The Lares trek is an excellent trail for those who want to get off the ‘beaten track’ as it treks through Andean communities which have remained unchanged over centuries. You are surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys but the real interest is in the fascinating villages you trek through.
The trail starts from the Sacred Valley, so called because of its incredible fertility, and crosses a 4400 metres pass before finishing at Aguas Calientes and your tour of Machu Picchu.
The video above is an illustrative fly-by of the Lares trail, but for the most up to date itinerary please see below.
Our Kandoo driver will meet you at the airport in Cuzco, and take you to your hotel.
You have the rest of the day to explore the city or rest up and get used to the thin air nearly 3500 metres above sea level. In the evening you will meet your Guide for a pre-trek briefing.
The air is almost as thin in Cuzco as it will be at the highest points of your trek, so it is a good chance to acclimatise when you can still get a comfortable night's sleep. We will spend the morning in the Sacred Valley, visiting the town of Chinchero and the Salt Mines of Maras. We will then continue by vehicle to our hotel in Ollantaytambo where you will have the afternoon free to rest or explore.
We'll get on our private bus early in the morning, and drive to the village of Quiswarani where we'll meet up with the rest of the Kandoo crew, including the arrieros who look after the pack horses.
Today is a gentle ascent to Coyalay where we camp by the lake
An early start will give us the best views as we begin our gradual ascent of the Abra Pachacutec, or Condor Pass. At 4460m, this is the highest point of our trek. From the top we are rewarded with views of the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray (5750m) and Chicon (5500m). Our trek continues along a narrow, barren ridge before we begin our descent to our campsite near Cancha Cancha village.
Our last day of real trekking will also be one of the easiest. Our trail follows a small river flanked by steep mountains, passing through Queuñas bushes and pretty farmland. When we reach Huaran village we will stop for lunch.
From there we will be taken to Ollantaytambo by bus, and by train to Aguas Calientes for a night at the hotel.
After a hearty breakfast it is on to the bus for the ride up to Machu Picchu itself. The guided tour lasts 2 hours, starting with the Sun Gate then moving on to the Inca Bridge and the main temple area. After that, the day is yours to explore the ruins on your own. We can arrange a climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu, but permits must be purchased in advance.
Afterwards, we'll take you to Aguas Calientes by bus, back to Ollantaytambo by train, and then to your hotel in Cuzco by private transfer.
Our Kandoo driver will take you back to the airport at Cuzco on your last day in Peru, and see you safely on your way home.
The Lares Trek is considered a moderate trek with no technical sections. Whilst the trek itself is not challenging, the altitude can affect people in different ways.
The Lares Trail is 20.5 miles long or 33 kilometres.
Like most treks in the area, the Lares Trail provides stunning mountain scenery. However, what makes the Lares Trail so popular is the local Andean communities that the trail passes through. Authentic weaving communities is one of the highlights.
No permit is required for the Lares Trail.
Yes. Although spaces are often available at short notice, try to book at least 1 month in advance.
The trail can be hiked throughout the year, however, the peak period is from May to September.