Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
4 Days / 3 Nights
Our Lares Trek follows one of the more traditional routes to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. This classic trail brings you in touch with the native communities that inhabit the glorious valleys in the region. The warm and welcoming villagers are always eager to share their ancestral way of life with visitors. Appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, take a sneak peek into the lives of Andean farmers and spot native llamas and alpacas along the way.
With steep climbs at high altitude, this is one of the more challenging treks to Machu Picchu. As you make your way past the scenic lagoons, picturesque valleys and breathtaking vistas, you'll agree that the physical effort is well worth the fond memories you'll retain from the experience. This trek is a remarkable opportunity to observe and interact with highland people living simply and in harmony with nature, keeping alive traditions from the days of the Incas.
$770 - $920 USD per person
Peak Elevation :
4,500 m / 14,765 ft
2,040 m / 6,690 ft
Please note that all distances and elevations are approximate. Trek times are estimated; various factors -- such as weather conditions, individual fitness levels, and how each trekker manages at altitude -- may affect the time it takes to reach each point.
The evening before your trek, you will meet with your tour guide at your place of lodging (hotel, hostel, etc.). Your guide will give you an overview of your trek to help you prepare and pace yourself for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. S/he will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have regarding the trek, and can offer suggestions on where you may purchase last-minute supplies. You will receive a duffel bag to hold up to 7 kg / 15 lbs of your personal belongings; this will be carried by the horse accompanying you on your journey. Your pick-up time will be confirmed.
Cusco | Calca | Lares Hot Springs | Waka Wasi
You will be picked-up at your hotel around 5:30 am. You will travel by private van to Calca in the Sacred Valley, about 1 hour. (Here, you may wish to purchase coca leaves and bread as a token of appreciation for the residents you will meet should you wish to have your photo taken with them.) You'll be introduced to the rest of the team, and then continue on for about 2 hours to the hot springs of Lares, having breakfast along the way. You'll have the option of bathing in the medicinal waters before setting off on your trek. You'll begin with a 1.5 hour trek to your lunch site where the Banderitas team will be waiting with your meal prepared. You'll head off for another 2.5 hours or so toward your camp site. You're likely to see locals farming and spinning cloth fibers. Pass various native animals and observe the typical stone homes with thatched roofs. Once you arrive at Waka Wasi, you may get settled in your tent and then visit with some of the residents. Afternoon tea will be served around 6 pm. Dinner will follow at 7:00 pm. Sleep well, tomorrow will be challenging!
Waka Wasi | Aurora Pass | Mantanay
5:30 wake up. Breakfast will be served at 6. Fuel up for an uphill climb! You'll begin trekking at 7. The first 2.5 hours will be a gradual uphill, followed by 1.5 hours of steep uphill trekking. Once you reach the highest point of the trek -- Aurora Pass -- take in the stunning view. While you catch your breath, your guide will lead you in a sacred coca ceremony to pay respects to Pachamama and the Apus. You'll descend steeply on a zig-zag path for 1/2 hour, and then enjoy a hearty lunch beside the beautiful Aurora Lagoon. After lunch, you'll continue to gently descend for about 1.5 hours, passing another lagoon, until you reach the Mantanay camp site. You'll have a few hours to wander and appreciate the native flora, or simply relax and rest your legs. We'll let you know when tea's ready at 5 pm. Dinner will be served around 7 pm. Dulces sueños.
Mantanay | Yahanuara | Ollantaytambo | Aguas Calientes
Today you'll have a 6 am wake up, with breakfast at 6:30. At 7:30 you'll begin your four-hour rocky and gradual downhill trek toward the town of Yahahuara. You'll have your final Banderitas-prepared meal after which your porters will wish you a farewell. You'll pack up your gear and head to Ollantaytambo by private transport. Time permitting, you'll have the opportunity to explore this charming town and the impressive archaeological site before you catch your train to Aguas Calientes. The trip is about 1.5 hours. Once there, you'll check into your hotel, freshen up, and relax or take a stroll around the town. You'll meet your guide at 7 pm for dinner at one of Aguas Calientes' top restaurants. Sleep tight! You'll have an early start tomorrow.
Aguas Calientes | Machu Picchu Citadel | Ollantaytambo | Cusco
You should be up by 4:45 to have breakfast at the hotel and meet up with your guide to catch the early bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30. You'll have a 2-3 hour guided tour of the archaeological complex. Afterwards, you are free to explore the citadel, Sun Gate, or Incan Bridge on your own. Or, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.
You will then take the bus back down to Aquas Calientes, grab lunch on your own, retrieve your gear at the hotel, and wait for your return train to Ollantaytambo. Private transport will await you there to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Please leave your empty Banderitas duffel bag at the front desk of your hotel. Thank you! We hope you'll take with you amazing memories of your Lares Trek.
prices per person in USD
Group of 2: $920*
Group of 3: $840
Group of 4: $810
Group of 5: $770
please inquire about pricing for larger groups
* a solo traveler would pay for two = $1,840
Our prices include: a complimentary airport pick-up; a high quality, inflatable sleeping pad, a pillow, the use of a private portable toilet + toilet tent; dinner at a 'top' Aguas Calientes restaurant; a night in a highly-rated ★★★ hotel; and a ride on PeruRail's Vistadome train
What is Included
- Experienced, Professional Tour Guide
- Responsive, U.S.-Style Customer Service
- Experienced Cook
- Reliable Horseman and his horses
- Safe, Responsible Drivers
TICKETS / ENTRY FEES
- Machu Picchu Tickets
- Entry fee to Lares Hot Springs
- Complimentary pick-up from Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport to your hotel in Cusco
From hotel pick-up on Day 1 to hotel drop-off on Day 4:
- Via private vehicle, pick-up from your hotel to Lares
- Private transport from Yanawara to Ollantaytambo
- A ride on PeruRail Vistadome train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- This is a comfortable, upscale service with panoramic views (side and ceiling windows)
- Consettur bus tickets:
- Round-Trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo back to your hotel in Cusco
MEALS and BEVERAGES
From Breakfast on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 3:
- 8 Fresh, wholesome meals prepared by Banderitas' Cook: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners
- We respect dietary restrictions and preferences, and will accommodate special requests
(i.e., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.)
- Dinner on Day 3 will be at one of Aguas Calientes' top-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor
(e.g., Indio Feliz or a comparable restaurant)
- Breakfast on Day 4 will be provided by the hotel
- Snacks -- unpackaged, unprocessed, and healthful (e.g., fruit and cereal bars)
- Variety of teas including whole leaf coca
- In the morning, freshly ground, organic coffee from Quillabamba
- Drinking water (boiled and cooled, from lunch on Day 1)
EQUIPMENT / ACCOMMODATIONS
- First Aid Kit
- Oxygen Tank
Days 1, 2
- Eureka Timberline Tent
- Inflatable Thermarest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad
- plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort
- Private portable toilet / toilet tent for your group
- Hot water bottle
- Private room (dual occupancy) at a top-rated ★★★ star hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B, La Cabaña, El Quetzal or one on par with these hotels)
- At the Pre-Departure Briefing on the evening before your trek, you will be provided with a Banderitas Duffel Bag which you may fill with up to 7 kilos / 15 pounds of your belongings. This will be carried by a porter. While we recommend that you carry all you will need for the day in your daypack, you will have access to your duffel bag at all lunch stops and campsites. The duffel may be left at the front desk of your hotel following your trek.
These extras and upgrades come as standard services when you book with
Banderitas Adventures in Cusco
WHAT IS NOT Included
HUAYNA PICCHU / MACCHU PICCHU MOUNTAINS
- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 4. It may be purchased through us for $22 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.
EQUIPMENT for RENT
- Down Sleeping Bag $15 USD
- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $15 USD
(Not applicable to solo travelers paying double)
- For your own tent $35 USD
- For your own hotel room based on availability $85 to 95 USD
- Lunch on Day 4
(you will have many restaurants and cafes to choose from in Aguas Calientes)
Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains
During your visit to Machu Picchu Citadel, you'll have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. We prefer that you decide upon booking your trek as entrance tickets are limited to 400 per day per mountain. Tickets for each mountain cost $22 USD. Both are moderately challenging hikes with stunning views from the top. Climbing and descending Huayna Picchu, on average, takes 2 to 2.5 hours; Machu Picchu can take about 3 to 3.5 hours. Tickets to Huayna Picchu tend to sell out quickly, but don’t be discouraged if they’re sold out during your visit; Machu Picchu mountain may not be as popular to climb, but it is less crowded, and the views are just as beautiful, if not more.