+51 918 885 164 info@happygringotours.com
+51 918 885 164 info@happygringotours.com

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Lares Trek

(6 Reviews)
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Tour Details

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu or the Machu Picchu Lares Trek is often considered one of the best alternatives to the Classic Inca Trail hike. The Lares Trek route seldom has Inca Ruins like the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 

It primarily takes you around the Lares Valley. The trek offers an insight into the life and culture of the local people living in the highland region apart from the jaw-dropping sights. 

Although Lares Trail is shorter than most trails to Machu Picchu, its high mountain passes could be challenging to some. Especially, if you are not acclimatized. The highest point of the Lares trek to Machu Picchu is at 4850 meters above sea level (15912 ft.). 

The four days Lares Trek Tour to Machu Picchu is dotted with beautiful lakes snuggled between the snow-capped peaks of the Andean mountains. You will have plenty of opportunities to spot herds of Llamas, Alpacas, and Vizcacha (Andean Rabbit). 

Unlike the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek, most of the Trek Lares could be enjoyed in solitude.

Why Happy Gringo Tours?

We are a fully locally owned tour operator. Our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu experience starts where others end. Hence you will be able to experience most sites in complete solitude.  

We operate the trek both in private and as a small group tour. Please note that this is a high-altitude experience. The trek has many high passes. We highly recommend you spend a few days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness. 

Check out our post on Lares Trek Tips and 10 things to know about hiking Lares Trek. 

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

0400 AM

Price Includes

  • Cusco Hotel Transfer
  • Professional Guides
  • Porters & Horsemen
  • Emergency Horse
  • Accommodation
  • All Trekking and Camping Equipments
  • Food
  • Water
  • Oxygen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Air mattress
  • Train to Aguas Calientes and back

Price Excludes

  • Breakfast on the first morning of the trek
  • Lunch and Dinner on the last day
  • Any Private Expenses

Lares Trek Packing List

  • Original Passport
  • Personal Hygine Items
  • Extra Shoes and Clothes
  • Peruvian Soles in Cash
  • Sleeping bag
Why book Lares Trek with us?
  • We are the only ones in Peru that offer Organic Peruvian Food during treks to Machu Picchu - Treks designed for health-conscious and curious travelers
  • Arrival in Machu Picchu at sunrise
  • Our Lares Trek ends at the Lares hot springs, allowing you to relax after your 3 day trek. (Other agencies begin their trek at the hot springs)
  • We pick you up and drop you off at your hotel in Cusco
  • Free luggage storage during your trek
  • You will learn about the local Quechuan traditions with which our staff grew up
  • Local expert guides, cooks and porters
  • Our Lares expedition begins in the Sacred Valley and ends in the Lares Hot Springs
  • We are the only company in Cusco that offers hot water bottles
  • Free pick-up service from Cusco airport (Please inform us in advance of your arrival time)
  • Experience the Pre-Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • We have received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award, the world's largest travel website.
  • In real time, Lares Trek allows you to explore the land and communities of the ancestors of the Incas, therefore enriching your trip to Machu Picchu.
  • We have our own camps without crowds.

Day 1Cusco - Pumahuanca - Puyoc

We will be leaving from Cusco early in the morning in our private transport. We will be driving through the Sacred Valley of Incas to a small town called Pumahuanca. This is the starting point of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. 

We will begin the Lares Trail by hiking all the way up the Pumahuanca valley to get the first lunch place – Paqcha Pata “Waterfall”. On the first day, we will be covering approx 14 km in total. Along the trek, there is a small Inca ruin “CHUPANI”. Here we will be giving you a guided tour. 

You will also have the opportunity to see native plants, spectacular rocky/sharpy mountains, and a small crystalline stream along the trek. 

For the night, we will be camping at our campsite in Puyoc (4150m).

Meal Includes Lunch – Dinner (Extra snack in the mornings and happy hour before dinner).

Day 2Puyoc - Yanacocha Lake - Cuncani Village

After breakfast, we will start ascending for three hours to reach the highest point of the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu “Siclla Qasa” pass at 4850m – 15,682 ft above sea level. We will be spending a few minutes here so you can see the beauty of the valley. 

We will then hike down to our lunch camp at “Yanacocha” or Black lake. Here you will see beautiful sceneries, landscapes, Andean lakes, potato fields, vizcacha “Andean rabbit” and local family dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. The campsite is going to be close to a small traditional village – Cuncani.

Meals Included: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner (Extra snack in the mornings and happy hour before dinner).

Day 3Cuncani Quechua Village - Lares Hot springs - Aguas Calientes

After a traditional breakfast, we will be hiking through traditional villages. You will have the opportunity to meet locals. You will also get to see typical Andean huts and farming lands. 

It takes about two hours to get to the hot springs. After enjoying the hot springs we will have the last lunch with our Happy Gringo team.

After lunch, we will be transferring you to Ollantaytambo. Here, you will be embarking on a two hours train ride to Aguas Calientes town. We will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room. 

Meals Included: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner (Extra snack in the morning and dinner in Machu Picchu Pueblo).

Note: We accommodate our guests in the Presidente hotel or similar in Aguas Calientes town.

Day 4Machu Picchu “The wonder of the world”

Early in the morning, we will be taking a bus to visit Machu Picchu citadel. It will be a 30 minutes drive up the hill. Our tour guide will assist you in clearing the security control and entering the citadel. 

Once inside the citadel, you will be rewarded with a spectacular sight of the citadel while the clouds clear by and the golden rays of the sun shimmer on the walls of Machu Picchu

We will be giving you a two hours guided tour. After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own. If you have booked to hike Huayna Picchu or hike to Machu Picchu mountains, our guide will be directing you to the trailhead. 

You will need a permit to hike to these peaks which are often sold six to seven months in advance. 

Alternatively, you can hike to Sun gate or Intipunku. This is the entrance to the citadel for those on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

After exploring Machu Picchu, you will be taking a bus back to Aguas Calientes. Here we will be serving lunch at a local restaurant. At around 04:00 PM, we will be taking a train back to Ollantaytambo. 

Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will be transferring you back to your hotel in Cusco. We will arrive in Cusco by 09:30 PM.


How high is the Lares trek?

The highest point of the Lares Trek is 4850 meters above sea level (approximately 15,682 ft). However, the average height of the trek is 3600 meters above sea level (approximately 11811 ft).

Does the Lares Trek go to Machu Picchu?

Yes, the Lares Trek goes to Machu Picchu. It’s a great alternative to the Classic Inca Trail.

How long is the Lares Trek?

The Lares Trek is 37 km long and it takes three days to complete. The trek starts in the small town of Pumahuanca and it ends at the Hot Springs of Lares Valley. Then, you will continue your journey to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

6 Reviews
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Jordy Borg

Couple Traveller

We went on a 4D/3N Lares Trek + Macchu Picchu with Happy Gringo. Our guide Mauro was super friendly and a great guide! He informed us a lot about life in the Lares Valley and was happy to answer any questions we had. The trail itself was quite off the beaten path and we only saw three other travellers on the trail. They have a different route than other Lares Treks as they finish directly at the Hot Springs, which is the perfect way to end the trek! The rest team was also super friendly and we had a great time playing cards together in the evenings! The food was also divine – we were impressed how Jonathan was always able to cook up delicious meals in such basic environments. He also baked a cake for us on our last day!

Happy Gringo has made our Lares Trek and visit Macchu Picchu super memorable, and we would definitely recommend Happy Gringo for a great experience!

March 3, 2020

Julijs P

Couple Traveller

Happy Gringo is a wonderful operations. From our initial contact with Marco to our final drop of with Mauro they were helpful throughout the entire process. Mauro is a special guide who lead us on the Lares trek. He is friendly, funny and cares greatly for those who he is guiding as well as all the people we met along the way. Our experience was beautiful and the private chef Grimmaldo made delicious meals at every stop considering our vegan and vegetarianism. I highly recommend booking with these guys.

February 12, 2020

Matt W

Couple Traveller

We went to Peru with our children aged 10, 8 & 6. We were so lucky to walk the Lares Trek with Marco and his amazing team of cooks and horse people. We also did day trips to Sacred Valley and Rainbow mountain with Marco. His knowledge of the area and history; passion for the local culture and custom; and ability and willingness to connect with us and our kids were beyond anything we could have expected.

February 6, 2020

Stella Andoniputri

Couple Traveller

Marko is fantastic. We had a great time on our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. This was an exceptional tour. He stuck to the itinerary. The trek offers a great sights on the way to Machu Picchu. All campsites were clean and the toilets they had were well maintained although they were isolated from nearby towns. The food they serve was organic and vegan. Super healthy! All food were freshly cooked. If you are looking for an ideal operator for Lares Trek… don´t look further… go for Happy Gringo.

December 11, 2019

Nelson Brayant

Solo Traveller

This was a very nice trip. Marko is an excellent guide. He is very helpful and thoughtful. He organised this tre extremely well. There were a lot of times where we could not walk normally due to high altitude, and Marko never got frustrated or rushed us, infact he stood next to us and encouraged us. The food were exrtreemely delicious and the camping areas were clean and well kept.

October 17, 2019
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