river flowing through the lares valley in peru
hiker trekking the lares trek to machu picchu
andean village in the lares valley
views of the lares valley under clear skies
hiker on his back walking on a trail in the Andes
two boys with backpacks taking a picture in the lares valley
two tourists posing with the villagers of wacahuasi
views of the somewhat snowy lares mountain
view of the terraces of machu picchu
a llama looking at the camera with machu picchu in the background
tourist visiting machu picchu following security measures covid 19
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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

The most cultural trekking route to Machu Picchu

(3 reviews)
4 days
Spanish and English
Starts: From your lodging in Cuzco at 5:00 a.m.
Ends: To the center of Cuzco at about 7:00 p.m.
Flexible cancellation policy


The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu will take you to the most remote, authentic and unknown places in the Andes. Walk with a mountain guide through incredible landscapes, discover unique wildlife, and walk among llamas, alpacas or Caracara hawks.

You will also learn about the way of life with the local community of Wacahuasi and visit unique places such as the volcanic hot springs, Patacancha, and Ollantaytambo, until finally reaching the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Discover all the details of this guided trek in Peru below 📖 :

Tour details


  • Bilingual English/Spanish guide (1 guide per 8 travelers)
  • Train Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo (round trip)
  • Transfer back to Ollantaytambo - Cuzco
  • 2 nights camping accommodation
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance Machu Picchu Llaqta Machu Picchu Route (Circuit 2)
  • Meals (3 breakfasts + 3 lunches + 3 dinners)
  • Oxygen bottle and first aid kit

Not included

  • Sleeping bag (available as an extra)
  • Trekking poles (available as an extra)
  • Breakfast day 1
  • Lunch day 4 in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs (15 soles)

Important information

Since 2021, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture enabled 5 types of official entrances to visit Machu Picchu and it was decided that the visit to the Inca city should be done only by strict unidirectional routes. For this purpose, 4 circuits were created in order to better organize the traffic of travelers inside Machu Picchu, and to preserve and protect the constructions of the archaeological site for the future.

This tour includes the entrance Llaqta of Machu Picchu (Circuit 2) in the first, second or third shift and a guided group visit of 2 hours. If you want to increase your visit time inside Machu Picchu and visit one of the additional areas (Huayna Picchu Mountain, Machu Picchu Mountain or Huchuy Picchu Mountain) it is essential to add the complete corresponding entrance fee to your reservation.

  • Entrance Ticket Circuit Route 3 + Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Entrance to Circuit Route 4 + Huayna Picchu Mountain
  • Entrance Ticket Circuit Route 4 + Huchuy Picchu Mountain

✅ From Howlanders we consider it essential to include the additional entrance fee so that travelers who want to visit one of the additional areas of the citadel can enjoy a complete experience in Machu Picchu.

❌ It is not possible to visit two of the additional zones on the same day due to lack of time.

⚡ The availability of tickets to Machu Picchu is very limited and it is recommended to book two to three months in advance. Especially if you are traveling in high season.

💡 To learn more about tickets and circuits available in Machu Picchu please contact us.

Cancellation policy

If you cancel more than 5 days before the start of the tour, you will receive a refund of the total amount of the reservation except 50 USD per person (cost of the entrance to Machu Picchu). The entrance tickets to Machu Picchu are nominative and non-transferable. After this time, or in case of no-show for the tour, you will not be entitled to a refund.

Extras: Entrance Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu / Entrance Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu / Entrance Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain are non-refundable.

Tour itinerary

DAY 1 Cusco - Calca - Lares - Wacahuasi

🚶‍♂️ Distance: 6 km (3.72 miles)

🕗 Duration: 3.5 hours.

📈 Maximum elevation: 3800m (12464 ft.)

📉 Minimum elevation: 3250m (10660 ft.)

⛺ Campsite: Wacahuasi

Pick up in Cusco 🚐.

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco at 5:00 am to begin the well-known Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. You will make the three-hour trek along the Sacred Valley landscape through the Andes until you reach the Lares hot springs.

Lares Hot Springs

You will enjoy the hot springs, which are divided into several pools of different temperatures and all composed of volcanic water. It is a good time to disconnect and relieve aches and pains.

It's time to eat! 🍴 The chef will prepare a delicious lunch with homemade food to get your strength back and continue the three-hour hike that awaits you.

people walking in the valley


During the hike you will appreciate the typical flora and fauna of the place, potato crops, llamas, alpacas and other wild animals until you reach the Wacahuasi camp at 3800 meters (12,464 feet).

The local family will welcome you and prepare the tents to sleep in. You will enjoy some hot drinks while watching the sunset, until dinner. It is time to sleep, rest and prepare for the next day.

llamas and alpacas next to the lagoon

DAY 2 Establo - Ipsaycocha Lagoon - Patacancha

🚶‍♂️ Walking distance: 14 km (8.69 miles)

🕗 Duration: 8 hours

📈 Maximum elevation: 4550m (14924 ft.)

📉 Minimum elevation: 3800m (12464 ft.)

⛺ Campsite: Patacancha

Stable - Patacancha

The day starts at 5:30 in the morning with an energetic breakfast to continue with the 4 hour hike to the top of the high pass of Ipsaycocha at 4550 m (14924 ft).

During the hike you will see how the local people live and it will also be a unique experience that will allow you to connect with nature.

You will arrive at the Ipsaycocha lake at 4280 m (14380 ft) and near it you will have lunch, and then start walking downhill until you reach Patacancha where you will spend the night.

woman from the Quishuarani community herding a flock in the lares valley

DAY 3 Patacancha - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

🚶‍♂️ Walking distance: 6 km (3.76 miles)

🕗 Duration: 3 hours

📈Maximum elevation: 2800 (9184 ft.)

📉 Minimum elevation: 1950 (6636 ft.)

🚉 Train section: 1 hour - 45 min.

🏠 Lodging: Aguas Calientes

Patacancha - Ollantaytambo

After breakfast you will start walking through the valley of Patacancha. You will be able to appreciate the Inca terraces, which were used for cultivation, until you reach Ollantaytambo.

Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Together with the guide you will visit the small town of Ollantaytambo where you will see many water channels and Inca walls, it is the only remaining intact Inca town. You will have time for lunch and continue to the station to take the train to Aguas Calientes where you will have the afternoon free and spend the night.


Take advantage of the fact that you are in Aguas Calientes to enjoy a break in the hot springs. This entrance fee is 20 soles.

people in the lares valley

DAY 4 Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Cuzco

Aguas Calientes 🚶‍♂️ Machu Picchu

The day has arrived! Finally the time has come to visit one of the seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu. You will start the day early to begin walking for about an hour and a half to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Once there, you will have a two-hour guided tour among the marvelous ruins declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In addition, you will have time to walk around the area on your own and you can also add an extra circuit such as Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain if you wish.

inca city of machu picchu larek trek

Ollantaytambo - Cusco

At the end of the visit you will return to Aguas Calientes to return by train to Ollantaytambo and then take the bus back to Cusco where the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu will end.

views of the city and fortress of Ollantaytambo

What to bring to Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

  • Original passport (the same one you used to book your trip)
  • Medium backpack of 30 or 40 liters
  • Water bottle or thermos or refillable water bottle
  • Comfortable hiking boots
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Shorts
  • Warm clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs
  • Insect repellent
  • Raincoat or waterproof poncho
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Resting shoes for the camp
  • Quick drying towel
  • Battery charger: No electricity along the hike
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Money in cash and Nuevos Soles (Peruvian national currency)
  • Sleeping bag (-15ºC)

Where does the tour Lares Trek to Machu Picchu start

The tour includes pick up from your accommodation in Cuzco. If your starting point to get to Cuzco is Lima, you can arrive by bus (24 hours of travel) or take a plane that has a journey time of one hour.

If you arrive from Arequipa, the bus ride takes ten hours. You can also choose to make the trip by plane, in this case the only airline that offers direct flights is LATAM Airlines.

If you arrive from Puno the best option is to do it by bus, a journey of six and a half hours. We also offer the possibility of making this journey in a tourist bus that makes stops at the most important places along the way. Departure is at 7:00 in the morning and arrival in Cuzco at 17:30.

Finally, LATAM Airlines operates a direct route Iquitos - Cuzco. This route is not available on a daily basis, so we recommend you check the dates on which it is available to plan your trip.

Questions & Answers

  • How difficult is the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

    This trek has a moderate difficulty, it is not technical but some passengers are affected by the altitude. That is why we recommend acclimatizing at least 2 days before in Cuzco to avoid altitude sickness.

    It is recommended to rent trekking poles as it will help your balance. The guide will have a pace according to the group so you can appreciate the scenery and the mountain.

  • Can I have altitude sickness?

    To reduce the risk of altitude sickness, it is recommended to take the time to acclimatize. It is best to spend a full day or 2 days in Cusco and drink plenty of water.

  • Will I have to carry my luggage during the tour?

    No, during the hike you will be accompanied by mules that will carry your luggage. We recommend carrying a backpack with your personal belongings such as water, camera, raincoat, food, etc.

  • What are the temperatures usually like?

    During the day it is usually temperate reaching 21ºC, but cold at night and can drop to 1ºC. The temperature has an average of 8ºC to 18ºC. From December to March is the rainy season and from April to November is the dry season.

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu tour reviews with Howlanders


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