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lares trek

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 3 days

Stunning mountain vistas, hot springs and Machu Picchu on this three day Lares Trek!

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 3 days

Stunning mountain vistas, hot springs and Machu Picchu on this three day Lares Trek!
Price: 1095 USD pp

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!

Lares Trek Highlights

Some highlights to look forward to on your Peru 3-Day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu:
Enjoy a hiking adventure without the worries of cooking or carrying your gear.
See your reflection in the glacial lakes of the Andes mountains.
Take a dip in the Lares hot springs.
Get to know your local Peruvian guide while trekking in Peru.
Visit the living Incan town of Ollantaytambo.
Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

Day by Day

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.

General Information

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.

Price includes:

  • 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
  • Transport

Not included:

  • Trekking poles
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Mats
  • Dinner on the last night after you leave Machu Picchu Pueblo
  • Tips

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 3.7 – 4 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.

TIPPING: 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 10-15% of the price you paid for the tour. Drivers are generally the same amount in soles. (If you tip a guide 200 USD the driver would get often 200 soles) Tips should always be based on performance and are never obligatory.

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 Vacation!

Meals:

  • 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!

Dietary Restrictions:

We can accommodate:

  • Vegetarians
  • Vegans
  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

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:

 Novice Trekkers

  • 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.

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Reviews

Family Adventure Holiday
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!"

Brent Bowman
Florida, USA
Tori Hiking tour
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."

Tory M
North Carolina, USA

Is This 3-Day Lares Trek with Machu Picchu For You?

cusco to machu picchu

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
Lares Trek to Machu Picchu Photo Gallery

Giving back

1% For Charity

Haku Expeditions donates 1% of all profits to support local education programs.

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Only private tours available.
Custom dates available, please inquire.
- Custom dates available, please inquire.

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How do you help?

1 – The Haku Christmas Drive, which includes yearly clothing giveaways, shoe drives, and a public hot chocolate panettone lunch.

2 – School supply giveaway for children of the High Andes.

3 – Bringing bread and fruit to kids living at elevations where none is available.

4 – Facilitating connections between local organic farmers and local restaurants.

5 – Affordable MTB classes for locals taught by professional coaches

6 – Sustained commitment to hiring out locals to work as drivers, office workers, etc., allowing a great amount of flexibility for family commitments, and paying them fair, livable wages.

7 – Donating 1% of all profits to help educate children in a technical field such as carpentry.

8 – Helping young adults begin a small business working in their technical field or purchasing products from them to help them get started after high school.

 

General Fitness Ratings

1 – Getting your heart rate up isn’t really your thing, and you rarely (if ever) exercise. Your idea of a perfect vacation is total relaxation: sitting on a beach, sipping a mojito, and just generally vegging out. 

2 – You don’t necessarily work out regularly but you aren’t averse to the idea of doing something active. Although you don’t exercise that often, you don’t necessarily consider yourself out of shape.

3 – You exercise one to two times a week but do not have a normal 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 relatively active lifestyle by biking, hiking, skiing, or whatever it may be. For biking: climbs and long descents give you some trouble and you tend to get tired after about 2-3 hours on the bike.

4 – You exercise 3-4 times a week and enjoy physical activities such as biking, hiking, skiing. You are active. For biking: you enjoy climbs that are are moderately long and being on a bike for 3-5 hours in one day doesn’t get you too tired or fatigued. 

5You exercise at least 4 times a week and are an avid athlete that is consistently in good shape. You’re more or less game for any kind of adventure. For biking: you’re comfortable with being on your bike for 5-7 hours a day. 

6 – You live and die for exercise, sweat, and suffering. You only want to climb higher, go farther, and prove how much of an animal you are. Steep climbs, long descents and big days are something you are looking to do more of and you can’t wait for your next adventure. 

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Biking Skill Levels

Beginner:
You’ve been riding a mountain bike for a couple of years or less and you’re most comfortable on smooth single-track and wider, forgiving doubletrack. You like rides with scenic views; you like both ascending and descending on well-maintained, safe trails. You’re looking for an active but relaxing mountain bike vacation; you’re not into jumps, drops, super steep trails, rock gardens, roots or taking big risks on your bike.

Intermediate:
You’ve got two plus years of experience mountain biking on single-track trails under your belt; you’ve gotten pretty confident behind the handlebars and are beginning to expand your mountain bike abilities. You like riding most types of terrain, and you’re comfortable both climbing and descending on single-track trails with smaller technical features such as rocky sections, small drops, and small steep sections. You aren’t trying to walk on most of the trail and are looking to take small risks with things like speed, jumps, rock gardens, and stair sets to improve your skills as a mountain biker.

Intermediate Tech:
You’ve got three plus years of riding on singletrack trails of all sorts with features such as rock gardens, steep sections, rolls and drops, roots, and small jumps. You are confident on the bike in most situations. You’re constantly looking to improve your riding skills and enjoy riding for extended periods of time climbing and descending in terrain of all sorts. 

Advanced:
Ten plus years of experience riding single-track, freerides and biking of all sorts. You live for steeps,  jumps, rock gardens, techy trails, long descents, big ascents and discovering new terrain. Mountain biking is one of your passions and you are ready and confident to do what you love in a new and challenging place.
You can handle anything we throw at you — jumps, rock gardens, steps, technical descents, tough ascents, etc. Biking is a central part of your life. For you, the bigger the challenge, the more excited you get.

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