11 months ago

The Lares Trek

the lares trek

The Lares Trek is a popular multi-day hike in the Peruvian Andes that takes you through the beautiful and remote Lares Valley. The trek is an alternative to the more well-known Inca Trail and offers a more authentic and less crowded experience of the region. The Lares Trek typically starts in the town of Lares, located in the Cusco region of Peru, and follows a route through the Andes, passing through small villages, lush valleys, and high mountain passes.

The Lares Trek is typically a 3- to 4-day hike, depending on the route and the pace of the group. The trek can be challenging due to the high altitude and rugged terrain, but it is also very rewarding, as it takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of the Peruvian Andes. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to see a wide range of wildlife, including alpacas, llamas, and condors, and to visit local communities and learn about their way of life.

The Lares Trek is a great option for those looking for a more authentic and off-the-beaten-path adventure in Peru. It is important to be in good physical condition and to be properly acclimatized to the high altitude before attempting the trek. It is also recommended to hire a reputable local guide and to bring all necessary gear and supplies.

What to Expect on the Lares Trek

Knowing what to expect can help you better prepare for your trek an help you decide if this is the best option for you.

Stunning Views

Along the Lares Trek trail you can expect to see some truly beautiful scenery and landscapes in the Andean mountains. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by snowy mountain peaks while enjoying rivers, waterfalls, and lagoons.

Plenty of Flora and Fauna

You’ll get plenty of opportunities to see some local flora and fauna including alpacas, llamas, and sheep.

A Close Up Experience of Andean Life

This Lares trek gets you up close and personal with those that live in the rural Andean communities. Spend some time with them and see how they work the land as well as create some amazing textile pieces.

To Feel Tired

Even if you walk at a slow pace, you can expect to feel a little tired at the end of each day. You’ll spend many hours walking at high altitude, which can exhaust the fittest of people. Make sure to pace yourself and keep hydrated.

A Real Adventure

This trek is off the beaten path and away from the majority of tourists. This makes for a wild adventure in the middle of the mountains.

An Amazingly Clear Sky

The sky at night in the Andes tends to be open and very clear. This is a great chance to look up at the stars and relax while learning a little about Inca astrology.

Natural Thermal Hotsprings

Most Lares treks pass by Lares town so you can soak in the thermal Hotsprings. It is a very charming place to relax, but before starting the tour, ask your tour operator if there will be time for it, as mentioned in route 3, the hike begins away from Lares.

What is the best time for the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

The best time you can choose to do the Lares Trek is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. This is the busiest trekking time in the region, particularly on the Classic Inca Trail, where the months in advance are exhausted.

****Naturally, during the height of the high season the path may be busy. That said, there are so many variations on the Lares trail that, in general, the routes never feel crowded.

However, during the last months of the dry season, from April to October, the paths of Lares are particularly quieter and the weather is usually very pleasant. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2023 – 2024 Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.

During the month of November, the probability of finding rain is relatively high. We suggest avoiding the months of December to March, since the rain makes the path really unpleasant and visibility is often low due to the morning and afternoon fog.

Temperatures throughout the year are moderate, during the afternoon temperatures rise, and the cold comes during the night and early in the morning. Layered clothing is important (see the packing list below).

Microclimates characterize the Andes, so it is possible to rain throughout the year. Always carry rain gear.

What to Bring to Lares Trek

If you are planning to do the Lares Trek, it is important to come prepared with the right gear and supplies to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. Some of the things you should consider bringing include:

  1. Proper clothing: Bring layers of clothing to keep warm in the cool mountain weather, including a waterproof jacket, hat, gloves, and thermal underwear.
  2. Footwear: Wear sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with good support and traction.
  3. Sleeping bag: The temperature can drop significantly at night, so a warm sleeping bag is essential.
  4. Backpack: Bring a sturdy and comfortable backpack to carry all your gear, with a capacity of at least 50 liters.
  5. Water and snacks: It is important to stay hydrated and nourished during the trek, so bring plenty of water and energy-rich snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars.
  6. First aid kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with essentials such as painkillers, bandages, and blister treatments.
  7. Sun protection: The sun is strong at high altitude, so bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  8. Other items: Other things to consider bringing include a flashlight or headlamp, a map and compass, a camera, and a water purification system.

Health Tips for Lares Trek

We have indicated some general Tips for Lares Trek, now we will give you some important health tips that you should take into account when the day of your departure approaches, during the walk and at the end of your adventure.

Before the trek:

  • Physical condition: This is the key to enjoy any trek, especially if you are going to walk for more than one day. A physical illness will make you focus more on the overexertion than in what surrounds you. In addition, on the next day of the physical activity, there will appear muscular pains that can prevent you from continuing. To achieve an optimal physical condition for trek to Machu Picchu, it is beat to work exercises on a regular basis such as jogging or cycling.
  • Good diet: Similar to an engine with bad gasoline, you will give less good results. Your body will respond differently depending on what you have eaten. Avoid heavy meals and fats, and bet for a diet focused on carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread, vegetables…), as well as fruits and vegetables for contribution in fibers and vitamins.
  • Footwear: A wrong footwear can pose a high risk of injury. The ideal shoes for a moderate difficulty trekking is a high boot to protect your ankles of possible kinks. The sole should be thick and with anti-slip drawing. In addition, the tip should be reinforced to protect your fingers. It is also recommended that your shoes are waterproof with GoreTex or similar so you can keep your feet dry. Very Important: Never use new boots in a long trek, this could result in blisters and discomfort. Use your boots before so they fit your feet.
  • Planning: Be realistic with your physical condition and plan the route according to your skills. If you are not in good shape you should spend more hours on the trek respecting your own rhythm. Between one of the most important Lares Trek Tips to consider is to check the weather forecast to prepare your equipment according to the climate you will find.

During the trek:

  • Hydration: Do not wait until being thirsty to drink. Thirst is the body alarm to dehydration so your body will appreciate being in a constant hydration. With all the physical effort you are going to need a minimum of 2 liters of daily water, it can be even more if the climate is warm.
  • Consider chewing coca: This is a personal option. It can give you a little push to finish the trek but it has a particular flavor you need to get accustomed to.
  • Bring candies: In addition to what your guide brings, we recommend having some solid candy to suck while climbing. They seem to give you energy and they distract your mind from climbing!
  • Muscular risks: Make a warm-up and stretch your entire body just before starting. This will reduce significantly the risk of injury. You should know that a cold muscle is less resistant and flexible that one that has been prepared for a certain physical activity.
  • Risks associated to the sun: Protecting your head with a cap or a hat reduces the risk of insolation. Headache, dizziness and nausea are the first symptoms. If you feel the rest in the shade, hydrate and soak your head in water. The rays of the sun can cause severe burns (even on cloudy days), especially if you are of a very white skin or eyes. Wear sunscreen of a high FP (between 30 and 50) and remember to reapply throughout the exposed body every 2-3 hours. Sweating accelerates the loss of sunscreen. It is also a good idea to carry lipstick with solar filters.
  • Risk associated to insects: Stilts, mosquitoes, flies or any flying type insect that stings, can turn into an authentic nightmare for the trekker, especially into the forest and in warm areas. It is important to bring a good repellent and to spread it periodically in the exposed areas of your body.
  • Risks associated to the altitude sickness: More altitude, less available oxygen. Form the 2,000 meters of altitude you can start to feel more tired. Lares is located at 3,100 MAMSL so the chances of getting altitude sickness are high. We recommend you spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco before the trek starts.
  • Blisters: Blisters are generated in general by the friction or continuing impact. Avoid them using a good pair of shoes and thick synthetic socks. React before is too late if you feel a burning in your feet.
  • Recommendation: Use “Leukoplast” tape to cover the areas with greater friction.
    Wounds: Even if you take a lot of precautions, it is always possible to slip or to stumble and fall down. It is important to carry a little first aid kit to contain the hemorrhages. This would be the basic first aid kit for wounds: Sterile gauze, Flexible blindfold, Adhesive blindfold, Band-Aid (adhesive tape), Fork, Special, Ressings against the blisters (Leukoplast tape), Adhesive points of sutures.


SPIDER Travel Peru is the only tour operator with its own scenic and cultural trekking route, that treks COMPLETELY OFF THE BEATEN PATH with the LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU. You pass through the most isolated indigenous communities keeping the Inca culture alive, and get the privilege to interact with them. Our own unique route is incredibly picturesque, with majestic ice glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. We are the only tour operator ending the trek at the natural HOT SPRINGS of Lares. NO ONE HAS A BETTER DEAL than SPIDER Travel Peru for this trek.

Your Andean Mountain adventure through the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu begins early with your pickup at 5:00am from your Cusco hotel. Within an hour, we will arrive at the ancient ruins of the truly awesome Pisac Inca Citadel. Visit the ruins before any other group arrives, enjoying the tranquility of the morning. Your guide will share with you the unique history of the Pisac Inca Citadel and its importance both before and during the Inca Empire.

Breakfast is served in a comfortable and private Pisac guest house. You will be impressed with your chef’s hearty and delicious breakfast, which will be just what you need to get ready for the first day of trekking! Driving onward for 40 more minutes to Huaran, we meet your horsemen and horses. Time to get ready, boots on, and begin our first 3 hours of a gradual ascent towards Cancha Cancha. Along the way, your lunch will be served next to the river, replenishing your energy for the trek ahead with a delicious meal prepared by your trekking chef.

Cancha Cancha (3,900m/12,800ft) is one of the most isolated and traditional communities, still self-sustaining as it has been for hundreds of years. There are no roads to this community and they were just recently connected to electricity in December, 2019. After settling into your tents and having afternoon tea, you will have the opportunity to visit a local family or play football with the local kids. You will learn all about life in a traditional Andean village, with your guide as your interpreter. After dinner, your guide will show you the Inca constellations that they depended and still depend on for their agricultural guidance. Look forward to toilet facilities that are very clean and private. Spider travel keeps them locked and will only unlock them upon your arrival.

  • Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with a private toilet building
  • Distance: 9kms / 5.6 miles
  • Time: 3.5hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Your guide will wake you with a hot cup of tea or coffee to enjoy in your sleeping bag before you get up for breakfast. Feeling all revved up to begin our second day, after another delicious breakfast, we begin our 7 hour hike northeast. It starts out as an intense walk, on our way to the highest point of our trek at Pachacutec Pass(4,500m /14,800 ft). This is where you pat yourself on the back and embrace the satisfaction and exhilaration for making it up to the summit. Motivating you along the trail are the views of glaciers, remote lakes, alpaca herds, rugged valleys and spectacular mountain vistas. Keep your eyes on the sky for the Caracara falcons and Andean geese!

After enjoying the summit, we descend for 3 hours until we reach our campsite located by the Quiswarani community, (3,700m/12,139ft). On the way, we will take off on an isolated trail where we will see indigenous highland people in their traditional outfits herding their llamas and alpacas. The local indigenous people will open their hearts and interact with you in the Quechua language (the Indigenous language of Peru). Your guide will act as your interpreter, helping to translate and to also teach you some Quechua phrases. When you arrive at the spectacular seven waterfalls, you are almost at the campsite!

At the campsite, everything will be ready. Enjoy hot drinks and appetizers before dinner, then snuggle in for a comfortable night sleep.

  • Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with bathroom building
  • Distance: 12kms / 7.5 miles
  • Time: 7hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: challenging

Your adventure continues as you begin the most scenic day yet! We begin our ascent for 3 hours until we reach the Willqaqasa Pass, (4,200m/13,779ft) getting a bird’s eye view of the reflections of the mountains in mirror images in the glacial lakes. The majestic Colquecruz and Pitusiray Mountains are awe inspiring to admire from the pass. We continue our trek through the Puna grasslands, undulating and productive agricultural sites and natural pristine lakes. Time to descend for 2 hours to the Cucani community. Connecting with the local indigenous children, you may have the opportunity to visit their school and share in some quality time with the students.

From Cuncani we meet our driver and ride down through a lush valley with extensive agricultural areas, fruit bearing trees, varied flora, and native flowers like begonias and wild orchids. Finally, we reach our destination, the Lares Hot Springs (3,100m/ 10,170ft), where we cannot wait to soak in the natural volcanic hot springs for about an hour before we have lunch and relax. Time for our goodbyes to our remarkable chef and horsemen.

After lunch in Lares, we take our private transport for 2.5 hours to Ollantaytambo, where we have dinner and then we take the 7pm train to Aguas Calientes. Where we spend the night.

  • Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • 3* Accommodation: Ferre Hotel Machu Picchu
  • Distance: 15kms / 9.3 miles
  • Time: 6 hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Today’s highlight is the amazing Machu Picchu!

After an early breakfast at your hotel, we take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you a tour, which takes about two hours. You will see some of the most important parts of Machu Picchu. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.

After your tour, those who have booked the extra hike of Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in advance, you´ll get time to enjoy the hike and views on your own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, we take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.

The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:22pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel around 7:00pm.

  • Meal included: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the times of : 2:55pm or 3:20pm, 4:22pm, or 4:43pm. The cost is $67 USD.
  • Early trains can be organized on request, but it has to be done at booking time.
    The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability, enquire at booking.