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Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – 4 Days

The Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 Days, is a great way to combine the best of breath-taking landscapes, archeological ruins, and immersion in traditional cultures.

Firstly you will experience the beautiful landscapes and traditional cultures of Lares, where you will have the opportunity to get to know the traditional culture of the region. Then you will do the Inca Trail, visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna and hike to Machu Picchu, then continue through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), where we can see the citadel of Machu Picchu for the first time.

Discover the incredible trekking through the Lares Valley and the short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days

icon clock Duration: 4 Daysicon altitude Max. Altitude: 4400 m / 14435.7 fticon sleep Accommodation: Camping & Hotel
icon mountain Difficulty: Moderate to Challengingicon calendar Season: All year icon covid19 Covid-19 Biosafety Protocols
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Overview

Day 1: Cusco – Huacawasi – Sondor

  • 5:30 AM Pickup at your Hotel
  • Meals: (optional Breakfast), 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner & Snacks
  • Approximate hiking time: ~5-6 hrs.
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Climate: Warm and Cold at night
  • Highest elevation: 3800 m / 12467 ft
  • Sleepover in communal house in Sondor

Day 2: Sondor – Paso Sacsaylame – Aruray Cocha – Miski Unu- Pucara

  • Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner & Snacks
  • Approximate hiking time: ~7-8 hrs.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Climate: Cold
  • Highest elevation: 4400 m / 14435.7 ft
  • Sleepover in camping ground Pucara

Day 3: Ollantaytambo – Km. 104 – Aguas Calientes

  • 6 AM Pickup at Campingsite
  • Meals: 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunchbox, 1 Dinner & Snacks
  • Approximate hiking time: ~6-7 hrs.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Climate: Humid with mosquitoes
  • Highest elevation: 2780 m / 9120.7 ft
  • Sleepover in Hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • Meals: 1 Breakfast
  • Approximate hiking time: ~3 hrs.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Climate: Temperate to Warm
  • Highest elevation: 2430 m / 7972.4 ft
  • Transportation back to Cusco

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Huacawasi – Sondor

We will begin the Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu by picking you up from your respective hotel at 5:30 AM. You can sleep in the car while we will drive to the town of Calca (2926 m / 9599.7 ft). Here we will make the first stop, you can check out the local market and do some shopping before we will have a delicious breakfast.

After that, we will continue our journey to the village of Lares (3150 m / 10334.6 ft) where we will have the opportunity to visit the thermal medicinal baths of Lares and enjoy a relaxing bath, the temperature varies between 28 °C and 34 °C.

Hereafter we will have a tasty lunch to prepare us for the hike. Then we will start hiking to the first campsite of Sondor (3800 m / 12467 ft). The hike will be gradually uphill so that you can get used to the trek and prepare for the second day.

We will spend the first night in the house of our villagers who will cordially welcome us into their homes upon our arrival. They will be ready to show us the Andean weaving process and you will have the opportunity to participate in this process.

  • Transport time: 3 hours
  • Walking time: 6 hours
  • Weather during the day: Hot
  • Weather during the night: Cold

Day 2: Sondor – Paso Sacsaylame – Aruray Cocha – Miski Unu- Pucara

After breakfast, we will start the hike to the highest point, the Sacsayllame pass (4400 m / 14435 ft).

The hike will be a very steep ascent for about 1.20 hours. This is the most challenging part of the hike, which is why we will have an emergency horse, just in case, so that you can be confident to reach the top.

During this trip, you will be able to enjoy huge mountains, agricultural land, and breathtaking views. Take into account that we will reach great heights and the weather can be very cold.

After reaching the highest point we will descend and pass a beautiful lagoon before having lunch. You will have some free time to rest and recover while our cooks prepare a delicious lunch for you.

Afterwards we will descend further into a forest where you will be able to view the “Queuñas” (Polylepis) a typical Peruvian tree. This hike will take approximately 6 hours (camp Pucara 3000 m). A wonderful place in the middle of a forest, where you will receive a hot tea and some snacks before you can relish this fantastic afternoon by observing the endemic and migratory birds and hummingbirds in our primary forest.

  • Walking time: 7 – 8 hours
  • Weather during the day/night: Cold

Day 3: Ollantaytambo – Km. 104 – Aguas Calientes

We will pick you up from the camp at 6 AM and drive you in the direction of the village of Ollantaytambo for 45 min. Here we will take the train to KM. 104 where we will begin hiking the Inca Trail.

Please remember to bring your original passport! As each trekker can only enter the Inca Trail after identifying himself at the passport control. Then we will start hiking just a few meters next to the Vilcanota River.

At the beginning of the trail, we will see the ruins of Chachabamba, a stone altar that was used to worship the sun and the mountains and is still venerated by the local population.

We will continue our way south and begin a gradual ascent up the mountain. After walking for 3 hours, the path descends into an incredible forest. Here we will find a beautiful waterfall and arrive at the ruins of Wiñaywayna (2650 m / 8694.2 ft). Here you can appreciate the beauty of this place, while our expert guide will explain to you the historical and cultural importance of these ruins.

After breakfast (Lunchbox) in Wiñaywayna, we will continue the hike in the afternoon and trek through a beautiful forest, full of bromeliads, orchids, and ferns. As we walk along this last part of the road, we will pass by many impressive features, such as stone staircases and tambos (“resting places”).

You will descend 60 stairs before arriving at Inti Punku (“the Sungate”). From this point, you can contemplate and observe this marvelous place. Then we will descend for 45 minutes until we reach the viewpoint, from here you can see the sunset.

We will go down to the entrance of Machu Picchu, where we will board the bus to the village of Aguas Calientes.

** Lodging in Aguas Calientes

  • Walking time 06 hours.
  • Included: Breakfast, lunchbox and dinner.

Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

We will have breakfast from 05:00 AM before we will board the first bus to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and start the guided tour in this enigmatic and mysterious citadel. You will have approximately 2 hours with a Professional Guide who will explain to you all the important information about this mystical place.

After the guided tour you will have some free time and can choose whether you would like to explore more of the place, such as the Sungate or Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Hereafter, we will return to the village of Aguas Calientes, where you will take the train back to the village of Ollantaytambo and from there to Cusco. We will drop you off at your respective hotel.

***Breakfast included.

  • Walking time: 3 hours
  • Weather: moderately hot

Important:

*The times of the Tour schedule can vary according to your preferences and personal circumstances, which is why we will hold a previous briefing in order to discuss with you your wishes and accordingly determine the specific timetable of the tour
*The entrance to Huaynapicchu must be requested at the time of booking the tour and is subject to the given availability. (maximum 400 spaces per day)

includes

TOUR INCLUDES

  • High-quality service
    • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English; other languages only if previously requested)
      • Guided visits to Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna and Choquesuysuy
      • Guided visit to the Citadel of Machu Picchu
    • Professional cook and assistant
    • Horses and mules to carry up to 7 kg of a client’s personal belongings/luggage
    • Emergency horse
    • First aid kit and oxygen bottle
  • Transportation
    • Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the first visiting point.
    • Tourist Transport Cusco – Quiswarani.
    • Tourist transport Lares – Ollantaytambo.
    • Train ticket to km 104 (starting point of the tour.)
    • Consettur RT Machu Picchu bus ticket – Aguas Calientes.
    • Train ticket to and from Ollanta – Cusco.
    • Transfer to the city of Cusco.
  • Accommodation
    • 01 nights of basic accommodation in Ollantaytambo.
    • In campsites with high-quality camping equipment (professional tent: Doite Top 4, for 2 people), mattresses, dining tent with table and chairs, hygiene services)
    • Horses and muleteers for the Camping and Food team.
  • Entrance Tickets
    • Entrance to the Inca Trail park and the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
  • Meals:
    • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches/Lunchbox, 3Dinners & Snacks
    • Cooked Water is provided, but you need to bring your own bottle or buy water on the way

TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Services not detailed in the program
  • Breakfast on the first day.
  • Dinner in Ollantaytambo (Day 4)
  • Lunch in Aguas Calientes (Day 4)
  • Life insurance.
  • Additional nights due to bad weather
  • Personal care items.
  • Entrance to Huaynapicchu (+ 30.00 USD – depending on availability)

Contact Us

  • info@dreamy.tours
  • reserve@dreamy.tours

More Information

What to pack for the Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail?

  • Backpack
  • Rain poncho -> keep in mind that the weather can be very cold and humid; in this case, wet clothes do not have the time to dry
  • Sleeping bag
  • Clothes for hot and cold weather (e.g. short and long sleeve shirts, trekking pants, Wool or cotton socks, warm jacket, etc.)
  • Trekking shoes
  • Swimsuit and Sandals for Hotsprings
  • Sun protection (hat & sunscreen)
  • Insect repellent, hand sanitizer gel, toilet paper
  • Water bottle or water purifying tablets
  • Camera (waterproof or wrapped in a plastic bag), flashlight, and extra batteries
  • Additional snacks: Cereal bars, chocolate, nuts, etc.
  • Original passport and if applicable student card «ISIC» (for the entrance to Machu Picchu)
  • Extra money in soles (Peruvian money)

How difficult is the Lares Trek? Acclimate and altitude sickness

The Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days is considered to be a moderate to challenging trek. Depending on the day the hiking distance may vary but generally speaking, is the second day the hardest as you will climb an elevation of 4400 m or 14435 ft. This can be challenging especially due to the altitude.

In any case, it is advisable to acclimatize to the altitudes the days before the hike. We recommend acclimatizing for two or more days in the city of Cusco. For this purpose, we can offer you various city tours in Cusco out of which we especially recommend the easier ones such as the Cusco City TourMaras and Moray Tour, and the Sacred Valley Tour.

Furthermore, we recommend eating healthy, avoiding fatty foods, and drinking a lot of water or Coca-tea. Please avoid drinking alcohol or smoking, especially on the days before the hike.

Nonetheless, altitude sickness can happen even to the fittest, thus here are the most common symptoms so that you can recognize it: headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, shortened breath, and difficulty with coordination. As long as the symptoms are relatively mild, we recommend using Coca leaves as a way to treat the symptoms. You can chew them or drink them as tea.

In any case, acclimatize your body and take it easy!

How high is the Lares Trek?

The elevation map of the Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 4 days.

The maximum altitude of this trek is 4400 m / 14435.7 ft above sea level.

The lowest altitude is 2050 m / 6725.7 ft above sea level.

Lares is at 3150 m / 10334.7 ft above sea level.

When is the best time to do the Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail?

In Cusco we have two seasons:

  • The dry season (from April to October)
  • The rainy season (from November to March)

The best time to do the Lares Trek of 4 days is during the dry season, from April to October as there is a lower chance of rain and generally more sunlight.

Dry Season

In April the season is still changing from rainy season to dry season which means the rain progressively reduces and the days are getting warmer and sunnier.

The months from May to September are undoubtedly the best time to hike the Lares Trek, as the days are sunny with clear skies. Even though the nights are much colder, you will have a higher chance of taking amazing photos of the landscapes during the day.

In October the dry season is slowly changing to the rainy season which can increase the risk of rainy days progressively.

Rainy Season

From November to March there is a higher chance of rain and the rain can be very strong.

In November and December, the rainy season is starting, which means that the rain progressively gets stronger. Yet, there are sunny and bright days, but it can rain at any time and cloudy days get more common.

The rainy season is the strongest from January to March which means that the rain is rather persistent and days are often cloudy, but with some luck, you can still find some sunny days.

However, during its peak month in February, there can be extreme rainfalls triggering landslides and avalanches, causing roads to be blocked and trekking can become very dangerous, which is why the Inca Trail is closed during February and thus the part of the Short Inca Trail is not available.

How long is the Lares Trek?

The total distance on the Lares Trek is 37 km / 23 miles.

The differences between the Lares Trek vs Inca Trail

Inka TrailLares Trek
DifficultyChallengingModerate to Challenging
Duration4 Days4 Days
RemotenessRemote trails through the mountainsRemote towns and mountains
Max. altitude4200 m / 13779.5 ft4450m / 14599.7 ft
AccommodationCampingCamping & Hotel
Best time to goApril to OctoberApril to October
Permits requiredYesNo

During the Inca Trail, you will see 7 archeological ruins, which can only be accessed by foot. What makes the Lares trek unique is that it passes through several traditional mountain villages.

The Inca Trail is the only trek that ends at the ruins of Machu Picchu. The Lares Trek requires participants to travel to Aguas Calientes for the final night followed by a visit to Machu Picchu the next day.

The classic Inca trail is by far the most popular and crowded of all the trekking routes in the area. You should not expect solitude on the Inca Trail.

On Lares Trek you most likely won’t meet many other groups on the trail. The experience is a bit more private, the campsites are more remote.

The classic Inca Trail is also highly regulated, numbers are strictly controlled and documents must be shown at various checkpoints. Remember to book well in advance, as places are limited and tickets sell out months in advance.

Considering the difficulty between the Lares Trek vs Inca Trail, the Lares trek is slightly less difficult than the Inca Trail, but still not an easy trek.

Which one to choose?

The classic Inca Trail is also highly regulated, this can detract from the overall authenticity of the experience. If you are expecting a true taste of the wild Andes, the Inca Trail might not be the best choice.

If you wish to complete a trek in the Sacred Valley, and it is not important to you to reach Machu Picchu on foot, then the Lares trek offers a more rewarding and authentic trekking experience. The Lares trek is suitable for those with limited time, as it is shorter than some other alternative treks to the Inca Trail.

Price

HOW MUCH DOES THE LARES TREK & SHORT INCA TRAIL COST?

We have different price alternatives that can accommodate all budgets. All prices are per person and expressed in US Dollars.

Email us your quotes and reservations at: info@dreamy.tours.

Alternatively, you can also contact our sales executives directly via the phone numbers below, we are happy to assist you.

Office: +51 084-548558
Phone – WhatsApp: + 51 969 787221
Phone – WhatsApp: +51 963 414 234

HOW TO BOOK THE LARES TREK & SHORT INCA TRAIL?

To start the reservation process, please send us the following information:

  • Name and surname:
  • Passport number:
  • Nationality:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Sex:
  • Phone:
  • Hotel Information: (Very Important: In order to be able to pick you up at the start of the tour, we need the address and information of your hotel where you are staying in the city of Cusco)

To confirm reservations it is required to pay 50% in advance and the other 50% can be paid upon arrival at your destination.

PAYMENT METHODS

  • WESTERN UNION
  • PAYPAL
  • TRANSFER TO OUR BANK IN PERU
  • MONEYGRAM
  • NIUBIZ

GENERAL CONDITIONS

  • All rates for our Peru Packages are expressed in US dollars (subject to currency exchange rates) and are priced per person
  • The rates for Peruvians only include VAT
  • All our rates are subject to availability and circumstances
  • Children under 2 years and 11 months are considered INF (babies) and are not permitted on this tour
  • Children from 3 to 10 years and 11 months are considered DCC (child) and thus eligible for special rates and obliged to share the room with their parents
  • Children over 11 years old are considered adults
  • Minors must travel with an identity document
  • Rates do not apply to holidays, Easter, long weekends, national holidays, Christmas, or New Year

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