The Lares Trek is one of the most picturesque and cultural treks in the southern part of Cuzco. Lares Valley is home to many traditional weavers and farmers, and you will feel as if you stepped back in time 100 years as you walk among thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas! The people of Lares Valley still live as they did in ancient times – cultivating their gardens, herding flocks of sheep and llamas, and dyeing wool for weaving their traditional clothing. This trip offers the trekker an insight into the real lives of the Andean farmer, dressed in their traditional, brightly-colored ponchos, while still challenging you with the majestic Andes Mountains. A soak in natural hot springs and a tour of Machu Picchu make this trek truly magical.
Day 1: Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Huacahuasi campsite
Day 2: Condor Pass – Mantanay Village
Day 3: Yanahuara – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Day 4: Machu Picchu –Cusco
Highest Point: 4,680m/15,354 ft
Overall Difficulty: 1 2 3 4 5
We will pick you up early from your hotel in Cusco to begin the Lares Trek. It will be a 3-hour drive along the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley to arrive at the Lares Hot Springs site. Here you will enjoy soaking in the volcanic pools while taking in amazing views of the Andes Mountains.
After a relaxing soak and lunch, we will begin the gradual uphill, 4-hour trek to our first campsite in the village of Huacahuasi. This section of the hike is considered the potato valley sector, where people farm many varieties of organic potatoes. As the deep blue sky darkens and night skies begin to show us the twinkling stars, your guide will teach you about the Inca constellations which were studied at great length to guide the Inca in their farming activities.
Meals: L, D
Maximum altitude: 3,850m/12,631ft
Walking time: 4 hours
The next morning, you will eat a hearty breakfast with amazing views of the valley of Huacahuasi. The local people will already be up and about, taking their llamas and alpacas out to graze. The day will start with a strenuous climb to reach Condor Pass. It is quite steep, but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, llamas, and alpacas. Once you arrive at Condor Pass the 360° views are astounding!!
One-hour downhill will bring us to our lunch spot, then 3-hours beyond will bring us to your campsite in the village of Mantanay. Unlike other villages in the Lares Valley, Mantanay has not been reached by modern technology, as there are no cars or electricity. Mantanay is a small village (3,750m/12,303ft) where people still practice the ancient traditions of the Incas. Here you will have time to interact with the local children, and your guide will take you to one of the village houses where you will learn about their lifestyle.
Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 4,680m /15,354ft
Minimum Altitude: 3,750m / 12,303ft
Distance: 14km / 8.7mi
Walking time: 8 hours
Today you will begin the last leg of your Lares trek. It will be 4 hours of downhill along a lovely path, passing through Keuña trees a Peruvian native tree only found in the Andes of Peru. Our hike will pass by farms where they cultivate potatoes, fava beans, and many other traditional tubers, all in the traditional Inca style. As we descend into the Sacred Valley, the climate will warm and you will see a greater variety of crops, like corn, quinoa, kiwicha, peaches, avocados and other types of fruits.
This is also a perfect day to learn about Inca history. We will end the trek at the little village of Yanahura and board a van for a short drive to Ollantaytambo. This is a fascinating Inca village that serves as a living history lesson. You will see many Inca water channels, houses and walls as you spend the afternoon exploring this small town with your guide. After dinner at a local restaurant, we catch the 7 pm train for Aguas Calientes, the launching point for a Machu Picchu tour. Here you can enjoy a hotel and a hot shower!
Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 3,750m / 12,303ft
Minimum Altitude: 2,000m / 6,562
Walking time: 4 hours
Day Four is the magical day of Machu Picchu!!! You will wake up very early to take one of the first buses to Machu Picchu in order to see the sun rise over this ancient site. Your guide will take you on a very informative 3-hour tour, and then you will have plenty of time to explore on your own and/or hike Huayna Picchu.
•Note: If you choose to hike Huayna Picchu, this requires a separate entrance ticket which costs $40 per person and must be purchased online, far in advance of your visit.
In the afternoon, we return to Aguas Calientes and catch the train back to Ollantaytambo. There, a private van will take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
PRICE: $690 USD per person when booking 2 people
PRICE: $660 USD per person when booking 3 people
PRICE: $630 USD per person when booking 4 people
PRICE: $600 USD per person when booking 5-6 people
PRICE: $570 USD per person when booking 7- 10 people