Lares Trek to Machu Picchu: A Journey through the Andes Mountains

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is a scenic and culturally rich alternative to the more popular Inca Trail. Discover the beauty and history of Peru on this off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Every year, millions of tourists visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Peru. While most visitors take the Inca Trail to get there, there is another lesser-known and equally exciting route – the Lares Trek.

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu takes you through the beautiful Andes Mountains, past indigenous villages, and hot springs, and ends at the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. This article will give you a detailed overview of what to expect on the Lares Trek, including the itinerary, highlights, and frequently asked questions.


The Lares Trek is a four-day, three-night trek that covers a distance of approximately 33 kilometers. The trek starts in the town of Lares and ends in Ollantaytambo, from where you take the train to Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Lares to Huacahuasi

The trek begins with a scenic drive from Cusco to Lares. From there, you start hiking towards the village of Wacawasi, where you camp for the night. Along the way, you will pass through stunning mountain landscapes and traditional Andean villages.

Day 2: Huacahuasi to Yanahuara

On day two, you cross the highest point of the trek, the Ipsayccocha Pass (4,400 meters). The stunning views from the pass are worth the effort. After a steep descent, you arrive at the hot springs of Patacancha. From there, you hike to the village of Yanahuara, where you camp for the night.

Day 3: Yanahuara to Ollantaytambo

The third day of the trek takes you through the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. You pass through traditional villages, agricultural terraces, and ancient Incan ruins. The trek ends in the town of Ollantaytambo, where you spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu

On the final day of the trek, you take a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. After exploring the ruins, you return to Cusco by train and bus.


The Lares Trek is not just a trek; it is a cultural experience. Here are some of the highlights of the trek:

Stunning mountain landscapes: The Lares Trek takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Peru. From snow-capped mountains to turquoise lakes, the views are breathtaking.

Indigenous villages: The trek passes through several traditional Andean villages, where you can interact with the locals and learn about their way of life.

Hot springs: After a long day of hiking, you can relax in the hot springs of Patacancha.

Machu Picchu: The trek ends at the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. Nothing can beat the feeling of arriving at this UNESCO World Heritage Site after four days of hiking.


Q: Is the Lares Trek difficult?

A: The Lares Trek is considered a moderate to challenging trek. The highest point of the trek, the Ipsayccocha Pass, is at an altitude of 4,400 meters, which can be challenging for some people.

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