Ayni offers a unique Lares trek route, which affords wonderful panoramic views of snowcapped peaks, shockingly blue lakes, and the opportunity to experience rural Andean life up close. The final day is spent at magnificent Machu Picchu.
Our Lares trek offers a glimpse at an area where traditional Andean life continues to this day. This includes centuries-old weaving and farming practices and traditional dress, and the opportunity to participate in optional homestays with local families.
As with all Ayni Peru travel, this itinerary can be customized or combined with tours in Cusco and beyond. Please contact us for custom itineraries, quotes and questions.
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Departure Dates: Any day you would like!
Please see our group departure calendar for Lares group tour dates.
Lares Trek Pricing: From $789 USD per person, for groups of 4 or more trekkers. Please contact us for pricing for smaller group treks.
If you’re looking to trek in the Peruvian Andes but want to stray from the typical tourist routes, the 4 day/3 night Lares trek to Machu Picchu is the perfect option. On this remote trek, you will have the opportunity to gain a unique perspective on life in the Andes as you travel through traditional Andean communities. Along the way, you will stop in these small, rural communities and talk to the inhabitants to learn about their lives and livelihoods. You will learn about traditional weaving practices and potato cultivation, two of the main sources of income for the Andean people. This off the beaten path trek will open your eyes to not just the beauty of the Peruvian Andes, but also to the rich Andean culture in an interactive way.
Your trek will begin with pickup from your hotel in Cusco, and you will travel by car to the trek departure point in the village of Patacancha. From Patachanca, you will begin your ascent up a beautiful, lush valley to the remote village of Chuallacocha. As you climb higher and higher in the Andes, the air will get colder and you will begin to see fields of grazing llamas and alpacas with stunning snowcapped mountain peaks in the distances. In Chuallacocha, you will enjoy lunch, then spend the rest of the afternoon with a local family learning about Andean traditions.
On the second day, you will say goodbye to your new friends in Chuallacocha as you set out on perhaps the most beautiful leg of the hike. As you travel towards Ataotambo, you will pass through lush vegetation, as well as a series of babbling streams and glassy lakes. You will spend the night in Ataotambo, where you can gaze up at the clear and starry night sky as you fall asleep.
The third day of your trek begins with an approximately two hour descent along the river valley to the colonial town of Lares. Once you reach Lares, you will have the opportunity to relax in the beautiful Lares hot springs, where you will also enjoy lunch before departing for the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo, you will depart by train for Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. You will spend the night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and have free time to rest up for your adventure at Machu Picchu the following day.
On the final day of the trek, you will wake up with the sun to catch the bus, which will wind its way up the steep switchbacks to the entrance of Machu Picchu. As you ascend the stone steps, you will catch your first glimpse of “The City in the Sky” as the early morning fog lifts and the clouds part, revealing the majestic ruins below. Your private guide will lead you around the ruins as you visit the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple, the Intihuatana stone, and much more, learning about their significance all along the way. If you want an extra adventure, you can climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain for incredible views of the ruins, surrounding mountains, and the Urubamba River rushing below from high above the clouds. After a day of exploring and taking in all that Machu Picchu has to offer (including wandering alongside wild grazing llamas and observing other local wildlife), you will say goodbye to Machu Picchu and return by bus to Aguas Calientes. From Aguas Calientes, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, where your transport will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
After 4 days exploring the Andes and Machu Picchu, you will have gained a unique understanding of life and culture in the high Andes. Your journey will certainly be unforgettable!
After an early breakfast, we`ll depart across the Sacred Valley for the village of Patacancha, our trek departure point. In Patacancha we`ll meet our muleteers and mules, and enjoy breakfast with a local family before setting out on the trail. From there, we begin the ascent up a long, narrow valley toward the remote village of Chuallacocha. As we ascend, the air gets cooler, grazing llamas and alpacas appear, and snowcapped peaks come into view. We`ll arrive in Chuallacocha in time for a late lunch, then spend the rest of the afternoon learning about traditional weaving and potato cultivation. Tonight you have the option of camping or staying with a local family.
Trek Duration: 5 hours/8 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we say goodbye to the villagers in Chuallacocha and set out on an incredibly scenic and relatively easy hike toward the Ataotambo, our campsite tonight. As we descend, the vegetation becomes increasingly lush, and we pass small streams and lakes. We’ll break mid-day for lunch and a rest before continuing on to Ataotambo, our campsite for the night.
Trek Duration: 6 hours/11 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The morning begins with a leisurely downhill walk, leading to the colonial town of Lares. The trail follows the river valley downhill for about 2 hours to the town (3100m). Here we will spend the remainder of the morning relaxing and enjoying the town’s renowned hot springs. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a soak in open air thermal hot springs (bring a swimsuit) and enjoy lunch, before departure for the town of Ollantaytambo. You will have some time to explore and see this original Inca town before going to Aguas Calientes by train. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Trek Duration: 2-3 hours/5 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
We awake this morning to catch the bus to the gates of this Wonder of the World. You will ascend stone steps, through heavy tree cover to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu! The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. After your private tour, you will have time to explore the ruins on your own. In the afternoon, you will descend to Aguas Calientes for your return train to Ollantaytambo. We will be waiting in the station and will bring you to your hotel in Cusco for a good night’s rest.