The Lares Trail to Machu Picchu is an excellent alternative to the busy Inca Trail for those who want to get off the beaten track and experience authentic Andean communities surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes. No permits required.
The spectacular Lares valley lies just beyond the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The short drive from Cuzco brings you back to an ancient Andean life where hardy locals herd llamas and plant potatoes as they have for centuries amidst beautiful surroundings. Their incredibly bright, high-quality woven red clothes sit startlingly against the mountain backdrop.
The trek is an interesting mixture of spectacular mountain scenery, glacial lakes, waterfalls, high plains, hot springs and charming Andean villages. The views of the snow topped peaks of Veronica, Chicon, Pitusiray and Sawasiray will keep you company most of the way.
This trek also boasts the hot-springs at Lares village and a cultural weaving experience at Huilloc. The final location of the Pumamarca ruins and the superb walk down on an original Inca trail along massive, remarkably well-preserved Inca terraces to the back entrance of Ollantaytambo completes this satisfying trek.
It is also unique amongst Andean trekking in that vehicle support may be used at several points en-route. This gives extra flexibility with the trek allowing for a comfortable camping experience, and extra security in case of any emergencies.
The trek easily combines to meet the afternoon train to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo, and includes an overnight in Aguas Calientes allowing you to explore Machu Picchu in depth the following day with a private guide before catching the train back to Cuzco.
Sacred Valley, Peru
Sacred Valley, Cuzco, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru