Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days Overview
Come and enjoy the Lares trek to Machu Picchu with us. This trek is a great alternative to the Inca Trail. Still offering the beauty of the Andes with fewer crowds, it offers an outstanding combination of amazing mountain and valley scenery in a remote area.
This tour will really give you an insight into authentic Quechua communities where you will see thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas, and even guinea pigs running loose inside the houses. This hike starts in the Lares Valley, in the village of the same name, where you can enjoy a night dip in its relaxing hot springs. We then head to the Andean communities of Huacahuasi, Patacancha, and Willoq, reaching the village of Aguas Calientes on the third night after a 2-hour train ride from Ollantaytambo. Finally, the fourth day is devoted to exploring the impressive Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Huaca Wasi.
Early morning departure from Cusco. During the bus journey, we will pass some archaeological sites and craft markets in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This valley is one of the most fertile regions of South America, where a large amount of corn, highly symbolic in the Inca Andean religion, is produced. Once we reach the province of Graneros (2940m / 9646f) we change our route and head upwards to the Huacawasi pass (4400m / 14436f), before descending to the town of Lares hot springs (3200m / 10499f). Here we will have a few hours relaxing in the pools that have a temperature of between 28 and 36 degrees C / 82 and 97 degrees F. After lunch at the spa, we walk towards Huacawasi (3600m / 11811f), where our campsite is situated.
Bus travel time: 5 hours hiking time: 3 hours in cold weather.
Day 2: Huaca Wasi – Ipsay Pass – Patacancha.
This day will be the most difficult due to the varied terrain and climate that we will pass through. For example, getting through the Sipsay pass at 4,400 meters (14436f) will take us 4 hours. During this walk, we will pass through some communities where we may observe Andean farmers, their agricultural land and their traditional rustic houses. These people have a great knowledge of natural farming methods and the communities also still produce traditional colorful textiles inspired by Andean gods and symbols. After this pass, we drive to the village of Patacancha (3650m / 11975f), our campsite for the night.
Hiking time: 7 hours in cold weather.
Day 3: Patacancha – Willoq – Pumamarca – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes.
This will be another spectacular day, passing through communities and small towns like Willoq (3400m / 11156f) and Pumamarca (3200m / 10499f). As we pass through the valley of Patacancha we will have a chance to witness ancient Inca traditions and customs that have survived the passage of time in these remote villages. After visiting this area for a few hours, we arrive at the town of Ollantaytambo (2850m / 9350f), also an archaeological site of the Inca dynasty. From here we take the train to Aguas Calientes (2050m / 6726f), where we spend the night in a hotel.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco.
The lost city of the Incas is at its best in the early morning. After an early breakfast, we will take the bus to Machu Picchu (2400m / 7874f), where a professional guide will take us on a tour of the site, explaining the history, politics, ancient agricultural techniques, astronomy, and religion that our ancestors left us in this wonderful city of the Incas. After the tour, you’ll have enough free time to further explore the site on your own and take some of the short walks, before returning to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Cusco (Cuzco). The weather in Machu Picchu (Machu Pichu) is warm with mosquitoes.
You should bring:
- Good sleeping bag (minus 10 degrees).Original passport and if you are a student your ISIC active card (must be submitted at the time of booking)
- Rain gear (plastic to cover your bag, raincoat).
- Good hiking shoes.
- 2 sets of clothes (packed together in a plastic bag).
- Camera and batteries (batteries drain more quickly under cold conditions).
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleece. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
- Sun Block.
- Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – no malaria risk has been reported
- Water bottles and tablets to purify the water (very important).
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold.
- Additional snacks like cookies, coca candies, chocolate, energy bars, fruits, muesli bars, etc.
- Toilet paper.
- Optional: water- sterilizing tablets in case you take water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we will provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink.
- Small towel
- Swimsuit (if you wish to take a bath in the hot springs – Aguas Calientes village)
- Cash in soles and/or US$ for your own expenses.
- Optional: walking sticks or poles. If you do not have any, you can rent through us.