This trail is the third most popular trek to get to Machu Picchu and there are many versions from 2 days to 5 days including the classic short trail, instead of entering through the sun gate, you take the lares trail ending in the sacred valley of Ollantaytambo, where it continues the journey to Machu Picchu pueblo, the village below the great city of Machu Picchu.
Things to know about Lares Trek.
There are many children waiting for some gifts such as pencils, notebooks, and toys.
There are ladies selling souvenirs and you can buy them since they are handmade and you can get them at a good price.
There are many trails from lares, but the best option is via Huaran to Kiswarani or vice versa because you can see more closely the glaciers of these places.
There are thermal baths where you can enjoy
Take good camping equipment (shoes, pants, rain jackets).
When is the best Time to hike Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?
In general, the best season to do this trail from lares to Machu Picchu is between the months of April to September also known as the dry season, and this trail is not full of tourists as there are many options to start this Caminata but always the final destination is Machu Picchu, and between October and March are the rainy season with very rainy days and it is not recommended to do because you would miss incredible views.
Why choose the lares Trail?
One of the most incredible things about hiking in the highlands of Peru is to be able to know and learn about life in these mysterious places and witness a life full of wisdom, observe their customs, traditions, and religion and enjoy their crystalline lagoons, peasant people grazing their llamas and alpacas, their incredible mountains and many things to discover.
Before doing any trail in Cusco the best option is to be between 1 day or 3 days to adapt to the altitude of Cusco and have adequate medication, most travel agencies have first aid kits and a bottle of oxygen, may have nausea and headache and also in the rainy season can make more difficult the slopes up but always be prepared for these problems.
What is the right shape you need to be?
The best recommendation for not having altitude problems is to exercise going up steps and down and if you have mountains it is the best way to have a good condition and not have difficulties to climb the hills of Peru, after that it will be easier for you.
Lares trek to Machu Picchu Weather
Temperatures are cool at night and in the early winter months of May and August are suitable for hiking and in the months of December and March the weather is warm but with little rainfall.
Do you need to book the Lares trek in advance?
Compared to the classic Inca Trail, it is not necessary to book this trail in advance because there are no unlimited quotas throughout the year, you just have to find a good and reliable operator because there will always be available, and also take into account the entrances to Machu Picchu because after the covid 19 there are some regulations.
Is there an age restriction?
There is no age restriction but it is very important to know and listen to your body especially the older ones and the other aspect is the children it is suggested that they hydrate very well and in general for both there is also the option of riding horses for some stretches, especially the climbs.
Do you need walking sticks?
One of the recommendations is to carry walking sticks to be hiking as it helps you in the ups and downs to have a better balance and if you are one of the people who always used to walk with walking sticks take them as it will be very worthwhile.
Is there internet on Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?
when you do trekking the best option is to be disconnected and on this trail, there is no internet for 2 days until Ollantaytambo and after the pandemic, the Peruvian government enabled internet in remote villages, in general, to be in harmony with nature the suggestion is not to connect to the internet until it is necessary.
What about medications?
According to the doctors when trekking the best recommendation is to take some basic medicines like paracetamol and ibuprofen as analgesics and take pills for diarrhea Imodium and of course, Acetozolamida for altitude sickness.
The guides are not doctors to prescribe medicines, but they have a general medicine kit, and if the passenger agrees he/she can take some of them in extreme cases.
On the trail from lares trek to Machu Picchu you will see local people, grazing llamas, and farmers dressed in typical clothes as in Inca times, they live in thatched huts and in summer time they keep their animals in wire corrals.
Camps in the Lares trek
The campsites are not very crowded since there are several versions of this trail and the bathrooms are very rustic and the water is not drinkable, it is necessary to purify it, as for the shower, it will depend a lot on the weather. In general, the best option is to bring wet wipes.
One of the charming things about lares trek is its thermal baths which you can enjoy before starting to walk, but always ask your travel agency before you book because there are many places to do this trail.
Lares trek without a guide
The only hike that is mandatory to do with a guide is the Inca trail and the rest of the trails you can do on your own but there are very important factors that you have to know before doing it on your own.
You can get up to 13 000 feet walking alone, and there are several paths that you can get confused although you can ask the local people that does not guarantee the correct path there are also aggressive dogs but you can still get lost.
In general, the recommendation is to do it with a trekking company to have a better experience.
Lares trek distance
The most popular trail has a distance of 37 km which is done in 3 days, starting from the thermal baths through the camp of Quishuarani to the village of Huaran, very close to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and then continuing to the famous citadel of Machu Picchu.
Lares Trek highest point
The highest point that is reached is 15 400 feet / 4 700, a mountain pass with the name of Pachakuteq pass. and this pass is passed by the second day of walking and then the third day you enter the Sacred Valley of the Incas to continue by train to Aguas Calientes town.
Lares routes Options
1 Lares – Quiswarani – Huaran
This trail is the most common that is done, you drive to the city of Calca to stock up on important products and then continue your journey to the thermal baths of Lares, where you can enjoy and in the following days you arrive up to 4, 700 meters above sea level which is the step of Pachacuteq and is a hike of 37 km for 3 days and the fourth day you visit Machu Picchu and others do the opposite side.
2 Lares – Huacahuasi – Patacancha
As in route 1, in this case, travelers arrive at the village of Huacawasi of farmers located northeast of Cusco, the next day they climb to the pass of Ipsaycocha reaching 4,400 meters above sea level, and then descend to the villages of Patacancha and willow is a walk of 35 km to Ollantaytambo and then continue by train to Machu Picchu village and the 4 days visit Machu Picchu.
3 Quishuarani – Huacahuasi – Patacancha
Unfortunately, in this option, there is no way to visit the thermal baths of Lares because the hike starts in the village of Quiswarani, which is before the village of Lares. Then the trail ascends to the Huilquijasa pass at 4,200 m to reach the Andean village of Cuncani to spend the night. In the following days, it continues to the small village of Huacahuasi and again to the Ipsaycocha pass as in route 2, then through the Patacancha valley to Ollantaytambo. It is a hike of 39 km in 3 days and the last day to visit Machu Picchu.
4 Quishuarani – Huacahuasi – Yanahuara
This trail takes the same path as Route 3 to the small village of Huacahuasi. From Huacahuasi, it takes a different route, following the Huacahuasijasa pass at 4,500 m. and then down to the village of Yanahuara in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near Ollantaytambo. It is 45 km in total and is not traveled.
5 Huaran – Huacahuasi – Yanahuara
Another trail that is not popular for the difficulty it has and is perfect for hikers who have experience starting from the hamlet of Huaran in the sacred valley of the Incas, customers go up to the village of cancha Cancha pachacuteqa pass 4, 700 masl the next day begins the descent behind the mountain pass while seeing some lagoons in that magical valley of Lares approaching the village of Quiswarani. In the following days, the trail reaches the villages of Cuncani and Huacahuasi to camp and continues to the Huacahuasijasa pass as in route 4. and continues the journey to Machu Picchu village.