If you want to experience Peru as it was in Incan times and rural Peru as it still is today, our Lares Trek is for you! It is our most popular alternative trek when Inca Trail permits are sold out.
We will pick you up at your hotel and leave Cusco at 6 am for the drive to Calca, a town in the Sacred valley of the Incas. This is an excellent time of the day to enjoy the fine scenery visible on all sides of the road. On the way there will be time to visit the Inca granaries of Muyoq Orqo after which we will continue along the valley road, passing Mount Sawasiray before beginning our ascent to Lares at the pass known in Quechua as Willa Punku or “Sacred Gateway.” We will have plenty of time to rest and enjoy the Lares thermal baths (3200mt / 10498ft ). After lunch we will begin our hike to the first campsite in the village of Wacawasi (3,800 mt / 12,464ft) where we will visit local weaving families and have dinner.
The trek continues after an early breakfast and we’ll climb steadily through the natural highland habitat of llamas and alpacas. This is a good area for bird watching, or for simply taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks. We will arrive at our second campsite ipsaycocha in the afternoon, located at an isolated picturesque location fa from all human settlements.
Today we will reach the high pass at Ipsayqocha (4 450 mt/ 14599 ft) in a landscape populated by heards of llamas and alpacas. Once over the pass, a long descent takes you to the indigenous community of Patacancha, where our transportation will be waiting to take us to Ollayantaytambo, a village originally established by the Incas. There will be plenty of time to visit the archeological site before heading to the train station for the ride to the village or Aguas Calientes at the base of the Machu Picchu ruins. Here we will spend the night at a hotel of your choice
We rise early today and take one of the first shuttle buses to the ruins of Machu Picchu which takes about 25 minutes. After a two-hour guided tour of the site, you will have plenty of time hike to Inti Punku also known as the Sun Gate or to climb the mountain known as Huayna Picchu (subject to availability and not included in your package). Note that some sections of the climb up Huayna Picchu require ropes and only those travelers who do not suffer from vertigo should attempt it. It is a one-hour trip to the summit and is not recommended during rainfall. When we have finished exploring the extraordinary city of Machu Picchu, we will travel by bus to Aguas Calientes. There you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where our private van will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the departure time of your train.
Pre-departure briefing with your guide
Professional trek guide fluent in English and Spanish (2 guides for groups over 9 people)
Transportation: Private transportation for all legs of the trip and to and from Cusco, your train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back to Ollantaytambo, as well as the bus ticket to and from Machu Picchu
Entrance to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu
Pack animals to carry all camping equipment including tents, cooking gear, food, etc.
Two-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu
Two nights camping
Spacious tents with sleeping mats – 2 people in each 4-person capacity tent to allow for greater comfort
One-night accommodations in Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu
Duffle bag to transport your personal items (maximum of 6 kg per person including sleeping bag and mat)
Boiled water provided from the second day onwards (for drinking during the trek)
All meals cooked on the spot with fresh ingredients by our trained chef.
Excellent Peruvian meals which include 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners *Vegetarian, vegan and special dietary needs can be accommodated upon request at no additional cost.
Boiled water to refill your water bottles and water bladders provided from the second day onwards
Bowls of hot water for washing in your tent every day, morning and night, and at lunch time if requested in advance
Biodegradable soap and hand sanitizer
Your guide will be equipped with a walkie-talkie as well as an Oxygen tank and first aid kit
Sleeping bag (available for rent at $5 US/day). Our sleeping bags are rated for -200C (00F) and include a sleeping liner.
Walking sticks (available for rent at $3 US/day)
Lunch on the last day after the guided tour of Machu Picchu
Entrance fee to the Lares Thermal baths (10 soles)
Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain (Reservation required, fee of $75 US)
Optional night in Auguas Calientes can easily be arranged
Tips for the staff (guide, chef, and porters)
Day pack with a waterproof cover and a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature (i.e. layers)
Warm clothes, including a jacket, fleece, gloves, scarf and harm hat or toque. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for approximately $1.
Trekking/hiking shoes, waterproof is recommended
Micro fiber or wool socks (extra socks are a must)
Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings
Small towel or sarong
Swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in the hot springs)
Sunscreen and sun glasses as well as a hat
Insect repellent (minimum recommended 20% DEET)
Toilet paper (must be carried out with other garbage)
Passport and International Student Identity Card (ISIC – if you have one)
Water purification tablets
Reusable water bottle and water bladder for your day pack
Snacks (energy bars, nuts, chocolate, etc.)
Personal hygiene items
Small first aid kit with any special medications you might require and “Mole Skin” for blisters, etc.
Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
Sleeping bag (available for rent)
Walking sticks (available for rent)
Cash snacks, tips and souvenirs.