The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail.

Taking you off the beaten track with visits to authentic Andean communities whilst being surrounded by stunning mountains, lakes and valleys this fabulous trek offers a real insight in to the lives of the people of Cusco as it once was. 

Highlights include:

Trekking on the remote Lares Trail, a less well known route to Macchu Picchu.

Camping in remote locations, experiencing the beauty of the region round a campfire;

Experiencing the local culture and cuisine in Cusco;

Exploring remote, less well known Inca ruins;

Being exposed to local culture along the route;

Enjoying a special, final night celebration.

The itinerary is flexible and can be amended depending upon timeframes, budget and whether you want to visit other areas in Peru.  Here is a suggested itinerary:

Day 1 - London to Cusco via Lima or Bogota

It is about 15 hours to Lima, depending upon the airline, and then the onward flight to Cusco takes 1 hour 25 minutes, with up to 32 departures per day.

You will meet your Tribal Tracks leader, at your UK departure airport. They will be with you every step of the way to make sure that you are comfortable and make your trip fun.  

 Day 2 – Arrive Cusco

You will meet our local team at the airport and they will transfer you to the hotel, which will be a very comfortable 3 star hotel. 

Rest of the day at leisure to recover from the flight before having a welcome supper in a local restaurant.

Overnight in twin share 3*hotel, dinner.

Day 3 – Cusco

This is the day to explore the main sites and get used to the altitude.  We suggest that you take it easy, and make sure that you hydrate adequately.  Altitude can cause dehydration very quickly, so drink often!!!

After breakfast in the hotel, explore under your own steam, or join your Tribal Tracks leader for a walk around the main sites.  Cusco has many great restaurants so we have deliberately allowed you to choose where you want to eat lunch and try the local cuisine!  You may want to rest in the afternoon, or continue your exploration of the sites, before joining the rest of the team for another supper in a local restaurant. 

Overnight in twin share 3 *hotel, breakfast, dinner.

Day 4 – Cusco

This is your final day in Cusco before the trek!  We suggest that today you have a gentle acclimatisation trek to get you used to the high altitude. You will have a teaser of the fantastic adventure to come, as well as testing your legs and your response to the altitude.

This evening at supper we will have a pre-trek briefing and you should get an early night! 

Overnight in twin share 3 *hotel, breakfast, dinner.

Day 5 – Trek Day!!! Cusco - Pumahuanca - Puyoc

After breakfast, we transfer to the small village of Pumahuanca in the Sacred Valley.

We will gently make our way up one of the side valleys covering about 14km in total and climbing about 1150m /3373ft as we make our way 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.

This particular route for the Lares trek is not commonly trekked by other companies so we can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of our surroundings without any distractions or disturbances. Because so few people visit the area there is 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); it's quite barren at this altitude and it is not uncommon for it to snow up here during the dry season so gloves and a hat are recommended.

Overnight camping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  

Day 6: Puyoc - Yanacocha - Cuncani

Today is the most spectacular day of the trek and quite a bit easier going than yesterday. From our campsite it's about a 13km walk to the village of Cuncani but most of that is downhill.

As we make our way to Cuncani we'll pass by snow-capped peaks high above us, serene mountain lakes (including Yanacocha - Black Water) and get to meet the local people dressed in their traditional bright red clothing. This side of the pass is completely different culturally to the other side and as we wind our way down from the pass your guide will teach you about the people and their way of life. You'll also get to learn a few Qhechua phrases so that you can interact with the local people. 

Overnight camping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  

Day 7: Cuncani - Lares

The focus of today is to meet the local people. Waking up early we'll be taken by our guide to one of the houses where we'll get to meet a local family. The people are incredibly welcoming and are just as eager to learn about you as you are of them - hopefully by now you'll have mastered a few phrases and be able to ask a few questions (much to everyone’s delight and amusement). After the visit you'll have the opportunity to give any gifts you've brought for the local people and also to buy some of the locally made alpaca products that the region is famed for.

Leaving Cuncani it's just a short distance (6km) until we reach the hot springs of Lares. Along the way we'll pass through several small communities and see the people growing a variety of foods such as Quinoa and Tarwi, we'll also probably spot flocks of Andean parrots flying overhead (they're easy to spot thanks to their piercing calls). After a relaxing dip in the hot springs, we'll be picked up by our bus to transfer to the Sacred Valley from where we'll catch our train to Aguas Calientes where we will stay overnight.  (Camping is not recommended due to the pressure on the environment and overcrowding.  Putting you in a hotel for the night will allow you to have a brief respite (and a shower!) prior to the exploration of Macchu Picchu).

Overnight 3* hotel Aguas Calientes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  

Day 8: Machu Picchu!

Waking up early we'll trek in the dark up to  Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens (NB if feet are sore there is the option to take the bus). We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits, to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain.

In the afternoon, you can grab a snack on the way for lunch, before taking the Panoramic/Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco, to your hotel and dinner.

Overnight in twin share 3 *hotel, breakfast, dinner.

Day 9: Relaxing in Cusco

Relax, recover and reflect on your achievement!  Today is a day for final sightseeing, a bit of shopping, or importantly, a day for you to reflect on what you have achieved together as a group.

This evening there will be a celebration meal in a local restaurant, allowing you to let your hair down after a tremendous effort.

Overnight in twin share 3*hotel, breakfast, dinner.

Day 10: Return home

Today we say a fond farewell to Cusco and Peru, as you are transferred to the airport after breakfast, ready for your flight home.


About the Lares Trail

Starting Altitude - 2800m / 9186ft.

Highest Altitude - 4780m / 15,682ft.

Walking Distance - 34km / 21 miles

Longest Day - Day 1 of the trek, approximately 14km / 8.7 miles

Coldest Night - Day 1 around 0º celsius

Overall Difficulty - Moderate difficulty (depends on your level of fitness).


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