Lares Trek to Machu Picchu - 4 Days 3 Nights From Cusco

Meet and interact with members of traditional Andean communities on this alternative Inca Trail trek

map Cusco, Peru
4 Days and 3 Nights
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
English / Spanish
From USD $469
Value USD $ 510 SAVE USD $41
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What's Included

  • Get up to $40 cash back per person when you book with us to use on day tours before or after your trip
  • 3 nights camping accommodation
  • Camping equipment including extras (hand towels, pillows, hand sanitizer, hot water for washing, snacks, daypack covers, and rain ponchos)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Free airport pickup and drop-off available
  • Pre-departure, detailed briefing 
  • Cooking lessons and Pachamanca (underground cooking) demonstration 
  • Knowledgeable native guides
  • All taxes and admission permits 
  • Porters to carry all belongings that you don’t need in your daypack (up to a maximum weight of 7kg)
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (except lunch on the final day) 
  • Essential items including filtered water, medical kit and satellite phones
  • 2% of  the price you pay goes to support local social projects


Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the best alternative treks for the Inca Trail. This route takes you far off the beaten track, where you can meet and interact with members of traditional Andean communities. You will learn all about life in these isolated villages, become familiar with their culture and traditions, and even visit a local school. The Lares Trek is also outstandingly beautiful, combining the majestic Andean mountains with spectacular ice glaciers, piercingly blue glacial lakes, stunning waterfalls, and countless llamas and alpacas. Finish your tour on a literal high, with an unforgettable day exploring Machu Picchu – one of the most incredible locations on the planet. 


Where we visit:


Day 1: Cusco – Lares Thermal Baths – Kiswarani Falls

Today will start with a pickup from your hotel at around 5am. You will drive from the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas to the famous Lares thermo-medicinal baths, arriving at approximately 8am. You will jump straight into the medicinal pools – all of which are set at different temperatures. The water is great for your bones and muscles. It also reduces stress and headaches and therefore is the perfect way to prepare for your Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.


Today’s route is relatively easy with 2-hour trek uphill until you reach Kiswarani village. A chef will be waiting with a delicious lunch that has been freshly prepared using natural, organic, local produce. Finally, it’s another 2-hour walk to your campsite, located on the bank of a beautiful blue lake at (3750m/ 1230ft). You will pass beautiful streams and a waterfall along the way, which is the source of the Amazon River – the largest in the world. When you reach your campsite, your tents and a hot cup of tea will be waiting for you. This is a perfect place to relax, stargaze, and learn about Inca astronomy. 


Day 2: Quiswarani – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Community

You will wake up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee, cocoa or tea. Today is the longest and most challenging day of your Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. After breakfast, it is time for a 4-hour hike uphill to Condor Pass (4700m / 15354ft) – the highest point of this journey. Along the way, you will enjoy beautiful lakes where Wallatas (Andean geese or ‘lovebirds’) swim in the crystal clear waters and pass the imposing Andean mountains of Pitusiray, Sahuasiray and Qolquecruz, all of which are over 18,000ft. At the summit of Condor Pass, enjoy a well-deserved cup of hot tea and take some time to rest while your tour guide performs a spiritual offering ceremony to the sacred mountains.


After lunch, start your 3-hour descent through the breathtaking scenery. You will have the afternoon free in Cancha Cancha to meet and interact with the local people, visit a local school and help teach and play games with the children. The villagers will welcome any donations of food, school supplies or anything else you would like to give to help support the health and education of this isolated community. Late in the afternoon, your guide will take you to visit one of the families’ homes. Here, you can experience firsthand their traditional lifestyles passed down from the Incas, sample traditional food and see how they raise guinea pigs, llamas, and alpacas. Finally, by the evening, your tour chef will have prepared dinner for you and your tour group to enjoy together before a well-earned night's rest.


Day 3: Cancha Cancha – Huaran – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Start the day with a beautiful view of the mountains and a delicious breakfast. Then prepare for your final trekking from the highlands into the sacred valley. First, you will say goodbye to the last remaining village still practising Inca traditions, and isolated from all modern technologies. Then, begin your 4-hour trek downhill. Along the way, you can observe different types of ecosystems – from the colder highlands, where only potatoes are grown, to the fertile soils of the sacred valley, where maize is the main product.


Your trek will conclude in a small town called Huaran (2700m / 8856ft). From here, a private bus will drive you to Ollantaytambo, the “Last Living Incan City” or as it is sometimes known, “World Capital of the Native American”. You will have some time to explore the ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since Inca time. Have dinner in a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo before catching the 7pm train to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a hotel.


Day 4: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas)

On your final day, you will have to get up very early to prepare for the highlight of your Lares Trek - visiting Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. You will go straight to the line to wait for the first bus going up to Machu Picchu at 5:30am. Arriving as the sky brightens, you will walk up with incredible views of the city along the way. On a clear day, you can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is truly an unforgettable sight.


Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets must be booked as far in advance as possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. Your guide will meet you off the train and return you safely to your hotel.


Would like to find more information? Click here to get in touch with one of our agents! 

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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu - 4 Days 3 Nights From Cusco

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  • Valid, original Passport (a copy will not be accepted)
  • Valid, Student Card (if you booked as a student)
  • Hiking boots (light, comfortable and broken in)
  • A good quality daypack (light, small and comfortable)
  • Water storage for at least 2 liters; either a camel bag or water bottle(s)


Below is a list of items that we highly recommend you keep with you at all times in your personal backpack. Remember you will be carrying this with you every day of the trek so we recommend you bring a good quality daypack which is both light and comfortable. It is important to note that due to local regulations, your backpack should not exceed 25L. All larger backpacks cannot be taken into Machu Picchu and will need to be stored outside the gates.

  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Rain gear
  • Warm layers (fleece / long-sleeved tops)
  • Sun cream, bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medication
  • Band-aids, moleskin
  • Camera, extra batteries
  • Head torch
  • Extra snacks, power bars, chocolate
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips (small change is useful for paying to use the villagers’ toilets on the first day)
  • Some light, comfortable shoes for the camp
  • Warm jacket, hat, and gloves
  • 2-3 t-shirts (wicking t-shirts are best)
  • 1-2 hiking pants/trousers
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 4 sets of hiking socks
  • 1 Fleece
  • 1 Warm, down jacket for the coldest nights
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Soap
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Face moisturizer
  • Powerpack/battery charger
  • Plastic bags to keep wet or muddy clothes separate
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It's advised that all hikers arrive in Cusco at least two days prior to your tour. This will enable you to get used to the high altitude. Those who have not had time to acclimatize may struggle with the treks.


Cusco is a domestic airport only and therefore international visitors typically arrive via Lima. The easiest and fastest way to get to Cusco from Lima is to take a flight. The bus journey from Lima to Cusco is very long (approximately 20 hours). Visitors travelling to Cusco from closer cities in Peru are advised to take a bus. There are a number of companies in Peru operating very comfortable bus journeys. We advise you to book your bus journey in advance as ticket do sell out.

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Food on this tour is supplied by highly talented chefs who never fail to cook up a delightful feast despite being in the middle of the Andean Mountains! All chefs specialize in Andean cuisine and are able to cater for all dietary requirements so please let us know in advance of your needs. All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are provided each day (except lunch on the final day) and the food is both delicious and plentiful. It's guaranteed that even the biggest foodies among you won’t fail to be impressed. Your energy levels will be kept high with snacks each day and it's ensured that you will have tea/coffee every morning to wake you up and every afternoon to unwind.

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Yes, contact us here and one of our agents will be in touch soon. 

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  • Sleeping bag: $20 to rent
  • Inflatable air mattress: $15 to rent
  • Trekking poles (pair): $15 to rent
  • Tips for our staff: TreXperience ensures all staff are fairly paid and therefore tipping is optional and at your own discretion
  • Travel Insurance: Highly recommended for all hikers
  • Lunch on the last day
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: Tickets need to be booked in advance and cost an additional $75 per person
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: Tickets need to be booked in advance and cost an additional $75 per person
  • Additional Night in Aguas Calientes: $55
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade: $55
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Terms & Conditions:

Embarking on an adventure such as this may involve risk of illness or injury caused by forces of nature, animals, insects, and flora. By booking your trip, you acknowledge these risks and are applying to participate voluntarily.

Cancellation Policy:

  • All primary deposits are unfortunately 100% non-refundable. However, the earlier you notify the supplier of a cancellation, the better.
  • If you cancel 8 weeks or more days before departure: Cancellation fees equal the amount of your deposit.
  • 8 weeks to 4 weeks before departure: 60% of the total tour price is due.
  • 4 weeks to 5 days before departure: 80% of the total tour price is due.
  • 5 days to 36 hours: 90% of the total tour price is due.
  • 36 hours or less before departure: 100% of the total price is due.

Read full supplier's terms & conditions


From USD $ 469
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