Simply enter your details in the enquiry form to start personalising your experience or if you have any questions about booking this tour.
A unique way to explore the culturally-rich Lares trail in Peru. Spend 5 days immersing yourself in the beauty of the Andes as you hike from remote community to remote community, with barely another hiker in sight.
This trek does not include a visit to Machu Picchu. See our Machu Picchu Extensions to include this incredible Incan citadel in your Lares Trail itinerary!
Over the next three days, we follow the Lares trail over high mountain passes with stunning views of the surrounding peaks, and pass glacial lakes and sparkling waterfalls. After a chance to take a dip in the Lares hot springs on Day 3, we venture back into the remote highlands on Day 4 for a unique excursion to Chaullacocha.
We have a special relationship with Chaullacocha and you’ll have a chance for some real cultural immersion here. Time and weather depending, you may have a chance to visit the local primary school, learn about traditional weaving or go fishing in the lake (Chaullacocha means “fish lake” in Quechua!) If you are really keen on getting to know what life is like in the Andes, consider spending night 4 in a family homestay, or add an extra day in Chaullacocha for more time exploring this community.
On Day 5, we start the way back to Cusco, hiking down to Ollantaytambo, passing the ruins of Pumamarca along the way. From Ollantaytambo we return to Cusco by private vehicle.
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 often get a chance to visit the school and the weaving association – this is a totally different experience than the average Lares trek!
Please tell us at the time of booking if visiting the weaving association or school is important to you!
High quality personalized experience
Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
Verified sustainability practices
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.
The 5 day 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:
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.
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!
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!
After an early morning pick-up from your hotel in Cusco, we leave the city behind and head to Huaran, a small village in the heart of the Sacred Valley, where we will begin the hike. Passing through pretty farmland, we hike for about 4 hours, following the small river that leads from Huaran up through the mountain corridor, until we reach the traditional Quechua community of Cancha Cancha (3800m / 12,467ft). After passing through this small village – a windswept plain dotted with stone houses with thatched roofs – we will set up camp for the night, surrounded by impressive mountain peaks.
Interested in an even more culturally-immersive experience? Check out our 1D Huaran Weaving & Eco Tour to add an extra day at the beginning of your 5D Lares Trail!
After a hearty breakfast, we start our hike this morning walking up, past the Upper Cancha Cancha village, where we can sometimes spot children tending their herds of llamas. We continue to climb until we reach two brilliant glacial lakes with an abundance of bird-life. From these lakes, we start a steep 3hs climb until we reach the Pachacutec Pass (4460m / 14,632ft). As we reach the top, we will be rewarded with spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of Pitusiray (5750m / 18,864ft) and Chicon (5500m / 18,044ft). From here, the path continues for about an hour along a narrow, barren ridge before dropping down into a beautiful secluded corrie filled with glacial lakes. A series of nine cascading waterfalls leads us to the village of Quishuarani (3700 m / 12,139ft), where we will spend the night.
Today we head west, hiking for about 3h first through a small valley and then following a steep zig-zap climb up a narrow trail until we reach the second pass on this route, the Abra Huillquijasa (4400m / 14,435ft). From this high pass, we’ll be treated to views of some incredible sapphire blue lakes. Afterward, we will continue on for about 2hs to the village of Concani (3750m / 12,303ft), stopping for lunch along the way. Leaving Concani, we descend for about 3 hours to the famous Lares hot springs (3100m / 10,170ft), where we can take a well-deserved soak before setting up our camp for the night. This is not a remote camping experience but a unique cultural one, as it is a popular Peruvian holiday spot.
This is where Apus Peru’s 5D Lares Trail itinerary deviates from the typical Lares trek, taking you off the beaten path to visit a little-known and virtually untouristed Andean village.
Refreshed from the previous night’s dip in the hot springs, we start with a gentle walk into the community of Chaullacocha (4100m / 13,451ft). Apus Peru has a special relationship with Chaullacocha as many of our porters come from this village, and it is also one of the communities that Threads of Peru works with. We will spend the night here.
For an extra-special experience, why not spend the night with a traditional Andean family? Check out our Chaullacocha Homestay add-on.
Fun and unique experiences are in store for us today! Thanks to our close relationship with the community of Chaullacocha, we’ll have the opportunity this morning to visit the local school (if it is a school day) before heading off on the rest of our trek. The nature of our visit depends a lot on the group, and our timing, as we don’t want to interfere too much in the children’s daily lessons. Please note that this is not a chance for you to teach the children, only to visit and observe. Also, the school is closed on the weekend (including Fridays) and during statutory holidays. Be sure to carefully check your trip itinerary to see what day you will be passing through Chaullacocha!
We also 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.
From Chaullacocha, we will have a steep climb up to the final pass of the trek, around 4200m / 13,779ft, after which a steady 4h descent and passing through Meloqcocha lagoon brings us to the town of Patacancha, a long-established textile community with strong ancient Quechua traditions. We will have lunch near Patacancha or in Rumira Sondormayo, another of the communities that Apus Peru supports through the NGO Threads of Peru.
From here we will continue to the village of Ollantaytambo in our private transfer. Time permitting, you may visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, though this will require the purchase of an additional entry ticket.
OPTIONAL: You can also choose to visit the ruins of Pumamarca, located between Patacancha and Ollantaytambo, a site believed to have been built to protect the Sacred Valley. There may not be time to visit both Pumamarca and the Ollantaytambo ruins. Please advise us at time of booking what you would like to do.
After arrival in Ollantaytambo, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Cusco in a private vehicle, approximately a 2h trip. Your arrival time depends on your progress and optional activities you choose during the day.
For even more Andean adventure, extend your trip by one day and visit the unparalleled Machu Picchu! Check out our Machu Picchu Extensions for more information.
Outstanding-perfect mix of archaeological sites and modern life in Peru. Loved stopping at the elementary school.