Two tourists in the mountains on the hike on the Lares route next to the lakes

Lares Trek

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Duration
4 Days / 3 Nights
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Price
from US$600
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Max. Altitude
4700 m / 15420 ft
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Group Size
Up to 12 people
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Accommodation
Camps & Hostel
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Difficulty
Moderate to Challenging
  • Aguas Termales of Lares
  • Quiswarani
  • Abra Pachacútec
  • Cancha Cancha
  • Huarán
  • Maras salt mines
  • Machu Picchu

Lares Trek Classic

The four-day trek from Lares to Machu Picchu offers a magical and breathtaking experience that you’ll never forget! Along the trail, you’ll find rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and awe-inspiring views of snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountain range. If you’re interested in Andean culture, this trail is the best option for you. You’ll get to visit various countryside communities where they raise llamas and alpacas. They also use sophisticated weaving techniques to keep their traditions alive. Textile art from these communities is awe-inspiring and holds extraordinary amounts of cultural and historical significance! Take advantage of this opportunity to make new friends and open your mind.

route
Aguas Termales of Lares, Quiswarani, Cancha Cancha, Huarán, Maras salt mines, Machu Picchu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Before You Go
  • Pricing
  • Enquire Now
  Overview

The path is intense but not as extreme as others. Along the way, rivers will roar by your side, and impressive waterfalls will appear in front of you, catching you by surprise and helping you relax along the rushing waters. You’ll also see teardrop ponds of all colors: blue, green, turquoise, yellow. After this magical few days in the mountains, you’ll finish your trek with a visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World: the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 0

    Pre-Departure Briefing

    Cusco

  • Day 1

    Dip in the Hot Springs Before Starting Your Adventure

    Aguas Termales of Lares Quiswarani.

    • The most amazing parts of the day: Traversing the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas and taking a dip in the hot springs of Lares, to take advantage of its medicinal properties. Being surprised by the precious lakes and impressive waterfalls and getting to know more of the Andean culture.
  • Day 2

    Submerge Yourself in Andean Culture with Incredible Surroundings

    Abra Pachacútec Cancha Cancha

    • The most amazing parts of the day: Seeing the surprising valley of Quiswarani. Touching the clouds at the Pachacútec Pass. Letting the power of the Qanchispaccha waterfall clean your internal energy. Being submerged in Andean culture and making new friends.
  • Day 3

    Visit Incredible Sites Throughout the Sacred Valley

    Huarán Maras salt mines Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes

    • The most amazing parts of the day: Seeing the work of the shepherds who live at high altitudes. Learning more about ancient Inca agriculture. Being surprised by the pink salt of Maras. Visiting the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo. Relaxing in the town of Aguas Calientes and preparing to go to Machu Picchu.
  • Day 4

    Tour of the Incredible Incan Fortress: Machu Picchu

    Machu Picchu

    • The most outstanding: Feeling your heart accelerate as you walk closer and closer to Machu Picchu early in the morning. We ll arrive before the majority of other tourists! Exploring this sacred wonder of the world while you enjoy the sunrise. Discovering the mysteries of Machu Picchu with your professional guides in a two-hour tour. Next, if you d like and have reserved your tickets in advance, hiking up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain or walking to the Sun Gate where you don t need extra tickets.
  Itinerary
Day 1

Dip in the Hot Springs Before Starting Your Adventure

Aguas Termales of Lares Quiswarani

We’ll pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 AM to start our fantastic adventure. As we travel towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you’ll be able to witness, so the city of Cusco waking from a night of heavy slumber. After an hour of driving, we’ll stop in Calca to visit the local market. There, you’ll get a great experience of Andean culture and will be able to buy some last-minute things: snacks, fruit, water, etc. We’ll continue our journey for two more hours till we arrive at the Lares hot springs where we’ll be spoiled with an energizing breakfast in full view of the towering mountains. After breakfast, we’ll take a dip in the warm waters of the hot springs. The recreational complex contains various pools of differing sizes and temperatures. The smallest are very hot. Be careful getting in! The local people say that the volcanic water of these pools hold medicinal value and helps in the treatment of bone and muscle illnesses. It also is meant to help with stress and headaches. After spending a few minutes in the water, we’ll get back in the car to go to Punta Carretera (3,300 MASL / 10,827 FASL). Here, we ll have a meeting with our trekking team who will accompany us on the excursion. The porters will transport your luggage on horses and will wait for you at each campsite. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is enjoying the trek! The Lares trail won’t disappoint. Soon, you 'll find yourself in front of the impressive Pacchayocc waterfall. It is the right gift of nature. From here, we’ll continue for about two more hours until we reach an area filled with lakes. There, we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our chef.

After lunch, we’ll continue with our trek and arrive at the Willkikasa Pasa, the highest point on the trail for the day, (4,400 MASL / 14,435 FASL). Take it easy; altitude sickness is a serious thing! From here, it’ll be a quick hour and a half trek downhill to the campsite in Quiswarani.

In Quiswarani, you ll have enough time to explore the town and visit some of the houses there. You ll learn about the lifestyle and traditions of the people from this part of the world. We ll also be able to visit the school where boys and girls speak Quechua, their mother tongue. If you d like, you can bring toys, notebooks or other school supplies to share with them.

We ll enjoy hot drinks while the sky darkens and the stars begin to appear. Finally, we ll have dinner prepared in this same place. You ll be able to stargaze and then take refuge in your tent to rest.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks and tea time in the afternoon
  • Accommodation:  Camps
  • Difficulty:  Moderate
  • Walking Distance:  5.6 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  3100 m / 10170 ft
  • Highest Elevation:  4400 m / 14435 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  3850 m / 12631 ft
Day 2

Submerge Yourself in Andean Culture with Incredible Surroundings

Abra Pachacutec Cancha Cancha

Today, we ll wake up around 5:30 AM, being offered hot drinks. At this time, people from the town will already be taking their llamas and alpacas out to graze. Breakfast will be served as soon as we finish getting the luggage ready to go. We ll fill our water bottles and receive snacks to start the day strengthened for the trail. There will be 3-4 hours of ascent toward the highest point of the entire trek: the Pachacútec Pass (4,700 MASL / 15,419 FASL). We ll hike upward in a zigzag to lessen the strain due to the altitude. The landscapes of this place are surprising. You 'll see the beautiful lake of Palcoyo and the impressive Qanchispaccha waterfall. If you feel bad or too tired, don t worry, we 'll always have an emergency horse available. We ll find ourselves above the clouds once we get to the Pachacútec Pass. From there, the 360-degree view is truly astounding. In front of you, you ll see the majestic mountains of Pitusiray and Qolqe Cruz.

Take advantage of this point to take amazing photos because we ll soon start going downhill! We ll begin to a one-hour descent down the slope to a place where we ll enjoy our lunch. Recuperate your energy, and you 'll still need to walk three more hours! Our campsite is found in the town of Cancha Cancha (3,900 MASL / 12,795 FASL). Here, 85% of the houses are made with traditional techniques and materials: stone walls and thatched roofs. Since our support team will be in charge of setting up the tents, you 'll have time to spend with the local people. After that, your guide will take you to one of the community houses to learn about their lifestyle. You 'll be able to see guinea pigs being raised and learn about traditional, hand-made textiles made of alpaca and llama wool. In the afternoon, you 'll enjoy hot drinks and dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks and tea time in the afternoon
  • Accommodation:  Camps
  • Difficulty:  Challenging
  • Walking Distance:  8.4 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  3850 m / 12631 ft
  • Highest Elevation:  4700 m / 15419 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  3900 m / 12795 ft
Day 3

Visit Incredible Sites Throughout the Sacred Valley

Huarán Maras Salt Mines Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes

Just like every morning, our trekking team will wake you up with a hot drink to start the day in the best way. Once you re prepared, you 'll begin to the last leg of the trek. We 'll walk 4 hours downhill along a gorgeous path where you 'll see herds of llamas and alpacas again. We 'll pass by fields of potatoes, fava beans, and other products. This is a fabulous opportunity to learn more about Andean agricultural techniques. We 'll start descending to a warmer area: the Sacred Valley. You 'll feel the changes between micro-climates and will see different crops than you saw in the higher altitude areas. The Sacred Valley cultivates corn, quinoa, kiwi, peaches, avocados, and other types of fruits. Of course, this area is full of history and Inca culture. We 'll finish the tour in a small town called Huarán (2,700 MASL / 8,858 FASL), where you 'll say goodbye to the trekking team and the horses. Here, you 'll enjoy a delicious, nutritional lunch.

In Huarán, transportation will be waiting for us to go through the Sacred Valley to the salt mines of the town of Maras. Here, at 3,380 MASL / 11,089 FASL, a salty spring of water flows and spills out over the slope of the mountain. You 'll be able to see 3,000 small evaporation chambers that have been used since pre-Inca times. This salt has curative properties due to the minerals it contains and which turn it a beautiful pink color. Local families possess every one of these chambers and support themselves by supplying salt to the towns in this zone. There s a small shop there where you can buy some of the pink salt if you re interested.

After visiting the salt mines, the van will take us 45 minutes away to Ollantaytambo, the last intact, living Inca town that exists. There, you 'll see water canals, as well as houses and walls more than five centuries old. Your guide will drive around so you can see more of this small city until dinner time in a local restaurant. We ll board the train at 7:00 PM for Aguas Calientes, the town found at the base of Machu Picchu. Remember that train schedules can vary depending on availability. When we arrive at Aguas Calientes, you 'll be registered at a hotel. Now relax and prepare yourself for the most astounding day of the whole trip.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks
  • Accommodation:  Hostel
  • Difficulty:  Easy
  • Walking Distance:  5.6 miles
  • Starting Elevation:  3900 m / 12795 ft
  • Highest Elevation:  3900 m / 12795 ft
  • Campsite Elevation:  2000 m / 6562 ft
Day 4

Tour of the Incredible Incan Fortress: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Today we reach the finale of our trek, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Machu Picchu! We will wake up early after a refreshing night to enjoy the serenity of soft morning light as we hike for 2 hours from Wiñay Wayna to the Sun Gate or “Inti Punku.” Here, the Inca Trail officially ends. From this place, we will be able to look out onto the great beauty of the Inca citadel Machu Picchu! This is the same view the grand Inca would have seen as he traveled, like you, from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The Machu Picchu entrance checkpoint is open from 06:00 AM until 17:00 PM, so entrance to the site is extremely flexible and gives us lots of time to enjoy ourselves. After passing through the gate, we will walk downhill for about an hour and enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas! Here, we will have a 2-hour guided tour through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the agricultural sector. You will be amazed at the engineering ingenuity of the Incas, which was so far ahead of its time and still partially a mystery today! Without having modern tools or even steel and iron to work with, the people who built this city were genius in organizing their community in a sustainable and beautiful way on the side of a mountain. They even brought water in canals through the streets for their people to use! When a Peruvian guide showed this site to Hiram Bingham, it was almost unrecognizable, covered in thick vegetation, and in a state of disrepair. It has since been cleaned and restored to its former glory and is now protected and treasured by the world at large!

After this tour, feel free to climb up to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Be sure to book these tickets in advance). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to hike up and down. Another, lower-impact option for which you do not need an extra ticket is to trek to the Sun Gate, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round-trip). Another option is walking to see the Incan Bridge. You will be able to stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before hiking back down to Aguas Calientes to catch the train at 16:22 hrs (subject to availability) to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco at about 20:00 hrs. Rest your feet and your body now, because we can assure you your heart will still be soaring for weeks and years to come!

  • Meals: Boxed breakfast
  • Difficulty:  Moderate to challenging
  • Distance traveled:  3.72 miles
  • Machu Picchu Elevation:  2430 m / 7972 ft
  Inclusions

What Is Included?

  • Pre-departure briefing

    You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our horses and porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.

  • Transportation:

    Cusco-Punta carretera / Huarán-Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo-Cusco

  • Qualified guides:

    Our guides have dominion of English and Spanish, professional education and official certification. They will explain to you about the history, culture and environment along the trail, as well as lead the group in ancestral rituals and ceremonies. They’ll also take care of your safety, health and comfort during the trip so you can enjoy the trek worry-free.

  • Lodging in campsites:

    We have a series of campsites that offer you true comfort. Besides that, just like our ancestors, we have a profound link of affection and respect for our Mother Earth, and because of this, we are insistent that our campsites don’t generate negative environmental affects. Remember that the accommodations are double and shared.

  • Camping equipment:

    We have tents for cooking and eating, as well as tables, chairs and complete kitchen equipment. All of this is transported by horses.

  • Entrance ticket to the archeological complex of Machu Picchu

  • Hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes:

    During the last night of the trek, you’ll spend the night in a shared room with private bathroom, hot water, wi-fi, boxed breakfast and luggage storage while you visit Machu Picchu.

  • 1 duffle bag:

    There, you can carry your personal belongings (including your sleeping bad) up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15 lbs.

  • Pack mules:

    Our pack mules will transport all camping equipment, as well as your personal luggage in the canvas bag.

  • Cooking services:

    A specialized trekking chef, along with his assistant, will prepare you delicious dished of Peruvian cuisine along the way so you can replenish your energies. You’ll never be hungry!

  • Meals:

    3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners. Special menus such as vegetarian or vegan meals are available without additional costs.

  • Morning tea:

    Every morning in our campsites, you’ll enjoy a cup of hot coca tea as soon as you wake up. It will be an excellent way to start the day.

  • Tea time:

    In our campsites, we’ll serve you popcorn, cookies, coffee, chocolate, tea, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you won’t have to wait until dinner to fill your stomach.

  • Snacks (Days 1, 2 & 3):

    We’ll offer you delicious snacks in a cloth bag: local fruits, cookies, chocolates, candy, etc.

  • 1 cloth bag:

    As we’ve already mentioned, we’ll give you a cloth bag to carry your snacks. In this way, we avoid using plastic bags, which contaminate our environment.

  • First-aid kit:

    We have a the necessary materials ready for any minor incident.

  • Oxygen bottle

  • Train tickets:

    From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (“Expedition” service with Peru Rail between 01:37 PM and 06:20 PM). Subject to availability.

What Is Not Included?

  • Sleeping bag:

    However, you can rent one from us. We have sleeping bags that will protect from down to -18 °C (0 °F).

  • Trekking poles:

    You can also rent these from us.

  • Lunch and dinner on the last day

  • Clothing and personal equipment

  • Travel insurance

  • Tips for our team:

    Keep in mind that our personnel receive payment for their services, so feel free to give tips or not.

  • Bus tickets Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes

  • Additional costs:

    There could be additional expenses, delays or modifications of the itinerary that are outside of the responsibility of the agency, such as: bag weather conditions, security or health problems, changes in government policies, political instability, strikes, etc.

  Before You Go

We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about trekking Salkantay in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.

Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!

Briefing or informative meeting

All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Salkantay Trekking offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.

Duffel bag or canvas case:

ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.

A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.

Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)

The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.

It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.

Storing your luggage at our Office.

Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.

Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.

Pickups:

Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.

Return to Cusco:

Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don't worry. Everything is included in your tour!

  • In Machu Picchu you’ll board a bus that will take you for 25 minutes to the small city of Aguas Calientes. The buses are boarded according to your arrival.
  • In Aguas Calientes you’ll board a train to Ollantaytambo or Cusco. Your guide will give you the train tickets where the boarding time will be shown. Make sure you’re on the platform 30 minutes early. The train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes 2 hours.
  • Once you arrive at the station, our representative, identified with the Salkantay Trekking clothing, will be waiting to transfer you to Plaza San Francisco, in Cusco. The trip from Ollantaytambo to Plaza San Francisco takes 2 hours.
  • In San Francisco, depending on your hotel's location, we will take you to a smaller car from our company (Hyundai H1) to transfer you faster to your hotel in Cusco.

Group tours:

Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.

Strikes and demonstrations:

Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.

Lost objects:

You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.

  Pricing

The Lares Trek can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.

  • Group Price

  • Lares Trek Group
  • 2020 Land Cost
    US$600
    per person
  • Pre-payment
    US$200
    (Required)
  • Balance
    US$400
  • This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.

Online Payment Lares Trek 4 Days

Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 8%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits so that you will pay the remaining in cash (the briefing day) without charges.
Paypal Payment
Please, after your deposit, send us the transfer number to sales@salkantaytrekking.com; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.

Additional Items

There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.

  • Huayna Picchu:  $25
  • Machu Picchu Mountain:  $25

Extensions & Offers

There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:

  • Rainbow Mountain:  $100  $80
  • Sacred Valley:  $100  $80
  • City Tour:  $20

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information

Student Discount

$25 off person

Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using an university student card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to sales@salkantaytrekking.com.

  Enquire Now

Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.

Personal Details

Trip Details

Lares Trek Classic 4D
14 years and above
Below 14 years
7 + 3 =
Remember |  One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958191179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.

Our Pledge |  Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.

We give advice and recommendations that are right for you

Feel free to reach us via email at sales@salkantaytrekking.com or by calling us directly at +51 958 191 179

Triunfo Street 392, office 212, 2nd floor - Main Square of Cusco, Peru

Monday - Friday
9:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!

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Our Focus

Guarantee you the adventure of a Lifetime

Your Safety is our priority

Salkantay Trekking organized a first aid and rescue course in which all its guides actively participated.

Expert Local Guides

Our Destination Experts aren't just trip designers, they're true explorers with experience in Peru you won't find anywhere else.

Fantastic Meals

The food is one of the most important things on the trek, we bring balance and nutritive food along the trail.

Small Groups

Travelling with us will always feel like travelling among friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.

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Travel Photography

Live with us the Salkantay Experience of our Passengers

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