Lares Trek | Responsible Tourism | Alemana Tours

Lares Trek 4D/3N

Overview

Even though the final destination of this trek is also Machu Picchu it differs from the Inca Trail. This route leads you through stunning landscapes and indigenous villages of the Cordillera, where the local people still lead the same lifestyle as in the Inka times. You will pass through the rich grasslands, which are located in the medium of the higher altitudes of the Urubamba Cordillera. Also you will pass snow-capped mountains and warm valleys. Along the route you can enjoy scenic lagoons, natural hot spring baths as well as archaeological sites of the Incas. You will get to know places away from the influences of the modern world where you can appreciate the ancestral ways of life.

  • Departure: On request
  • Service: Guided group tour
  • Language guide: English and Spanish
  • Tour Category: Cultural, Historical, Adventurous, Nature, Trekking

Tour description

Day 1: Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Quiswarani Waterfall Campsite

Very early in the morning you will be picked up from your hotel. With a private bus it is a beautiful 3 hour drive from Cusco, through the Sacred Valley to Lares Hot Springs. Arriving there you will have breakfast.

Then you will be able to enjoy the different pools of water of different temperatures. The water is pure volcanic water and should be good for the bones, muscles and nice to relax and relief stress.

After having enjoyed the hot springs you will continue by bus for a short drive to Punta Carretera (3300m). Here you will meet the team of horsemen and horses and you will start the Lares Trek with destination Machu Picchu! First you will hike through a valley where local farmers grow organic potatoes. Your guide will also point out indigenous, medicinal plants growing along the way. After 2 hours you reach the village Quiswarani where you will have lunch.

After lunch, the horsemen (llameros) will do a ceremony with lamas. These friendly and strong animals were very important in Inca culture. Owning one was a privilege. You can also explore the village and learn about the local people´s lifestyle. Maybe there is time to visit the local school where children speak Quechua, the native language.

Then you continue for a 2 hour hike to the campsite where you will overnight. You will have a nice dinner and at night there is the opportunity to do star gazing at the beautiful clear sky.

Distance: 6.2 miles/10 km (4 hours)

Altitude campsite: 3850 m.a.s.l.

Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Quiswarani – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Village

Today you wake up very early, and after breakfast we start hiking again. It will be a challenging climb of 3 to 4 hours to the highest point of the trek: Condor Pass, also called Pachacute (4680m). During this beautiful ascend you will enjoy stunning views of the area with lakes, waterfalls, lamas and alpacas. At the top you will be rewarded with hot drinks and there is time to take photos of the breathtaking views, like Mountain Pitusinay (5700m).

Then you will descend 1 hour to reach the lunch spot. After lunch it is another 3 hour downhill to reach your next campsite at the village Cancha Cancha (3750m). This village has no modern technology, no electricity and no cars. The big majority of houses are of original, ancient construction, made of stone walls and grass-thatched roofs. In this village you can meet the children and if you want, provide them with school supplies that you brought. With your guide you will visit one of the local families in their house and learn about their lifestyle.

At night you will have dinner after this exciting day.

Distance: 8 miles/14 km (8 hours)

Altitude campsite: 3600 m.a.s.l.

Difficulty: Challenging

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

After breakfast you will hike the last part of the Lares Trek. It will be a nice descend of 4 hours. On the way you will pass farms where they cultivate potatoes, fava beans and other traditional tubers. Most farming is still done in traditional Incan style; by hand and with Inca farming tools.

When we enter to the village of Huaran in the Sacred Valley, it is time to say goodbye to the team of porters, horsemen and the chef.

By van you will go to the Salt Flats. At this place there is a salt water spring in the mountain that feeds over 3000 small salt terraces. These small evaporation chambers look as if they are tumbling down the mountainside. These have been in use since pre-Incan times. The salt is said to have healing properties because it is loaded with natural minerals.

After this you will go by van to Ollantaytambo, the only living, intact Inca village. It still has many Inca water channels, houses and walls. Here you will have dinner in a local restaurant with your guide. After dinner you will take the train to Aguas Calientes where you will check-in to your hotel to overnight.

Walking distance: 6.2 miles/9 km (5 hours)

Altitude hotel Aguas Calientes: 2.000 meters

Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco

Today, one more time, you get up early to beat the crowds and reach the site before most other tourists. You will go by bus up to Machu Picchu and have a guided tour of 2 hours on this magical place, considered as one of the seven modern world wonders! You will see temples, terraces, palaces, priest’s houses, the sundial, the industrial sector, and the farming fields. It is still partially a mystery how the Inca´s built this city without any modern tools: True engineering ingenuity.

After this guided tour you could visit Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. These options need to be booked in advance and are not included in the basic price. Both mountains take around three hours to hike up and down.

Another option which is for free is to hike to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), which is the main entrance to Machu Picchu. From here you have a spectacular view on the mountains and Machu Picchu in all its glory. This hike takes around 2.5 hours.

A fourth option is to walk to the Incan Bridge.

Then you will descend by bus to Aguas Calientes where later in the afternoon you will take the train back from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where you will continue by bus going back to Cusco to your hotel.

Included

Included in the tour:

Professional bilingual guide (English and Spanish).

Night before the trail you will get a briefing at your hotel.

All transportation: The van from your hotel in Cusco to the starting point of the trek, the van from the ending point of the trek to Ollantaytambo,the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back, the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back and the van from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco.

Entrance fees: Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.

A duffel bag. You will receive this bag on your briefing the night before the Lares trek. This duffel will be carried by a porter and cannot weight more than 7kg/14lb including your sleeping bag and air mattress.

Camping equipment: 4-person tents shared by only two persons and a dining tent.

Food: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners are included. Also you will receive a snack on every trekking day.

Water: You will receive boiled, filtered and cooled water after the first lunch until the last breakfast during the trek.

Not included:

Sleeping bag, air mattress or walking sticks. It is possible to rent these items.

Lunch on the last day and water on the morning of the first day.

Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu or Mount Machu Picchu.

Price

Price of this tour is 550 USD per person.

Students can get a discount of 25 USD. Please send us a copy of your student card.

If you wish to hire additional equipment:

Sleeping bag: 20 USD

Inflatable Air Mattress: 15 USD

Walking Sticks (Pair): 15 USD

If you want to include a visit to Huayna Picchu or Mount Machu Picchu, Alemana Tours will charge you an additional 35 USD.

Private Tour

Instead of a group tour it is also possible to do this tour as a private tour. This means more, personal attention from the guide and more flexibility during the tour.

The price of a private tour depends on the number of participants

Prices are at request.

Practical information

Briefing

The night before your trek, you will have a briefing of your trek at the office of the operator of your trek. Alemana Tours will make sure you will know where to be and at what time. At this briefing you will receive, detailed and important information about your trek. You will also receive equipment that you rented for your equipment like a duffel.

What to bring

Backpack with rain shelter

Sleeping bag and air mattress if you didn´t hire this

Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket

Rain pants and lightweight pants

Trekking shoes

Slippers or sandals for showers and hot springs

Woolen or synthetic socks and a sweater

Long- and short-sleeved polo’s/t-shirts

Rain poncho and a hat

Bathing suit for the hot springs

Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle or Camelbag, toiletries and toilet paper

Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries

Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles

Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes - once gotten wet - won’t dry at night. So take some clothes to change

Food and Water

You will be surprised about the quality and great taste of the food during a trek. Every trek is accompanied by a cook. It is no problem if you have special diet wishes, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, let us know in advance. During the trek you will also be given a variety of snacks.

During your trek you will be supplied with drinking water. This water will be boiled, filtered and then cooled, before distributed. You must supply your own water bottles or camel back.

Weather Conditions

It is impossible to predict the weather during a trek. Dry season in the region of Cusco is from April until October. In the other months you can expect a lot of rain. But in the mountains it is not possible to predict the weather accurately. It also can rain during dry season. Because of the many micro-climates you will pass, the weather can change drastically during one day.

You will have to be prepared for all weather conditions: warm and cold, dry and wet. Bring proper rain gear and a warm winter jacket, also bring gloves. Layers are always a good answer on the changing weather conditions.

Altitude

Here in Cusco and during a trek you are at quite a high altitude. This can cause altitude sickness, especially the first days. This is because there is a lot less oxygen in the air than at sea level and your body needs some time to adjust to that. Symptoms are mostly mild like: headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, trouble sleeping and trouble breathing during exercise. If you get these symptoms, they mostly go away after a few days.

What can you do about altitude sickness:

Take your time to acclimatize, take it easy the first days. It is better the first days not to do hard physical activities.

Drink lots of fluids like coca tea or water, but don´t drink alcohol or coffee.

You can visit your doctor before going to Peru and get medication against the altitude.

Health and Fitness

A trek means multiple days, walking longer distances, at a higher altitude. So it definitely will help if you are in a reasonably good shape and bring an adventurous attitude. It is highly recommended to acclimatize to the altitude a few days before you do a trek. If you think you have concerns about your health, we recommend you visit your doctor first. Let us know about any health issues that could affect your trek.

Insurance

We strongly recommend you take a travel insurance going on vacation to Peru and doing a trek. Having a travel insurance will help you and avoid a lot of problems in case you need medical assistance or you lose your luggage for example.

First aid

On your trek there will be an emergency first aid kit available including oxygen. Your tour guide as received a training in first aid.

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