Lares and 2 Day Inca Trail

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

About the Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail Hike

The Lares & 2 day Inca Trail hike is the perfect way to hike to Machu Picchu when 4 day Inca Trail permits are sold out. Combine the adventure of remote Andean trekking with the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing the famous Inca Trail.

>>Read more about the Lares Valley Trek in our blog!

See Full Description

No Inca Trail permits? No problem!

    • Unlike its 4-day counterpart, permits for the 2 day Inca Trail rarely sell out. This Lares Inca Trail hike gives you the best of two worlds: one day hiking the Inca Trail – a bucket list item for many – and two days hiking in the Lares valley. Lares is a largely untouristed trek that gives you the chance to really immerse yourself in Andean culture.

Day by Day on the Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail Trek
Starting at the Lares hot springs, this route takes you away from the crowds and through the Lares Valley in the opposite direction, hiking over two passes before reaching the remote Andean village of Chaullacocha.

From here, you are transferred to Ollantaytambo in order to catch the train to km 104 where you begin a one day Inca Trail hike, retracing the steps of ancient Incas until you walk through the Sun Gate and into Machu Picchu! Bypassing the site itself, you then walk down to Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night in a comfortable hotel.

Our 4-day Lares Inca Trail trek ends with a visit to Machu Picchu itself, where you will enjoy a full guided tour of this fascinating piece of Inca history. If you want to additionally hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, enjoy this Machu Picchu tour in the morning; for a more relaxed experience with fewer tourists, choose to have the morning free and then visit Machu Picchu in the afternoon. See more information about visiting Machu Picchu.

The Lares & 2 day Inca Trail is a not-to-be-missed experience that combines wilderness trekking, local Andean culture, Inca history and the thrill of completing a famous Machu Picchu hike!

How Are Apus Peru's Lares Treks Unique?

    • Our multiple

Lares Trek

    • 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 any Lares Valley Trek with Apus Peru may get to visit the school and the weaving association – this is a totally different experience than the average Lares trek!

Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail Highlights

  • Gorgeous mountain scenery, glacial lakes, wildlife and an immersive cultural experience on the Lares trek portion
  • Stone steps, steep climbs and semi-tropical cloud forest await you on the Inca Trail
  • Loads of Inca history! Visit the impressive Winay Wayna ruins and walk through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu.
Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. Apus Peru exclusively operates private groups, except by special request. Hiking the Inca Trail as a private group allows us to offer you a highly personalized experience, with more one-on-one time with your guide and a more tailored, off-the-beaten-path experience on the trail. 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 Info About the Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail

What is Included?


  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • 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 (Lares portion only)
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a standard hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom.You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.


  • 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
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last 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
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Km 104.
  • Private transport from Palqaq to Ollantaytambo
  • Bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

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 during the first two days. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7kg / 15 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 during the first two days.

Additional inclusions

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu

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


  • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
  • Flights to/from Cusco
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry fee to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.

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 7kg / 15 lbs per person
  • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 7kg / 15 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 (1.8kg)
  • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C (2.7kg)
  • Camping pillow (0.27kg)
  • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.

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.
  • All rental equipment needs to go in your personal duffel bag and counts towards the 8kg weight limit.

What to pack

The Lares trek and Inca Trail 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 How to Pack for a Hike.

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: 75% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group, but will be charged 25% of the per person price based on final group size. For example, a group of 4 adults and one child under 4: adults will be charged the full price per person based on a group size of 4 and the child will be charged 25% of the per person price for a group of 4. Children under 3 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap. 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

General Information About Trekking with Apus Peru

  • 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.

Specific Information About Trekking the Lares & 2-Day Inca Trail

  • 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.
  • One of the great things about this Lares trek is the chance to visit a living, breathing traditional Andean community. If you have your heart set on seeing a weaving demonstration or visiting a school, please tell us at booking. We otherwise can’t guarantee that these activities will be possible when you arrive at the village, as the school may not be in session (for instance, if it is a weekend or holiday), and community members may be out working in the fields.

Booking Your Lares & Short Inca Trail Hike

  • A scanned copy of your passport and a non-refundable deposit must be provided upon booking an Inca Trail trek. This is due to government regulations which require complete passport details and full payment of the Machu Picchu entrance fee in order to issue a permit. Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands.
  • If your passport number changes after you book, you must tell us immediately or you will lose your booking. If the name or number on your passport is different from the name or number on your Inca Trail permit, you will not be allowed to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund.
  • You must carry your original passport with you on the trail.
  • If you booked the Inca Trail at a student rate, you must bring your valid student card on the trail with you. If you do not present your student card, you will not be allowed to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund, nor given an opportunity to pay the full rate.

Extras & Upgrades on the Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek

  • If you’d like to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, let us know at the time of booking as it requires a separate permit.
  • This trek includes transportation by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the Expedition service (Tourist Class), followed by bus transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train service (Executive Class). This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.

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.

Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Maranpaqui

      • Total Walking Distance: 6km
      • Total Walking Time: 3.5-4hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3200 m (10,498ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4000m (13,123ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4000m (13,123ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: 7°C (44°F)

From Cusco, we drive for about 4h this morning until we reach the Lares hot springs. This is a well-known spot for trekkers and locals alike, and you will have a chance to take an enjoyable soak! We’ll have lunch here and then begin our climb up towards Maranpaqui, continuing on until we reach our campsite at Totoraqocha for the night (3900m / 12,795 ft).

Day 2Maranpaqui – Chaullacocha

      • Total Walking Distance: 12km
      • Total Walking Time: 6-7h
      • Minimum Altitude: 4200 m (13,780ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4450m (14,600ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 4200 m (13,780ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: 0°C (32°F) to -5°C (23°F)

We start off early from our campsite this morning, and head towards the Colquepata Pass (4450m / 14,600 ft), a strong uphill climb. From here, we continue along the ridge for most of the day, passing a series of stunning glacial lakes along the way.

Then, we turn and head down towards the village of Chaullacocha (4200m / 13,780 ft), arriving there in the late afternoon. Apus Peru has a long-time and close relationship with this community, and it is also one of the communities supported by Threads of Peru. Time permitting, we’ll have an opportunity to really engage with some community members, perhaps learning about their weaving tradition or visiting the school if it is a school day. In preparation for this community visit, we encourage you to read about being a Responsible Tourist. You can also ask for our Traveler’s Code of Conduct and read about appropriate gift-giving. We will camp here tonight.

For an extra-special experience, why not spend the night with a traditional Andean family! Check out our Chaullacocha Homestay add-on!

Day 3Chaullacocha – Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu

      • Total Walking Distance: 13km
      • Total Walking Time: 7hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 2000 mt (6,561ft) / Maximum Altitude: 2680mt (8,792ft)

It’s another early morning (5 am) as we get picked up in our private transport in order to drive about 2 hours to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, we travel by train on a very picturesque route for about 2 hours until we reach Km 104, the start of the Inca Trail for us. Shortly after crossing the bridge over the Vilcanota River we visit the site of Chachabamba (2050m / 6726 ft), a lovely archaeological site with water channels and fountains.

From here, we will hike upwards for about 8km (approximately 4 hours). The trail is well established, but there are many stairs and the hike is mostly upwards! While this is one of the easiest treks around the Cusco region, you still need to have a reasonable level of fitness to complete it. After our upwards climb, we arrive at what many consider the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail: Wiñay Wayna (‘Forever Young’) (2680m / 8792 ft). This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.

From here, we continue for about another hour until we arrive at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate (2730m / 8956 ft), where you will have your first dramatic view of Machu Picchu (2400m / 7874 ft). After getting those classic photos, we will walk down the last part of the trail towards Machu Picchu, taking a detour before we reach the entrance to go down to Aguas Calientes. From here, we take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. After checking into our accommodations for the night, we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner and then it’s off to bed, in preparation for the next day’s early start.

Day 4Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

After a very early breakfast at the hotel, we will take the bus up to Machu Picchu in the pre-dawn hours, allowing us to take in the sunrise over the site. During your visit to Machu Picchu, your guide will give you a 2-3h walking tour of the historic citadel.

If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, but take note: this requires an extra permit, and they can sell out well in advance! Be sure to tell us at booking if you would like to add one of these hikes. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

Want more time to explore? Consider our Extra Day Upgrades!


After visiting Machu Picchu, you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes (or walk down!). From there, we return to Cusco in the afternoon by the Expedition (tourist class) train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where our driver will meet us and transfer you directly back to your hotel in Cusco. Total travel time is about 4 hours from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.


4 Reviews
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Johanna B.

Group Traveller

[Our guide Adriel was] very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and always striving to make us feel the best! Route was perfect! Mix of various scenes and nature. [Meals were] so much better than expected. Dumpling and guacamole was amazing. [The highlight of our trip was] getting popcorn and banana tea in the tent while raining like crazy outside!!

10 January, 2023

Anna W.

Group Traveller

Great journey, nice views and awesome staff. Quite challenging but really worth it. Under the circumstances (protests), the transport was outstanding.

10 January, 2023

Oscar W.

Group Traveller

[Valerio was] a great driver! [Our guide Adriel was] very committed to making our journey optimal! Helped us through cancelations, protests and other challenges.

10 January, 2023

Rachael B

Family Traveller

Very impressed. All went smoothly and stress-free.

Loved the variety between the Lares trek and Inca Trail. Loved the lack of crowds. The highlight of our trip was the 3rd day’s trek – spectacular, but with our later start, no crowds – amazing! Liked the solitude of the Lares, saw no trekkers.

The homestay was a nice option for night 2, though it maybe could be developed more to allow more time to interact with the family.

Liked all the unexpected extras, too. Level of detail to our enjoyment high.

19 August, 2019

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