Classic Lares Trek 4D

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Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Availability : Every Day
Depart: Huaran
Destination: Lares
Max People : 12

About the 4-day Classic Lares Hike

What will you see on our 4-day classic Lares trek? Stone houses with thatched roofs, children tending herds of llamas and alpacas, and women in colorful traditional dress spinning yarn. This is a hike rich in culture. You’ll be hiking along some of the same trails and paths that the locals use every day!

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    Step back in time and experience a living Inca culture! The lifestyle in the remote Andean communities on this classic Lares hike is largely unchanged since Inca times, and on this route you will get to witness it first-hand.

    The Classic Lares route starts in the heart of the Sacred Valley. After travelling about an hour and a half by car we reach Huaran, the Lares trailhead. From here, the trail heads up into the highlands.

    Over the next two days, we pass a series of stunning glacial lakes and two high passes. We’ll also trek through a number of traditional Andean villages, including Cancha Cancha, Quishuarani and Cuncani. On Day 3 we end up at the Lares hot springs for an enjoyable soak to rest our weary muscles!

How are Apus Peru's Lares Treks Unique?

    Our multiple Lares routes are different than the norm, getting you off the beaten track. We have worked in community development in the Lares Valley communities since 2007, including supporting the local school.

    As a result, we have a very close relationship with the people there, many of whom work as part of our trek staff, from porters to cooks to muleteers.

    Apus Peru’s sister non-profit organization, Threads of Peru, also works with the weavers of Chaullacocha. Travelers who hike many of Apus Peru’s Lares Valley Treks often get a chance to visit the school and the weaving association – this is a totally different experience than the average Lares trek!

Classic Lares Trek Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in local Andean culture
  • Marvel at stunning alpine lakes, mountain vistas, waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife
  • Does not include Machu Picchu, but you can add a Machu Picchu extension


Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people


3 people


4-6 people


7+ people


High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Important Details About the Trek

What is Included?


  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Camping pillows
  • Basic foam mattress. If you would like greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • Toilet tent


  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your Travel Consultant during the booking process if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Boiled water to drink on the hike (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
  • Filtered water provided during the drive on the first day


  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your 4D Classic Lares Trek Peru trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek

Trekking Team

  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 8kg (17 lbs)  per person).
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals


  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower

Additional inclusions

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Entrance to the Lares hot springs

What is Not Included?


  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last night


  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage or to ride


  • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
  • Flights to/from Cusco
  • Travel Insurance

Optional Extras & Upgrades

We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

Equipment Available for Rent

  • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 8kg (17 lbs)  per person
  • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 8kg (17 lbs), and will only walk in groups. The cost of hiring llamas includes a small group of 3-4 llamas and a llamero (llama driver)
  • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
  • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5˚C
  • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
  • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Thermarest inflatable mattress

Service Upgrades

Optional Activities


  • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
  • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
  • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

What to Pack

The 4 day Classic Lares hike is a high elevation trek. It will be cold at night, with temperatures reaching below zero. In the winter months of May to August, temperatures can reach as low as -5°C (23° F) overnight!

We recommend that you bring the following items with you:

  • A fleece or down jacket is an essential item at this elevation;
  • Hiking trousers with zip off shorts are a good idea, as day time temperatures can be quite warm, yet temperatures plummet as soon as the sun goes down. You can supplement these with leggings or thermals to wear underneath;
  • A rain poncho or waterproof jacket is also important. It can rain or even snow at certain times of the year!;
  • Water-resistant trekking boots are advisable. The trail on this hike can sometimes be muddy and wet, so we also recommend to bring extra socks!;
  • A warm sleeping bag, rated to -15°C (5°F). If you prefer, you can rent one from us;
  • A headlamp or torch;
  • A high factor (SPF) sunscreen, a sun cap and sunglasses. The sun can be really strong, especially in dry season. Sun protection is essential!;
  • Swimwear and sandals so that you can enjoy the Lares hot springs on the 3rd night;
  • A small daypack to carry your necessary items for each day’s hiking.

For our full packing list for treks in the Andes, see What to Bring.

Our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru will also give you some great tips for how to get ready for your trek, before you even leave home.

Lares Route Map


Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. Car seats, cribs and other baby needs may not be included and must be discussed in advance. For more information about travelling with infants and toddlers, please see this blog as well as the Age Requirements section of our Booking Conditions.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

Guides & Safety on the Trail

Our whole trekking team is native to the area and know the Lares region like the back of their hand! They are some of the warmest, endearing and wonderful people you are ever likely to meet.

Our guides are all licensed and receive regular training. They share their experience, professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm with our passengers on every trek.

Get to know our team!

Trekkers Wanted

Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone!

Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.
  • On the Classic Lares trail you will be visiting remote, high-altitude villages. Conditions are harsh and you should be prepared for extremely cold, rustic conditions.
  • This is a great trek for its opportunities to interact with local community members – a genuine and very memorable Andean cultural experience!
  • The Classic Lares hike is a great wet season trek! If you want to trek anytime between December and March, read more about our Wet Season Trekking policy.

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

4-Day Classic Lares Trek Itinerary

Day 1Huaran - Cancha Cancha

    • Total Walking Distance: 11km
    • Total Walking Time: 4h
    • Minimum Altitude: 2900m (9514 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4000m (13,123 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 4000m (13,123 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: -8°C (18°F)

    The Classic Lares hike starts with a pick up from your hotel early in the morning. We leave Cusco behind and head to the Sacred Valley. You’ll be left breathless as we come around a corner and you catch your first glimpse of this verdant valley, and the impressive Urubamba mountain range towering above it.

    After passing through Pisac, we head to Huaran where we will start our hike. We will follow a small river up through the mountain corridor, passing pretty farmland along the way. After about 4 hours of hiking, we will reach the traditional Quechua community of Cancha Cancha (3800m / 12,467 ft), a highland plain scattered with stone houses.

    We will hike through Cancha Cancha to the spot where we will set up camp for the night, surrounded by imposing peaks.

Day 2Cancha Cancha - Quishuarani

    • Total Walking Distance: 13km
    • Total Walking Time: 7h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3700 m (12,139 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4700m (15,419 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3700 m (12,139 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: -1°C (30°F)

    This morning, we start our hike passing the Upper Cancha Cancha village where we can sometimes see children tending their herds of llamas. After a climb, we reach two brilliant glacial lakes: Suirococha and Yuraccocha. It’s not uncommon to see several bird species here, including the Andean ibis and Andean goose.

    From here, the trail climbs steeply upwards for about 2.5h to the first pass, Pachacutec (4700m / 15,419 ft). Near the top, we are rewarded with views of the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray (5750m / 18,864 ft) and Chicon (5500m / 18,044 ft).

    The path then continues for about an hour along a narrow, barren ridge before dropping down into a beautiful secluded corrie. The area is filled with glacial lakes, an area rich in bird-life. We follow a series of nine cascading waterfalls to the village of Quishuarani (3700 m / 12,139 ft), where we will camp for the night.

Day 3Quishuarani - Cuncani - Lares Hot Springs

    • Total Walking Distance: 16km
    • Total Walking Time: 9h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3100m (10,170 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4450m (14,599 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3100m (10,170 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 4°C (39°F)

    Starting early, we walk for about 3h, heading west up a small valley until we arrive at a lake. Here we will starting climbing up a steep, narrow trail to the top of the second pass, Abra Huillquijasa (4450m / 14,599 ft). From the pass, we’ll feast our eyes on the incredible sapphire blue lakes below.

    We then continue on for about an hour to the village of Cuncani (3800m / 12,467 ft), where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will descend around 2.5 to 3 hours towards the town of Lares (3100 m / 10,170 ft).

    Half an hour before arriving at Lares, we will stop for a well-deserved soak in the famous hot springs! We will camp here for the night.

Day 4Lares Hot Springs - Cusco

    After a leisurely breakfast and a last dip in the hot springs, our transport will pick us up and we will return to Cusco. Time permitting, we will stop at the ruins of Ancasmarca en route. Total travel time today is approximately 4-5 hours.

    Extend your trip by one day and visit the unparalleled Machu Picchu! Check out our Machu Picchu Trek Extension for more information.

Classic Lares FAQs

How difficult is the 4 day Classic Lares trek?

We classify the Classic Lares trek as a moderate trek.
(See how we rate all our treks in the Cusco region!)

We consider it “moderate” due to the elevation, more than the difficult terrain. While it is no walk in the park, ascents and descents are more gradual compared to other treks, making for easier trekking. There is a joke among trekking guides that the Lares trail features “Inca flat” terrain – a more gently undulating path, compared to the steep ascents and descents of other treks in the region! But make no mistake – it is not really “flat”.

The real challenges are the high altitude and the weather. Lares features some high altitude campsites, so you must be properly acclimatized in order to avoid altitude sickness.

Weather in the Andes is always unpredictable, especially at high altitude. You can expect cold, windy and even wet weather (especially if you are hiking out of season).

How can I prepare for the Lares trek and what training do you recommend?

Long distance trekking at high elevation is a challenge for anyone!

We always recommend you get in shape before embarking on an Andean trek. The fitter you are, the easier it will be!

Any kind of multi-day hiking or cardiovascular exercise in the gym would be beneficial prior to the trek. Please consult your doctor or fitness trainer before starting any exercise regime. They can help guide you to ensure your training regimen suits your abilities and fitness level.

For more information about how to get in shape for your trek, see our Trekking Tip #3!

How many days do I need to acclimatize to the altitude?

Altitude sickness is serious business, and it can affect anyone. You do not want to experience altitude sickness while hiking!

So how can you avoid feeling sick from the altitude on the trail? Acclimatize first! This is pretty easy to do, as all your body needs is time to get used to high altitude conditions.

You can spend time in a high altitude place like Cusco, where this trek departs from. Luckily Cusco (3400m / 11,154 ft) is a great place to hang out for a few days, so you probably won’t mind! We recommend a minimum of 2 days’ acclimatization for most treks, but truly, the more time you can spend acclimatizing, the better.

While acclimatizing, we recommend taking it easy. Don’t overtax your body right of the bat. Instead, get lots of rest, do some gentle walks, nothing too strenuous. We also recommend eating light, nutritious meals, and drinking plenty of water (avoid alcohol).

For more about how to prepare, reach our Altitude and How to Acclimatize page.

What is the best time of year to do this hike?

The Classic Lares route is one of the few treks we can operate all year round.

There are basically two seasons in the Andes: wet season and dry season. Dry season runs from about May through September, and is characterised by – you guessed it – dry weather conditions. The days are typically clear and sunny, and the trails dry (and sometimes dusty). Despite the cold nighttime temperatures that also accompany dry season, this is an optimal time for hiking. However, dry season is also peak tourism season around Cusco, so that’s when you’re most likely to be sharing the trail with other groups.

Unlike a lot of other routes in the Andes, you can also hike Lares during wet season. From December through March, the temperatures warm up slightly and the chance of rain increases dramatically. You can expect rain showers pretty much every day, sometimes heavy. Of course there are far fewer trekkers at this time of year, providing a more peaceful experience on the trails!

For more info about the pros and cons of hiking during wet season, check out the best time to hike.

How many hours will I be trekking each day?

The average trekking time for the Classic Lares route is 7h per day.

The first and last days are the easiest. On Day 1, you’ll hike about 4h, and on Day 4 there is actually no hiking at all! That is the day we enjoy the Lares hot springs one last time and then return to Cusco.

Days 2 and 3 are the longest days, with 7 and 9 hours of trekking, respectively.

Can I charge my devices en route?

    Yes! Our guides take solar-powered battery chargers with them for you to charge your batteries, however a few back-up batteries are always recommended, just in case! You do NOT want to miss out the amazing photo opportunities!

What will the food & accommodations be like on the trail?

Whatever weather conditions the Andes decide to offer on your trek, we are well prepared for every eventuality! We provide all-season North Face tents to protect you from the elements, as well as a foam mattress to sleep on.

Want more comfort on the trail?

      • You can rent a Thermarest inflatable mattress for extra comfort and warmth;
      • Or, go all-out and choose our Comfort Camping option! Comfort Camping includes larger tents, inflatable mattress beds, hot showers and more!

What about meals?

Our highly trained trail chefs can prepare meals to rival any restaurant in Cusco – even when they’re cooking on top of a mountain!

You will not be disappointed with the variety, quality and quantity of food provided on the trek. In addition to the main meals, we also provide regular snacks to help you up and down the mountains.

Our team will also provide filtered or boiled drinking water for the duration of the trek.

You can see more about meals and equipment here: What to Expect on the Trail.

Do I need to purchase any permits?

    No permits are required to do this hike, and the entrance to the thermal springs of Lares is included in the cost of the trek!

Can I customise the Classic Lares trek?

Yes! Personalization is the name of the game at Apus Peru. We want you to have the trip of a lifetime!

  • Want to immerse yourself in traditional Andean culture? – Then add an extra day at the beginning of your trek and visit the Munay Urpi weaving cooperative in Huaran, in the heart of the Sacred Valley. You’ll have an overview of the traditional weaving process and colour some yarn with natural dyes!
  • Want to include Machu Picchu? – The Classic Lares route does NOT include Machu Picchu. We have a 3 day Lares Valley Cultural Trek and a 4 day Lares to Machu Picchu Trek that both do include Machu Picchu. Alternatively, you can add a Machu Picchu Extension at the end of the 4 day Classic Lares route, making this a 5 day trip in total. The Machu Picchu Trek Extension includes one night in a standard Aguas Calientes hotel. For added comfort, you can also choose one of our upgrade packages which includes not only an upgraded hotel but also the Vistadome train service and meals at some of the best restaurants in Aguas Calientes.
  • Why not join the Lares trek with the Inca trail! – Check out our innovative 4 day Lares Inca Trail route to experience the best of the remote Lares region and the famous Inca trail together.
  • Spend more time hiking Lares – on our 5 day Lares hike! Our 5 day Lares itinerary takes you totally off the beaten path, letting you see more that this region has to offer.

For other customization options, please send us an Enquiry to speak with one of our Trek Experts!

What will I need to carry myself on the trail?

We provide a special Apus Peru duffle bag and mules to carry most of your belongings (up to 8kg /17 lbs per person). You will meet up with the mules only at the campsite at the end of each day, so whatever you need to take with you on the trail you should carry in a day pack.

In this day pack you should carry things like your water bottle, a waterproof jacket, sun protection (sun hat, sunscreen and glasses), beanie, and camera.

Water is important on any trek. You should start the day with 2L, depending on how much you normally drink, and knowing that you can refill your water bottle at lunchtime. There will also be many beverage options at meal times!

Is the 4 day Classic Lares Trek right for me?

Choosing the right trek for you can be a very difficult task. There are a lot of factors to weigh! If you’re still unsure if the 4 day Classic Lares hike is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do I have time to acclimatize well? – This is a medium-high elevation trek. You will be camping at an altitude of 4000m (13,123 ft) on the first night, and crossing a 4700m (15,419 ft) pass on Day 2. We recommend at least 2 days of acclimatization before beginning this hike.
    • Am I looking for an “off the beaten track” experience? – Then you have picked the right trek! If, on the other hand, you wanted to meet fellow hikers or make new friends, you might prefer a more popular trek such as Salkantay or the Inca Trail.
    • Am I interested in interacting with locals, and an authentic experience of Andean life? – If so, this is certainly the trek for you! We pass through traditional Andean weaving communities on this hike, offering incredible insight into local culture and how people live today – largely unchanged since Inca times!
    • Am I looking for a trek that includes Machu Picchu? – The 4 day Classic Lares hike does not include Machu Picchu. You can add a Machu Picchu Extension, making this a 5-day trip, or consider our 4 day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.
    • Is visiting Inca ruins important to me? – The Lares trek does not include visits to any Incan ruins, other than an optional stop at Ancasmarca on Day 4. If Inca ruins are your focus, you might prefer a 4 day Choquequirao hike instead.

For more information about what the Lares region is all about, check out our Lares homepage. We have many different trekking routes through the stunning Lares valley!

How to get to Cusco, Peru

    • The 4 day Classic Lares Trek starts and finishes in Cusco. Travel to/from Cusco is not included in the price of your trek, so you must make you own way to Cusco.

Travel Direct…

      • By Plane – Most international flights land in the capital of Peru, Lima. From here, you can take an internal flight to Cusco. Some international flights go through other South American capitals, like Bogotá, Colombia, which also has connecting flights to Cusco.
      • By Bus – You can take an overnight bus from Lima to Cusco (it takes about 20-23 hours). One of the advantages of travelling by bus is that your body is slowly acclimatizing as you travel up from the coast. Once the sun comes up you can also see some impressive views on the journey! The top recommended buses are Cruz del Sur, Palomino and ExcluCiva.

…or Take the Long Way

    • Via Arequipa and/or Puno – Depending on your time constraints, you may spend a few days in Lima and then head to Arequipa or Puno (or both!) In this way you can acclimatize lot slower to the altitude over the space of a few days, before you arrive to Cusco. We offer 3 and 4 day package tours to Arequipa and Puno that you can add on to your trek.

Elevation Map

Elevation Map Lares

More Lares Resources

    Check out these helpful articles from our blog for more about what the Lares valley has to offer. There are also some tips about visiting Cusco & hiking during the rainy season!

    • The Lares Valley Trek – Want to know what it’s really like to hike the Classic Lares hike? Read this blog!
    • Salkantay vs Lares – We compare the differences between hiking Salkantay and the Lares route, to help you decide which trek is right for you.
    • Lares vs Inca Trail – We compare what it’s like to hike to Lares and to hike the Inca Trail.
    • The Best Time to Visit Cusco – The best time to visit Cusco may actually be…February! When it’s off-season for tourism, the local sites are less crowded and you can often find special deals! If you visit Cusco during the rainy season and want to do some hiking, Lares is a great option and we’ll tell you why.
    • The Best Time of the Year to Visit Machu Picchu – Just like rainy season can be a good time to visit Cusco, it’s also a good time to visit Machu Picchu! There may be some rainy days but Machu Picchu is likely to be less crowded, and when it’s shrouded in mist it has a very magical feel!
    • Hike with Llamas! – The Lares route is filled with llamas and alpacas and some agencies organize special day hikes with llamas! Read about this family trekking experience with llamas.
1 Review
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Jeremy (USA)

Group Traveller

It was fantastic! The Lares trek was excelent,and very well organized. Machu Picchu was also spetacular! Really excellent guides, very knowledgeable. Mario is hilarious and very charismatic. Jose is so thoughtful and sensitive. Couldn’t be better.

7 May, 2024

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