Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days – 3 Nights

Duration

2 hours

Max People

40

Min Age

3+

Pickup

Bus

Difficulty

Culture

Adventure

Immersion

Experience the living culture of the Huayruros in the Lares Valley, following the footsteps of the Incas to the enigmatic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Go through the high Andean peaks and lush green valleys, learn the ancestral agricultural techniques of the local communities, their traditions and textile handicrafts. Stay 2 nights near traditional Andean villages, including Huacawasi and Yanahuara. On the 4th day, visit Machu Picchu with a professional guide who will reveal all the secrets of the Inca culture and this mythical place ranked among the 7 new wonders of the world.

Tour highlights!

  • Embark on the Lares trek in small groups, prioritizing biosecurity protocols shared between clients and staff.
  • Experience an unforgettable journey through landscapes reminiscent of the finest film sets.
  • Engage with local communities to learn about their ancestral weaving and agricultural techniques.
  • Discover Mantanay Park, home to lush cloud forests showcasing the flora and fauna of the Urubamba Valley.
  • Indulge in the diverse flavors of traditional Peruvian cuisine, crafted from natural products sourced from local communities.
  • Explore the archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and marvel at Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

At 5:30 am, our private transport will take you to the Lares Valley, community of Cuncani (3,750 m). Visit the Calca market, an opportunity to identify the biodiversity of native foods, Andean grains, and Amazonian fruits. Cuncani is the meeting place with the vibrant culture of the Huayruros, awakening our adventurous spirit to discover the high Andean mountains from the Cuncani Pass at 4,200 m. Then, a trail will lead you to the community of Huacawasi (3,800 m). Experience and discover the ancestral Andean culture through textile exhibitions, daily life, and local gastronomy. Night accommodation in rustic lodging with a local family or camping tents. 

 Discover Andean textile art in Huacawasi

In the heights of the Andes, textile tradition is more than a skill; it’s a legacy passed down through generations. In the community of Huacawasi, these ancient techniques and patterns are preserved with devotion, reflecting everyday life and Andean cosmology in every thread and color.

Experience authenticity and cultural richness as you learn the secrets behind each fabric. From shearing llama and alpaca wool to crafting typical textiles full of vibrant colors and meanings, each step reveals a universe of ancestral wisdom and artisanal skill. Live a friendly experience and support local entrepreneurship!

  • Transportation time: 3h.
  • Walking time: 5h.
  • Distance: 7 Km
  • Difficulty level: moderate
  • Meals: L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Overnight: tent 
  • Climate: mild during the day and cold at night.
  • Elevation: Cusco (3,400m) – Cuncani (3,750m) – Cuncani pass (4,200m) – Huacawasi (3,800m).

Under tent

Hiking (6 hours)

100m

700ml

After breakfast, we will embark on a hike towards the highest point, Huacawasi C’asa Pass, at 4,500 m. This will be the most physically demanding day of the trek, with the reward of discovering beautiful landscapes of high mountains, snow-capped peaks, streams, a mosaic of farmland and breathtaking views. It’s important to be prepared for low temperatures; a windbreaker jacket is recommended. After crossing the pass will descend to the shore of two beautiful lakes (Laguna Aruray Cocha at 4,250m and Laguna Yurak Cocha at 3,560m) which nearby will stop for having lunch. Then, we’ll continue downhill to the natural reserve of Mantanay park (3,480 m), where we can admire the flora and fauna, including Queuñas (Polylepis) species and local birds. We will spend the night camping, with a bonfire and amenities, in the community of Pucará (3,000 m).

  • Walking time: 8h-9h.
  • Distance: 19 Km
  • Difficulty level: challenging  
  • Meals: D = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Overnight: tent
  • Climate: mild during the day and moderate cold at night
  • Elevation: Huacawasi (3,800m) – Huacawasi C’asa pass (4,500m) – Pucara (3,000m).

Under tent

Hiking (6 hours)

100m

700ml

At 7:30am, our private transport will take you to the community of Soqma (3,220 m), the starting point of our hike. Along a winding trail, you will discover the impressive Perolniyoc Waterfall (3,460 m). Perolniyoc is located in the middle of the vegetation, this crystalline waterfall is a true gift of nature and you’ll most probably not meet any tourists on the way. Then, a challenging trail will take you to the Inca archaeological complex of Raqaypata 3,645 m, whose name on Quechua means “ruins at the top”. After exploring, we will follow the Inca trail back to Soqma. Next, we continue by car to Ollantaytambo town (2,800 m). Ollantaytambo is a typical village of extraordinary urban planning: its cobbled streets and some colonial houses are built on beautiful Inca walls that constitute a true historical legacy. Later in the afternoon, we will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2,050 m) to spend the night in the hotel.

The itinerary may vary depending on your interests and physical condition to learn more about Peruvian culture.

Embark on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we are dedicated to promoting local entrepreneurship and enriching tourist experiences. Join us as we explore the natural beauty of the Colibrís sanctuary – Ensifera, nestled in the heart of Pucara community, Yanahuara. Prepare to be mesmerized by the vibrant hues and graceful movements of hummingbirds as they thrive in their picturesque natural habitat. Also, available for visiting the Neotropical Morphos Butterfly to observe the life cycle of butterflies and their significance for the environment. Then, our private transport will take you to the community of Pachar. Here, you will start exploring part of the unconventional Sacred Valley, allowing you to discover the remains of Inca culture and the town of Ollantaytambo (2,800 m). Later afternoon, we will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2,050 m) to spend the night in the hotel.

  • Transportation time: 2h 30.
  • Walking time: 3h.
  • Distance: 6 Km
  • Difficulty level: moderate 
  • Meals: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Overnight: hotel 
  • Climate: warm during the day and moderate cold at night
  • Elevation: Pucara (3,000m) – Raqaypata (3,645m) – Ollantaytambo (2,800m) – Aguas Calientes (2,050m).

Under tent

Hiking (6 hours)

100m

700ml

After breakfast, explore the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu (2,400 m). Accompanied by our expert guide, the sunrise will provide a unique view to unveil the fascinating Inca culture and rituals in the territory of Tahuantinsuyo. Discover the temples and sacred sites of this archaeological wonder. After the experience, you’ll have some time to enjoy the magic of the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Then, we’ll return to Aguas Calientes to board the train to Ollantaytambo, where our transport will be waiting to drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.

  • Transportation time: 3h 30.
  • Visiting time: 3h.
  • Distance: 3 Km
  • Difficulty level: easy 
  • Meals: B = breakfast
  • Overnight: on your own
  • Climate: warm during the day and moderate cold at night.
  • Elevation: Aguas Calientes (2,050m) – Machu Picchu (2,400m) – Cusco (3,400m).

Under tent

Hiking (6 hours)

100m

700ml

  1. Train services included
  • If you are looking for an adventure on your way to Machu Picchu at an unbeatable price, the Peru Rail Expedition train has just what you need, with all the on-board services you could wish for.
  • (*) The carriages of the Peru Rail Expedition train are infused with the designs of the Inca culture, making them the perfect way to begin your journey to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Peru Rail Expedition gives you the opportunity to enjoy the incredible scenery and take amazing panoramic photographs of a journey like no other. 
  1. Recommendations
  • The trip previously described may vary due to weather conditions, landslides, participants walking pace or other factors. Our professional guide will make the right and best decisions along the way for the benefit and safety of the group.
  • To visit the Inca sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, we recommend purchasing the tourist ticket, either the BTG or the BTP, to fully immerse yourself in the Peruvian culture and enhance your experience.
  • General Tourist Ticket (BTG): with this ticket, you can visit archaeological sites within and around the city of Cusco: City tour, Sacred Valley, and Maras Moray for a maximum of 10 days. Additionally, during your free time, you can visit some museums and the Qosqo Nativo art center (Presentation of typical dances from the Cusco region).
  • Partial Tourist Ticket (BTP): with this ticket, you can visit only one tourist circuit within or around the city of Cusco for a maximum of 2 days (Sacred Valley).
  • The Andean weather is quite unpredictable. Thus, we suggest bringing warm clothes, a hat/cap, sunglasses, a scarf, gloves, jacket, high protection sun cream and Anti-mosquito spray – minimum recommended 20% DEET (non-toxic – we suggest nature-friendly repellents). No malaria risk has been reported.
  • During this trek we’ll reach 4,500 masl. This combined with the weather conditions can make the daily hiking even harder. As to enjoy the trek better, we recommend you to be healthy and in good physical condition and to acclimatize in Cusco for at least 3 days before the trek.
  • Camping sites: The camping sites on the route may vary from those described in our itinerary, due to the limited number of campsites that are known to the general public. Our guide and representative will recommend to the group the best option given the circumstances.
  1. Optional services to be hired
  • To make the most of Machu Picchu, we suggest having the buffet lunch at the Tinkuy Sanctuary Lodge restaurant, located right next to the archaeological site. We also recommend the buffet lunch option at El Mapi hotel Machu Picchu by Inkaterra in Aguas Calientes.
  • Extra Porter / Horseman: In accordance with the law (31614) of the Ministry of Labour, the collaboration of an extra porter will be granted at the request of the client. However, the customer’s luggage must not exceed 12 kilograms. The service of an extra porter / horseman has a cost of 140 USD, which includes transportation, entrance to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.

Note: The group of Porters/Horsemen and horses are only present in the trekking part.

  • Optional train services: It is possible to travel in a superior luxury category on the Vistadome or Hiram Bingham trains; contact us for more information.
  • On Demand – Vistadome Train: The “Vistadome” train offers you breathtaking views during your journey to Cusco, offers fashion shows, dinners, a refined service and premium travel conditions. In addition, the carriage is built with large windows that offer unparalleled panoramic views and the possibility to take beautiful photographs. The Vistadome also has air-conditioning and heating, and ergonomic leather seats that are very comfortable after so many hours of walking. The Vistadome offers you a first-class service, which will allow you to immerse yourself in the Andean culture, through the landscapes, the music, the dance and even the food carefully prepared with local ingredients.
  • On Demand – Hiram Bingham Train: The Hiram Bingham Train category is optional and it is a luxury service of the Orient Express, operated by the company “Peru Rail”. You will experience an exceptional journey. The Hiram Bingham carriages are distinguished by their blue and gold colour, their warm and cosy interior and their elegant upholstery. The service includes 4 carriages, 2 restaurant carriages, as well as a panoramic view carriage with bar. Brunch and dinner on board are also included.
  • For the optional services, contact our staff to check availability.

What we recommend that you bring 

  • An ergonomic day backpack for hiking with waterproof cover (30 or 40 liters).
  • A waterproof backpack otherwise requests a duffel bag at your agency for carrying your personal belongings on the horse.
  • Sleeping bag (-10º degrees).
  • Clothing for cold and hot weather.
  • Waterproof jacket, rain pants and light pants, rain poncho, hat or cap.
  • Hiking shoes.
  • Flip flops or sandals (for showers and hot springs in Aguas Calientes)
  • Wool or cotton socks.
  • T-shirts with short and long sleeves.
  • Towel easy dry and swimsuit (in case you want to relax in the hot mineral spring).
  • Sun block.
  • Anti-mosquito spray – minimum recommended 20% DEET (non-toxic – we suggest nature-friendly repellents). No malaria risk has been reported.
  • Anti-itch cream.
  • Disinfectant hand gel.
  • Toilet paper. 
  • Plastic water or metal container and water-sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink. 
  • Toiletries. 
  • Camera (wrapped in a plastic pouch).
  • Flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Snacks, like chocolate bars and dried fruits.
  • Original passport.
  • Original ISIC Student Card (in case you have applied for a student discount).
  • Extra money in soles.

Optional: walking sticks or poles with rubber covers required in order not to damage the Inca Trail.

  1.  During high season (May to September), it is difficult to ensure the exact date of entry, due to the restrictions set by the Ministry of Culture to limit the number of entries to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu; therefore, the date of entry to the Inca Trail could vary for one or two days; then we will adapt the program so you can make the most of it.
  2. Entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain: To hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, it is required to book well in advance, because the entrance tickets are limited to a certain number of people daily. Therefore, we’ll take care of the reservation and confirm your entrance with an additional charge of 75 USD for adults and 55 USD for students.
  • Note: If you wish to visit any of the extra mountains, please inform us in due time before purchasing the entrance tickets to the Inca Trail / Machu Picchu citadel.
  1. Student card: To qualify for the 20 USD student discount, you must have a valid ISIC student card when you book, ¡not just when you arrive in Cusco! It must be valid for the current year. When booking, we need a picture of the card sent to the contact email. The Ministry of Culture is strict when verifying student cards. If you do not have a valid ISIC student card, you will be charged the regular price.
  2. A solidarity trip: Feel free to bring pens, notebooks, picture books or other school supplies to give to the school children in Huacawasi. The villagers will be very grateful. You can also buy bread on the way to share with the locals you meet.
  3. Tips: for porters, cooks and guides, tips are always welcome. Porters are also very grateful for a small donation, such as school clothes or supplies for their children.

  4. Cancellation policy: For any cancellation; the costs already incurred by the travel agency will be at your expense. For more details on the cost of cancellations by certain participants, please refer to articles 6, 6.4 and our cancellation policies in the sales terms and conditions.

    For more information, you may wish to check or consult our FAQ, Safe and Healthy Travel, and Flexible Booking with Explorandino.

  • In December 2021, Explorandino obtained the TourCert certification for its “Sustainable Management System for Tour Operators” guided by the criteria and guidelines of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).   
  • Our approach highlights the richness of culture and natural beauty. Each tourist experience is a chance to preserve and showcase cultural heritage while promoting practices that regenerate the natural environment. 
  • We collaborate closely with diverse stakeholders to develop a model that benefits all. From respecting local communities to conserving biodiversity, each action represents a stride toward more responsible tourism.

Why Book Early?

Spots for the best Machu Picchu experiences fill up fast! Securing your visit to the essential circuits of the citadel, perfect for capturing stunning photos and videos.

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1983) and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (2007). To protect its rich history and cultural significance, the Peruvian government enforces strict visitor limits. Plan your visit early to ensure you experience this breathtaking marvel while preserving its legacy for future generations. Don’t miss out—book now to guarantee your adventure.

Updated Machu Picchu Circuits for Better Visitor Management

The Ministry of Culture of Peru has revised the circuits in the Inca city of Machu Picchu to enhance visitor capacity management. Effective from June 1st to October 15th, and on December 30th and 31st, 2024, three new circuits comprising 10 different routes will be in place to explore Machu Picchu. These new routes aim to streamline visits and offer a better experience while preserving the integrity of this ancient site.

Visitor Capacity and Booking Information

Machu Picchu Citadel:

  • Daily Capacity: Ministerial Resolution N° 000528-2023-MC allows up to 4,500 visitors per day, with a potential increase to 5,600 during high season(May to September). To secure your spot, especially during peak season, book at least 3 months in advance.
  • Low Season (October to April): Although there may be more availability, it’s always wise to book ahead to ensure your preferred date and time.

Tourist Circuits:

Machu Picchu offers several circuits to manage the visitor flow and enhance your experience:

  • Circuit 1 (Panoramic)

This circuit offers the iconic postcard photo from the Guardian’s House viewpoint, with panoramic views of the main Inca structures. It is divided into 4 optional routes:

  • Route 1-A: Machu Picchu Mountain – Visit the Lower and Upper Platforms for views of the Vilcanota River, Waynapicchu Mountain, and the urban zone, then continue towards Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Route 1-B: Upper Terrace – Explore the Lower and Upper Platforms with views of the Vilcanota River, Waynapicchu Mountain, and the urban area.
  • Route 1-C: Intipunku Gate (available only in high season) – Start at the Lower and Upper Platforms for scenic views, then proceed to the Intipunku Gate.
  • Route 1-D: Inca Bridge (available only in high season) – Begin with the Lower and Upper Platforms, followed by a path to the Inca Bridge, offering picturesque views of the Cusco rainforest.
  • Circuit 2 (Classic Machu Picchu)

Explore the classic route through the entire Machu Picchu citadel, perfect for capturing the iconic photo of the city. This circuit is divided into 2 sub-routes:

  • Route 2-A: Designed Route – Includes the Temple of the Sun viewpoint, Plaza of the Temples, Sacred Rock, and the water mirrors complex.
  • Route 2-B: Lower Terrace Route – Covers the Lower Platform, Granite Chaos, Plaza of the Temples, Sacred Rock, and the water mirrors complex.
  • Circuit 3 (Royal Machu Picchu)

Discover the lower sections of the archaeological site with this circuit, offering four optional routes to explore prominent features like the summit of Huayna Picchu, the Great Cavern, or Huchuy Picchu: 

  • Route 3-A: Huayna Picchu Route – Begin with the Agricultural Sector, Temple of the Sun, Inca’s House, ceremonial fountains, and the Three Doorways sector. Continue to Huayna Picchu Mountain (2.4 km round trip). On the return, visit the Temple of the Condor and the water mirrors complex.
  • Route 3-B: Designed Royalty Route – Explore the Agricultural Sector, Temple of the Sun, Inca’s House, ceremonial fountains, Three Doorways sector, the water mirrors complex, and the Temple of the Condor.
  • Route 3-C: Great Cavern Route (High Season Only) – Visit the Agricultural Sector, Temple of the Sun, Inca’s House, ceremonial fountains, and the Three Doorways sector. Proceed to the Great Cavern (3 km round trip). On the return, explore the Temple of the Condor and the water mirrors complex.
  • Route 3-D: Huchuy Picchu Route (High Season Only) – Start with the Agricultural Sector, Temple of the Sun, Inca’s House, ceremonial fountains, and the Three Doorways sector. Continue to Huchuy Picchu Mountain (2.4 km round trip), and on the way back, visit the water mirrors complex and the Temple of the Condor.

For Better Orientation, Explore Our Circuit Maps: To enhance your visit, we provide detailed maps of the various circuits at Machu Picchu. These maps will help you navigate the site and make the most of your experience. Discover the various Machu Picchu circuits and pick the adventure that suits you best. Explore your options here.

Alternative Treks:

If Inca Trail permits are unavailable, consider these stunning alternatives:

  • Lares Valley Trek: A culturally rich trek through Andean villages, providing an immersive experience of local traditions and stunning natural beauty. This route also doesn’t require permits and offers a unique, off-the-beaten-path adventure.
  • Salkantay Trek: A challenging and scenic route offering breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and highland landscapes. No permits are required, but early booking ensures the best spots and guides.
  • Choquequirao Trek, Ausangate Trek, and More: Explore the Peruvian Andes like never before with our Choquequirao and Ausangate Treks. These innovative routes uncover the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty of the region. Journey beyond Machu Picchu and immerse yourself in the true heart of Peru. Embark on an extraordinary adventure today!

Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • Additional Hiking Options: For those seeking an extra adventure, climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain offers stunning panoramic views.
  • Limited Tickets: To preserve these trails, daily entrance is limited. Advance booking is essential.
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: Limited to 200 people per day.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain: Limited to 400 people per day.
  • Cost: We can handle your reservation with an additional charge of $30 USD per person.

Booking Tips:

  • Machu Picchu Entrance: The most sought-after entry options for Machu Picchu (Circuits 1 & 2) are in high demand and tend to sell out quickly. To secure your visit, especially during peak season (May to September), we recommend booking at least 3 months in advance.
  • Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain entrance: Admission options to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain are in high demand and tend to sell out quickly. To ensure your visit, especially during the high season (May to September), we recommend booking at least 3 months in advance.
  • High Season (May to September): Secure your place well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Low Season (October to April): While there may be more availability, booking early ensures your preferred dates and accommodations.

Why Choose Explorandino?

At Explorandino, we simplify your booking process and design unforgettable adventures that cater to your adventurous spirit. Whether you choose treks like the Lares Valley, Salkantay, or other unique routes with or without Machu Picchu citadel, our expert guides and seamless logistics guarantee a memorable, worry-free experience.

Ready to Explore? Click here to book your adventure and secure your place among the wonders of Machu Picchu!

Don’t miss out! Act now to experience the breathtaking beauty of Peruvian Culture and rich history of Machu Picchu. Book with Explorandino and travel with confidence.

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star ratingUna experiencia inolvidable  - Ante todo agradecer a nuestro guía UBER quien tuvo la gentileza de pasar los 10 días con la familia.

avatar thumb iJonathan
08/30/2022

star ratingCaminata Inca  - Un viaje espectacular, paisajes que quedaran gravados en la retina porque es imposible poder plasmar en una foto tanta inmensidad y belleza
Y por sibre todas las cosas nos acompaño... read more

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04/12/2024

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