I come to propose you an alternative trail of the famous Inca Trail, which is usually crowded during the Peruvian high season.
The Lares trail is really beautiful and interesting. On the way you’ll find many local people and you will learn a lot from them. Furthermore, the final destination of the Lares trail is, of course, the Machu Picchu!
Lares is a village of the north of Cuzco. Our starting point will be in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in Huarán.
As for the route, it is moderate if we compare it to the Inca Trail. It has 2 high mountain passes over 4000 meters above sea level. That’s why I always recommend to spend 3 or 4 days in Cuzco, so you get acclimatized before the trek.
We must walk around 8 hours per day at an altitude of 2900 meters or more. From there, you will enjoy the most outstanding panoramic views and mountain lakes. We will set up our camp in a local community.
At the end of this page you will find the complete itinerary of this program.
So, if you have more questions or want to book your place for next departures, feel free to get in touch with me. It will be my pleasure to guide you across the Lares trail to Machu Picchu.
Cusco - Lares - Huacawasi
I will pick you up from your hotel to take you on a scenic ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas stopping for breakfast in the provincial town of Calca. At 8 am, we leave Calca and continue our ride for about 3 hours until we get to the small town of Lares (3,100 m). We will start the walk up to the Trapiche River Valley. We’ll arrive to the village of Vilcabamba after 2:30 hours. There, we have lunch to later continue hiking up the valley for another 1:30 hours. When we reach the village of Huacawasi we will set up the camp and spend the night.
Huacawasi - Ipsaycocha - Patacancha
In the morning, we will learn some weaving techniques from local villagers while we admire their high quality products. We start trekking later today, after having lunch in the village. We will climb for about 2 hours to reach the top of Ipsaycocha Pass (4,500 m), the highest point of the trek. Then, we will descend gently for about 1 hour until we get to the place of our second campsite, near the Ipsaycocha Lake. If we are lucky, we can see Andean geese, Puna ibis and other birds around the lake. We then continue downhill until we arrive at our camp in Patacancha (3,750m) where we have tea and then dinner.
Patacancha - willoq - Pumamarca - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes
We continue our journey through the Patacancha Village. On the way we will see various local communities, like the Willoq (3,600m). It is a traditional Andean village where locals still wear typical cloths. Then we continue downhill to Pallata. After that we will go uphill to discover the archaeological site of Pumamarca, an astonishing Inca site. We then take a transport to Ollantaytambo, passing farming terraces and an ancient cemetery. We arrive at Ollantaytambo for lunch.
In the afternoon we will take the train to Aguas Calintes, enjoying spectacular views of changing countryside, from Andean highlands to lush tropical vegetation. We will stay for the night at a hostel in Aguas Calientes.
Machu Picchu - Cusco
We wake up very early to climb up for 2 hours to the Inca citadel of 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!! Then the tour guide will show you around the Inca city and explains you about the history of each place. Afterwards, you will have an opportunity to climb for about 45 minutes up to Huayna Picchu, a peak that overlooks the ancient city and serves to take some panoramic pictures. Then, you will have time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on your own. Finally, 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 $12) or walk down slowly and take more panoramic pictures of the surrounding nature (recommended)!!
Once in Aguas Calientes, you can visit one of the many good restaurants, which offer traditional Andean and 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).
Price per person
- Guiding fee