The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. Taking you off the beaten track with visits to authentic Andean communities whilst being surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys this fabulous trek offers a real insight in to the lives of the people of Cusco as it once was. The route we offer starts in the village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley and finishes in the hot springs of Lares with a visit to the village of Cuncani along the way. On Day 3 of the trek you take a bus from Lares to Ollantaytambo and then carry on by train to Machu Picchu.
- • Professional English Speaking Tour Guide
- • Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 8+
- • Chef
- • Mules to carry cooking and camping equipment plus 7kg of your personal items.
- • Pick-up from Plaza Regocijo
- • Transportation by bus to Pumahuanca and from Lares to Ollantaytambo
- • Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- • Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
- • Water (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own)
- • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Afternoon Snacks and 3 Dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
- • Dining tent with tables and chairs
- • 4 man tent for every 2 trekkers
- • 3 Star Hotel on Day 3
- • Sleeping mattress
- • Oxygen bottle
- • First aid kit
- • Entrance to Machu Picchu
- • Return bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes
- • Sleeping Bag (Can be hired from us)
- • Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 4
- • Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain
- • Entrance to Lares hot springs
- • Tips
- • Travel Insurance - you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
Day 1: Cusco - Pumahuanca - Puyoc
Today we pick you up at 5:00 am to start the Lares trek to Machupicchu and travel an hour and a half by bus to the village of Pumahuanca (2840m)/(9317ft), located in the Sacred Valley. Where we will star our trek. We'll gently make our way up one of the side valleys covering about 14km in total and climbing about 1150m / 3373ft as we make our way towards the village of Puyoc. On our way up we'll visit the small Inca site of Pumahuanca and learn about the native plants, flowers and birds that inhabit this region.
This particular route for the Lares trek is not commonly done by other companies so we can enjoy the peace and tranquility of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbance. Because so few people visit the area there is a good chance of seeing Viscachas (a rabbitlike Chinchilla) and we may also spot Andean Fox. Our campsite for the night is at Puyoc (4100m / 13451ft); it's quite barren at this altitude and it is not uncommon for it to snow up here during the dry season so gloves and a hat are recommended.
Day 2: Puyoc - Yanacocha - Cuncani
Today is the most spectacular day of the trek and quite a bit easier going than yesterday. From our campsite it's about a 13km walk to the village of Cuncani but most of that is downhill as the pass is only about a 2 hour walk right at the beginning.
As we make our way to Cuncani we'll pass by snowcapped peaks high above us, serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha - Black Water) and get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely different culturally to the other side and as we wind our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. You'll also get to learn a few Qechua phrases so that you can interact with the local people.
Day 3: Cuncani - Lares
The focus of today is to meet the local people. Waking up early we'll be taken by our guide to one of the houses where we'll get to meet a local family. The people are incredibly welcoming and are just as eager to learn about you as you are of them - hopefully by now you'll have mastered a few phrases and be able to ask a few questions (much to everyones delight and amusement). After the visit you'll have the opportunity to give any gifts you've brought for the local people and also to buy some of the locally made alpaca products that the region is famed for.
Leaving Cuncani it's just a short distance (6km) until we reach the hot springs of Lares. Along the way we'll pass through several small communities and see the people growing a variety of foods such as Quinua and Tarwi, we'll also probably spot flocks of Andean parrots flying overhead (they're easy to spot thanks to their piercing calls). After a relaxing dip in the hot springs we'll be picked up by our bus and driven back to the Sacred Valley from where we'll catch our train to Machu Picchu.
Day 4: machu picchu!
Waking up early we'll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
Walking: The walking effort is moderate to Challenge
Climate: Rather variable. Sunny, though on other days it can be cool and overcast. At high altitudes conditions range from cool to decidedly cold in the early morning.
This is an example itinerary and can be entirely customized to suit you. Just get in touch and we’ll design your own tailor-made itinerary according to your interests, travel style and budget.
Prices based on double room.
• Huayna Picchu Extension: $10.00 per person
• Domestic Flights: Lima – Cusco – Lima: from $165.00 to $399.00 per person.
• All our itineraries are fully customizable, jus ask !