Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (4 Days)


Discover beautiful lakes and meet traditional Quechua communities of farmers and weavers on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.


Day 1: Drive to Pumahuanca, Trek to Puyoc

The Lares trail starts at the small village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley. We’ll begin a gentle ascent up a valley for about 14km towards the village of Puyoc. On our way up we’ll visit the small Inca site of Pumahuanca and learn about the native plants, flowers, and birds that inhabit this region. With few people around, there's a good chance of seeing Viscachas (a rabbit-like Chinchilla), and we may also spot Andean Fox. Our campsite for the night is at Puyoc (4100m / 13451ft).

Day 2: Puyoc to Cuncani, see Yanacocha lake

For many, today is the most spectacular day and quite a bit easier going than Day 1. From our campsite, it’s about 13km to Cuncani, but most of that is downhill. We’ll pass by snowcapped peaks, and serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha – Black Water), and get to meet locals dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. As we wind our way down from the pass, your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. It's a good time to practice a few Quechua phrases!

Day 3: Cuncani to Lares

Today is all about getting to know the people of the Lares Valley. Waking up early, we'll visit a local family. The people are incredibly welcoming. Hopefully, you’ll have mastered a few phrases to ask questions! You’ll have the opportunity to give any gifts you’ve brought and also to buy some alpaca products that the region is famed for. From Cuncani, it’s a short distance (6km) to the hot springs of Lares. We’ll pass more small communities and see crops of Quinua and Tarwi. After a relaxing dip in the hot springs, the bus takes us back to the Sacred Valley. From here it's a train ride to Aguas Calientes and our cozy hotel accommodation.

Day 4: Machu Picchu (!!) & return to Cusco

We'll rise early to take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu. You will be led on a 2-hour guided tour of the Inca site during which you’ll learn about the ancient Incan civilization and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you continue by bus back to Cusco. Note: a popular activity to do at Machu Picchu is to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. If you would like to do this, please let us know in the Skyhook guide's chat after making your booking.


What's Included

  • Pre-departure briefing in Cusco.
  • Professional English speaking tour guide.
  • Assistant tour guide for groups of 9+.
  • Professional cook.
  • Train to Machu Picchu (round trip) with Inca Rail Company.
  • Mules to carry all equipment & 7kg of your personal items.
  • Hotel pick-up from around the historic center of Cusco.
  • Return transportation (train to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco).
  • Water (excl. the first 4 hours of the trek when you need to bring your own).
  • Food: 3 x breakfasts, 3 x lunches, 3 x afternoon snacks, 3 x dinners.
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Double-thick sleeping mattress (which you must carry).
  • Inflatable pillow (which you must carry).
  • EUREKA 4-man tent (two people per tent).
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Day 3.
  • Oxygen bottle.
  • First aid kit.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
Not Included
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Single supplement: US$60 for single person booking.
  • Sleeping bag: US$25 to hire.
  • Walking poles: US$15 to hire.
  • Breakfast on day 1, lunch on day 4.
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain: US$85.
  • Travel insurance.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

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Rated 5.0

2 verified reviews


(Jan 2023)

Wow! Where to begin? My sister, best friend and I had the time of our lives with the Lares trekking. We felt connected to and inspired by our guide, Guido (Guidin😊). The porters were more than impressive in their feats of strength and endurance (all while joking with us and keeping us inspired along the way.) And the food was delicious! Our cook Erminio was exceptional -- who would have thought you'd have a meal suited for a quality restaurant in the mountains? We certainly did have it! If you're looking for an experience that is about learning about culture, history, and the natural world of Peru from its peoples, then this is the right tour operator for you. If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Would absolutely work with them again on another adventure!


(Nov 2021)

I just came back from the Lares trek and we had an amazing time! Me and my gf where the only one in the group, so we basically got a private trek :) All food was amazing, the chef made wonders with absolutely minimal gear.. While trekking we had the most stunning views. The trek was moderate in difficulty, with some hard parts. Herlin made sure at every step of the way we were okay, initiated stops if he saw us struggling :) Herlin had so much knowledge about the area and the flora and fauna which was really nice along the way. He also had a lot of humor in him, so we had quite some laughs along the way.. The chef (Hermillio) and the logistics guy (Marcello) were also incredible. Every stop they made sure we had a tent to have our food in case the weather was not nice enough to sit outside. They also made sure our tent for sleeping was set up Everytime we arrived. At the summit of the trek, we had a small snow storm and Hermillio was waiting with warm tea, the sweetheart!! We highly recommend Inkayni Peru tours and in particular our tourguide Herlin and his crew!



Before you go

We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 48 hours before the start of your trek, 3 nights would be better. This will give your body time to acclimatize to the high-altitude conditions. There's no sure-fire way to tell how each person reacts to the change in altitude, give yourself as much time as possible in order to begin your trek comfortably.

Solo travellers are most welcome. There does, however, need to be at least two people booked on a date to confirm departure. If you are travelling solo, please drop us a message beforehand to confirm existing groups. If you are traveling alone, you will need to pay for a single supplement (USD $60.00). This gets you a private tent during the tour. This is payable in cash USD once you arrive in Cusco.

The following is a list of basic items you will need for this trek; - Original Passport - Walking shoes - Waterproof jacket/rain poncho - Warm jacket - Hat and gloves - T-shirts - Comfortable Trousers - Sun hat - Sun cream (factor 35 or higher) - Insect repellant - Toiletries and hand sanitizer - Personal medication - Camera and film - Torch with spare batteries or Headlamps

Please see the section above for trip inclusions and exclusions.

This is a moderately difficult trail that traverses rough mountain terrain. You will need to be able to hike 10km/ 6 miles per day carrying a small backpack with essentials for the day plus your sleeping mat and pillow. You need to be in relatively good physical condition, plus take time to properly acclimatize beforehand. During the last two months leading up to your trek, we suggest a regular exercise routine to improve endurance and stamina. Getting fit will ensure that you have the best experience possible!

The best time for experiencing good weather on the trail is between the months of April – October when there is minimal rainfall and clear skies. The driest months are June – August, which is winter in the Andes. Nights and early mornings are chilly during this time. November can still be good to hike but, as the season progresses, there is a good chance of getting wet. Rainy season peaks over the Peruvian summer (December- March).

Please consult with your physician or local travel clinic regarding your visit to South America. If you are visiting the Amazon, a yellow fever vaccination is recommended. Illnesses are more common in the Amazon than in the Andes mountains, where this trek takes place. Entrance requirements for Peru in regard to COVID-19 vaccinations and tests change regularly. You should check up-to-date restrictions before traveling.

On your trip

We take a maximum of 10 people per group.

We strongly recommend using trekking poles on our Andean trails. Especially for those with any known knee problems. The poles will assist your balance and reduce the impact on your knees. Inkayni Peru Tours has hiking sticks available to rent for US$15. Send us a message after booking to let us know if you would like a pair, you will pay for these in cash upon arrival in Cusco.

On this trek, Mules/ horses will carry cooking and camping equipment as well as 15 lbs/ 7kg of your items. You will need to carry a daypack with items including water, snacks, and additional layers of clothing. You will also need to carry your own sleeping mat and pillow. We recommend bringing only the essentials in order to keep your backpack light!

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to begin the Lares trek. After the trek, we will drop you back at your hotel.

Of course, without any additional costs! When you make your reservation, please inform us of any dietary requirements, including allergies. We provide vegetarian options and can cater to lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant diets. Most of our main meals are buffet-style, so you can pick and choose. If you have preferences( for example, strongly dislike onions, tomatoes, or mushrooms) we will ask our chef to leave out or separate these items. Please note, we cannot accept individuals with life-threatening allergic reactions.

Any baggage that is not necessary for your trek may be stored in your hotel in Cusco (most hotels offer this service free of charge). In the case that your hotel does not provide this service, we will store your baggage safely in our office free of charge.

Other FAQs

Machu Picchu entrance tickets can sell out, especially in season. So, it is advisable to book your trip in advance. We can only confirm your trip once we have secured your Machu Picchu entrance ticket. If we are unable to get a ticket for your date, we will recommend an alternative date or refund your booking in full. Please immediately follow your booking by providing your passport information to your host on your Skyhook dashboard. Note that if we have confirmed the purchase of your ticket and you need to change dates/ cancel your trip, the ticket price is non-refundable (as cash or Skyhook credit). If a date change is possible, you will need to pay the extra cost of a new ticket.

Hiking up the neighbouring mountains to the Machu Picchu site ( Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain) is an extremely popular add-on to this tour. These mountains have an additional cost of US$85 per person and need to be booked in advance. If you would like to add one of these mountains to your Machu Picchu visit, please let us know once you have confirmed your booking (use the button on your tour dashboard; MESSAGE THE GUIDE). This extra activity is subject to availability. You will need to pay this balance at our offices once you arrive in Cusco. You will have time to climb the mountain after the main tour of Machu Picchu. Your guide will unfortunately not join you for this activity.

We happily receive clients with food allergies (nuts, wheat, dairy, etc.) Please inform us in detail of your condition upon making your reservation. If in doubt, ask us. We kindly ask that you declare the severity of your reaction and any medication that you take in case of an emergency. If your allergy is severe, you need to be accompanied by someone who will take responsibility for your situation and carries the necessary medication. WE CAN NOT ACCEPT CLIENTS WITH LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGIES

Yes! If you would like to add extra days to your stay in Cusco and visit Rainbow Mountain, please 'Message Your Guide' from your Skyhook Dashboard after making the booking. Any activities (including Rainbow Mountain) that are not included in the itinerary of this trip will need to be arranged directly with the local operator and paid for in the country

For this trip, we do need at least two people booked on a date to confirm departure. If you are travelling solo, you're welcome to book, but please drop us a message beforehand to confirm existing groups. Once we have two or more bookings, the only events that may jeopardise your travel dates are natural disasters or other circumstances that may put your safety at risk.

Your head guide is Lisseth

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Inkayni Peru Tours, based in Cusco.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!