Sacred Expeditions Peru

Hike from Lares to Machu Picchu 4D/3N

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Type Tours Trek
Distance 34 km
Difficulty Moderado
Best Time Abril - Mayo
Group Size Max - 12 Personas
Accomodation Camping

Resumen de viaje

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is the best alternative trek after theinca trail if you're looking to explore off the beaten path. This incredible trek will take you to visit Andean villages, local schools and walk alongside llamas, alpacas while enjoying spectacular views of the mountains and glacial ice lakes. Tour departures every day throughout the year!


Lares Trek to Machu Picchu takes you away from the uncrowded roads, where you can meet and interact with members of the traditional Andean communities and explore the Andes in solitude. You’ll learn all about life in these isolated villages, get acquainted with their culture and traditions, walk along with llamas and alpacas, and even visit a local school. We finish your Sacred Expeditions Peru, spending an unforgettable day exploring Machu Picchu.

Details of the trip:

• Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
• walking distance: 45 km – 27 miles
• Exit: Cuzco
• Difficulty: moderate to challenging
• Season: All year
• Destination: Macchu Picchu
• Type: Adventure – Camp – Hotel

Highlights of the Lares trek

• Book with confidence and flexibility
• Visit the natural hot springs of Lares.
• Participate in aPACHAMANCA (underground kitchen)
• Explore the salt mines of Maras and Ollantaytambo
• Beat the crowds to Machu Picchu before sunrise
• Enjoy the exclusive panoramic train on the way back (Vistadome or 360°)
• Support social projects in the towns we visit
Price per person
To reserve the Lares Trek 4 days, you must make an initial payment of 50.USD per person, the
remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or in Cusco with any credit card without
reservation fees.
Student discount:
All travelers under the age of 17 will get $40. If you are 25 or younger at the time of
travel, you can get the $40 discount with your student ID. Please notify us by email to
give you a code for the discount.

Summary day by day of Lares Trek 4 days

Day 1: Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Kiswarani Village (17 km, 7 hrs)

Day 1: Cusco – Thermal Baths of Lares – Kiswarani Village (17 km, 7 hrs)

Start at your hotel in Cusco and drive for 3 hours to the hot springs of Lares; there are several natural pools with different temperatures. After breakfast, we start the first day with a 4-hour hike and lunch in the village of Cuncani. Next, it is a 3-hour hike through beautiful Andean lakes to the village of Kiswarani.

Day 2: Kiswarani – Paso Cóndor – Cancha Cancha Community (16 km, 7 hours)

Wake up to a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy breakfast with the mountains and lake; Then it is a 4 hour hike to the condor pass at 4750mts, then two more to lunch. After lunch, we continue for 1 more hour to the village of Cancha Cachcha, the camp at 3600mts.

Day 3: CanchaCancha – Huaran – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes (12km, 4 hrs)

Wake up in your tent and have breakfast; We start walking towards the Sacred Valley for 4 hours, where we will have a special underground hot stone barbecue called PACHAMANCA, visit Salineras, Ollantaytambo and take the train to Aguas Calientes.

Day 4: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas) – 4 hrs

After breakfast, we take the first buses to Machu Picchu for sunrise, visit the Intipunku or the Inca Bridge, and then explore Machu Picchu with your guide and then take the panoramic train back to your hotel in Cusco.


Day 1: Cusco – thermal baths of Lares – town of Kiswarani

Departure from Cusco at 4:30 am by van to the famous thermal medicinal baths of Lares, arriving around 8:00 am. You will have time to jump straight into the medicinal pools with different temperatures good for bones, muscles, stress and relax with the beautiful mountain views. Afterwards, you will have an energizing
breakfast prepared by your trek chef.

The adventure begins with a 4-hour hike to the town of Cuncani, where we enjoy a fresh lunch prepared with local produce. After lunch, we continue the trek for 3 hours, passing beautiful Andean lakes, waterfalls, and incredible
views of the mountains until we reach the town of Kiswarani. Arriving at our camp, your tents and a hot cup of tea will be waiting for you.
• camp altitude: 3880m / 12730ft
• walking distance: 17 km / 10 miles
• Duration: 7 hours
• Foods: Breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner.
• Accommodation: Camp under a million stars.
• Difficulty: moderate

Day 2: Camp – Paso Condor – Cancha Cancha Community

Wake up early with a cup of coffee or tea, start packing for the most challenging day of the Lares trek. After breakfast, you will begin a 4-hour hike uphill to the highest point, Paso Condor (4700m/15354ft). Along the way, you can enjoy beautiful lakes where Wallatas (Andean geese or ‘agapornis’) can be seen swimming in the crystal clear waters. Upon reaching the top of Paso Condor, we will serve you a well-deserved cup of coca tea and you can take some time to rest while your guide performs a spiritual offering ceremony to the sacred mountains.
Then it’s a 2-hour descent from the top of the mountain to the valley where lunch is served.
After lunch, continue downhill for a further 2 hours to the town of Canchacancha through stunning scenery. Upon arrival, your tents will be ready with a hot drink to enjoy the view of the mountains. You will have time to interact and walk through the town, chase llamas and alpacas, visit a local school; You can even teach some English and learn Quechua from them as well.
• camp altitude: 3750m / 12303ft
• maximum altitude: 4700m / 15354ft
• Distance: 16 km / 9.9 miles
• Duration: 8 hours
• Foods: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner.
• Accommodation: Camp.
• Difficulty: moderate to challenging.

Day 3: Canchacancha – Salineras – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Starting the day with a beautiful view of the mountains and a delicious breakfast, get ready for the last 4 hours downhill from the highlands to the Sacred Valley. First, you will say goodbye to the last remaining village, still practicing Inca traditions, isolated from modern technologies. Along the way, you can observe different types of
ecosystems, from the colder highlands, where only potatoes are grown, to the fertile soils of the sacred valley, where corn is the main product.
The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu concludes in a small town called Huaran (2700m/ 8856ft), and from here a private bus will take you to Salineras and Ollantaytambo; “Last living Inca city”. Or as it is sometimes known, “Native American Capital of the World.”

You will take some time to explore these ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since the time of the Incas. Dinner at a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo before taking the 7:00 pm train to Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night in a 3-star hotel.
• camp altitude: 2700m / 8856ft
• maximum altitude: 3,750m / 12,303ft
• Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
• Duration: 4 hours
• Foods: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner.
• Accommodation: Hotel
• Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas)

Enjoy the last day waking up early at your hotel, having breakfast and taking the first buses to Machu Picchu to see the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu.

The tour guide will take an additional walk before starting the 2-3 hour guided tour of the citadel.

The guide will take you to the most important places and will explain the history, the mysteries and the incredible Inca technology used to build Machu Picchu. Later, he will have time to explore on his own or take additional hikes such as Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain; both mountains must be reserved in advance. Once you are done with the citadel, you must take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take the exclusive Vistadome panoramic trains back to Ollantaytambo and your private van to Cusco.
The delivery returns to your hotel around 7:30 pm.
• maximum altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
• Distance: 6 km / 3 miles
• Duration: Three hours
• Foods: Breakfast (hotel)
• Difficulty: Easy

Includes/Does not include

Included in the 4-day Lares Trek tour

  • Safety briefing the day before the tour at 6:00 pm in our office
  • Pick up from your hotel on the morning of the tour.
  • All transportation for the duration of the trek
  • Sports bag up to 7 kilos for your things carried by horses
  • Highly trained professional mountain tourism guides.
  • Experienced chefs, porters and horsemen
  • Pachamanca Cooking Demonstration
  • Two nights of camping in the mountains with comfortable equipment.
  • One night in a 3 star hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • All meals during the trek with local organic ingredients.
  • Entrance ticket to Lares, Salineras and Machu Picchu.
  • Buses up and down to Machu Picchu
  • Exclusive panoramic train at the last to return to Cusco.

Not included in the Lares Trek

  • Sleeping bags, air mattresses or trekking poles
  • Lunch on the last day
  • Tickets to the Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Tips for porters, chef, guides.

Optional walks after the guided visit to Machu Picchu:
Huayna Picchu Mountain –Tickets must be reserved in advance and the cost is $75 per
Machu Picchu Mountain –Tickets must be reserved in advance and the cost is $75 per

What should I bring?

During the Lares trek, your main luggage will be remembered at your hotel in Cusco, or you can leave with us. For the hike, you will carry your backpack plus a duffel bag that Sacred Expeditions Peru will provide you during the briefing held the day before your tour at our office in Cusco.

During the briefing that takes place at 6:00 pm, your tour guide will give you the final details of your trip and give you the canvas bags to store up to 7 kilos of your personal things. This suitcase will be carried by our porter along with food and camping equipment.

What to put in the backpack.

The backpack will be with you at all times; you are responsible for wearing it during the daytime walks, and it should be as light as possible. Remember that you will find the canvas bags only in the camp and everything you need during the day should be in your backpack.

  • Passport.- Passports must be with you at all times in a safe and dry place; we recommend placing them inside Ziploc bags along with money and other documents.
  • Student card.- If you have booked as a student, you must also bring your student ID, especially when we enter Machu Picchu.
  • Water bottle.- You must bring reusable water containers; they must be easy to handle and have a capacity of at least 2 liters.
  • Rain ponchos, rain jackets. – You will be provided with plastic rain ponchos along with the canvas bags; you still need to bring a waterproof jacket or windbreaker.
  • Sunscreen, cap and long-sleeved shirts.- You will walk through an open space without shelter and you must always be protected.
  • Warm jacket.- Early in the morning, the weather is cold. You will begin to walk in the cold and warm up as you go; Always carry a warm jacket with you, even on the hottest day. The temperature in the Andes can vary in a matter of minutes.
  • Mini First Aid Kit.- You must always carry with you your personal medication as well as band-aids, medicine for altitude, analgesics, Cipro, an allergy pill, insect repellent, among others.
  • Headlamp, camera, mobile phone, sunglasses
  • Toilet paper.- It must be in your backpack always with you.
  • Extra money.- It is important to always carry travel money with you, we recommend around 600 soles (200.USD) in cash, it is better to have in small coins about 20 soles at least for anything you can buy on the train like water. The trip is not to spend; this is for emergencies only.

What to put in the canvas bag?

  • Sleeping bag. – A 4-season sleeping bag (-10°) is required for this hike; you can bring your own or rent it with us. If you rent with us, you will be provided with a lining, so you don’t need to bring it as well. All our sleeping bags are suitable for the climate of Lares and are cleaned and disinfected after each walk.
  • Inflatable mattress. – We will provide a foam mattress; however, if you prefer to have greater comfort at night, we recommend bringing or renting an inflatable mattress.
  • Pillows – We will provide you with small pillows for camping during this hike.
  • Shoes: For this hike, we strongly recommend wearing hiking boots.
  • Socks: You will need about 5 pairs of thick wool socks to walk plus 3 pairs of light socks for the evenings or to walk after the walk.
  • 3 pairs of long pants, hiking pants or leggings also work for women.
  • Thermal underwear.- this is very important for the night.
  • Bathing suit.- We will visit the thermal baths of Lares, we recommend bringing a swimsuit for the first day.
  • Sandals.- Change after the walk and at the hotel.
  • Toiletries.- Toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lip balm, moisturizer
  • Towel.- Small and light towel
  • Hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Everything you need to know about Lares Trek 4 days to Machu Picchu

There are many trekking routes to Machu Picchu such as the Salkantay Trek, the Classic Inca Trail, the Jungle Trek, and we also have lesser-known tours such as the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. This beautiful route takes you off the beaten track to explore remote villages in the Peruvian Andes, visit lakes, glaciers, virgins, and hike along with llamas and alpacas in their natural habitat.

What is the Lares Trek?

Lares Trek is an alternative trek to Machu Picchu that takes you 4 to 5 days of adventure. This hike is perfect for those travelers who prefer more cultural interaction, visiting uncrowded routes, and exploring remote mountains where llamas and alpacas are the locals.

How many days does the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu last?

The Lares Trek can be done in itinerary of 4 days and 5 days as well:

The 4-day Lares Trek tour starts in the Lares district. First, we visit the hot springs, hike through the mountains visiting the remote villages, visit the Salineras de Maras and finish the Machu Picchu tour.

The 5-day Lares Trek itinerary follows the same route as the 4-day Lares Trek and includes the Short Inca Trail trek at the end rather than just traveling to Machu Picchu by train.

Where is this tour located?

It is located on the eastern side of the Andes, near the Lares District, approximately 150 km – 93 miles from Cusco. The hike starts at the hot springs of Lares (3250 m / 10662 ft), a 3-hour drive from Cusco. The district of Lares belongs to the province of Calca in Cusco.

What is the average height?

  • Pickup from this tour is from your hotel in Cusco city at 3399m/11151ft.
  • The district of Lares, where the hot springs are located, is at 3250 m / 10662 ft.
  • The first camp is located at 3750 m / 12303 ft.
  • The highest point is the Condor Pass at 4700 m / 15354 ft.
  • The second campground is located at 2700 m / 8856 ft.
  • The final destination is Machu Picchu at 2430 m / 7972 ft

When is the best time to visit Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

The climate of Lares Trek is very similar to that of Cusco, the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek. The average temperature during the day is 10°C to 21°C (50°F – 70°C). During the nights they are cold and can reach temperatures below 0 °C (30 °F).

The entire Cusco region has only 2 seasons; we have no summer, winter, autumn or spring in the Andes, we only have rainy and dry season:

  • Lares Trek Weather in January: January usually starts with rain; this is the month we expect rainiest days and an average of 16 to 17 rainy days throughout the month. The positive thing is that the nights are not so cold, we have fewer travelers and everything is green, perfect for having a nice time away from the crowds.
  • Lares Trek Weather in February: This month is known as crazy February. Although we have less rain than in January, we expect heavier rains. As in January, Lares Trek is the route for hiking during the rainy season.
  • Lares Trek weather in March: March is still within the rainy season; however, we expect less rain than in January or February. The temperature is warm during the day and the night is not so close; it is the beginning of the harvest season for farmers and children return to school.
  • Lares Trek Weather in April: Just ending the rainy season, there are still occasional rains; during a sunny day, temperatures are stifling and nights start to get cold.
  • Weather in Lares Trek in May: This month is one of the best of the year to make any trek to Machu Picchu; it is the beginning of the dry season. However, there could be occasional showers, even in the driest months.
  • Lares Trek Weather in June: The weather in June on Lares Trek during the days is around 21°C (70°C) and at night it could reach less than 0°C (30°F). The morning is frigid due to frost, and occasionally we see snow in the Mountains.
  • Weather in Lares Trek July: The weather in June in Lares Trek during the days is around 21 °C (70 °C) and at night it can get below 0 °C (30 °F). The morning is frigid due to frost, and occasionally we see snowfall in the mountains. Despite being the driest months of the year, sometimes it rains and you have to be prepared.
  • Lares Trek weather August: August is the month of Pachamama (Mother Earth) and is celebrated with great devotion by the locals offering gifts. This month the rains are expected to be vital for agriculture; locals believe that the first days of August represent every month of the year; in this way, if it rains during August 1, it will be a good January for agriculture.
  • Lares Trek weather in September: With the rains back after the long dry season, the landscape turns green, the ponds are back and the birds. The day temperature is warm and the night temperature is no longer so cold.
  • Lares Trek Climate October: The beginning of the wet or rainy season; however, some year the dry season could extend more like this 2020 that the rains returned almost in December. The days are warm and the night temperature is not very cold.
  • Lares Trek Climate November: The beginning of the wet or rainy season; however, some year the dry season could extend more like this 2020 that the rains returned almost in December. The days are warm and the night temperature is not very cold.
  • Weather Lares Trek December: The weather in the Andes is unpredictable; we could spend weeks during October, November, December and see no rain at all, or it could be quite the opposite. Rains are expected during this month; however, we may have one raining day a week and the rest.

What are the top attractions in the Lares area?

  • Lares Hot Springs: The highlight of the hike, the natural hot springs are composed of different water wells with different temperatures from cold to very hot (36°C – 44°C or 96°F – 112°F). Pure volcanic water contains many minerals that locals consider good for bones, stress, muscles, and headaches.
  • Kiswarani Waterfalls: Visit the 7 beautiful waterfalls near Kisawarani village on the first day.
  • Blue Lagoon: Known locally as K’oyalay, this beautiful Andean lake sits at 3750 m/12303 ft.
  • Llamas and Alpacas: Looking at the first day, you will see herds of llamas and alpacas grazing high up the mountain.
  • Condor Pass: With 4700 m / 15354 ft it is the highest mountain pass in the Lares trek and receives this name since sometimes we can see the Andean Condor and other birds. The view of the highest mountain of this place is spectacular.
  • Canchacancha Village: Located at 2700m/8856ft, this remote village is 4 hours from the closed route, travel locally on foot to get supplies and use llamas to transport goods.
  • Salineras de Maras: Located in the Sacred Valley area, there are more than 3000 salt mines where locals are collecting salt using ancient techniques.
  • Ollantaytambo: The city of Ollanataytambo is considered the “Inca Citadel of the Last Living” as the locals still use the original Inca streets, gates and even water channels that run since the time of the Incas.
  • Machu Picchu: The final destination, after a long journey of 3 days, we arrived on the morning of the last day to the great city of Machu Picchu.

What is the best itinerary?

All the trails of the trek lead to Machu Picchu; the best itineraries with different experiences are:

  • Day 1: Cusco – Thermal Baths of Lares – Village of Kiswarani
  • Day 2: Quiswarani – Paso Cóndor – Cancha Cancha Community
  • Day 3: CanchaCancha – Huaran – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
  • Day 4: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas)

This itinerary will actually allow you to hike from Lares to Machu Picchu instead of coming and going.

How to book the Tour?

Book your trip to Machu Picchu with a trekking tour operator instead of an online travel agent; in this way, the money paid will directly benefit the locals.

Make sure the company you are hiring is a local licensed tour operator, check reviews, photographs.

Check the hotel category offered on the tour, the inclusions, the buses to Machu Picchu and the train category included.

Book your tour as soon as possible to get the best shifts in Machu Picchu, the best hotels and the best train schedule.

How much does a group tour cost?

There are so many tours and itineraries for Lares Trek; for a group tour of approximately 8 people, regular prices range from 500.USD to 600.USD per person. Sacred Expeditions Peru charges 580 USD per person for an almost all-inclusive tour with 3-star hotels and panoramic Vistadome trains.

How difficult is the Lares Trek?

Comparing the best trekking tour to Machu Picchu: Classic Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek and Lares Trek, the latter is considered less intense; however, it reaches the highest altitude. This trekking is considered in a moderate mid-range with a daily hike of an average of 6 hours. Travelers should be in moderate physical condition able to walk for several hours at an average height of 3500 meters.

How to prevent altitude problems in the Lares Trek?

We cannot avoid altitude sickness; no matter the age, physical condition or experience; Altitude sickness can affect anyone, even experienced hikers. The best way to prevent this is to arrive at least 2 days before the departure of the trek, rest in Cusco before the tour, eat light and drink plenty of water; you must also bring medicine for altitude.

When is the best time to do the Lares Trek and visit Machu Picchu?

Unlike Salkantay Trek or Inca Trail, Lares Trek is available all year round due to heavy rainfall.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from April to November, when it is dry season, April and November are the months of drought and an increase in weather is expected.

Covid-19 measures

  • Covid-19 measures to keep you safe while traveling
  • Temperature checks for all travelers are mandatory.
  • Face masks required for travelers and staff in public areas.
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff at all times.
  • High-traffic locations and equipment are regularly sanitized between uses.
  • Maximum 12 people per group to reduce crowds during this pandemic.
  • The capacity of transport and tourist sites will be reduced to 50%
  • Printed material such as maps or vouchers will be avoided.
  • 100% online payments with no booking fees at all.
  • Flexible reservations during the COVID – 19 pandemic


  • Sacred Expeditions Peru is a 100% Peruvian Local Tour Operator based in Cusco.
  • Personal porter included up to 7 kilos of your personal staff
  • Panoramic trains included in the last one (Visatdome or 360°)
  • Small group tours for personalized service, maximum 8 people during this pandemic, 16 people during normal hours
  • Fair treatment of porters with adequate salaries, we include men and women
  • You help us support social projects in Cusco, we provide computers with internet to local children.
  • Portable toilets and hot showers are available on all of our tours.
  • No booking fees! no credit card fee
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