Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail 5D/4N

Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail 5D/4NMaximum Altitude15,200ft / 4,800m

Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail 5D/4NDistance47km/29.2 miles

Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail 5D/4NGroup size8 People Max

Trek difficulty

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This Lares trek is the best and most outstanding trail available because it also includes the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The two of these is an excellent combination of paths that allows you to experience and see just that much more of the secluded Peruvian highlands and the popular Inca Trail. More specifically, these tour includes the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo located in the Sacred Valley, the quieter Lares trek, the thermomedicinal hot springs, and last but definitely not least, Machu Picchu. If you are interested in experiencing the best of both worlds in 5 days, then go with Inka Trail Explorer to get off the beaten track and travel through the Andes. As we near Machu Picchu, we will hop on the Short Inca Trail until we reach the sacred ruins.

Possibly the most appetizing part of the Lares Inca trail trek portion is the opportunity to travel back in time to experience the way the earlier civilizations lived. Visiting the ancient ruins of Pumahuanca is without a doubt an excellent way to begin the Lares Inca Trail trek. During the journey through the Lares, you will encounter the locals which will provide you with the unique chance to learn about the things they do from day-to-day directly from them. This stunning trek features blue glacial lakes, thunderous waterfalls, glittering glaciers, and of course the local wildlife such as llamas and alpacas. This portion of the trek ends at the natural volcanic hot springs which feels amazing to your tired muscles.

The highlights of the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu portion encompass traveling on the ancient Inca religious pathway, enjoying the amazing Inca ruins along the trail as well as the flora and fauna. You will visit Machu Picchu twice, first, by arriving through the highly-celebrated «Sun Gate» (Inti Punku), and then by enjoying the breathtaking sunset as fiery yellows and reds fade to deep blue and purple hues. Additionally, you will also be able to watch the sunrise in Machu Picchu. If you’d like, there is also the optional climb of either of the magestic mountains called Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu.


Lares – Short Inca Trail – 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 ruins 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 – Ollantaytambo
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 a 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 to Ollantaytambo – train station.

Day 4: Ollantaytambo – KM 104 – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
Early on the following morning, we will board our train to get to the KM 104 trail head marking (2,100m/6,927ft). The climb we begin will be a pretty moderate one lasting anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. The end goals are to reach the magnificent archaeologically places of Wiñay Wayna (2,650m/8,747ft). Once there, you won’t be able to help noticing how beautiful the view of the Urubamba Valley is. This Inca site is one of the most stunning and agriculturely relavent laboratories along the Lares Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. Excitingly enough, this is where we will join the Inca Trail. From here, it typically takes four days on the trail to reach the Machu Picchu. We will continue onward towards the Sun Gate, (2,730m/9,007ft) which will be the first place to where we’ll finally get our first spectacular view of the mysterious ruins of the ruins of the Sacred City. After having enjoyed the sights, we’ll head down to the Citadel of Machu Picchu to watch the sun set over the Vilcabamba mountain range. We will then take the bus down to Aguas Calientes in order for us to check into our hotel for the night.

Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will catch the bus to the Sacred City of Machu Picchu. We will travel for about only 20 minutes through a mountainous cloud forest that resembles the jungle. Once we arrive to Machu Picchu, our professional tour guide will direct us through the energetic ruins along with its many diverse main streets with expertise and precision. After the guided tour, you will have extra time to explore the world’s spiritual center of Inca wisdom on your own. This will also be the time for you to climb either the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain if you’ve booked a permit to. Following these amazing explorations, we have to catch the bus back to Aguas Calientes which will then be superceded by a train back to Cusco.


What’s Included?

  • Pick up from the Airport/Hotel
  • English Spanish speaking tour guide
  • Professional cook
  • Entrance fee to the short inca trail and Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to the Lares trek
  • 2 nights camping + 2 nights hotel
  • 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
  • Inflatable Mattress
  • 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: 4 breakfast, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Water: we will provide you water every day at breakfast time, at lunch time and at dinner time

What is not Included?

  • Sleeping bag
  • Hiking poles
  • Huayna Picchu mountain
  • Machu Picchu Mountain
  • First day breakfast
  • Last day lunch
  • Extra expenses
  • Tips


Lares + 2-day Inca Trail  – Prices

Inka Trail Explorer warmly welcomes you to join us on this amazing trek combination to Machu Picchu. Our ultimate goal is to make this trip an amazing and unforgettable experience for you. We can set departure treks during any day of the week from March to January. These private tour services are priced by party size and are great ways to create incredible memories with your friends and/or loved ones.

Priced by party size, only private service

2 Hikers: $930 USD per person
3 Hikers: $910 USD per person
4 Hikers: $890 USD per person
5 Hikers: $8 70USD per person
6 Hikers: $850 USD per person
7 Hikers: $830 USD per person
8 or more Trekkers: $810 USD per person


Optional Rentals 

Sleeping Bag: $25 USD
Walking Poles: $8 USD each
Single Tent Supplement: $30 USD

Optional Upgrades 

Vistadome train: (One-Way): $65 USD per person
Casa Adina Hotel: $55 USD per person if sharing ($110 for a single)
El Mapi Hotel: + $65 USD per person if sharing (+$170 for a single)

Huayna Picchu Mountain
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
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 – Highly recommended  climb in the second session

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 logo. 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 5 days Lares + Short Inca trail trek. your guide will explain everything concerning the Inca trail tours in detail. This includes the 4-days Inca trail schedule and a few tips on how to make the Inca trail easier. You also will receive a duffel bag which is meant to contain all of your personal belongings and it will be carried by our porters.

How big needs to be my daypack?

You only need to bring a small daypack (25 to 30 Lts max). Big enough to pack you rain gear, snack, water, camera, fleece jacket and some small items that you might need for the day trek. Remember, you will have access to your duffel bag every day at the camping place and sometimes at the lunch place.

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 booked your trip in Peru, you must travel with both the old and the new passports. You also 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 start the Inca trail tour, 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 responsable retaurants and 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

Lares Inca trail  trek– Packing List


  • Passport
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Immigration Card (given to you on the plane as you entered Peru)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage: Water reservoir like Camelbaks are encouraged, but the most important thing is that you are able to carry at least 2-3 liters.
  • Comfortable hiking boots (lightweight with good soles)

What do I Need to Pack in My Duffle Bag?
Remember you are packing for 4 nights of camping. Horses and porters will carry up to 8 kg of your personal items, but this must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you bring/rent one). If you get both of these items from us, they will weigh a total of 3.5 kg.

  • 4 wicking t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants
  • 4 sets of undergarments.
  • 4 sets of hiking socks
  • 2 Fleece jackets
  • 1 Warm, down jacket: this trek includes 2 cold nights camping
  • 1 wool hat
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Walking boots
  • Quickdry towel – We provide small ones, but you might enjoy something a little larger.
  • Small bottle of soap – We do provide warm water each day to clean with, but you may feel a bit cleaner if you use soap as well.
  • Battery Charger
  • Large plastic bags to help organize and keep the clean clothes from the dirty ones.
  • Sleeping bag – We highly suggest that you bring one that is suitable for at least -10°C.


  • 1 Rain jacket and pants
  • Face moisturizer
  • Handsanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • First-aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.

What Kind of Things Should I Carry in my Daypack?
We do highly recommend bringing your own daypack. While it can be any size for hiking, bags larger than 25L will not be permitted inside the gates Machu Picchu. There is storage space avaialable outside of the gates if you do have a bag larger than the permitted size.

Inside of your daypack, we recommend that you carry your original passport, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student), Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru), and a form of water storage like Camelbaks are encouraged (just make sure it can carry at least 2-3 liters).

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