Lares Trek Peru to Machu Picchu

4-DAY/3-NIGHT TRIP

CULTURAL TREK | ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE

$650 PER PERSON

What to Expect on my Lares Trek Peru Tour

Trek through what is considered the cultural trek to Machu Picchu. This 4-day Lares Trek takes you into the cultural heart of the Incan Andes Mountains. Experience the local community, people, solitude, beautiful lakes, alpacas, and llamas of this cultural trek to Machu Picchu.

Didn’t book your Inca Trail permit in time? The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu does not disappoint in comparison. While the Inca Trail has ruins and the Salkantay Trek has nature, the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu exceeds in culture! This trek is open to all with no limitations on the number of people who may start per day, compared to the tightly regulated 500 people of the Inca Trail. The Lares Trek links the Quishuarani village in the Sacred Valley to the Queuñas Bush Valley. The final stop is the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. It passes through the Andean Village, Lares town. For those seeking an extended cultural experience, look no further than the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.

Included in Lares Trek Peru Package:

 

  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Entrance to historical Machu Picchu site
  • Chef
  • Porters (carries group gear)
  • Personal transportation to and from hotel
  • Dining Tent
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks, and 3 dinners. (We are able to accommodate most diets variations)
  • Hot coffee/Hot tea
  • Nightly pisco drinks
  • Clean water
  • 4 person tent per 2 people
  • Clean private pop-up toilet (no one likes going to the bathroom in a gross outhouse)
  • First Aid Kit

Not included in Lares Trek to Machu Picchu Package:

 

  • Sleeping bag – $40
  • Trekking poles – $20
  • Therm-a-Rest Comfort Sleeping Pad – $30
  • Panoramic Vistadome Train – $90
  • Horse to help carry personal gear – $100
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain – $85
  • Single Person Tent – $75
  • Personal items
  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch/dinner on last day
  • Porter/Guide tips

We had such an unforgettable trip! From the moment we were picked up in Lima to saying our goodbyes on the last day, we were given such an amazing experience. Our guides, drivers, cooks, porters were all top-notch and were so good at accommodating our needs or picking us up and dropping us off at certain times!

The podcast we listened to before the trip gave us all great information in terms of what to bring and expect for many different parts of the trip!

David was an amazing tour guide with a wide breadth of knowledge on everything he spoke about! kept the tours flowing with lots to learn but also lots of fun and joking around! We amazed and would definitely recommend Cachi Life to anyone looking for a personalized experience and a company that will help you relax as you spend time visiting these amazing locations!

Brendon VZ.

DAY 1: CUSCO THROUGH LARES TO HUACAWASI COMMUNITY (16 KM)

The first day begins early in the morning at approximately 6:00 am. We will drive through the town Calca in the Sacred Valley and view their markets. We will then drive to the Lares community which is where the Lares Trek trailhead is located.

Before hiking, we will have lunch and prepare our legs in the warm hot springs.  We will hike the trail through small communities in the region and make our way to the Huacawasi Community which is where we will spend our first night. The first day is approximately 5 hours of hiking. 

DAY 2: HUACAWASI THROUGH IPSAYCOCHA LAKE ONTO PATACANCHA

After breakfast, the second day commences with hiking approximately 3 hours to the highest pass on the Lares Trek, Ipsaykassa at 14,600 feet (4,440 meters).

From there the trek will pass stone houses and small communities to Ipsaycocha Lake where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will hike approximately 2 hours to Patacancha passing farms and small villages for our second campsite. You can even try Cuy (Guinea Pig) with some of the locals this evening!

DAY 3: PATACANCHA THROUGH PUMAMARCA TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

Today we will start with a short drive to Pallata where we will hike approximately 30 minutes to the Inca ruins called Pumamarca. After exploring the ruins, we will continue our hike for about 3 hours around the mountain to reach Inca terraces. We will continue our descent until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo. 

You will have time to explore the town and then later we will complete a short hike the Inca Colcas, which were Incan storehouses. 

In the evening we will have dinner and then take the train to Aguas Calientes to stay overnight in a hotel and prepare for Machu Picchu tomorrow!

DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU

Today is Machu Picchu! We will wake up early and take the bus up Machu Picchu. There will be a 2-hour guided tour of the ruins during which you’ll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel, such as the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, the main plaza, the Inca Bridge and Intitawana.

After your tour, you will have approximately 2 hours of free time to explore the site by yourself or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

LARES TREK DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY 

LARES TREK FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I have my own tent?

Yes as an upgrade. If this is a request please consult your travel expert prior to departure.

When should I make Lares Trek reservations?

As far in advance as possible. However, we can book up to seven days prior to the trek.

How fit do I need to be?

The Lares Trek is a 33km (21 mile) strenuous hike through mountainous regions involving trekking for 5-7 hours at high altitude and over rough terrain. The maximum altitude is 4550m (14900 ft) above sea level. The Lares Trek is a difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. Try to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400m) prior to starting the trek. If you do not exercise regularly, have heart, respiratory, knee or back problems do NOT consider doing the trek.

Is there an age restriction?

Cachi Life, Inc does not accept reservations for children under the age of 8 years old and adults over 67 years old. All children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Trekkers over 64 years old must also consult with their doctor prior to starting the trek to check that they are fit to participate in the trek. We require proof of physician consult if you are over the age of 64. We recommend that clients over 64 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek. We recommend that all clients over 59 years old talk to their doctor in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that their travel insurance covers such adventure activities.  We do not accept bookings from hikers over 60 years old traveling on their own and group bookings where everyone in the group is over 64 years old.

What sort of meals do you offer?

We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Please let us know your meal preference when booking your tour. We do not offer vegan meals. Please note that all meals are made using the same pots. We will do our best to wash dinnerware and cookware, but there may be contamination.

Meal options:
Standard (no dietary requirements, eats everything),
Vegetarian
No red meat
No fish
Lactose-free
Gluten free

What if I have food allergies?

Please give us details of your allergy at time of booking. Please indicate the severity of the reaction and what type of medicine you have to take in case of emergency. If your allergy is severe, you must be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek who is aware of your allergy and the location of any required medicines. We do not accept clients with life-threatening allergies. Due to the nature of the remote geographical and lack of suitable nearby medical facilities, Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical/dietary requirements. Check with your physician prior to booking.

What about medical conditions?

You must disclose at the time of booking any medical condition that could affect your ability to do the Lares Trek. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to deny a trek booking if we feel that a medical condition may put your life or the lives of any of our trekking staff or other clients at risk on the hike. People with mild asthma/diabetes must bring a medical note from their doctor stating that they are fit to undertake the trek. They will also be required to be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek at all times who will trek at their sides and be familiar with any medicine required in case of an emergency. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to cancel the booking of a client if the client has not fully disclosed at the time of booking a medical condition that may pose a risk to the health of the client and/or other hikers. No refund will be given.

Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities along the trail Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special dietary requirements/medical condition. We suggest that you check with your doctor before booking the trek.

When's orientation?

Orientation will take place at your hotel prior to the trip. We know everyone’s travel plans are different therefore we try and accommodate. Once your trip is booked you will be assigned a travel expert who will help you organize a time and place for your guide to meet you.

Where do I store my luggage during the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

You will have to make your own arrangements. Most hotels will hold your luggage for free or with a fee.

How's the weather?

You should prepare for any type of weather. We run rain or shine. January through March tend to be the rainy season.

How many people can be in a group?

We have no minimum. However, if we are unable to combine you with a Cachi group due to group size we will place you with another company. If that happens you will have your own Cachi guide with that group. 

Can I rent a sleeping bag or hiking poles?

If you prefer to not bring your own hiking poles or sleeping bag, we do have these available for rent. Sleeping bag rental is $40 per person, sleeping pads are $30 per person and hiking poles are $20 per person.

Can I have a single person tent?

Yes. We rent them for $75. Please let us know before booking. Otherwise, we group people two to a tent. 

What is the cancellation policy?

Unfortunately, no refunds can be provided within 30 days of departure. The payment is used to purchase and reserve your spot on the private bus, pay the porters, chef, guide and secure your permits to Machu Picchu. Any cancellation over 30 days is subject to a cancellation fee as outlined in the terms and conditions.

When is payment due for the Lares Trek in Peru?

A non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking. The full payment is due at 30 days prior to tour departure. If booking within thirty days of the tour, full payment of the tour is required. This guided tour is $899 per person. This provides payment for your transportation, permit tour guide, food, porter, chef, tour guide payment, entrance fee to Machu Picchu etc.
Does the Lares Trek in Peru close?
During the wet season heavy rains can result in landslides that can block part of the trail or close some of the campsites. Usually, these partial trail closures are just for a few days but they can be for several weeks or even months. In the event of such closures Cachi Life, Inc will do our best to find an alternative route to get to Machu Picchu. If we can’t offer a suitable alternative then we will have to cancel the trek and refund any payments less any costs already spent or committed to operating the trek. You will have to reclaim the remaining proportion from your travel insurance.

Do I need a passport for the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

A passport is required to book a trek. The passport number must match the number that was used to book the trek. You will not be allowed to book if your passport expires within the next 6 months. You are required to bring your passport on the trek or you will not be able to start. The government will not allow you into Machu Picchu if you do not have your passport. If you lost your passport you will have to obtain a replacement prior to the trek. This requires you to submit an application with a $25 processing fee to the Peruvian government. You will be required to submit photocopies of your old and new passport along with the police report of the lost passport. Even so, the government may not accept the transfer to the new passport. As such, this is considered a last resort. If this happens, this will be considered a cancellation by the trekker and no refund will be given.

Can I hike with my friends/family?

Yes, and we encourage it! However, if your friends reserve later they may not be guaranteed a permit with your group. Permits are issued on a first-come-first-served basis for Machu Picchu. We recommend everyone in your group books your trek at the same time

Do I have to get acclimated to the elevation?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek.

What should I bring?

We recommend you pack a backpack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, good footwear, hiking poles, one change of clothing, long underwear, hat, gloves, sweater, jacket, water carrying device flashlight and batteries, cap for sun protection, sunblock, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and spare batteries in addition to any other articles you may need. There is nowhere to charge batteries during the Lares Trek.

We provide tent, food, cooking gear, water, a Therm-A-Rest sleeping mattress and you may rent a sleeping bag at a cost.

There will be a horse available for rent of $65 that will be able to carry up to 15kg or your gear. There are no half porters for hire on this trek.

Wear clothing and footwear that is sturdy, comfortable and can withstand the rigors of the trail. We highly recommend that your boots are waterproof. Make sure you bring layers. This trek is at high elevation. Nights WILL be cold.

Yes, we recommend hiking poles. However, metal tips are NOT allowed on the trail. Please use rubber tips/protectors. Rubber protectors can also be bought in several shops in Cusco. Please do not use wooden poles as many of these are obtained from deforestation.

Please bring cash to tip your horseman, cooks, porters, and guides.

We recommend that you bring antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI, antibiotic for severe bacterial infection, medication for upset stomach/indigestion, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed, cold/flu medication, general painkiller/fever reducer, and have all your vaccinations up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc).

 

Who carries my gear?

A horse can be hired for $65 for each traveler that will carry your personal gear. The horse will be able to carry up to 15kg of your gear. Keep in mind, the horse will not stay with you while you are trekking. You will need to carry any of your personal gear that you want for the day in a small daypack.

Are there bathrooms on the Lares Trek?

We provide you with a popup tent toilet that is clean and sanitary. There are bathrooms built in the Lares Trek including all of the major campsites, however, they can be a bit disgusting. Each bathroom block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting any bathroom.

Will there be drinkable water?

At meal times we will give you teas, coffees, etc to drink. We will have some boiled water for the group each day. However this should not be relied upon. A cold night may not allow us to boil water for your usage. You may have to use a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 2 hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. You should use a water filter or sterilization tablet. We do not provide these tablets or filters. You will have to bring them for your own personal use.

When should I arrive in Cusco?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek.

What about Huayna Picchu?

Huayna Picchu is the large mountain just behind Machu Picchu. There is a narrow and steep trail right to the top of the mountain and there are also some interesting Inca ruins at the top. The view of Machu Picchu from the summit is breathtaking. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Huayna Picchu. At the moment, clients can’t buy an entrance ticket just to climb Huayna Picchu.

The entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu ticket. If you plan to climb Huayna Picchu, we recommend staying an extra night in Aguas Calientes.

The entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu must be bought BEFORE you start the Lares Trek and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance.

During the high season, these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. Check out the full guide here.

What about Machu Picchu Mountain?

Machu Picchu Mountain is the large mountain just behind Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain rises higher that Huayna Picchu. Machu Picchu Mountain tends to have fewer people on the trail compared to Huayna Picchu but the view is equally as amazing. The government charges an additional fee for climbing Machu Picchu Mountain. The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain is only available as part of a combined Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Mountain ticket. You will get entrance to Machu Picchu and be able to climb Machu Picchu Mountain which offers better value for money. You will have to pay for your accommodation in Aguas Calientes as travelers will have to get into the early morning Machu Picchu group or hike Machu Picchu Mountain the next day. The entrance tickets to Machu Picchu Mountain must be bought BEFORE you start the Lares Trek and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis often several months in advance. During the high season, these tickets can sell out more than 8 weeks in advance. During the low season, it may still be possible to buy the tickets from the government offices when you arrive in Cusco. However, this is not recommended as there are only 400 tickets sold per day. Check out the full guide.

Have a question? Send us an email!

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