If you want to experience Peru as it was in Incan times, to experience rural Peru as it still is today, the Valle de Lares to Machu Picchu trek is for you. It is our most popular alternative trek when Inca Trail permits are sold out. It is also perfect for families or those looking to escape the crowds and get a real insight into local Andean culture.
Hidden beyond the Sacred Valley of the Incas lies Lares, a land forgotten by time. Low stone houses huddle into the hillside, their smoke blackened thatch, providing scant warmth against the cold Andean night.
As day breaks their occupants emerge into the light of day. Alpacas are released from their corrals to head upwards in search of pasture. To graze beneath dwindling glaciers, watched over by small children, clad in hand woven ponchos worn by their fathers and their fathers before them.
Starting Altitude - 2800m / 9186ft.
Highest Altitude - 4780m / 15,682ft.
Walking Distance - 34km / 21 miles
Longest Day - Day 1, approximately 14km / 8.7 miles
Coldest Night - Day 1 around 0º celsius
Overall Difficulty - Moderate
The VALLE DE LARES TO MACHU PICCHU trek tour departs daily and it can be hiked year round although the months of April till October are probably more comfortable since the weather is drier. June, July and August are the high season when this tour can be fully booked so be sure to make your reservations in advance. The months of January, February and March are in the wet season so hiking the trail requires that you have a good rain jacket and waterproof tent.
The VALLED DE LARES TO MACHU PICCHU trek is rated normal to moderate. It is important to be in good health and feel comfortable walking for extended periods of time. You must also be well prepared specially because altitudes of 4780m/15682ft are reached, so ensuring that you are well acclimatized is important. If arriving from sea level, plan to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to commencing the trek. This should allow plenty of time for acclimatization and give you sufficient opportunity to visit the city of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo
Let’s start the adventure!!!!
At approximately 6am we will pick you up at your hotel to set course to the village of Lares where we will start hiking. During this journey we will make a stop in the village of Calca, where you will be able to visit the local market and buy breakfast or other supplies you forgot. Your guide might advise you to buy some bread to hand out to the children you will meet during the trek. When arriving at Lares we will visit the hot springs where you will be able to enjoy the hot water while our cooks prepare a wonderful lunch. After lunch we will start our hike towards the first campsite in Huacawasi (3600m/11811f). During 3 hours you will walk gradually uphill so that you get a good training for the next day when we will reach the highest point of the trek. The first night we will spend the night at the house of our horsemen who are joining us on the trip. This is the perfect opportunity to know this little town a little better, as well as its Andean culture. At arrival your tents will be ready and you will receive popcorn, sweets and some hot thee before having dinner. You also have the chance to sleep in one of the typical houses.
The art of Andean textiles
The local tradition of weaving textiles in the Andes dates from ages ago. Numerous indigenous communities in the region, like the Huacawasi have preserved their knowledge and techniques of weaving textiles, as well as their ancient fashion. The weaving is done in a traditional way, using a weaving tool, consisting in 2 bars with a a weaving thread in between. The local people take the wool from the lama’s to make their traditional cloting with. The woolfirst is first spun and then colored with natural materials such as flowers. Every community is distinguished by its proper colors and drawings, representing the daily activities of the local communities.
We will spend the afternoon accompanied by the local women of the community, which will teach us the secrets of the weaving, from the shaving of the lama’s until the fashionable clothes. This will be the perfect opportunity to buy a local, craft-made souvenir from your trip to Peru.
Included: lunch, dinner, camping equipment (except sleeping bag)
Transport time: 4 hours
Hiking time: 4 hours
Climate during the day: Warm
Climate during the night: Cold
Today is the Ipsay Lagoon!!!
Early in the morning we will be welcomed by local children in traditional clothing, on their way to school. After a nutritious breakfast we will start hiking towards the highest point, the pass of Sacsayllame at 4400m or 14435 feet. The hike will take about 4 hours and will be very steep uphill. Of course an emergency horse will accompany us so that everyone will certainly be able to reach the top. During this trek you will be able to enjoy enormous mountains, a patchwork of agricultural lands and breathtaking views. Be aware that we will reach great heights and the weather can be very cold. After reaching the highest point we will descend and pass a beautiful lagoon named Ipsay Lagoon before having lunch next to the river. You will be able to recuperate while our cooks prepare a delicious lunch for you. Next we will descend further through a forest where you will be able to enjoy the “Queuñas” (Polylepis),a typical tree from Peru. This walk will take about 1 hour before reaching our campsite at Miski Unu (3550m/11646f). A wonderful place in the middle of nowhere where you will receive hot tea and some snacks upon arrival before having dinner.
Included: lunch, dinner, breakfast, camping equipment (except sleeping bag)
Hiking time: 7 hours
Climate during day/night: Cold
After a heartwarming breakfast!!!
Today will be another spectacular day when walking downhill through different forests. You will be able to enjoy the rich biodiversity and change of fauna and flora during this 3 hour walk that will end in the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s. Watch out, when walking in the forest there are lots of mosquitos. We will enjoy our last lunch in Queshuarchalloc where we will say goodbye to the Horsemen and cooks. After lunch we will take a local bus to get to Ollantaytambo. We will visit the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo before having dinner at a local restaurant. At 7pm we will take the train to reach our final destination of the day, the town of Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night in a hostal or hotel.
Hiking time: 4 hours
Transport time: half an hour
Today is Machu Picchu!!!
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am and head for Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. After a guided tour around the archaeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55 pm or at 6:10 pm. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.
Climate: moderate warm
• Pre trek briefing
• Pickup from your hotel in the morning
• Transportation to the start of the trail (Lares - Pascana)
• English speaking professional guide
• Igloo tents - 2 persons in each 4-person capacity tent with plenty of space for your backpacks
• Double thickness foam mattress
• Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes (while hiking)
• Accommodations: 2 nights camping, 1 night hotel
• Cook and Cooking equipment
• Meals (03B,03L,03D) - food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, rice, all rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking, hot drinks including coca leaf tea which is excellent for the altitude
• We supply boiled water to fill in your water bottle all the time, if requested with enough time ahead (while hiking)
• Teatime the first two days (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn)
• Horses days 1-3 (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen
• Dining tent with camp tables and chairs
• Kitchen tent
• Accommodation for our crew
• First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
• Bus from Machu Picchu ruins up and down to the village of Aguas Calientes
• Machu Picchu entrance fee
• Train ticket (Backpackers service) from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
• Transfer from the train station to your hotel.
• A small backpack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek
• Sleeping bag
• Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
• Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
• Strong, comfortable footwear
• One complete change of clothing
• Sweater and jacket (something warm)
• Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen (boiled drinking water will be provided)
• Torch / Flashlight and batteries
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
• Sun block (sun protection cream)
• Insect repellent
• Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
• Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc,
• Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries, cash in soles and US$
• Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)
• Optional: walking Poles /sticks (rubber covers necessary)
• You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
• Breakfast on the first morning.
• Dinner on the last night.
• Sleeping bags - If you don't have a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for rent.
• Tips for the guide, cook and porters
• Additional horses for passengers luggage.
• Extra mule to carry YOUR things - $10.00 per trip day
• Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it - $18 per trip day
• Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg $4.00 per trip day
• Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day)
• Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day, per stick) Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
• Thermarest inflatable mattress - $4 per trip day
• Inflatable pillow - $2 per trip day
• Comforting Camping trek upgrade $40.00 per trip day
• Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent) $25.00 per person
• The Valle de Lares to Machu Picchu Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
• If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion due to altitude, health, or for any other reason, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. MACHUPICCHU.CENTER does not cover the expenses made by the traveler due to abandonement such as meals, hotel, return transportation, medical expenses, etc.
• Certain Services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances such as civil unrest, worker strikes, etc. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, MACHUPICCHU.CENTER or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
• In case of force majeur, when a trek or tour cannot start or be completed, MACHUPICCHU.CENTER will find an alternative. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked tour, MACHUPICCHU.CENTER will refund the difference.
• It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. MACHUPICCHU.CENTER cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts
The Client may cancel this tour package at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to email@example.com in writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by firstname.lastname@example.org. All reservations cancelled are subject to a cancellation fee:
|Cancelation Notice Received
|Cancelation Penalty %
|16+ Days advanced notice
|10-15 Days advanced notice
|60% Penalty of total booking paid
|7-9 Days advanced notice
|80% Penalty of total booking paid
|0-6 Days advanced notice
|100% Penalty of total booking paid