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The Lares Trek And Machu Picchu (Daily Breakdown + Video)


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Sacha Lott



Peru is a country renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. One of its most iconic attractions is Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca city perched high in the Andes Mountains. While there are several ways to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most rewarding and adventurous options is the Lares Trek.


The Lares Trek offers a unique alternative to the popular Inca Trail, providing a less crowded and more immersive experience for trekking enthusiasts. This lesser-known route takes you through remote Andean villages, stunning mountain passes, and picturesque valleys, showcasing the stunning natural beauty of Peru.


Unlike the Inca Trail, which requires permits and can be quite challenging, the Lares Trek offers a more accessible option for travelers of varying fitness levels. It typically takes four days to complete, allowing trekkers to acclimatize to the altitude gradually and enjoy the journey at a more leisurely pace.


During the Lares Trek, you will have the opportunity to interact with local indigenous communities and gain insight into their traditional way of life. You will witness their farming practices, visit their textile workshops, and perhaps even join in on a traditional ceremony. This cultural immersion adds a unique dimension to the trek, creating unforgettable memories and fostering a deeper appreciation for the local heritage.


Of course, the highlight of the Lares Trek is the grand finale at Machu Picchu. As you reach the Sun Gate and catch your first glimpse of the ancient citadel, the sense of achievement and awe is unparalleled. Standing among the ruins, you will appreciate the architectural genius of the Inca civilization and marvel at the beauty of this hidden gem.


So, if you are seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Peru, the Lares Trek is an excellent choice. It combines breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural encounters, and the awe-inspiring beauty of Machu Picchu. Lace up your hiking boots, embark on this memorable journey, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Day 1: Start of the Trek

The Lares Trek kicks off with an early morning departure from the charming city of Cusco. After a scenic drive through the Sacred Valley, you will reach the trailhead at the village of Pumahuanca, where your adventure begins.


As you set foot on the trail, you will immediately be surrounded by lush green valleys and towering mountains, creating a picturesque backdrop for your trek. The first day is relatively gentle, allowing you to acclimatize to the altitude and ease into the rhythm of the trek.


Throughout the day, you will pass through small rural communities, providing a glimpse into the traditional agrarian lifestyle of the Andean people. You can observe locals tending to their fields, cultivating crops such as quinoa and potatoes, and gain insights into their sustainable farming practices.


One of the highlights of the first day is reaching the Pumahuanca Pass, located at an elevation of approximately 4,200 meters. From here, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, showcasing the untouched beauty of the Andes.


After crossing the pass, you will descend into the beautiful Cancha Cancha Valley, where your campsite for the night will be set up. As you settle into your cozy tents, you can savor a delicious meal prepared by your trekking team, enjoying the sounds of nature and reflecting on the day’s adventures.


In the evening, you can take the opportunity to interact with the local community, learning about their customs and traditions. You may have the chance to participate in a traditional Andean ceremony, connecting with the spiritual essence of the region and gaining a deeper appreciation for its cultural heritage.


As night falls and the sky fills with stars, you can drift to sleep, knowing that you have embarked on a remarkable journey, with more exciting adventures awaiting you in the days to come.


Day 2: Pumahuanca Pass

Day 2 of the Lares Trek is when the real challenge begins as you tackle the Pumahuanca Pass, standing at an impressive altitude of 4,500 meters. This is arguably one of the most strenuous but rewarding sections of the entire trek.


After a nourishing breakfast, you will lace up your hiking boots and embark on the ascent towards the pass. As you make your way up, you will be surrounded by towering peaks, rugged landscapes, and awe-inspiring vistas. The air will be crisp and pure, invigorating you with each step.


The hike to Pumahuanca Pass is a true test of endurance, but the views along the way make every exertion worthwhile. As you reach the summit, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment washes over you, knowing that you have conquered a formidable challenge.


Take a moment to catch your breath and soak in the panoramic views of the Andean mountains stretching as far as the eye can see. The silence and serenity of the high altitude will engulf you, allowing you to feel a profound connection with nature.


After descending from Pumahuanca Pass, the trail leads you through remote Andean villages, where you can interact with locals and learn about their traditional way of life. You might have the opportunity to witness skilled artisans weaving intricate textiles or discover traditional farming practices that have been passed down through generations.


The second day of the Lares Trek also presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region. You will pass scenic lakes, gushing waterfalls, and verdant valleys, providing ample photo opportunities and moments of tranquility.


As the day draws to a close, you will reach your campsite in the Quiswarani Valley. Here, you can relax and rejuvenate your body, enjoying a well-deserved meal cooked by your trekking team. The peaceful surroundings and breathtaking views will create a sense of harmony and gratitude for the journey you have undertaken.


As you retire to your tent, the memories of the challenging hike up Pumahuanca Pass will linger, fueling your anticipation and excitement for the adventures that lie ahead on the remaining days of the Lares Trek.


Day 3: Huillcanota Valley

Day 3 of the Lares Trek takes you through the picturesque Huillcanota Valley, a region revered for its stunning natural beauty and cultural significance. This day offers a perfect blend of exploration, relaxation, and cultural immersion.


As you wake up to the crisp mountain air, you will enjoy a hearty breakfast to fuel your energy for the day ahead. The trail will lead you along the Huillcanota River, offering breathtaking views of the glistening water and lush greenery that lines its banks.


Throughout the day, you will encounter panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, dotted with patches of vibrant wildflowers. The tranquility and serenity of the Huillcanota Valley will engulf you, allowing you to fully appreciate the untouched beauty of the Andes.


One of the highlights of this day is a visit to the small community of Cuncani, where you will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their traditional way of life. The people of Cuncani are known for their weaving skills, and you can witness first-hand the intricate process of creating vibrant textiles using techniques passed down through generations.


Engaging with the community members not only provides insights into their heritage but also fosters a deeper connection with the Andean culture. You may even have the chance to try your hand at weaving or participate in a traditional dance, further immersing yourself in the local traditions.


As the afternoon unfolds, you will continue your journey through the Huillcanota Valley, passing through charming Andean villages and mesmerizing landscapes. You might spot llamas and alpacas grazing peacefully, adding to the picturesque scene.


At the end of the day, you will arrive at your campsite in the community of Yanahuara. Here, you can relax and unwind, enjoying a delicious meal while reflecting on the experiences of the day. The tranquil ambiance of the campsite provides the ideal setting for stargazing, connecting with nature, and embracing the simplicity of life in the mountains.


Drift off to sleep in your cozy tent, knowing that you have immersed yourself in the beauty of the Huillcanota Valley and forged connections with the local Andean communities. This day serves as a testament to the richness and diversity of Peru’s landscapes and cultures.


Day 4: Machu Picchu

The much-anticipated final day of the Lares Trek has arrived, culminating in a visit to the crown jewel of Peru – Machu Picchu. As you wake up early in the morning, a sense of excitement fills the air, knowing that you are about to set foot in one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world.


After a hearty breakfast, you will embark on the final leg of the trek, following a scenic trail that leads you through lush cloud forests. The anticipation builds with each step as you draw closer to your destination.


As you emerge from the forest, the grandeur of Machu Picchu unfolds before your eyes. The sheer beauty of the ancient citadel, nestled amidst the mist-covered mountains, is awe-inspiring. You will embark on a guided tour, exploring the temples, terraces, and intricate stone structures that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Your knowledgeable guide will provide insight into the history, architecture, and spiritual significance of Machu Picchu, unraveling the mysteries that surround this extraordinary place. You will have ample time to take in the breathtaking panoramic views, capturing the beauty of Machu Picchu from different vantage points.


After the tour, you will have free time to explore the site at your own pace. You can hike to the famous Sun Gate for a stunning view of Machu Picchu from above or venture to the awe-inspiring Inca Bridge, a testament to the engineering marvels of the Inca civilization.


As you soak in the sacred energy and serene ambiance of Machu Picchu, you can reflect on the incredible journey you have undertaken. The combination of breathtaking landscapes, challenging hikes, cultural encounters, and the grand finale at Machu Picchu makes the Lares Trek a truly unforgettable experience.


As the day comes to a close, you will bid farewell to Machu Picchu and make your way back to Cusco, carrying with you the memories, learnings, and profound connections forged during the trek. The experience of conquering the Lares Trek and immersing yourself in the wonders of Machu Picchu will leave an indelible mark on your heart.


The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu offer a unique and fulfilling adventure, combining physical challenges, cultural experiences, and stunning landscapes. It is a journey that will test your limits, ignite your senses, and leave you with a deep appreciation for the natural and historical wonders of Peru.



The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu provide an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the captivating landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and ancient wonders of Peru. This off-the-beaten-path adventure offers a unique alternative to the crowded Inca Trail, allowing you to explore remote Andean villages, conquer challenging mountain passes, and ultimately reach the iconic citadel of Machu Picchu.


Throughout the Lares Trek, you will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of majestic mountains, verdant valleys, and pristine lakes. The trail weaves through picturesque landscapes, giving you a profound appreciation for the untouched beauty of the Andes. You will have the opportunity to witness traditional farming practices, interact with local indigenous communities, and gain insight into their vibrant culture.


Reaching Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the highlight of the trek. Standing among the ancient ruins, you will be in awe of the architectural prowess and spiritual significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The guided tour will unravel the mysteries of Machu Picchu, and you will have time to explore the site at your own pace, capturing the magic through your lens.


As you reflect on the journey, you will realize that the Lares Trek is not just about the physical challenges and picturesque landscapes. It is about the connections you forge with fellow trekkers, porters, and local communities. It is about the personal growth and inner strength you discover as you conquer each step of the trek.


The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu are more than just a trekking adventure; they are a transformative experience that connects you with nature, history, and the profound spirit of Peru. The memories you make, the friendships you form, and the sense of accomplishment you feel will stay with you long after the trek is over.


So, lace up your hiking boots, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on the journey of a lifetime. The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu await, ready to captivate your senses, ignite your spirit of exploration, and leave an indelible mark on your soul.


Video: The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu

To truly capture the essence and beauty of the Lares Trek and Machu Picchu, we have put together a captivating video that showcases the highlights of this incredible adventure.


In this video, you will witness the stunning landscapes of the Andes Mountains, with their majestic peaks, sprawling valleys, and breathtaking vistas. As the camera pans across the picturesque trails, you will feel a sense of serenity and awe, understanding why this region is so revered.


As the video unfolds, you will be introduced to the local communities along the Lares Trek. Through captivating visuals, you will witness their daily lives, their traditional farming practices, and their vibrant cultural traditions. The video captures the warm smiles and welcoming nature of these communities, giving you a glimpse into their unique way of life.


As you follow the trekkers on their journey, you will witness the physical challenges they face and the triumphs they achieve. From ascending steep mountain passes to crossing lush valleys and encountering unpredictable weather, the video conveys the determination and resilience required to complete the Lares Trek.


The video reaches a crescendo as it showcases the culmination of the trek – Machu Picchu. The awe-inspiring ruins come to life as the camera captures their intricate details and majestic presence. You will feel the anticipation and excitement as the trekkers explore the ancient citadel, immersing themselves in the history and mysteries that surround this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


As the video draws to a close, you will be left with a sense of wonder, a yearning to embark on this extraordinary journey yourself. The Lares Trek and Machu Picchu are not just destinations; they are transformative experiences that take you on a spiritual and physical adventure through the heart of Peru.


So sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual expedition through the Lares Trek and Machu Picchu. Let the video inspire you to plan your own trip and embark on this unforgettable adventure that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the beauty and culture of Peru.