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Lares Valley to Machu Picchu – Eco Trek

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4 Days

Tour Type

Customized Package

Group Size

16 people




Journey through the ancient landscapes of the Lares Valley on this guided Eco Trek hike from Cusco. Spend three full days hiking through mountain landscapes, visiting small farming villages, and experiencing the breathtaking Andean climate and wildlife. Cap it off with a visit to Machu Picchu, the lost citadel in the clouds.

Day 1: Cusco – Cancha Cancha

Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Queuñaqocha Lagoon

Day 3Queuñaqocha Lagoon – Lares – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)

Day 4: Machu Picchu – Cusco


Tailor-made suggestions for this itinerary:

* Stopover in the cultural Cusco and stay at some of the beautiful boutique hotels we have to offer.  Ask us about our 3 night Pre and Post Cusco Package which includes a comprehensive Cusco City Tour and more

* Choose from our range of lodges and cruises to the Galapagos Islands

* Extend your stay in Peru and explore some of its other highlights including Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca

* Add in a 3 or 4 day trip to an Amazon lodge or upgrade to an Amazon Luxury Cruise

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Day 1: Cuzco - Cancha Cancha
Day 1: Cuzco - Cancha Cancha

You will leave Cusco by private transport towards the Huaran community, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Huaran will be the starting point of the hike. On this day, you will travel about 5 hours up a path to reach the valley of Cancha Cancha where camp will be installed. Cancha Cancha is a farming community in the middle of spectacular mountain scenery. Once here you will get to relax a bit before you go meet the local people as well as their way of life.

Maximum Height: 3700 masl / 12139 ft.
Minimum Length: 2800 masl / 9186 ft.
Distance Travelled: 10 km / 6.21 miles
Approximate Hiking Time: 6 hours

Meals included: Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Queuñaqocha Lagoon
Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Queuñaqocha Lagoon

After breakfast, you will leave camp and start walking towards the first pass, the Pachacutec Pass (4400 masl / 14432 ft. / 3h). From here you will enjoy an amazing view of the lakes formed by glacial water and the surrounding valleys. Similarly, along the way, you will have a spectacular view of the snowy peaked mountains of the area, such as Colquecruz, Minas and Sirijuani. After having continued through the Pass you will have lunch, followed up by a short break before you continue descending until you reach Quiswarani. Here you will see the Polilepis forests, native Andean trees called Queñuas. Upon reaching the Quiswarani community, you will start ascending towards the Queuñacocha lagoon. Once there you will set up camp and, if you're lucky, will be able to enjoy a sky full of stars.

Maximum Height: 4600 masl / 15092 ft.
Minimum Length: 3700 masl / 12139 ft.
Distance Travelled: 13 km / 8.07 miles

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Queuñaqocha Lagoon - Lares - Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)
Day 3: Queuñaqocha Lagoon - Lares - Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)

On this day, you will continue the hike until you reach the second Pass, the Willkiccasa (4100 masl / 13448 ft. / 2h), which offers a breathtaking view of the Pitusiray and Colquecruz mountains. The road is surrounded by plateaus with lakes and agricuultural areas, which lead up to Cuncani. You will then descend to reach a valley with more vegetation, crops and Andean communities. Along the way you can observe the local flora such as wild begonias and orchids. After about 2 hours you'll reach Lares and will be able to visit its main attraction, the thermal baths. After a swim in the hot springs you'll have lunch and will be transported to Ollantaytambo to take the train service at night to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Upon arrival, you are transferred (by foot) to your hotel.

Maximum Height: 4500 masl / 14764 ft.
Minimum Length: 3190 masl / 10466 ft.
Distance Travelled: 12 km / 7.45 miles
Hiking Time: 8 hours

Hotel option:
Superior: El Mapi by Inkaterra

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cuzco

Waking up early, you will take the first bus up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. There is guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel.
After your tour, you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself.
In the afternoon, you return to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco. (Hotel in Cusco not included in this tour price).

Meals included: Breakfast


  • All Transfers
  • Expedition Train Tickets
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as indicated
  • Filtered and boiled water
  • Chef and supporting staff
  • Horsemen
  • All Camping gear: The North Face tent, Four Season Mountain 25 inflatable mattress, Therm-a-rest, Personal duffle bag
  • Dinning tent, cook tent, bathroom tent
  • First Aid Kit
  • Oxygen
  • Communication equipment: Short wave radios.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals in Machu Picchu
  • Accommodation in Cusco on the last night
  • Bottled water
  • Travel insurance
  • International & domestic airfare and airfare taxes
  • Meals & beverages not specifically indicated in the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Handpicked Hotels

The Lares Valley to Machu Picchu eco trek include a Superior Hotel as a part of the package. If you would like to upgrade, you can select any Luxury hotel option for an extra cost.

Simple, clean, and bursting with character, our Comfort hotels offer superb value without compromising style, location or amenities. Comfort level hotels are closest to North American 3 star standards.

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For an upgraded experience, our Superior hotels feature impressive common areas, spacious rooms. Some hotels of this type include amenities found in higher class hotels, including pools, spas, or terraces. Superior level hotels are closest to North American 4 star standards.

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Our Luxury hotels offer high standards of comfort, style, and service with extensive attention to detail. Almost all feature amenities such as pools, spas, and private terraces. Luxury hotels are closest to North American 5 star standards.

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Tour's Location


How prices are based?
Prices are "from" per person based on twin beds or double share bedroom in a Superior Hotel Category.
Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply.
Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability.
Rates for solo traveler, triple share or more travellers are available on request - please inquire.
Lares Trek and alternative to Classic Inca Trail?
There are a number of factors that make this trek a great alternative to the Classic Inca Trail.
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly for some, is that it is a lot quieter than the Inca Trail.
Secondly, the route is arguably easier than the Inca Trail in that one doesn’t need to deal with as many steps.
Altitude is still an issue and on some route variations you will need to deal with 3 high altitude passes that are over 4,200 meters (the highest, depending on your route is either 4,400 meters or 4,600 meters).
Finally, the Lares Trek has the benefit of providing a true Andean cultural experience. The Lares Valley is home to a number of traditional Andean communities that have changed little in the last 500 years.
It is very likely you will see many local weavers and farmers wearing colourful traditional clothing, and depending on your tour you might get a chance to watch or partake in some weaving action.
The area is famous for its homemade textiles, so if you want to bring an authentic piece of Peru back home with you then take a few spare Soles. You can pick up a bargain here whilst making a local weavers day!
Best Time For A Lares Trek?
The best time to do the Lares Trek is during the dry season (May-September). This is the busiest trekking time in the region, particularly on the Classic Inca Trail, where permits sell-out months in advance.
The Lares Trail is the third most popular trek to Machu Picchu, after the Classic Inca and Salkantay, so during the height of the peak season the trail can be busy. That being said, there are so many variations on the Lares Trail that in general the routes never feel over-crowded.
During the dry season shoulder months (April and October), the Lares Trails are particularly quiet, and weather is often very pleasant.
November is touch and go in terms of trekking and the likelihood of encountering rain is relatively high. We suggest avoiding December through March as rain makes the trail really unpleasant and visibility is often low due to heavy morning and late afternoon fog.
Temperatures throughout the year are moderate, in the high twenties (Celsius) during the afternoon, and cool to cold at night and in the early morning. Layered clothing is important (see packing list below).
Micro-climates characterise the Andes so rain throughout the year is possible. Always take rain gear.
How cold does it really get on the Lares Trek?
In the first and second day of the trek temperature is variable during the day temperature can be up to 16°C to 26°C and during the night time can be +3°C to -4°C . It is very important to be prepared for all kind of weather.
Doctor will accompany the Lares Trek?
No, but our trek leaders are certified in Wilderness first-aid” and be aware of high attitude problems, and we carry whole first-aid kit and necessary medicines with us. Make sure you are medically fit for a trek or take professional advice if you feel you are unable to judge yourself.
Where we sleep?
During the trek you will be sleeping on tents “NORTH FACE” designated for 4 seasons.
We provide you with 4-person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort.
In case of being a single traveler, we also can provide with a 2-person capacity tent.
After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary (to bring the best service to our travelers).
What should I bring?
Hiking boots – very comfortable, worn-in if possible, waterproof.
Luggage: daypack designed for hiking, adjustable hip and shoulder straps. Main luggage should be easy to carry
Wind and rainproof jacket
Fleece pullover (layering lighter garments is better than one heavy fleece).
Thermals – long johns and vest (it gets extremely cold at night)
Hat and gloves (fleece or other)
Sun hat – with visor or brim, sunglasses
Clothing should be comfortable, light and fast drying (jeans not recommended). Cotton hiking, trousers cotton long and short sleeve.
Shirts, hiking shorts, plenty of socks, bandana.
Pair of trainers, sandals or other comfortable shoes.
Water bottle canteen or Nalgene bottle
Headlamp / torch and batteries
Toiletries – including sun block and high factor sun cream, insect repellent, lip balm, biodegradable soap and shampoo.
Blister treatment
Knife (Swiss model)
Medicines (in case you have a special requirement)
Snacks (if you prefer one special)
Departure dates?
This private eco trek has everyday departures.
The Lares Valley to Machu Picchu is not open during the months of January, February and March.
Minimum participants?
This eco trek can operate with a minimum of 1 walker.
Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.
What's the group size?
Actual group size may vary but is based on 1 lead guide for every 8 trekkers.
If your Lares Valley trekking group is over 16, you will be broken into two separate groups each not exceeding 16 people.
Can children hike the Lares Valley Trail?
Yes, children can hike the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu! There is no official minimum age for trekking the Lares Valley Trail, but we recommend an age of 10-12 years, and more importantly that the children have certain attributes. This would include resilience; experience not only doing long distance multi day hiking, but camping out at night. Like with adults, the Inca Trail is not something that should be taken lightly, and our general advice for kids is – the older and more experienced you are, the easier it should be!
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