Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machupicchu

Trek Details:

  • Hike Distance:  .46km / 29 miles
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Duration: 5 days/4    nights
  • Highest point: Sikllakasa  pass 15200 ft / 4700 m
  • Elevation Gain: 6,000 ft / 1900 meters
  • Weather: See below
  • Seasons: All year round. 
  • Hike Trail Map:   See below
  • Cusco drive time to starting point: 3hr 15min+
  • Town Nearest Hike: Urubamba
  • Beauty:   Paramo, Puna, Glacier lakes,  Vilcabamba mountain range views, scenic trail, Grassland area, local villages, wildlife: prairie horses and dogs, Vizcachas and  Andean foxes, Spectacled bear, Dwarfed deer. Birds; Condor, torrent tyranulett, black-chested buzzard-eagle, Chiguanco thrush, hummingbirds.
  • Activities:   Hiking trail, archaeological site tours, nature and Andean community visits.


  • Professional, bilingual Tour Guide
  • Collection from hotel
  • Return transportation (bus to start of trail plus tourist train back to Ollantaytambo and transfer from Ollantaytambo to Cusco)**
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu and the  Short Inca Trail
  • 1 one way bus tickets Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on day 4, and 1 round trip ticket Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back to Aguas Calientes on day 5.
  • Meals throughout the tour. (breakfast on the first day, and  lunch on the fifth day in Aguas Calientes town are not included).  
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Cook
  • 2 person  tents
  • Basic foam sleeping pads 
  • Porters, Horsemen and mules to carry food, cooking and camping equipment only. *
  • Extra oxygen
  • First Aid kit
  • Vegetarian/special diet options available upon request

*Important!!!  Our porters carry cooking and camping equipment only. YOU NEED to hire an EXTRA PORTER if you don’t wish to carry your own belongings on the trail.  We recommend this as the best thing to do when booking a tour with us.There is no such thing as a ‘free porter’. Companies that offer this complimentary service are usually engaging in exploitative practices that force porters to carry extra  unpaid weight. Do not fall for of this  fishy marketing scheme.


Other useful information:

Other important information:

  • ​Breakfast starts at 5:30 AM on most days. 
  • Please follow the directions of your tour leader regarding meal times and be there on time to avoid eating cold foods or left overs. 
  • Please let us know if you have a particular dietary request or if you are vegetarian or vegan.
  • ​We cannot provide Kosher alternatives.
  • We will supply you with boiled filtered water.
  • We do this every day in the mornings before we start hiking and after our lunch breaks. 
  • Bring a refillable water container or camelback for when you are hiking. 
  • We strongly advise you to drink at least 2 litres of water a day.  Do not attempt to drink water from the streams, rivers or faucets along the trails. 
  • Do not bring plastic bottled water to our excursions.
  •  Use only drinkable water to brush your teeth.  
  • We recommend that all our customers purchase full coverage travel health insurance plan before coming to Peru. Most airfare engines offer this service at the time of purchasing their flight tickets.
  • Yellow fever, malaria or other kinds of inoculation (vaccination) are NOT needed for when you visit Cusco’s Andean region.
  • Please let us know of any changes in your health conditions within the first 24 hours of your arrival to Cusco. We want to know your progress to acclimating to high altitude and your adaptation to the local food.
  • We strongly encourage you to wear trekking boots on our treks. 
  • Please make sure to wear boots that you have already broken in prior to the trek.
  • We discourage people from wearing brand new trekking boots. You are more prone to get blisters from wearing brand new boots.   
  • Smoking is not allowed while on the trek. We want you to have an overall healthy experience while in the mountains.
  • We discourage people from heavy alcohol consumption while on the hikes.
  • Any type of mind altering substances are discouraged and illegal while on the hikes. 


Unlike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, The Lares trek is an off the beaten track area; its main routes climb the Urubamba mountain range toward the Lares town or the Lares hot spring which is the end point of this alternative Inca trail. The Lares trek does not take people to Machu Picchu, rather the opposite, it takes people away from Machu Picchu.

In the Lares trek, the most important attractions are the snow-capped mountains of the Urubamba mountain range, the indigenous villages and people of the Lares mountains, and their unique unchanged lifestyle that has remained this way for centuries despite the influence of the Spanish people after the invasion of the Inca empire. These indigenous people are mainly potato farmers, and llama and alpaca herders, two of the exotic animals that can be seen all over the trail to Lares. Also, they are expert weavers, who use the wool of these animals to weave very exotic textiles that depict figures related to their cosmovision and their traditions. Undoubtedly something worth seeing along this trek. 

The Inca Trail, however, is a place filled with an impressive number of Incan sites, and ecosystems which provide people with a unique opportunity to be immersed in the historical and ecological context that these places offer. Also, this trail leads directly to Machu Picchu which is the reason why it is considered on of the best hiking routes in the world. 


The Lares Trek and the Salkantay trek are the two most known alternative hikes to the Inca trail. These two destinations become the favorite alternative hikes for those people who did not manage to get a permit for the Inca Trail. Both of these hikes present different characteristics and offer different attractions that one must choose when hiking to Machu Picchu.

The Lares trek is a perfect location to get away from the crowds and experience solitude while getting to know the lives f the Andean indigenous people and their traditions. 

In contrast, the Salkantay trek offers beautiful views of both the alpine scenery of the Vilcabamba range and the impressive flora and fauna of the cloud forest. Unlike the Lares trek where silence, remoteness and solitude reign, The Salkantay Trek, passes through some villages and small towns that take away those important aspects of camping which to many is the ultimate reason for why go camping. Perhaps, one of the most significant advantages of the Salkantay trek is that it ends in Aguas Calientes which is the nearest town to Machu Picchu.