Lares Trek Itinerary & Route Map

Lares Trek Fast 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.


Lares Trek Route Map

Click the map below to open a larger, printable PDF version.

lares trail trek route map

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.

Approximate distance & altitude: Uphill trek - 11km starting at 3400m (11,155 ft) and climbing to 4220m (13,780 ft)

Estimated hours of hiking: 5 hrs

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.

Approximate distance & altitude: 17km - Uphill trek to Wacawasiqasi at 4600m (15,092 ft), downhill from the second high pass at Wayruruyoc qasa to Pallata at 3220m (10,565 ft)

Estimated hours of hiking: 9 hrs - we will stop for lunch after 5 hrs

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).

Approximate distance & altitude: Downhill trek - 5km starting at 3200m (10,565 ft) and finishing at 2800m (9,186 ft)

Estimated hours of hiking: 4 hrs

Day 4, Machu Picchu - Cuzco

Rising early we take the bus up to Machu Picchu 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, make sure you visit the Inca Bridge. Returning to Aguas Calientes by bus we then catch the late afternoon train and bus back to Cuzco.

Interested in taking on the Lares Trek? Speak to one of our friendly Tailor Made consultants to add it on to your bespoke adventure.

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