Peru adventure tour
Stunning Lares Trek in the Andes of Peru!
The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is a 3-day trek to the famous Incan Citadel that starts out in the Lares Valley, east of the Urubamba mountain range. With Haku, you’ll get to experience the unique charm of this Machu Picchu route with its combination of natural beauty and vibrant Quechuan culture, all with a bilingual, knowledgeable guide and camp chef.
Lares Trek Description:
This Peru trek takes you through the Sacred Valley and up into the stunning valley of Lares. We will descend down towards the hot springs where you will begin your hiking adventure! We will load the horses while you take a quick dip in the hot springs and have a snack before we begin hiking. We will trek to the weaving town of Huacahuasi and camp for the night. The following day we will hike over a mountain pass and down into the valley of Patacancha. We will sleep in the town of Ollantaytambo, known as the living Incan village. In the morning we will take an early train to the town below Machu Picchu before we ascend to the ancient citadel for our Machu Picchu tour. You will then take the fantastic, panoramic Vistadome train back to Cusco.
Why Choose Haku’s Lares Trek with Machu Picchu?
The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is far from the tourist crowds and an easy way to see the rugged beauty of the Andes mountains. We have searched out an off-the-beaten-path trek that is short enough for almost anyone to fit into their Peru vacation. Once you book your Lares Trek a travel specialist will contact you to begin helping you plan your trip to Peru!
Dates for Stunning 3-Day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu
What you can expect
Lares Trek Highlights
Some highlights to look forward to on your Peru 3-Day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu:
Live the adventure
Peru Trek to Machu Picchu Details
Cusco – Lares hot springs – Huacahuasi Camp
Rise and shine! We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 6 a.m. in our private transport. You’ll get acquainted with your guide and meet the local Peruvian camp chef who will be cooking amazing Peruvian meals for you.
We will leave Cusco and head into the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. From the town of Calca we will head up into the stunning Lares Valley. Here after about 30 minutes the mountains will begin to look like something out of the Lord of the Rings with towering peaks and immense scree fields! Your guide will point out a stretch of Capaq Ñan the Inca trail system.
By mid-morning we arrive at the town of Lares. Here our cook will make us a snack while we load up the horses and take a quick dip in the Lares hot springs. Once we have eaten and the horses are loaded we will begin our hiking adventure in the Peruvian Andes!
We will hike to the traditional weaving town of Huacahuasi. This hike will take approximately 3-4 hours over 10 km/6 mi of gradual uphill hiking. We will camp just outside this traditional Peruvian pueblo.
Lares Trek Stats:
- Driving time: 3 hours
- Hiking time: 3-4 hours
- Distance: 10 km/6 mi
- Max Elevation: 3750 m/12,300 ft
- Ascent 650 m/2130 ft
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Lodging: Camping
- Meals: L, D
Huacahuasi – Patacancha – Ollantaytambo
After breakfast, we’ll make our way up to the high Ipsayjasa pass at 4,450 m/14,600 ft; this will take about 3 hours. At the top, we will be rewarded (weather permitting) with stunning views of the surrounding mountains — including, if we’re lucky, a view of the hulking Pumahuanca glacier. We’ll also be able to see down to the glacial lake Ipsaycocha.
We’ll then descend to the glacier lake in around 45 minutes on short switchbacks; then we’ll navigate around the side of the lake, before stopping for lunch at its bank. Afterwards, we traverse across undulating ground for the next hour, before dropping into the Patacancha Valley.
From here we’ll take a car to Ollantaytambo, known as the “living Incan village,” where you will spend the evening in awe of the centuries-old Incan stones from which the village was built.
Lares Trek Stats:
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours approximately
- Distance: 13 km/8 mi
- Max Elevation: 4450 m/14600 ft
- Ascent: 590 m/1936 ft
- Descent: 547 m/1795 ft
- Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Note: Those looking to extend the trek into a 4 day/3 night trek can do so by camping in the Patacancha Valley and then hiking through Pumamarca the following day and down into Ollantaytambo. Contact us if you would like to have a 4 day Lares Trek!
After you book your Lares Trek, a specialist will get in touch with you and discuss the best timeframe for your Machu Picchu tour. The schedule of the day will depend on which timetable you have chosen for your visit to Machu Picchu.
In the morning you will take a beautiful train ride to the town of Aguas Calientes. You will then either hike to the ruins or take a 20 minute bus ride. Once at the sanctuary of Machu Picchu you will have a guided tour of the ruins where you can explore this majestic place.
After you have crossed Machu Picchu off the bucket list you will begin the journey back to Cusco. This entails a short bus ride or a hike back down into town. From there you will relax on the panoramic Vistadome train. We will then pick you up and transport you to your hotel.
Lares Trek Stats:
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours approximately
- Distance: 8-16 km/5-10 mi (depends on you)
- Max Elevation: 2430 m/7970 ft (Machu Picchu)
- Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (depends on you schedule for the day)
- Lodging: Not included
- Meals: B, Boxed Lunch
Note: The Lares Trek package includes a one way bus ticket. You can purchase an additional ticket at checkout.
What’s the price of this 3-day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu, and what’s included?
This trip requires a minimum of two people in order to run.
Price for 2 person group: $1095 per person
Price for 3+ person group: $895 per person
Note: You can make this a 4 day/3 night trek for 100$ USD per person more. Available to add on at checkout.
- English-speaking guide for 3 days and all of his expenses
- Camp Chef for two days and all of his expenses
- All meals from lunch on day one to lunch on day three
- Tents, cook tent, cooking/meal supplies
- Horses and horsemen plus all their expenses
- Round trip train tickets including the Vistadome panoramic train one way
- Hotel in Ollantaytambo
- Machu Picchu entrance tickets
- Celebratory dinner at The Tree House in Aguas Calientes
- Campsite fees
- One way bus ticket for Machu Picchu
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping Mats
- Dinner on the last night after you leave Machu Picchu Pueblo
For this 3-day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu: You should have a trekking experience level of Novice Trekker and a fitness level of 3/6:
- Those who may have little to no experience trekking or may have never slept in a tent
- Those who want to experience sleeping under the stars but not for two full weeks
- Perfect for families or groups of mixed-level friends
- Beginner treks involve shorter hiking days with less elevation gain. We take lots of breaks and our pace is casual
Fitness Level 3 – You exercise one to two times a week but do not have a regular schedule that keeps you biking or doing other activities weekly. You don’t go to the gym or train for any specific sports but you lead a very active lifestyle by biking, hiking, skiing, or whatever it may be. You are relatively fit and have no trouble taking part in some kind of active sport.
You prefer shorter hiking days like 3-5 hours.
All international flights require a layover. Most layovers will be through Lima, Peru or Bogota, Colombia. In the case of flying through Lima most flights will arrive late at night in Lima and flights to Cusco will fly out in the morning. Many people get arrivals at 3-4 am and flights out around 5-6 am.
Your options for layovers in Lima, Peru.
- Choose a flight that has a late arrival and early departure and sleep in the airport for a few hours (Most common choice)
- Choose a flight that has a semi late arrival like 11 pm and a very late morning departure like 10 am and get an airbnb with airport pickup near the airport. (Choose something 5 min from the airport so you can sleep)
- Get a room at the hotel connected to the airport. This hotel is called the Wyndham Costa del Sol
- Purchase two separate flights. One to Lima and stay the night in Miraflores. Visit Lima a bit for the day and fly out on a later flight to Cusco.
Things to note when arriving in Lima:
- On arrival you will need to pass through migrations. These are very long lines and can take more than an hour sometimes. If you have young children up to two years old, are over 65 or handicapped, by law, you can use the preference line.
- After passing migrations you will need to pass through customs and declare any goods you may have brought.
- Once through migrations and customs you must recover your checked bags, leave the international arrivals part of the airport and then re-check your bags at the check-in. Here there are often extremely long lines. If you have paid for extra baggage or oversized baggage make sure you have the receipt so they do not charge you a second time. Also, oversized bags are dropped off in a special line so ask before you wait in the normal line.
- Once the baggage is checked you can go through the normal process and screening to get to your national flight to Cusco
As you can see there is a lot that you must do on arrival to Lima. You will need a bare minimum of two hours (if you have only carry-on luggage) in between flights.
Passports: Your passport must have 6 months validity in order to enter Peru.
Return Flight: You must have either a return flight or bus ticket out of Peru in order to arrive as a tourist.
We will pick you up in Cusco on the morning of the Lares Trek. You will dropped off at your hotel in Cusco on day 3 of this Lares Itinerary.
If you would like to be picked up or dropped off in the Sacred Valley please let us know. This may incur an additional fee.
We do not include airport pickup or dropoff with the Lares trek package. Please ask us if you would like us to include this service.
- Our all-inclusive treks include meals prepared by local chefs with a love for cooking and the outdoors. The chef and his assistant are with you for the entire hike and are great company. The delicious meals generally consist of a soup with fresh vegetables and potatoes with a main meal afterwards. The main meals are generally chicken or trout along with rice, potatoes and vegetables. Most lunches do not contain flour. Thankfully all of our meat is free range, grass fed and produced by local farmers with small farms. We cater to both vegetarian and vegan diets.
- We provide a cook tent with attached dining area, stools and foldable tables to protect you from the elements and make you most comfortable in the down times.
- We provide nutritious, locally made snacks for the hiking days. However, Peru does not have all of the same high calorie snacks that you may enjoy at home. Feel free to bring extra energy bars for the trail that you may find yourself craving.
- We provide boiled water for the entirety of the hike. You will need a bottle or Camelbak to fill up in the mornings.
- Cusco has an amazing food scene and there are many places to choose from, take advantage before and after the Lares trek!
We can accommodate:
- Dairy Free
- Gluten free (for gluten intolerance, not for Celiac Disease)
- Food allergies
- Other restrictions when specified beforehand
If you have dietary restrictions please let us know so we can accommodate you.
The accommodations are a perfect mix of campsite tents and hotels. The hotels are comfortable with hot water, wifi and breakfast.
You will need lodging for the third night in Cusco or Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. We can arrange this service for you.
Each person is required to have a specific travel/trip insurance outside of your credit card or regular medical insurance.
You should get comprehensive coverage with trip interruption/cancellation and with personal liability. Mention all activities that you will be involved in such as mountain biking, hiking at high altitude and whatever other activities you may have planned.
We do not provide refunds. If you should get hurt or sick not only will travel insurance cover your medical expenses it will also cover the lost portion of the trip. Make sure you have trip interruption or trip cancellation included! South America is famous for people striking and shutting down all activities. If you miss your Machu Picchu trip, your Amazon trip or your flight due to strikes the insurance will cover the loss or additional costs that are incurred.
Check out our blog on travel insurance and why it is a must for any South America trip!
Peru’s currency is called the Nuevo Sol. You’ll be able to exchange US currency for the Sol easily in Cusco. The exchange rate often fluctuates between 3.29-3.33 sol per US dollar.
We recommend you bring cash. Peru is still a cash society. Most people don’t have bank accounts as Peruvian banks charge up to $15 per month just to have the account open. So, services like Venmo, Pay-Pal, and Apple Pay aren’t used here. Most local stores, taxis, and local restaurants are cash only.
ATMS charge around $8 to take out $60-200. Banks only allow a small withdrawal daily. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to withdraw a good sum of cash before you come to Peru unless you have a bank that returns the ATM fees. You can also try the app called ATM hero and do a little research before you come to decide if an ATM card or cash is best for you.
The USD, EURO, CAD cash you bring should be non-ripped bills. Small rips or bills that are written on are not accepted for exchange.
Seeing as Peru is a cash society and it is difficult to withdraw large amounts of cash, we require your balance be brought in cash.
Local restaurants generally do not require a tip, however, leaving a few soles is a nice gesture.
Tourist restaurants are generally a 10+% tip.
Tipping your guide in Peru is generally 5-10% of the price you paid for the tour.
What to bring:
- Sleeping bag & sleeping mat (can be rented in Cusco or from us)
- Water bottle or two for refilling or Camelbak bladder in your daypack/ hiking pack (must hold hot boiled water)
- Rain shell, (Oct 1-April 30 bring rain pants as well)
- Waterproof boots
- Sandals, flip flops, or sneakers for camp
- Hiking poles (highly recommended)
- Down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf
- Hiking clothes: quick-dry layers, long underwear, hiking socks, etc.
- Swimming clothes for optional hot springs
- Quick-dry towel
- Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
- Bug spray, natural or chemical
- Any medicines you may need: epi-pens, inhalers etc. plus headache and muscle ache medicines
- Camera or phone
- Charging devices for phones and camera
- Original passport for entrance to Machu Picchu
- Daypack for carrying water, rain gear, camera, snacks, medicines
- Larger pack or duffel for additional clothing and snacks — this will go on the horse. We can provide this. (Please keep the weight to a maximum of 8 kilos/18 pounds.)
- Ibuprofen, aspirin, or something similar for headaches or muscle pain
- There are horses to carry your gear. You’ll need a large pack to put on the horse with your extra gear, and a small pack for the day where you’ll carry your water, snacks, camera, rain gear, layers, sunscreen, meds, and bug spray
- You cannot get anything off the horse until camp, so bring all you need for the day in your daypack
- Any changes to the itinerary after the hike begins can incur charges
- We require getting travel insurance with trip interruption. Your 60% deposit is non-refundable and would be returned to you by your insurance should you get sick or need to go home in an emergency
- You will be in the middle of nowhere, so if there is an accident you will need to ride a horse out or walk. There is no heli evacuation
- There is no cell service for most of the hike
- We cannot be responsible for acts of nature such as, but not limited to, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, etc. Nor can we be responsible for strikes closing down roads and transport. We will do our best in these situations to get you to the necessary destination; however, you may need to depart earlier than expected or take a transport that is longer than stated in the itinerary or make changes to the itinerary
We’ll take care of cooking gear, all meals, water purification, and tents.
Accompanying you on the trek are your English speaking guide, 1-2 arrieros (horsemen), a cook to prepare your meals, and an assistant if needed.
Trip of a Lifetime!!!"My wife and I, along with our two children (ages 6 & 8) traveled to Peru for 15 days over Christmas and thanks to Bill and Nicole it was an adventure we will never forget. From the epic mountain biking to the breathtaking views on our three day trek, Haku saw to it that every aspect of our vacation met our needs perfectly. Their knowledge of the local culture and surroundings paired with their outstanding customer service left us wishing we could have stayed even longer. What was originally dubbed our once in a lifetime trip will definitely have a sequel or two or three!!! Thank you for the wonderful memories Bill and Nic!"
Bill & Nicole's tour company provided a friendly, immersive experience!"Bill & Nicole organized a spectacular trek for us. From arranging all of our transportation, guides and accommodation during our hike to recommending fabulous places to dine while we acclimatized, we felt like we were in very good hands. The local people we met through their connections: the lodge owners, guides and drivers were very gracious and accommodating. Haku's attention to all the small details and their eagerness to meet customer needs is a winning combination. I also enjoyed staying in their B&B and interacting with their young family. It felt like were were seeing a more authentic side of Peru we wouldn't have had by staying in hotels. But the option to stay elsewhere is available for those who prefer."
We recommend you take vitamin C supplements and probiotics before you come and while here.
We also recommend you begin a mild training program that includes hiking, walking or stair stepping with some weight on your back. Using the daypack you plan to use is helpful so you can decide if it is comfortable and how to adjust it.
Before you come make sure your hiking boots are broken in and not new. Try to take a few long hikes in them with the socks you will use to see if they rub or if you can avoid blisters by taping the area with duct tape where it rubs.
Bring cash. Peru is still a cash society.
Most people don’t have bank accounts as Peruvian banks charge up to $15 per month just to have the account open. So, services like Venmo, Pay-Pal, and Apple Pay aren’t used here. Drivers, guides, local restaurants — all will be expecting cash.
We too will ask for the balance of your trip in cash for the simple reason that we must pay everyone we work with in cash.
ATMS charge around $8 to take out $60-200. Banks only allow a small withdrawal daily. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to withdraw a good sum of cash before your flight to Peru or do some research before you come with apps like ATM Hero.
Peru’s currency is called the Sol. You’ll be able to exchange most international currency for the Sol easily if you need to in Cusco.
Often people get very confused about Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Machu Picchu Mountain is not Machu Picchu even though Machu Picchu happens to be located on the very top of a mountain!
Let us explain the layout of Machu Picchu to help you understand all these terms and places.
Machu Picchu Pueblo is the town that is below Machu Picchu. It is a small town called Aguas Calientes. The namess Machu Picchu Pueblo and Aguas Calientes are used interchangeably.
Machu Picchu itself, the ancient sanctuary, is on the top of a very tall mountain at 2430 m/7970 ft above sea level. It is directly above Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo. There are two additional mountains on top of Machu Picchu.
The Sun Gate at Machu Picchu is the main entrance for those that are hiking to Machu Picchu through the 4-day Inca Trail Trek. You can hike to the Sun Gate from inside Machu Picchu in about an hour. It is accessible to everyone who enters Machu Picchu with no additional tickets, so long as you make sure to visit the Sun Gate before you pass by it. Check out Rules for Machu Picchu to read more.
Huayna Picchu, sometimes spelled Wayna Picchu, is the famous mountain you see in every instagram shot of Machu Picchu. It is the towering mountain that rises above Machu Picchu in the background. The elevation of Huayna Picchu, which means young mountain or young peak, is 2693 m/8835 ft. This hike is not for the faint of heart or leg! The Incan stair case that leads up to it is so incredibly steep that you often need to use your hands to climb up it. Recently a cable was put in to help people accomplish the hike. The hike up Huayna Picchu takes about 1.5-2 hours. If you suffer from vertigo or fear of heights do not climb Huayna Picchu! On the other hand if you seek adventure and enjoy living on the edge then this hike is for you! Once you arrive at the top you can get an amazing shot of Machu Picchu below you.
Machu Picchu Mountain is also a mountain that rises above Machu Picchu. The peak is located at 3082 m/10,111 ft above sea level. It is much higher than Huayna Picchu and requires more time to hike. This trail is much wider and is not as steep. It is perfect for any age or for people with a fear of heights.
In this instagram shot from the ruins of Llactapata you can see the difference between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. When looking at the bench look a little to the left and that is Machu Picchu itself. If you keep moving your eyes to the left you will see Huayna Picchu rising up. Now look at the wooden pole on the right side of the bench. At the very tip of the pole, covered in thatch roofing is the peak of Machu Picchu Mountain.
Machu Picchu has changed very much over the years. The rules often change yearly.
As of 2019 the rules changed to limit the amount of hours you can be at Machu Picchu. Now there are entrance tickets with set timetables and exit times. Your Machu Picchu tickets allow you to be in Machu Picchu for four hours. If you have an entrance ticket to an additional hike then you are allowed two more hours. While this is difficult to control they can control how many times you walk around Machu Picchu. You are now allowed to walk around only once. That means once you do a full loop you must exit the sanctuary.
The rules on official guides have also changed many times. At one point it was obligatory to have an official guide while at Machu Picchu, however it was very difficult to control or enforce. As of 2019 it is no longer obligatory to have a guide.
Unfortunately Machu Picchu is now set up with a designated route. You can no longer walk where you would like. This means that everyone at Machu Picchu must walk in the same direction. The most important thing to take away from this is that you cannot turn around. This means that if you pass by the entrance to the Sun gate and then realize you would like to go to the Sun gate, you are out of luck. Plan your trip accordingly.
Leaving and re-entry is not allowed at Machu Picchu. This is one of the most difficult aspects of the new rules. There are no bathrooms inside Machu Picchu. They are outside the sanctuary. That means that you cannot use the bathroom for the entire visit! If you leave the sanctuary you cannot re-enter!
Hiking an additional hike will allow you more flexibility with the hours you are inside Machu Picchu, and also allows a second loop of the ancient city. This is due to the fact that the additional hikes have a specific timeframe for their entrance and their location. For example if you enter Machu Picchu and need to go directly to Huayna Picchu you will walk the top loop without stopping to see anything in order to get to Huayna Picchu. After your hike you will begin your hike around Machu Picchu on the bottom half of the loop. Once you arrive at the gate where you should leave, your ticket will allow for you to begin the loop again.
Each group should have at least 2 people with a max of 6 hikers. If you are looking for a private trip for a family vacation or group of friends just ask!
This is a short multi-day hiking vacation. It includes 2 nights of camping and a Machu Picchu tour.
Each hiking day is about 4-5 hours of hiking.
In total the distance is 23 km/14 mi over two days of trekking.
The Machu Picchu hike will be between 8-16 km/5-10 mi, depending on you.
You only need to carry a daypack with water, snacks, rain gear and whatever else you may want for the day.
This trip includes seven meals.
The meals begin with lunch on the first day and go through to lunch on the third day.
Tourist visas are given at the airport upon arrival. Check that you do not need a visa for any of the countries you have a layover in.
Your passport must have 6 months validity in order to enter Peru.
There are no vaccine requirements in order to enter Peru. Yellow fever is recommended for those heading into the lower jungle such as Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado and Manu.
On this specific trip, you will be visiting Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We will not enter into the jungle or any elevation lower than 2066 m/6778 feet.
Check with your travel clinic before you leave.
In short: we don’t know! We are at a base altitude of 3350 m/11,000 ft in Cusco. When you’re that high up, the weather is constantly changing. We recommend that you don’t look at the forecast because, frankly, it’s always wrong.
Our dry season is between mid-May and late September. During this time of the year the nights and mornings get very cold. You will want a down jacket in Cusco during that time of the year.
The shoulder seasons are April and October where rain is hit or miss. The rainy season is between November and March with the heaviest rains in December and February. During this time of year the nights and mornings are also cold. You may want a light down jacket during this time of the year as well, or a heavy sweater with a light rain jacket.
Basically, this is true year-round: if you’re in the sun, you’re hot; if you’re in the shade or the clouds are out, it’ll be chilly.
The cloud forest area (Machu Picchu) can be very warm. You can use shorts and short sleeves but may choose not to due to the bugs.
While we are very flexible, any changes to the itinerary after your Peru vacation begins may incur charges.
This trip is based on shared rooms and tents.
The single supplement will allow you your own room and tent for the entire Lares Trek experience.
Bringing more gear means bringing more horses and horsemen.
Price: $200 USD
All add-ons can be purchased at checkout
All add-ons can be purchased at checkout.
Sleeping bag rental
Price: $25 USD
All add-ons can be purchased at checkout
Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo or Cusco
Make your vacation even easier! Let us book additional hotels or airbnbs for you!
We make sure to book you a place that has a central location.
We also make sure you have a place that has real hot water as many places in Peru only offer cold water or lukewarm showers at best!
Hotels include breakfast. Private apartments (airbnbs) do not.
Price: $60 USD for 1-2 person group
All add-ons will be offered to you at checkout
We will take you out on some of our epic Andean singletrack! Don’t miss the chance to shred 2600 m/8000 ft of downhill MTB!
Price: $180 USD
All add-ons can be purchased at checkout
This itinerary includes one bus ticket. If you would like to purchase a bus ticket for the way down or up please do so at checkout.
Price: $15 USD per bus ticket
All add-ons will be offered to you at checkout
Add on an additional night to your trek.
Price: $100 USD pp
All add-ons will be offered to you at checkout
Lares trekking tour
Is This 3-Day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu For You?
This 3-day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu is designed for thrillseekers who are looking for an off-the-beaten-path trip but do not have the time for an extended trekking tour such as Ausangate or Salkantay. The Lares Trek is perfect for a family adventure in the Andes. It can accommodate all ages and levels of experience.
Our 3-day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu is ideal for you if:
- You love hiking and exploring the backcountry
- You have a mixed group of people with different levels of physical ability
- You are looking to be challenged and amazed with world-class terrain while in Peru
- You dislike hiking on crowded trails
- You would like to hike and visit Machu Picchu in a limited timeframe