Lares Trek and Machu Picchu – 4 Days / 3 Nights

OVERVIEW

Overview:

  • Duration: 4 days / 3 nights.
  • Starting point: Cusco
  • Ending point: Cusco
  • Group Size: Max. 10, Avg. 6
  • Travel Style: Hiking, Trekking, and Archaeological and Cultural trek.
  • Trek Rating: The Lares Trek is rated as an excellent alternative route to the traditional Inca Trail.
  • Difficult Level: Moderate.
  • Altitude: 3,000 masl to 4,600 masl or feet (Highest point).
  • Walking distance: 26 km. / 16 miles.
  • Departure Dates: Daily departures with 2 people minimum.

Highlights:

  • The Lares trek is an excellent alternative trek to the traditional Inca Trail visiting isolated Andean communities.
  • Explore the Andean life along the trail and learn about the mysteries of the ancient Inca Culture and visit the archaeological site of Machu Picchu
  • Hiking alongside to beautiful landscapes and see natural bridges, Andean valleys, snowcapped mountains and cascades.
  • Ideal for couples, group of friends, nature lovers, and for all the family.
  • Informative Trip led by a friendly and expert local guide.
  • All entrance tickets and permits are includes
  • All necessary equipment included
  • Complimentary pickup and drop off from all Cusco hotels
  • Complimentary luggage storage while hiking.
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience

What you can expect

The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative trek visiting isolated Andean communities. This trek is designed for active people of all ages who want to have great moments in full contact with the nature and want to learn about the local villagers and the Inca civilization.

This great trek starts from Cusco – Peru, and you will visit remote high altitude villages. The conditions in the zone are harsh, and even though we will be camping in relative luxury with dining tent with tables and chairs, toilet tent, comfortable tents and air mattresses, the conditions are basic. There will be no opportunity to take shower but you can washing hands and face, and you should be prepared for extremely cold conditions. By the same time this trip has many beautiful views and nice encounters with the local people, so will most likely be the most memorable part of your trip to Peru.

Really it’s a unique experience, this trek combines outstanding views of the Peruvian mountains, unbelievable Andean landscapes of splendid natural surroundings, high mountain lagoons and wildlife, and after all this, from Ollantaytambo Town you will catch the train for finally reaching to the famous Inca City of Machu Picchu, which is a magnificent work of the Inca masons, where you will admire its magic and charm, and you will see its large old buildings, amazing agriculture terraces, temples, water fountains, all this wrapped of a great history, which actually make it recognized as a New World Wonder.

The Lares Trek is one of those things that nobody should lose the opportunity to do it. Everyone should do once in lifetime; be you women or man, young or old, have good or bad physical condition… The Lares Trek is simply for everyone…

ITINERARY

DAY 1: CUSCO – CALCA – LARES VILLAGE (HOT SPRINGS) – HUACA WASI

Highlights of today: Enjoy the pools at the Hot Springs in Lares Village… Discover Huaca Wasi, a textile Andean community that produces high quality and finesse!.. Learn about the local people and why not see how these weavers make their colorful ponchos and hats with their own hands!

We will pick you up from your hotel at 5.30 am to begin our trip, and you will meet your Tour Guide and cook, then drive around 2 hours in our private van, during the transportation in the way we can appreciate the majestic sacred valley with its fertile lands, the spectacular snowcapped peaks and valleys with colorful landscape until our the first stop in Calca Village, where we will have breakfast approximately at 7:00 am., here there are toilet facilities and stores. After breakfast we catch our transportation for continuing the trip for about 2 hours until the Thermal Baths in Lares Valley, place which is the trailhead of the trail. In the Hot springs we will meet our Horseman who is waiting with our horses and mules. The horses loaded all the food and camping equipment and then we will start preparing all the equipment for your journey, meanwhile you have the chance to enjoy the great hot springs, in the pools with thermal water refreshing by yourself for about 2 hours. After this, here at mid-day, we will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared for our cook. After lunch, around 2 pm. we will start our hike, this part is a moderate hike about 3 hours uphill. This is a beautiful hiking day with stunning views and great landscapes and the experience to visit along the path several Andean villages, and have a chat with the local people. We will arrive to our campsite around 5:00 pm. in the zone called Huaca Wasi located at 3800 masl, where your dinner will be served and we will sleep in our comfortable tents.

Hiking time: 3 hours
Walking distance: miles/ km.
Weather: Cool, windy
Altitude: from 2750 m. down to 1900 m.
Accommodation: Camping.

Day 2: HUACA WASI- IPSAYCOCHA PASS – PATACANCHA VILLAGE

Highlights of today: Hike thought the amazing High Altitudes areas…Conquest the Ipsaycocha Pass over 4550 masl (the highest point)… Enjoy magnificent views of the Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Chicon, Veronica and others beautiful snowcapped peaks… There is the possibility to appreciate the constellations in the sky at night clear.

We wake up around 6:00 am. with a coca tea, and after our early breakfast we will begin our walk for around 4 hours at high altitude areas in order to get the highest point of the trail. Today is the longest and hardest day of the whole trail. The hike is hard up-hill climb but the indescribable panoramic views of snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Chicon, Veronica and the surrounding snow peaks plus stunning landscapes from the summit are definitely worthwhile. So we reach to the highest point of our trek called Ipsay Pass located at 4,550m/15,017ft, and after some nice pictures, we will continue our hike from the pass, just descending for about 1 hour to reach to Ipsaycocha lagoon where we will have lunch, and after a break, we continue downhill for about 2 hours and in this part of the trail we can interacting with the local people who live in these isolated communities, and we will see some llamas and alpacas. Finally we will arrive to our second campsite at Patacancha village (3,750m/12,377ft), for tea time and after a delicious dinner and we’ll spend the night in our tents.

Hiking time: 7 hours
Walking distance: km.
Weather: Warm
Altitude: from 2750 m. up to 4550 m. and down to 3750 m.
Accommodation: Camping

Day 3: PATACANCHA – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES

Highlights of today: Enjoy the incredible Peruvian Andes… Explore the famous Inca farming terraces of Pumamarca… Arrive walking to Ollantaytambo Town alongside the Sacred Valley of the Incas in an easy walking day enjoying the beautiful landscapes…

Today is an easy day hike. After a delicious breakfast we continue our trek going down for about 40 minutes to Willoq village located at 3500 masl, a population with original and old customs, and then we continue our hike during 1 and half hour to the Archaeological Inca Site of Pumamarca (3200 masl.) to see the famous Inca terraces where we can take nice pictures. After a break, we just walk down and approximately 4:00 pm. we reach the town of Ollantaytambo (2800 masl.), located along the Vilcanota river, a fertile valley known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Ollantaytambo village is considered one of most important living museums. From here we take the train in order to get Aguas Calientes a small town that acts as a gateway to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The trip by train is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes and finally we arrive to AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN located at 2000 masl. a small town that acts as a gateway to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. In Aguas Calientes Town we spend the night in a confortable hotel, our dinner will be at the tourist restaurant which is included. During dinner our tour guide will provide you very important information about your next day, so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu on the last day. After, it’s advisable to go to sleep at a reasonable time in order to wake up in the early hours of the morning to get Machu Picchu

Hiking time: 4 hours
Walking distance: km.
Weather: Warm
Altitude: from 3750 m. down to 2000 m.
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4: AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Highlights of today: Early morning arrival to Machu Picchu – before even The Inca Trail trekkers and the day trains arrive… Enjoy the sunrise at morning clear in Machu Picchu… Optional with pre-booked ticket for climbing to Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain…

Today is most important day in your hike. We will start our last and amazing day very early in order to get Machu Picchu before even the Inca Trail Trekkers and tourist trains arrive and to have the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise at Machu Picchu. After breakfast we will leave from our hotel at 5:30 am. and we will walk towards Bus Station (2000 m.), from here we ascend in tourist bus for 30 minutes by a zig zag way to Inca Sanctuary of MACHU PICCHU (2400 m.). We will see this amazing place and starting our guiding visit, which will be last approximately 2 hours with our professional Tour Guide, where he will explain about the history, visiting magical and interesting places that have made Machu Picchu one of the Wonders of the World. After the tour you will have enough free time to take photos, walk or explore the site by yourselves and there is the possibility to climbing up to Huayna Picchu Mountain according availability. Then in the afternoon, after enjoying Machu Picchu, we will catch the tourist bus, going down for about 25 minutes to Aguas Calientes Town, here you will have time to have lunch in one of the good restaurants. At 6:00 pm. We will board the return train to take us to Ollantaytambo Town arriving at 7:50 pm, here our transfer will be waiting for you, who will bring you in tourist bus back to Cusco arriving at 9: 30 pm. approximately, and finally we will leave you at your Cusco hotel.

Hiking time: 2 hours with the group visiting Machu Picchu+4 hours exploring by yourself.
Walking distance: It depend the area you want to explore at Machu Picchu.
Weather: Hot
Altitude: from 2000 m. up to 2400 m. (By Bus).

Important notes:

  • The times described in this itinerary are approximate. The hiking times really depend of the shape and physical conditions of each person; feel free walking on your own rhythm. In benefit of the group, the Tour guide can change lunch spots and campsites depending on the progress of the group during the hike. Each guide has their own preferred and recommended route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain can be climbed for $15 per person. This small original inca trail starts from Machu Picchu. This hike has incredible views and takes 1 and half hours round trip. (In this case, please require it when you book your trek because is subject to availability, just 400 spaces a day).
  • Machu Picchu Mountain can be climbed instead of Huayna Picchu Mountain for $15 per person. This hike is a bit more challenging and takes 3 hours round trip. (Book it, when you reserve your trek).
  • In Machu Picchu Archeological Site, you always have the opportunity to climb to the Sun Gate for free and this is a much easier walk for about 1 and half hour round trip, or if you want to have a very short and easy hike you can walk for free to Inca Bridge during 1 hour round trip.
  • The Time back to Cusco can vary subject to train ticket availability.

WHAT´S INCLUDED

INCLUDED IN YOUR TOUR:

  • Pre meeting and briefing of preparation with your tour guide 1 or 2 days before the trek at our Cusco Office.
  • Safe storage for your belongings at our office in Cusco while you are hiking.
  • Pick up from your Cusco hotel.
  • Transportation by private car from Cusco to Lares Village (trailhead).
  • Professional English-speaking Tour Guide.
  • A second Tour Guide (for groups of 11 or more trekkers).
  • Cook and cook assistant to prepare all feeding.
  • Entrance ticket to Hot Spring of Lares.
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu Inca Site and the campsite fees.
  • 2 hours guided tour in Machu Picchu Inca site.
  • All meals during the trek(04 breakfasts, 04 lunches, 02 tea times, 03dinners)There is the possibility of preparing vegetarian or special diets according to your requirement.
  • Boiled water to refill your water bottle and hot water for washing purposes.
  • Horsemen and horses to carry all camping equipment, personal items, food, sleeping tents and kitchen equipment.
  • We carry until 8 kg. / 17 lb. of your load, so you’ll only walk with your daypack with water (For this load, we will provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items).
  • One emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or too tired.
  • The best camping equipment to enjoy a good night’s sleep:
  • Dormitory Tent (High Quality Mountain Tents for 4 people, it will be used only for 2 people for your better comfort) and enough space storage for your backpacks.
  • Inflatable Mattress Thermarest.
  • Dining Tent + camp tables + chairs + gas lamp for the evenings.
  • Kitchen Tent and full cooking gear for preparing all meals.
  • Toilet Tent.
  • First Aid Kit and emergency Oxygen balloon.
  • Train on Day 3, from Ollantaytambo Town to Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus ticket up and down from Aguas Calientes Town to Machu Picchu Inca site.
  • Return Train ticket on Day 4, from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Transport from Ollantaytambo train station until your hotel at Cusco.
  • 01 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes Town. This will be in a basic hotel, in accommodations single, double, triple rooms according to your requirements and availability. All hotels booked by us are clean and safe with breakfast included, private bathrooms with hot showers, Wi-Fi and storage for free to leave your luggage while you are visiting Machu Picchu.

Note: If you wish to upgrade from this hotel, you can do it for an additional amount, please check out the options listed on our Aguas Calientes hotel page.

OPTIONAL SERVICES: Until the last day before your trek, at our Cusco Travel Office situated in the downtown, If you want, you have the option to add to your reserved trek, for an additional payment, the following things:

  • Sleeping bag (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
  • A pair of trekking poles (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
  • Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu Mountain (In this case, please require it when you book your trek because is subject to availability, just 400 spaces a day + $ 15.oo )
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain. This hike is a bit more challenging and takes 3 hours round trip. (Book it, when you reserve your trek + $ 15.oo).
  • Upgrade accommodation in Aguas Calientes Town is available for an additional amount, you can do it when you book your trek, please check the options listed on our Aguas Calientes hotel page.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Personal Trekking gear (please, check the LARES TREK – What to take list).
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Optional Gratuities for the travel team (feel free to tip, only if you want, at the end of the trail you can give some tips for the tour guide, cook and horseman).

WHAT´S TO TAKE

What to take

Many people assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in the zone of the higher altitude of the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. So we provide you the full list to organize your backpack from now, if you don’t have one of them, so you can buy it with some time in advance but if you cannot do it, don’t worry there are many camping stores in Cusco City where you can hire or buy what you need.

Please, check this LARES TREK Packing List and remember that everything is very important for the success of your trek.

Documents:

  • Original Passport
  • Student Card, if you are student
  • Travel Insurance (some copies)

Essential:

  • Day pack.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Water bottle.
  • Purifying tablets or filter
  • Some small snacks such as cookies, candies, chocolates, dried fruit, energy bars etc.
  • Money belt and some cash, if you want to buy some souvenirs of your visit

Clothes:

  • Hiking Shoes and Sandals.
  • Warm clothes: especially for the night as thermal jacket, glove, scarf, wool socks, wool hat for cold nights.
  • Waterproof clothing (rain jacket and poncho)
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (hiking pants, socks, trousers, short pants, 4 t-shirts)
  • Swimsuit, for the Hot Springs.
  • Sun Hat

Pharmaceutical items:

  • Personal medical kit with bandages and anti-inflammatory tablets
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sun block
  • Lipstick

Toiletries:

  • Small towel.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Soap / body wash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush /comb
  • Deodorant / body spray
  • Toilet paper

Other items:

  • Flashlight (head lamp recommended)
  • Sunglasses
  • Photo Camera with extra memory cards and batteries.
  • Walking poles with rubber-tipped (Optional).
  • Pocket knife
  • Some plastic bags.
  • A sense of humor.
  • We recommend a previous acclimatization in Cuzco City, for at least 2 days and general good health.

AVAILABILITY AND PRICES

PRICE:

The price for the Lares Trek and Machu Picchu – 4 days, is calculated according of type the train chosen and shareable in group service. In order to meet various customer needs, you can choose from two different types of trains – choose the one that best suits your needs:

1.-The Expedition Train.- This option was created for adventurous passengers seeking comfort and security without the extra frills. Departing from Aguas Calientes train station, The seats have been reupholstered with indigenous fabrics, giving them a touch of local flavor. Snacks are available for purchase, as well as additional storage space for backpacks.

USD $ 600.00 per Adult (Age 14 +)
USD $ 580.00 per Student (For this price, you must send by email a copy of your original student card issued by the university for up to 25 years.)
USD $ 540.00 per Child (Age 3-11)
USD $ 0.00 per Infant (Age 0-2) – For free, travelling with your parents.

2.-The Vistadome Train.- This option is a comfortable way to journey to Machu Picchu. Departing from Aguas Calientes train station, you’ll enjoy beautiful panoramic windows to make the most of the spectacular scenery and allow for fantastic photo opportunities. Delicious snacks as well as hot and cold refreshments are served on the way (own expense).

USD $ 660.00 per Adult (Age 14 +)
USD $ 640.00 per Student (For this price, you must send by email a copy of your original student card issued by the university for up to 25 years.)
USD $ 600.00 per Child (Age 3-11)
USD $ 0.00 per Infant (Age 0-2) – For free, travelling with your parents.

IMPORTANT:

  • Please note, this trekking require minimum of 2 people.
  • Incredible Peru Tours- IPT does not have any hidden fees.

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