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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

Low Altitude:

2,040 m / 6,690 ft


Overall Difficulty:



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!


Hours of Trekking

4 - 5

Elevations for the Day

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  

Calca - 2,928 m / 9,605 ft  lowest

Lares Hot Springs - 3,250 m / 10,660 ft

Waka Wasi - 3,900 m / 12,795 ft  highest

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




- You may choose to take a relaxing dip in the medicinal thermal baths of Lares. We'd recommend it as you'll be facing a steep uphill climb tomorrow!

- This will be an easy day to allow you to learn of the highlander's way of life and acclimatize to the altitude.

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Hours of Trekking


Elevations for the Day

Waka Wasi - 3,850 m / 12,630 ft  lowest

Aurora Pass - 4,500 m / 14,765 ft  highest

Mantanay - 3,900 m / 12,795 ft

Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner / Snack + Tea




Today, you'll reach the highest point of the trek, and then the rest of the path is downhill. 


- Sip your water. In this altitude, we recommend moving slowly and steadily versus moving quickly and stopping to take many breaks. Please watch where you step!


- The temperatures throughout the day will vary significantly, be sure to wear layers!

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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.


Hours of Trekking

Elevations for the Day

Mantanay - 3,900 m / 12,795 ft  highest

Yanahuara - 2,800 m / 9,185 ft 

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft 

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest


Meals Served

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner + Snack


★★★ Hotel in Aguas Calientes


- Goodbye, porters! Thank you! You'll be parting ways with them after lunch.

- You'll head to Aquas Calientes via Ollantaytambo this afternoon. You'll be able to shower, enjoy a nice dinner in a restaurant and sleep in a comfortable bed tonight!

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Hours of Trekking

2-3 hour guided walking tour at Machu Picchu Citadel

Elevations for the Day

Aguas Calientes - 2,040 m / 6,690 ft  lowest

Machu Picchu Citadel - 2,400 m / 7,875 ft 

[optional: Huayna Picchu Mountain - 2,720 m / 8,925 ft]

[optional: Machu Picchu Mountain - 3,082 m / 10,110 ft]

Ollantaytambo - 2,790 m / 9,150 ft

Cusco - 3,400 m / 11,150 ft  highest


Meals Served

Breakfast at Hotel


Final Day - No Overnight Accommodations


- Machu Picchu today!


- You'll take with you only the gear needed for the day. You'll have packed the rest of your belongings in your Banderitas duffel bag which you may leave in storage at the hotel.

-Daypacks larger than 20 liters will not be allowed inside the citadel. You may rent a locker for S/5 (US $1.50).

- Trekking poles are allowed inside the citadel only under special circumstances.

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 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, if you had already pre-purchased a ticket, you may proceed to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain.

> click for more information <

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

Solo traveler: $1,895

Group of 2: $960

 Group of 3: $880 

 Group of 4: $850 

Group of 5: $795

please inquire about pricing for larger groups

- $25 USD discount for minors (17 and under) and University students with valid ID aged 25 and under

Automatic upgrades

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*


*most tour operators include PeruRail's standard Expedition train service and offer Vistadome as a $50-$75 upgrade

What is Included

What is Included


- Experienced, Professional Tour Guide

- Responsive, U.S.-Style Customer Service


     Experienced Cook

       - Reliable Horseman and his horses

       - Safe, Responsible Drivers


- Machu Picchu Tickets

- Entry fee to Lares Hot Springs


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


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., Mapacho or a comparable restaurant

- Breakfast on Day 4 will be provided by the hotel

- Snacks -- unprocessed and healthful (e.g., fruit, nuts or 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)


- First Aid Kit

- Oxygen Tank

Days 1, 2

- Eureka Timberline Tent

- Inflatable Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad

       - plus an additional foam pad for extra comfort     

- Private portable toilet / toilet tent for your group

- Pillow

- Hot water bottle

Day 3

       - Private room (dual occupancy) at a top-rated hotel in Aguas Calientes (e.g., Panorama B&B or similar)


- 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


- Ticket to climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain on Day 4. It may be purchased through us for $30 USD. Please let us know as soon as you book if you wish to purchase a ticket as they are subject to availability.  

> click for more information <


- Down Sleeping Bag $25 USD

- Trekking Poles (rubber-tipped, per pair) $15 USD


(Not applicable to solo travelers)

- 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 Picch

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 $30 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. 

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