Inca Trail Hiking Tours

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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

4 Days / 3 nights

from: USD 0.00

This alternative trek to Inca Trail involves 4 day hike in the high mountain and Machu Picchu and the best alternative hike to the Inca Trail. The Lares trek are blessed with plenty of high mountain scenery, alpine lakes and waterfalls. This region is rich for adventure, and criss crossed with paths and routes used by the local folk. In the Lares Valley, women and children continue to wear traditional clothing, of bright red and its varying shades of natural dyes. The Lares trek is sometimes known as the 'Weaver's Way' or the Weavers Trail and is a wonderful way to immerse yourself into Peruvian culture. In the Lares region the red of the typical ponchos and skirts stand out from a distance as children herd flocks of sheep, llamas and alpaca. Stone houses are covered with thatched roofs and its like you have stepped back into the middle ages, while great herds of llamas roam the landscape as you hike. Hot springs in Lares have very healing waters and are situated on the side of a mountain looking over a stunning, narrow valley. 


You will discover the Quechuan culture in the heart of the Inca land. After finishing our hike we take the train to Aguas Calientes and visit the famous Inca fortress of Machu Picchu World Heritage Site - essential for any tourist visiting this part of the world. in the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo, there you will take the bus to Cusco

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Day 01: Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi

Day 02: Huacawasi - Ipsaycocha - Patacancha

Day 03: Patacancha - willoq - Pumamarca - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco


Highlights of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu:

  • 4 day hike with a professional Tour Guide, Cook, Muleteer and Llamas or Horses;
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu;
  • Observation of incredibly beautiful sceneries of snowy peaks and mountain lagoons;
  • Meeting people of remote Andean villages along the Lares Trek route.
  • Andean way of life discovery.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi

We pick you up from your hotel between 4 and 4:30 am to take you on a scenic ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas stopping for breakfast in the provincial town of Calca. You have an opportunity to buy any last minute snacks, water, etc. there too. At 8 am, we leave Calca and continue our ride for about 3 hours observing small Andean villages, spectacular mountain landscapes, herds of lamas and alpacas on the way. Finally, we get to the small town of Lares (3,100 m), a place famous for medicinal power of its thermal baths so that we enjoy bathing (do not forget your swimsuits!!) before seting out on our hike!!
After being fully refreshed, we start a leisurely walk up to the Trapiche River Valley. We arrive to the village of Vilcabamba after 2 and half an hour approximately. There, we have lunch and a short rest to later continue hiking up the valley for another one and half an hour. When we reach the small village of Huacawasi (3,700 m), we set up a campsite and overnight there after being served dinner.

Day 02: Huacawasi - Ipsaycocha - Patacancha

Many of houses that you can see in Huacahuasi are built of stone and have thatched roofs. Local people produce beautiful colourful fabrics. In the morning, we learn about weaving techniques while we can admire their high quality products such as ponchos, "chullos" (woolen hats) and other garments. We start trekking later today, it means after having lunch in the village. We climb for about 2 hours to reach the top of Ipsaycocha Pass (4,500 m), the highest point of the trek. There, we can appreciate stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Then, we descending gently for about 1 hour until getting to the place of our second campsite near the stunning Ipsaycocha Lake. If we are lucky, we can see Andean geese, Puna ibis and other wetland´s birds around the lake. We then continue downhill until we arrive at our camp in Patacancha (3,750m/12,377ft) whwer we have tea and then dinner.

Day 03: Patacancha - Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu

We continue our journey through the Patacancha Village, people of the village are locally known as "Huayruros" because of the colours of their ponchos are red and black, reminiscent of the huayruro seed. We have a chance to view some textiles made by those villagers. Their top quality weavings are well-known for their intricate designs reflecting aspects of their everyday lives and culture! We see various local communities, like Willoq, (3,600m/11,877ft),this is another traditional Andean village where locals still wear typical cloths and are proud to keep their cultural identity! then further downhill to Pallata. After we go uphill to discover the archaeological site of Pumamarca, an astonishing Inca site. We then take transport to Ollantaytambo, passing farming terraces and an ancient cemetery. We arrive at Ollantaytambo for lunch. In the afternoon we take the train to Aguas Calintes (2,040m/6,727ft), enjoying spectacular views of changing countryside from Andean highlands to lush tropical vegetation of the lower located Aguas Calientes. Here we stay the night at a hostel.

Day 04: Machu Picchu - Cusco

We wake up very early to climb up for 2 hours to the Inca citadel - Machu Picchu! Although it is hard to scramble up there, it is definitely worth seeing the "Lost City of the Incas" at its quietest in the early morning light!! This gives you an opportunity to take some exquisite photos and enjoy the peaceful time during the sunrise above Machu Picchu!! Then your Tour Guide shows you around the Inca city and explains you about its history and a purpose of each place during an about 2 and half an hour guided tour. Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb for about 45 minutes up to Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain, a climb up takes 1.5 hour), a peak that overlooks the ancient city and serves to take some panoramic pictures of if in this way. Then, you are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on your own. When you have enjoyed the place enough, you can take either a shuttle bus back down to Aguas Calientes (it is not included in the price of the tour; one way costs $9.50) or walk down slowly and take more panoramic pictures of surrounding amazing nature (recommended)!!
When in Aguas Calientes, you can visit one of many very good restaurants offering traditional Andean as well as international cuisine. You can also go to swim to the local thermal baths (entrance fee is 10 Soles and it is not included in the tour price).

In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.


  • Pre-trek briefing (Our guide will visit your hotel a day before the trek for your briefing);
  • Private transportation to Lares - the initial point of the trek;
  • Accommodation: Campsites (2 nights) and a Hotel in Machu Picchu (1 night), optional Homestay in Patacancha community (1 night);
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu and the hot springs at Lares;
  • Meals: 3x breakfast, 3x lunch, 3x dinner and 2x afternoon hot beverages (please advise us in advance if you are a vegetarian; this option is for NO extra additional cost);
  • Snack every morning;
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide;
  • Professional Cook;
  • Muleteer;
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's stuff; 
  • An emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower;
  • Water every day (excluding the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own);
  • Camping equipment: Eureka Timberline Personal double tents (4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks);
  • Inflatable mattress (Term-a-Rest Mattress); 
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C);
  • A blanket per person
  • A pillow
  • Day Pack Rain Covers;
  • Rain Ponchos;
  • Duffel bag (for your personal belongings);
  • A T-shirt of the Lares Trek Map;
  • Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas;
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town;
  • A round trip by tourist train (Expedition Service) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes;
  • Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day;
  • Travel insurance;
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu Mountain  (U$ 25);
  • A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes ($12 - one way);
  • Tips to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory);
  • Other extras not mentioned.

Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single tent and a single room in Aguas Calientes.

Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!

Camping & Hotels

During the Inca Hiking Tours we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you: you need only carry your day pack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with. and last night you spend a small hotel.


Please Note: Hotel in Aguas Calientes town is not a 3 star hotel but it is clean, safe and comfortable with a friendly and very helpfully staff. They have private Twin, Double and Triple rooms, with small private bathrooms and hot gas water system. Hotel has one of the best locations in town, only few blocks from Train and Bus Station and you don't have to do anymore long uphill hikes to get to your room! It is about 10 minutes from the hot spring pools. We try to include an economical accommodation option for this trek to make it accessible for everyone but recommend that if you are wanting better accommodation in Aguas Calientes to celebrate your accomplishment of the trek.


UP-GRADING HOTELS in Aguas Calientes town: If you would like to stay in a Hotel 3 star or more, you have to pay extra. Please request this at the time of booking.


Single Supplement: If you are traveling on your own, and would prefer to share a tent, we'll pair you with another trekker of the same gender and there will not be an extra cost. If you prefer to have a tent to yourself a surcharge of USD 50 will have to be paid. If you want an upgrade any service to the train or accommodation or do you want to stay extra night in Machu Picchu, contact us directly to for this to be done and confirmed to you.


IMPORTANT TO ACCOMMODATION: You must present your passport with the TAM immigration slip (copy) to all hotel accommodations. The national sales tax (18%) is charged to all Peruvian citizens and foreigners staying 60 consecutive days or more. In case the room is shared by both a taxable and non-taxable guest at the same time, the sales tax will be applied to the whole room. So please take every caution to not lose this piece of paper. You need to bring it to the Cusco office for your checking.


What to take on the Lares Trek?

1. Trekking shoes/hiking boots to walk on trails, Inca trails, mountains, glaciers, it is very important to wear hiking shoes that offer support, anti-slide, grid and shock absorption so that you can focus on a beautiful scenery of your trek and not on your feet. The shoes also should be waterproof and have got a cartage tongue and ankle cuffs that provide comfort and protection. Rubber sole as an impact protection is also recommended.

2. Small rucksack to carry your personal items during daily travels when all your baggage is not necessary.

3. Travel insurance (+ copies in a case of lost).

4. Jacket needs to be light, waterproof, windproog, especially designed for adventure and preferably made of bright colours to make you visible from far.

5. Trekking trousers should be convertible (trousers - shorts), should have pockets of a big capacity as well as satisfy your comfort during weather changes. It is suitable to be made of resistant and waterproof fabrics.

6. Walking sticks/poles enable you to walk with ease providing you with support on each step. They should be light, compact, preferably made of aluminum alloy and have an antishock system that absorb impacts before they reach your hand wrists.

7. Sandals for a better comfort whilst at a campsite.

8. Warm clothes such as a jacket, a fleece (thermal clothing is also recommended for cold nights during camping).

9. Hat or a cap as a protection against the Sun, rain as well as cold).

10. Sun cream or sun block

11. After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.

12. Insect repellent when in area with insect occurrence.

13. Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions).

14. Flashlight/headlamp + batteries

15. Handkerchiefs and toilet paper

16. Small towel and toiletries

18. Sufficient reserve of underwear and extra socks

19. Swimsuits when you pass through warm areas with lagoons, rivers, hot springs in Agua Calientes and Lares or other water sources.

20. Snacks such as biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.

21. Bottled water and a water bottle to be refilled. Metallic (alternatively Nalgene) bottles are ideal.

22. Water-purifying tablets if you like to use water from streams along a trail.

23. Cash in a local currency


24. Passport

Machu Picchu Train Service

In this trek is included the train Expedition round trip to Machu Picchu


From Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu - 12:36

From Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo - 19:00


When you will be in Ollantaytambo, our driver will wait on the train station with your sign,  then you will take the tourist transportation to Cusco, you will arrive between 22 hrs.


If you prefer Vistadome train or Luxury train for this trek, the extra price is U$ 45 dollars. let us know before your booking your service.


Inca Trail Hiking Tours Representative and Professional guide

Our Representative and our guide will visit your hotel two or a day before the trek for your briefing.


All Inca Trall Hiking tours are accompanied by a Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.


Optional services to be hired

  • Walking sticks or trekking poles USD 20 for both
  • You need to take 7 kilos of personal belonging included in the tour price carried by horses ...If you would like to request more porterage for personal items each extra 3 kilos requested is USD 20 additional charge but you can just request this in the office at your checking.
  • Maybe you have to doubt to walk in this trek, you can hire the extra emergency horses, the price is USD 80.

Tipping & extra money to the hike

It’s very important to take EXTRA MONEY. You need to take at least 200-300 soles emergency money:

  • The local people built the small markets in the route and you can find the water, snack, chocolate, cola etc.
  • Your first breakfast, last lunch no included
  • Entrence fee to the hot spring
  • If you cannot walk to Lares Trek, our guide will help to you to up the horse.
  • Tip: If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide(s), and staff did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference: however as a guideline we suggest each hiker contributes USD 50 per person to a collective tipping pool, more is always appreciated.