Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3N

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3NMaximum Altitude15,200ft / 4,800m

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3NDistance21 miles / 34.5km

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3NGroup size8 People max

Trek difficulty

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The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the bustling Inca Trail because it takes you off the beaten path. Traveling through the highlands of Peru gives you a taste of the ancient ways. You get to visit authentic Andean communities whilst being surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys which offers a real insight into how the lives of Cuscanian people once were and in many places, how their lives still are.

The Lares trek to Machu Picchu is most definitely the best option to experience the real life of the Andean communities. You can say without a shadow of doubt that it is a journey through the heart of the Andean world where few tourists have been encouraged to venture. On this incredible trail, you will pass beautiful landscapes, picturesque lakes, and breathtaking glaciers inhabited by local Inca communities. Of course, one would be remiss if one didn’t mention that the Lares Trek also ends in the sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

Starting altitude – 9,186ft / 2,800m, Highest altitude – 15,200ft / 4,800m, Walking distance – 21 miles / 34.5km, Longest day – Day 2, approximately 9.31 miles / 15km, Coldest night – Day 1 around 0°C, Overall difficulty – moderate.


Lares Trek to Machu Picchu – Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Pumahuanca – Puyoq
We are going to leave Cusco at 5:30 in the morning to travel through the Sacred Valley—land of the famous white corn and chicha, the Inca’s favorite corn beer. The first day of our trek starts off in Pumahuanca which is located in the Sacred Valley. We will make our way up one of the gentle slopes of the valley sides. We’ll be covering about 14km in total and climbing about 1,150m (3,373ft) in order to make our way towards Puyoq. On our way up, we’ll visit a beautiful Pumahuancan ruin where we’ll find native inhabitants such as plants, flowers and birds.

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is not commonly taken by other tourists so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbances. There is a great chance of seeing wild animals such as viscachas (wild rabbit) and Andean foxes due to the silence on the trail. We should arrive to our campsite in Puyoq (4,200m/13,713ft) around 4 or 5 in the evening. It is quite barren at this altitude, and it’s not uncommon for it to snow up here during the winter season so gloves and hats are highly recommended.

Day 2: Puyoq – Cuncani
Today is possibly the most spectacular and gorgeous part of the Lares Trek, but it is significantly more difficult than yesterday. We have to hike 13km to the village of Cuncani. From the camp, it’s about 3 hours to the summit which is located at 4,800m (15,600ft) above sea level.

As we make our way to Cuncani, we’ll pass by snow-capped peaks that tower above us, serene mountain lakes such as Yanacocha (Black Lake), and we’ll even get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely culturally different from the other side. As we wind our way down from the pass, you will have the chance to learn about the natives and all of their traditions from your tour guide. Our campsite in Cuncani is not only a beautiful place situated by a massive glittering lake, but the social interactions one can experience with the locals is always an exciting treat for tourists because these people are incredibly welcoming, and it is an excellent opportunity to be able to learn things directly from them.

DAY 3: Cuncani – Hot Springs
If you didn’t have the chance to interact with the amazing weavers from the village yesterday, fortunately, you still have time to do so. It’s an great chance to see all the amazing woven textiles that they make using alpaca and sheep fibers. They make for wonderful souvenirs and/or gifts, and you can obtain them at very cheap prices.

Leaving Cuncani, it’s just a 6km trek until we reach the hot springs of Lares. Along the Lares Trek, we’ll see several small communities where we can watch the people cultivate a variety of crops such as quinoa, tarwi and many others native to this area. We’ll also probably spot flocks of Andean parrots flying overhead. They’re actually quite easy to spot thanks to their unique, piercing calls. After a much needed relaxing dip in the hot springs, we will catch our minivan back to the Sacred Valley train station. From there, we will take a train to Machu Picchu.

Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco
To begin our exciting adventure today, we will first mingle with the locals on the Lares Trek, then we will take a 30-minute bus ride up the switchback road to the ancient city of the Incas. The natural and cultural beauty of Machu Picchu is breathtaking no matter how many times you see it. Many say that you can still feel the spiritual energies of the Inca that preceded us all.

We’ll meet up with our professional tour guide at the citadel gates. He will take us to the most important and impressive palaces and temples while also informing us about the copious amount of mysteries that only add to the mystique of this sacred place. The tour takes about 3 hours, and once we’re done, you will have extra time to explore these magical ruins on your own. If you have booked a permit to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, then this is the time when your next adventure will begin. The «Sun Gate» (Inti Punku) is another incredible alternative hike which we highly recommend. This is where the hikers traveling along the Inca Trail enter Machu Picchu. What makes this option even better is that it onlt takes about 1 hour to hike, and it is free for all who are interested. Finally, after all of our fun at the ruins, we’ll take a train to Ollantaytambo that usually departs in the afternoon. This one is followed by another train back to Cusco.


What’s Included in the Lares Trek?

  • Pick up from the Airport/Hotel
  • English Spanish speaking tour guide
  • Professional cook
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to the Lares trek
  • 3 nights camping + 1 night hotel accomodation
  • Briefing the night before the trek
  • Duffel bag to pack your personal items up to 8kls
  • Horses to transport the camping equipment and food supplies
  • Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the trailhead
  • 4-man tent for every 2 people
  • Dinning tent
  • Kitchen tent
  • Train tickets, Expedition class two ways
  • Pick up from the train station and drop off into your hotel – Cusco
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes and viseversa
  • Meal: 3 breakfast, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Water: we will provide you water every day at breakfast time, at lunch time and at dinner time
  • Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain – depending on the availability

What is not Included?

  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking poles
  • Inflatable Mattress
  • First day breakfast
  • Last day lunch
  • Extra expenses
  • Tips


Lares Trek to Machu Picchu – Prices

Inka Trail Explorer warmly welcomes you to allow us to make this adventure one of the best experiences of your lifetime. Our treks can depart during any day of the week out of all 12 months per year.

Price: $610 per person – Group service

Group service means that it is open for other trekkers to join you. Your group will have varying hiking and fitness abilities, but all of our guides are experts at keeping everyone moving and happy, no matter how fast you go.

Private Tour Service is also available and priced by party size.

The Lares Trek is one of the best treks to Machu Picchu, but it’s even better when you do it with just your friends or loved ones. Our private trek can start at any size, and it is highly recommended for inexperienced hikers or for groups with children. Either way, we will all do our best to make this an incredible experience for you.

2 Hikers: $655 USD per person
3 Hikers: $630 USD per person
4 Hikers: $605 USD per person
5 Hikers: $580 USD per person
6 Hikers: $555 USD per person
7 Hikers: $530 USD per person
8 or more Trekkers: $505 USD per person

Student discount: $20 per student. To aply to student discount you shoud follow the below govenment requirements

Students from 18 to 25 years old get discount of $20

Students from 12 to 17 years old, they get discount of $20.

Children from under 11 years all they get discount of $20.

The Ministry of Culture has changed its regulations regarding student discounts for entrances to Machu Picchu and Inca Trail permits. For anyone wishing to obtain a student discount, the following requirements must be met: (1.- Must be under 25 years of age  2.- Must have a valid institutional student card with  A.- Photograph B.- Student´s full name C.- Expiry date in 2019 that includes the date of reservation and the date of visit to Machu Picchu). Please note ISIC cards or any alternative documents proving student status will not be accepted. Unfortunately, if you fail to meet any of the above criteria we will not be able to offer the student discount.

Some considerations

For example, if you book your trek at the age of 17 but, you turn 18 before you start your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.

Please send all documents to


Optional Rentals

  • Sleeping Bag: $25 USD
  • Walking Pole: $8 USD (each)
  • Inflatable Mattress: $25 USD
  • Single Tent Supplement:$30 USD

Optional Upgrades

  • Vistadome train: (One-Way): $40 USD per person
  • Casa Andina Hotel: $45 USD pp if shared ($120 for a single)
  • El Mapi Hotel: +$50 USD pp if shared (+$120 for a single)

Huayna Picchu Mountain – Included in Price
Huayna Picchu, is a stunning mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu, this is the infamous sugar-loaf mountain which sits at an elevation of 2,720m and 300m above the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel.
There are some archaeological remains as the Moon Temple and other precincts that are interconnected with authentic trails, steps, tunnels and natural formatted caves which made the view more interesting, without any doubt, Huayna Picchu mountain can be the highlight of your trip to Machu Picchu.
The last stretch to get the summit is very steep, narrow, and in some parts, you are required to use your hands for balance. There are some stone ladders to climb up the cliff face along the way. if you have problems with the heights this may not be the hike for you. The summit itself is not flat but is instead rocky, therefore when the crowd picks up it can be a bit difficult to move around.

  • Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
  • Duration – The round trip can take between 1.5 to 2 hours in average.
  • Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 2,693masl, while the climb itself is 353m.

Huayna Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:

  • The first session: from 7am to 8am
  • The second session: from 10am to 11am

Machu Picchu Mountain – Included in Price
The climb up to Machu Picchu mountain is nearly twice as high as Huayna Picchu but has a more gradual ascent profile up to its summit at 1,850 feet (~620m) above the city ruins (3,051m above sea level).
The panoramic views are from another world. The Inca ruins, Huayna Picchu and Putucusi Mountains look so small behind the giant row of mountains that it makes you wonder if it is true what you are seeing. You will be astonished!
The awe-inspiring view is still composed by a bright blue sky, clouds and the Urubamba River snaking around colossal mountains covered with lush vegetation. What a gift from our mother nature!

  • Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
  • Duration – The round trip can take between 2.5 to 3 hours in average.
  • Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 3,000masl, while the climb itself is 600m.

Machu Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:

  • The first session: from 7am to 8am
  • The second session: from 9am to 10am

Free Tours

If you are traveling with 4 or more of your friends or family in your group, you will automatically get one of our additional tours for free. You may choose whichever one of the tours that suites your fancy from the list below. Please, keep in mind that we do not include the entrance fees for these tours. What we do provide is the transportation and a professional tour guide.

Do not worry single travelers! If you travel with us, you will also get special discounts on any of our additional tours.

  • Sacred Valley Tour
  • Cusco City Tour

Important Info

Important Information

We know planning an adventure vacation is no small decision, so we’re here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We’ve been doing this for quite a while, so we’ve got the answers to everything you need to know!

Upon your arrival in Cusco City
You will be welcomed by one of our transfers at Cusco airport and then you will be transferred into your hotel. Find out your transfer in Cusco airport holding our Inka trail Explorer. Please you should provide us your flight schedule before you leave home.

The briefing
Your guide will meet you in your hotel 1 or 2 days prior you start the trek, depending on your preference. your guide will explain everything concerning the trek in detail. This includes the Lares Trek schedule and a few tips on how to make your trek easier. You also will receive a duffel bag which is meant to contain all of your personal belongings.

Can I leave my Suitcase in your storage?
Usually most of the hotels in Cusco city offers a free storage but, definitely you can leave your suitcase in our storage while you go on trek or tour, we offer a free storage.

How do I Pay my final Balance?
Your final balance should be paid in cash and it can be done in American dollars or in the local currency (Peruvian soles). We kindly request pay your final balance at least 24 hours prior you start the trek. You also can pay your balance via PayPal 10 days prior you start the trek. To pay your final balance via PayPal, you need to log into your PayPal account using our e-mail address –

Can I cancel my trip or change my departure date?
As soon as you make your confirmation by paying your deposit we proceed to purchase the Inca trail permits, Machu Picchu tickets and train tickets. According the government regulations, the Inca trail and Machu Picchu permits or tickets cannot be canceled, changed of date or transferred into other traveler and unfortunately there is not a refund.

Do I need my Original passport when I travel into Peru?
Very important to bring the original passport with you. If you are a foreigner, you need a passport to enter Machu Picchu. Not just any passport. It has to be the passport you used to book your trip in Peru or buy your entry tickets to different attractions in Cusco – Peru.
If you renew your passport after you book your trip in Peru, you must travel with both the old and the new passports. You can send us via e-mail a copy of your new and old passports and we will be able to upgrade your new passport information.

How fit do I need to be to hike these trails?
As long as you enjoy hiking, you’ll love these trails – you’ll be hiking about eight miles a day, but there’s no rush, you can take it at your own pace. In fact, the slower the better I say, as that way you get plenty of time not only to enjoy your surroundings, but let your body acclimatize to the altitude as well.
We recommend doing plenty of exercise before you leave home, as the fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your hike. We suggest you try to go for a short walks or running 2-3 times a week. If you have access to some walking trails that go over hills then go and explore, Hit the gym if you can’t do outdoor activities.
That said our trips are designed for regular active people, so you don’t need to be a triathlete or anything – though if you are you won’t be bored!

What if I need a special diet?
We cater all the food restrictions you might have; we work with professional cooks who will take care of you. You also can specify your particular requirements when you fill up our booking form.

  • Vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • Vegetarian (no meat products)
  • Fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • No red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • Gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • Lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?
You should have full travel insurance cover – please be aware that some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased within 7 days of deposit payment. It is imperative for you to have medical cover and emergency repatriation and we strongly recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that also includes trip cancellation and other travel mishaps (e.g. flight cancellations or delays, trip interruption, theft or loss of luggage and personal effects).

Packing List


  • Passport
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged, but make sure they’re large enough to hold at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support

In your Duffle Bag
Remember you are packing for 2 nights of camping and 1 night in a hotel. Horses will carry up to 7 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt. If you choose to rent one or both from us, the combined weight totals to 3.5kg.

  • 2 wicking T-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • Warm, down jacket: This trek includes 2 cold nights of camping.
  • Headlamps are essential!
  • Waterproof gloves (Even if they are ski gloves, bring them.)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, but you might enjoy something a little larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: We provide warm water each day, but you may feel cleaner if you use soap.
  • Battery Charger: There is no place to plug in while trekking!
  • Large plastic bags are useful for organizination and seperating your dirty clothes from the clean ones.
  • Sleeping bag: We recommend down bags for at least -10°C.


  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • First-aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.

In your Daypacks
Daypacks can be any size for hiking, but we always recommend small ones because no bag larger than 25L will be allowed in the citadel of Machu Picchu. If you happen to bring something larger, you will need to store outside the gates.

  • Water: We supply clean water at each meal, but you are responsible for your first morning of water only because we won’t have time to filter water until your first lunch.
  • Sunhat
  • Woolhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tips
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