Lares trek and Machu Picchu - Full Itinerary (Code CLMP4)
How are Apus Peru's Lares treks unique?
We have worked in community development in these communities since 2007, and we have custom desiged this trek to visit a school where we have supported a teacher, and visit women's weaving groups which we have supported through capacitacion projects! This is not the same as other Lares treks! You take a different route, and there are more transport costs involved than other LARES treks that arrive lower in the Valley. We also include Vistadome train service to Aguas Calientes so you are not travelling late at night.
Day 1: Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Chaullacocha – Chupani
Departure from Cusco at 6:00 a.m. to go to Ollantaytambo where we’ll have breakfast. (Not included in Price of tour – we recommend a wholefoods meal at the Hearts Café – www.heartscafe.org ) Then we’ll travel for an hour up a winding, narrow back road, high into the mountains, to get to the starting point of our trek, Pallcac. (3900m/ 12 795ft).
We’ll walk for approximately three hours to the Chaullacocha pass (4300m/ 14 107ft) from where we’ll have a beautiful view of the mountains, snow-covered peaks and lagoons. We’ll be able to see the shepherding of llamas and alpacas. Then we’ll start climbing down to the small community of Chaullacocha (4121m/ 13520ft) where we’ll have lunch.
As we assist women;s weavings projects in Chaullacocha, the community is particularly welcoming to groups from Apus Peru, and if you want to support the communities in a tangible way, then you might like to consider buying weavings from the women. This rewards their work, and also supports the new NGO Threads of Peru, which has been working with the women in improving the quality of their weavings. If you are thinking of buying weavings, you will need to bring extra cash (in soles)
Apus Peru has supported bilingual education projects at the Chaullacocha school, and you will have an opportunity to meet with the children. The interaction with each group is different - some people sing a short song from their country and the children will sing in Quechua in return. Please note: you will NOT be 'teaching' the children in any capacity and your visit to the school might be quite short as it is interupting the flow of daily classes. Also, please check your itinerary that you are not visiting Chaullacocha on a weekend as classes will not be operating. There are school holidays from December thru to the beginning of March and at various other periods of the year . We strongly recommend you read the 'Responsible tourism' section on our FAQs page prior to visiting this school, particularly in regard to donating gifts.
Later on we’ll walk for an hour and a half to the Chupani campsite (3950m/ 12959ft).
**ALL NEW HOMESTAY OPTION! Apus Peru works closely with the people of Chaullacocha and would like to offer a special new homestay program - capacity limited to 6 people. See Chaullacocha Homestay. Should you select this option, you will stay in Chaullacocha, not Chupani.
Day 2: Day 2: Chupani – Machaypampa – Quellokasa Pass – Vilcabamba
We’ll begin our trek around 7:30 a.m. to keep on climbing down the valley going through a place called Chupani pampa (3838m/ 12591 ft), where the typical vegetation of the area starts to appear, after a 3 to 4 hours walk we’ll get to Machaypampa (3308m/ 10853ft) where we’ll have lunch, beside the river.
After a restful nap we’ll start our one and a half hour ascent to the QUELLOKASA pass (3500m/ 11482m), from here we’ll be able to observe a group of waterfalls, a place called Condor Huachana (where the condor nests) and the towns of Rosaspata, Choquecancha y Cachin, next we’ll climb down by the ravine to the small village of Vilcabamba (3150m/ 10334m), the place for our campsite.
Day 3: Vilcabamba – Lares Hot Springs – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
From our campsite we’ll be able to observe in the distance the town of Lares (3250m/10662ft).
After breakfast we’ll continue walking by the ravine, going down and up and then down again to get to Lares hot springs, on this day our estimated walking time will be 2 or 3 hours.
In Lares hot springs we’ll be able to take a relaxing bath and we’ll also have lunch. Later on we’ll take our ride from Lares (hot springs) to the town of Ollantaytambo, this will take approximately 3 hours and from here we´ll have to take the train to Aguas Calientes, our final destination.
Once we arrive in Aguas Calientes you will be transferred to your hotel and later have a celebratory dinner with your guide before getting to bed early!
Day 4: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Breakfast included at hotel. Early in the morning (before dawn) we will take a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. (Bus included in price) so that you can appreciate sunrise from the Watchman's Hut (or Inti Punku if you get up very early). You will then have a 2.5 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with your guide. After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. (You need to specify if you would like to climb Huayna Picchu at the time of booking, it costs $10 extra) Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or the fabulous Inca Bridge. We highly recommend walking down from Machu Picchu to get a feeling for the vegetation and also the audacity of its builders. Its a 1-2 hour walk back to the village of Machu Picchu. Alternatively, you can take the bus, which is included in the price of your tour.. We return to Cusco in the afternoon by the backpacker train (leaves either at 2.30pm or 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to Cusco
Itinerary notes - Lares and Machu Picchu trek - also known as the Weavers Way
- The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
- These are remote and high altitude villages. Conditions are harsh, and even though we will be camping in relative luxury (toilet tent, dining tent and mattresses, conditions are basic). There will be no opportunity to bathe (other than washing hands and face) and you should be prepared for extremely cold conditions. By the same token, this trip has many beautiful views and encounters with the people, and will most likely be the most memorable part of your entire Peru trip!
- Considering an extra night in Aguas Calientes? (Please check out linked page) We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase the ticket again.
- The Lares trek is more famous for its interaction with traditional villagers than outstanding scenery - though it is still a very beautiful region, filled with high mountain lakes and wildlife.
- The Lares trek is usually suitable for trekking during the wet season, (December, January, February) depending on the actual weather conditions.
- If its important to you to see a weaving demonstration OR visit the school while in session, please communicate this when making your reservation. These are living, breathing villages that means that we cannot guarantee that the people will be in their homes (they could be harvesting in the high fields for example) or that the school will be in session. (ie the school is closed on weekends, school holidays, and public holidays.) You should check you itinerary and if you have any doubts please check with us.
Aguas Calientes upgrade package (optional)
Included in the price of your tour is a very comfortable, 3 star hotel with hot water etc. However, we notice that many people are accustomed to a different standard of accomodation or are looking for a splurge. Our Upgrade Package makes this type of change easy to do. This is an upgrade package for treks that already include a nights stay in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, but you would like to upgrade the standard of hotel, meals and train service.
We offer three types of Upgrade... the different types refer to the standard of the Hotel. ** For Prices and hotel options, please refer to the Aguas Calientes Upgrades page **
- Comfort Plus
All packages include the same meals and trains.
- Dinner at one of Aguas Calientes “best” restaurants, like Indio Feliz or Tree House restaurant.
- Buffet lunch at Tinkuy Restaurant, located in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. With limited eating choices at Machu Picchu hunger tends to send clients to Aguas Calientes; by including the buffet lunch we find that clients can visit Machu Picchu early, then go to the buffet to try lots of different Peruvian (and Western) dishes, and then rest and go back for a second look at Machu Picchu.
- Return in Vistadome train rather than Expedition train, which gives you the opportunity for a more varied timetable and to return in a nicer train, with big windows in the roof.
For complete facts about many aspects of Apus Peru tours, check out our FAQs page!
- Pre trek briefing
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
- Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu (If you wish to climb Huayna Picchu its $15 extra, please advise at booking)
- English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
- Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
- Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) .
- Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
- Toilet tent
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
- Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
- 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
- Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
- Tents for our staff to sleep in
- First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
- Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Train ticket (Vistadome service) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
- Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.
- 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a basic hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom. If you wish to upgrade from this hotel, please check out the options listed on our Aguas Calientes accommodation page.
What is not included?
- Breakfast on the first morning.
- Dinner on the last night.
- Entrance to the Aguas Calientes thermal springs
- Huayna Picchu Entry ($15 extra)
- Sleeping bags - If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
- Tips for the guide, cook and porters
- Additional horses for passengers luggage.
You should bring:
- A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
- Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco .
- Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
- Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
- Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
- Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
- Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
- Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
- Sun block
- After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
- Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
- Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
- Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
- Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
- We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
- Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
- Small towel or sarong
- Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
- Cash - sufficient for snacks, tips and souvenirs.
- Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
- Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
- Binoculars (if you have them)
We can hire the following to you - please contact your Travel Consultant / or our booking forms for the current rates.
- Extra mule to carry YOUR things
- Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it
- Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg
- Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg.
- Walking stick lightweight aluminum - Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
- Thermarest inflatable mattress -
- Thermarest Inflatable pillow
- Comforting Camping trek upgrade - bigger tents, camp beds, includes sleeping bag, thermarest, and walking stick.
- Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent)
- When calculating costs for hire of walking stick, sleeping bag, calculate using the length of the tour. Even though you won’t use the equipment on the final day it will still be ‘on the road’ and ‘occupied.’
- If you hire equipment and break it – you are responsible for price of replacement /or repair. (please do the right thing!)
AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS (these discounts are not cumulative)
- 5% discount on treks only for members of South American Explorers Club (SAE)
- Students: US$ 30.00 (students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please beware that Youth Travel Cards are not valid)
- Teenagers: US$ 20.00 (up to 15 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
- Children: US$ 45.00 (up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings)
TO MAKE A BOOKING
Please visit our Make a Booking page.
You will need to email us to check availability, receive booking forms and then make your deposit. For our payment conditions and booking please refer to our Make a Booking page
* For organisational reasons, we require one week to organise your booking, prior to departure.