Lares and 2 Day Inca Trail

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Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Lares
Destination: Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★ Moderate
Adventure : ★★★★ Very adventurous
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12

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.

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!

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


4-6 people


7-8 people


9-12 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?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu
  • Entry to the Lares hotsprings
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • 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 guide if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Toilet tent
  • 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/15lbs per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower during the first two days.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Private transport from Chaullacocha to Ollantaytambo
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Km 104.
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes.
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a Standard Hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hotel with breakfast included and private bathroom. You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.
  • Bus between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Lunch on the last day.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entry to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Entry to Aguas Calientes hot springs
  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Additional horses or porters for your personal luggage

You Should Bring

    See What To Bring for our comprehensive recommendations on what to pack for your trek. For more great suggestions, check out our blog about How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru. You may want to bring extra cash in soles as there will be an opportunity to purchase hand-woven textiles from artisans on Day 2.

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.

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 7kg (15lbs) per person
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 7kg. The cost of hiring llamas includes a small group of 3-4 llamas and a llamero (llama driver)
    • 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
    • Thermarest inflatable pillow
    • Single-occupancy tent supplement
    • Comfort Camping Upgrade
    • Spend the night in a traditional Andean home! Check out our Chaullacocha Homestay add-on.
    • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade
    • Extra Day at Machu Picchu
    • 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.
    • If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider a train upgrade for an extra $35 per person. This upgrade must be requested at time of booking.


    • 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.

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. This discount does not apply to train fares. Children under 2 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

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!
    Note: Trekkers Wanted for the Inca Trail ONLY available while permits last for your departure date.

Important Info

    General Information about hiking 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 the Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail Route

    • On this Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail hike 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!
    • One of the great things about this Lares to Machu Picchu 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.

    Specific Information About Booking the Lares & 2 Day Inca Trail

    • The Inca Trail is not open in February.
    • 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 may 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 & 2 Day Inca Trail

    • 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 Km 104 to Aguas Calientes and from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo on the Expedition service (Tourist Class), followed by private ground transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. If you’d like more flexibility in your return travel to Cusco, consider upgrading to the Vistadome train (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

    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).

    Total Walking Distance – 6km
    Total Walking Time – 3.5-4hs
    Minimum Altitude – 3200 mt/ 10,498ft / Maximum Altitude – 4000mt / 13,123ft
    Altitude of camp – 4000mt / 13,123ft
    Approx. night temperature – 7°C

Day 2Maranpaqui – Chaullacocha

    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 spend the night at a homestay in Chaullacocha.

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

    Total Walking Distance – 12km
    Total Walking Time – 6-7h
    Minimum Altitude – 4200 mt/ 13,780ft / Maximum Altitude – 4450mt / 14,600ft
    Altitude of camp – 4200 mt/ 13,780ft
    Approx. night temperature – 0°C to -5°C

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

    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.

    Total Walking Distance – 13km
    Total Walking Time – 7hs
    Minimum Altitude – 2000 mt/ 6561ft / Maximum Altitude – 2680mt / 8792ft

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. Your 4h visit to Machu Picchu can be spent exploring some of the alternative routes, like the Inca Bridge, after which 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.

1 Review
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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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