Lares Trek Itinerary & Route Map
Lares Trek Quick Facts
- Accommodation: 2 nights camping (two person tents, shared) with all meals provided, 1 night hotel.
- Meals: All meals are provided during the trek.
- Equipment and Facilities: All equipment is supplied for camping (except sleeping bags) and cooking. Facilities while camping are basic (shower on the last night and some toilets).
- Transport: Transfers (minibus, bus and train) are included.
- Group: The group size will vary depending on demand, however the trek group is subject to a maximum of 16 passengers (per guide).
- Staff: English speaking guide, porters and cook.
- Extras: Please budget for extra drinks (i.e. soft drinks and alcohol), tips and lunch in Aguas Calientes on day 4.
You will be required to pay a single supplement if you are the only person from a group tour hiking the Lares Trek. This is payable at the time of booking. However, if additional group members join your group after you have booked, the supplement will be refunded to you in Cuzco.
Lares Trek Route Map
Click the map below to open a larger, printable PDF version.
Lares Trek Itinerary
Day 1, Cuzco – Lares – Wacawasi – Sondor.
We depart Cuzco early in the morning and travel to the township of Calca (2900 metres above sea level) in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You might get a chance to visit an ancient bakery where there’s a chance to snack on delicious freshly baked bread and watch traditional cooking methods. We can also visit the principal local markets selling a multitude of Andean crops including colourful corns, seeds and spices. The markets are a fantastic place for authentic photographs or simply to spend a while soaking up the atmosphere of life – and everyday trading – totally untouched by tourism. Continuing on from Calca we drive to the highest point of the day passing Inca burial tombs, local farms and herds of wild llama en route. Stopping for a short guided walk we visit the vast pre Inca ruins of Ascasmarca (4000m) with stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains. From here we continue uphill to the highest point of the day at 4340m to the Lares Valley to the small community of Lares, stopping for a short time to buy last minute supplies, before continuing on to Chancachaca, for lunch and the starting point of our trek. Throughout our trek, we are supported by an experienced team of porters to tend to our constant daily needs. This makes our trek more authentic and within the tradition of the area.
After two hours of hiking we will arrive at Wacawasi, located at 3800 metres and one of the largest villages of direct descendants of the Incas, will be our first stop. We will see the unspoiled traditional daily activities of the local way of life. Continuing on, we follow the ancient trail to arrive at Sondor; at 4220 metres, this is our first campsite and home for tonight.
Day 2, Sondor – Marcacocha - Pallata
The most captivating, this morning we cross our first high pass of Wacawasiqasi, at 4600m, which is located on the shoulder of the holy Pumahuanca mountains. Following on, we cross the second high pass of Wayruruyoc qasa at 4600m. We see spectacular views of Aruraycocha Lake, situated at 4380m. We also see the surrounding valleys and the Andean farmers dressed in their traditional, brightly coloured ponchos and head-wear, tending their crops and alpaca/llama herds. This is a remote and rarely visited region and our time here makes for an unforgettable experience, and supreme photographic opportunities. We will stop for a well-deserved lunch, at Siki estanque at 4120m, and this afternoon we continue on to Pajchayoq, Ruka and Marcacocha and you will be welcomed by many children along the way who are back home from school. Late in the afternoon we will see Inca and pre Inca remains around Hatunayaorqo and Marcacocha arriving at Pallata at 3220m where we will spend the night.
Day 3, Marcacocha – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
We have an early morning start today as we set off for Ollantaytambo. We stop to visit the dramatic Inca site of Pumamarca, which dominates the entire valley. From Pumamarca an original Inca trail carries us down the lush valley among Inca terracing of Tambowaylla, Chuchuna and Media Luna. We arrive in Ollantaytambo in time for lunch and after a quick rest we board the train, and following the Urubamba river we arrive at the small but well-known township of Aguas Calientes - the starting point for tomorrow’s visit to the astounding lost Inca City of Machu Picchu and our home for tonight. Aguas Calientes is named after its nearby hot springs. There is time here to relax in the soothing pools and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from for dinner (not included).
Day 4, Machu Picchu – Cuzco
Rising early we take the first bus up to Machu Picchu (5.30am) to beat the thronging crowds which arrive mid morning. If members of your tour group have spent the past three days hiking the Inca Trail Trek, your early arrival will allow time to catch up and share stories of your respective treks before a full guided tour of the archaeological site. You will then have free time to explore this mystical Inca city, perhaps climb the vertiginous Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain) which overlooks the site or visit the Inca Bridge. Returning to Aguas Calientes by bus we then catch the late afternoon train and bus back to Cuzco.
Learn more about the Lares Trek • Learn more about Machu Picchu • Learn about the Inca Trail Trek
See our Peru tours page for the full list of packages that include the Lares Trek.