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.