The Lares Hot Springs and Machu Picchu Trek 5d/4n - Ascend Adventure Travel
Trekking > The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu 5d/4n
Trip Notes
Difficulty: Moderate


Distance: 31 km or 19 miles

  • Travel off-the-beaten-path for more of a feeling of what life is like in small Andean communities
  • Appreciate the biodiversity of the Andes
  • Gaze upon stunning landscapes from the trail, appreciate the snow-covered peaks of the Andes (as high as 5750 meters or 18,865 feet), and get to know a diversity of flora and fauna
  • Relax in the beautiful Lares Hot Springs medicinal baths
  • A whole day at the ruins of Machu Picchu – and professionally guided tour
  • Eat, interact and spend the night in local Andean villages to gain insight into the life of the local community
  • Hotel pickup and transport to trailhead
  • Professional Bilingual guide and camp staff
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Snacks on the trail
  • Drinking water provided throughout trek
  • Hot water for washing in the morning
  • High quality, double-occupancy tents and equipment (includes dining tent, kitchen tent, and latrine tent)
  • Pack animals (horses and llamas) to carry baggage and equipment
  • Emergency horses for riding in case of illness or injury
  • Entrance fees to Lares Hot Springs
  • Transport back to Cusco or to Ollantaytambo
  • First aid kit and oxygen
Not Included:
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $5 a day)
  • Breakfast 1st day
  • Dinner the last day
  • Hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Tips
Packing List:
  • Backpack or duffle bag
  • Warm clothing and thermals
  • At least 4 changes of clothes
  • Trekking shoes
  • Wool socks
  • Rain jacket and rain gear
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Flashlight
  • Sleeping bag
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Day pack
  • Personal medical kit
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Original Passport
Possible Extensions/Upgrades:
  • 1-Night extension: Want to spend an extra night in Aguas Calientes? Just let us know!
  • Vegetarian Meals: We provide vegetarian meals and cater to other special diets at no extra cost. Just let us know prior to departure (at least one week)
  • Sleeping bags: Can be rented for $5 a day
Available Discounts:
  • Students (Requires a valid International Student Identity Card)

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The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu 5d/4n

This off-the-beaten-path trek takes you through many different bioregions of the Andes (as well as local village communities) on the way to the Lost Incan city of Machu Picchu. We will pass through beautiful glacial lakes, the high “punas” (treeless grasslands), secluded waterfalls, farmlands, lagoons, and subtropical regions. Observe native Andean waterfowls, ibis, and herds of llamas, alpacas, and sheep as we hike along this remote trail. Trek to the marvelous Lares Hot Springs to enjoy the medicinal baths before exploring the glorious ruins of Machu Picchu. This adventure is ideally suite for those looking to see Machu Picchu without the crowd on the Inca Trail.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Cusco – Cancha Cancha

We will arrive at your hotel in our bus at 5:30AM, drive through the Sacred Valley, and reach our starting point of Huran (2950 meters or 9,676 feet) in 1-½ hours.  From here, we start our trek to the Cancha Cancha Community, passing by beautiful flora, fauna, and a small river. After 4 hours of moderate hiking or so, we’ll see the glacial peaks of Cancha Cancha (4984 meters or 16,352 feet) and Mt. Chicon (5530 meters or 18,143 feet) as we near Cancha Cancha. At the Cancha Cancha Community, we will be received by the locals for a hearty lunch and interesting insight into the culture of this rural community. We will spend the night here – later enjoying a dinner buffet and hot tea before we call it a night.

Day 2
Cancha Cancha – Quiswarani

We begin today early for some breakfast before trekking to the 2 beautiful glacial lakes of Suirococha and Yuraccocha. We will see a fascinating variety of birds on the way, including Ibis and Andean Geese. From the glacial lakes, we will ascend for about 2 ½ hours to Pachacutec Pass, at 4700 meters or 15,420 feet. As we near the top, we will arrive to a spectacular view of the snow-covered peaks of Pitusiray, topping off at 5750 meters or 18,865 feet. We will cross an original Inca Trail that brings us down into the opposite corridor. We will soon pass a glorious set of waterfalls on the ridge down on to Quiswarani, where we’ll camp for the night.

Day 3
Quiswarani - Cuncani

After breakfast, we will begin ascending to Huillquicasa, passing through the high punas along the way.  We will arrive at Huillquicasa (4400 meters or 14,435 feet) to a stunning overview of the mighty Vilcanota Mountain Range. From here, we will pass through farmlands and lagoons to reach greener pastures below, with the scenery changing with each step. Herds of alpacas, llamas, and sheep graze alongside of flocks of Andean Waterfowl a little further down the trail as we near our campsite for the night. We’ll arrive at the village of Cuncani (3700 meters or 12,139 feet) for a gourmet dinner, cultural interaction, and a magnificent sunset. After dinner and some exploring, we’ll call it a night at our beautiful campsite.

Day 4
Cuncani - Lares - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

We wake up this morning to a hot breakfast and stunning view of the face of Mount Colque Cruz (5818 meters or 19,088 feet) before starting our trek to the Lares Hot Springs. The trail follows a beautiful river through a green valley for the next three hours or so, leading us to a sub-tropical climate. The vegetation becomes greener each minute down the trail as we start to near the village of Trapiche. From Trapiche, we are very near Lares and only minutes away from the natural medicinal baths. It’s time to relax and relieve your sore legs. We will soak in the thermal pools for an hour or so until our private transport arrives to take us to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, we will board a train to Agua Calientes (better known as Machu Picchu Town), where we will spend the night at a hotel. Enjoy a delicious dinner before heading over to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes (optional).  

Day 5
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After a good night’s sleep, we wake early in the morning for breakfast before we take the first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. We will arrive at Machu Picchu around 6 AM, where a fascinating and informative 2-hour guided tour awaits you. After you have had an extensive tour from an expert guide, you will have the chance to explore Machu Picchu, climb Huayna Picchu (need to plan/pay in advance), and other activities. After you have taken the day to appreciate the magnificent ruins, you will take a late afternoon train back to Cusco and arrive in the evening.





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