Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days
The trek from Lares to Machu Picchu of 4 days will provide you with a magical and breathtaking experience that you’ll never forget
DESCRIPTIONThe trek from Lares to Machu Picchu of 4 days will provide you with a magical and breathtaking experience that you’ll never forget. Along the trail, you’ll find rivers, lakes, waterfalls and impressive views of snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountain range. If you’re interested in Andean culture, this trail will be the best option for you. You’ll see various countryside communities who raise llamas and alpacas and also keep tradition alive through their sophisticated weavings. Textile art from these communities is truly impressive! Take advantage of this opportunity to make new friends and open your mind. The path is intense, but not as much as others. The rivers will roar by your side, and impressive waterfalls will appear in front of you to help you relax and catch you by surprise. You’ll also see eye-like ponds of all colors: blue, green, turquoise, yellow. After this magical experience 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.
DAY 1: Cusco | Aguas Termales of Lares-Quiswarani.Distance: 9 km / 5.6 miles
Trekking time: About 5 hours
Starting altitude: 3,100 MASL / 10,170 FASL
Maximum altitude: 4,400 MASL / 14,435 FASL
Lodging type: Campsite
Lodging altitude: 3,850 MASL / 12,631 FASL
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks and tea time in the afternoon
We ll pick you up from your hotel at 5:00 AM to start our fantastic adventure. You ll be able to see how the city of Cusco wakes up while we go toward the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After an hour of driving, we ll stop in Calca to visit the local market. There, you ll see a bit of the Andean culture and will be able to buy some last-minute things: snacks, fruit, water, etc. We ll continue our journey for 2 more hours to arrive at the hot springs of Lares where we ll be spoiled by an energizing breakfast accompanied by the mountains. Then will come the time for a dip in the waters. This recreational complex possesses various pools of different temperatures. The smallest are very hot. Be careful getting in! The volcanic water of these pools is medicinal and helps in treatment of bone and muscle illnesses. It also helps with stress and headaches. After spending a few minutes in the waters, 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 carry your luggage with the horses and will wait for you at each campsite. The only thing left for you is to enjoy the trek! The Lares trail won t disappoint. Soon, you ll find yourself in front of the impressive waterfall of Pacchayocc, a true gift of nature. We ll continue about 2 more hours until we get to an area filled with lakes. There, we ll enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our chef.
We ll continue with our trek and arrive at the highest point on the trail for the day, the Willkikasa Pass (4,400 MASL / 14,435 FASL). Take it easy; altitude sickness is a serious thing! From here, you ll just have to go downhill an hour and a half to our 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.
DAY 2: Quiswarani | Abra Pachacútec-Cancha CanchaDistance: 13.5 km / 8.4 miles
Trekking time: About 8 hours
Starting altitude: 3,850 MASL / 12,631 FASL
Maximum altitude: 4,700 MASL / 15,419 FASL
Lodging type: Campsite
Lodging altitude: 3,900 MASL / 12,795 FASL
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks and tea time in the afternoon
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 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 start a one-hour descent down the slope to a place where we ll enjoy our lunch. Recuperate your energy, you ll still need to walk 3 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.
DAY 3: Cancha Cancha | Huarán-Maras salt mines-Ollantaytambo-Aguas CalientesDistance: 9 km / 5.6 miles
Trekking time: About 4 hours
Starting altitude: 3,900 MASL / 12,795 FASL
Maximum altitude: 3,900 MASL / 12,795 FASL
Lodging type: Hotel
Lodging altitude: 2,000 MASL / 6,562 FASL
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner; besides that, snacks
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 start 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, haba 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 5 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 to Aguas Calientes, you ll be registered at a hotel. Now relax and prepare yourself for the most astounding day of the whole trip.
DAY 4: THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY: MACHU PICCHU!Distance: 6 km / 3.72 miles
Trekking time: About 2 hours
Starting altitude: 1,900 MASL / 6,232 FASL
Maximum altitude: 2,400 MASL / 7,872 FASL
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
Meals: Boxed breakfast
Today, we ll get to the final destination of our trek. Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and Historical and Cultural World Heritage Site.
After a restful night in the hotel, we ll get up very early to go to the archeological complex of Machu Picchu with the intention of arriving before the majority of the tourists. In this way, you ll be able to enjoy a serene view of this sanctuary under the smooth light of the morning. The control point in the entrance of Machu Picchu is open to visitors from 6:00 AM until 5:00 PM. It s important to know that this trek is challenging, and there s also an option to take a bus for USD $12.00 extra. There, we ll have a 2-hour guided tour around the entire ancient city. The architecture of the Incas is truly surprising! The Incas we able to construct a safe, sustainable city with excellent planning on top of the mountains thanks to their deep relationship with the surrounding nature. Among other feats, they were able to distribute water to the whole population through canals!
After the tour, you ll be able to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. For this, be sure to reserve your tickets in advance. It takes about 3 hours round-trip to hike either one of these mountains. A less difficult option for which you don t need an extra ticket is to walk to the Sun Gate, the main entrance for trekkers coming from the Inca Trail. This hike takes about 2 to 2.5 hours round-trip. Another interesting option is to walk to the Inca Bridge.
After enjoying the magic of this city-state, you ll return to the town of Aguas Calientes where, at about 4:22 PM (subject to availability), we ll take the train to go back to Ollantaytambo. This trip will take 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo, we ll get on a bus to take us back to Cusco. Arrival to the city will be at about 9:00 PM.
We ve finished this vibrant adventure, and now you can rest your body. However, we assure you that your heart will keep beating in joy for weeks, years or maybe eternally.
What is Included?
- Informative session before departure (Briefing): You’ll meet your guide and group that will accompany you in this informative session before your trek. The meeting will take place the night before your trip at 6:00 PM in our office (Calle Triunfo 392, office 212, second floor, Centro Artesanal Arte Inca. Click here to see the map).
- 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
- Trail tickets: From Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo at about 4:22 PM, depending on the availability
- 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.
- Cover your backpack with a waterproof protector
- Bring clothing for warm and cold climates. Don’t forget your sandals!
- Use tennis shoes or hiking boots.
- Bring waterproof clothing.
- Bring long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use insect repellent.
- Put on sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat for sunny days.
- Don’t forget your medications and indispensable personal belongings
- Bring some snacks like chocolates or dried fruit.
- You’ll want a good camera!
- Make sure to have cash on hand in small denominations whether they’re dollars, euros or soles.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE LARES-MACHU PICCHU 4 DAY TREK
Read the following information carefully. It will help you to resolve any question you could have about our services.
IS IT FOR ME?
The Lares Machu Picchu 4 Day Trek is an excellent alternative for adventurous tourists who are capable of trekking long distances at high altitude. The highest point we’ll get to is known as the Pachacútec Pass and is located at 4,700 MASL / 15,419 FASL. So it’s not too exhausting for you, it’s important to have good physical health and to have spent some before the trek in the city of Cusco to acclimate.
HOW MANY DAYS DO I NEED TO ACCLIMATE IN CUSCO BEFORE THE TREK?
It turns out to be very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before starting the trek. We recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2-3 days before the beginning of the trek. In this way, you’ll avoid problems of altitude sickness. Our company also offers other tours ideal to help you succeed in the acclimatization process:
Terms and Conditions
OUR HIKING TEAM
Our Tour GuidesYour tour will be led by a trained and highly experienced professional with a very solid guiding background, years of hiking and wilderness experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into unforgettable adventures.
They never stop learning so that they can be the best possible guides. They all speak English and of course they also speak Spanish and even Quechua, the Incan Language. They are all able to communicate with natives from around the area and will have lots of history to share with you. Check out the Meet Our Team page for staff bios.
Our CooksAfter a challenging trek we know how important a good hot meal can be to prepare your body and warm you up. That’s why on every trek with Salkantay Trekking we employ chefs with years of experience cooking on the trails so that they provide filling and nutritious meals using fresh ingredients and a variety of flavors.
Every chef prepares different meals depending on what food is available. ...More info.
Meals: What to ExpectAll of our hiking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.
For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.
We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee. ...More info.
Our Horseman and HorsesOur Horseman and his horses are in charge of all our gear and will always await us within the safe and comfortable camp sites.
Our horsemen are hired from the areas where the trekking route goes and therefore have extensive knowledge of the area.
Besides trekking and camping gear every horse carries a total of 40 kg of guest's belongings.
You will have a personal allowance of 7kg/165lb for your gear....More info.