with a hearty breakfast to get our energy levels up for what is probably the most challenging day of our trek. Setting off, it’s a steep uphill climb to a mountain pass at about 4,500 meters above sea level – the highest point reached on our Lares trek. The view from up here is sublime, looking out across the surrounding mountains and down to the beautiful Aruraycocha Lake below us. We’ll then head downhill towards the lake, stopping off to admire its clear glacial waters.
We’ll then head on through the Mantanay conservation area, where the natural environment changes. This region has forests of polylepis trees, known locally as queuñas, which provide an essential refuge for many bird species, including some that are endangered. Mantanay is also dotted with lagoons, around which various hardy shrub and tree species grow. We’ll have lunch on the banks of one of these pretty lakes. If we’re lucky, we might even see a huge Andean condor as it swoops overhead.
After lunch, we’ll continue our downhill trek until we reach the village Mantanay, our second campsite, at about 3,800 meters. This is another excellent opportunity to interact with the local villagers and see how they live in this remote region. At Mantanay we will have a tasty dinner and bed down for the night.
Our final day of trekking will be a relatively easy walk between four and five hours. We will leave Mantanay after breakfast and head towards the pretty colonial town of Yanahuara in the Sacred Valley, passing through more spectacular scenery where the Incas once roamed. The weather should be warmer as we descend towards Yanahuara, passing near fields of white corn typical of this region. Once we reach Yanahuara, we’ll have our last meal together. At this point, our cooks and porters will leave you in the capable hands of your guide. This marks the end of our Lares trek.
From here, we will travel by minibus to the beautiful Inca archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, one of the most famous ruins in the Cusco Region. The sprawling mountainside complex was once the royal estate of the Inca emperor Pachacuti. After exploring these extensive ruins, we´ll take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll have dinner and spend the night in a hotel, not far from our final destination: the magnificent Machu Picchu.
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.
We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide.
Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex. These include the House of the Guardian, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, the Sacred Plaza, and other vital locations. And as we walk around, we’ll have spectacular views of the agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu and across to the surrounding mountains and plunging gorges. After the guided tour, you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu as you please, perhaps walking to some less visited parts such as the Inca Bridge.
Once we’ve finished our tour of Machu Picchu, we’ll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax and have lunch (not included) before we board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the station, we’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, where you’ll finish the entirety of your incredible Lares trek to Machu Picchu.
We also offer a special service only for you or your group, you have the power to choose the size of your group and the date of departure, we will never add other people since it will be organized only for you.
Our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu – 4 Days private service, includes additional items such as:
We offer 3 kinds of service, each with different price ranges and you can book in any of these services according to your convenience, we just need you to be a minimum of 02 people to organize your trip on the date that suits you, all our services are 100 % guaranteed.
We are a direct TOUR OPERATOR that never passes clients to other agencies as most agencies do it here in Cusco to save operating costs with poor quality.
We will make the trip even if there are only 02 people in your group.
Can I be picked up from the Sacred Valley?
Yes, let us know in advance to organize your pick-up time.