Lares Trail 5D

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Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Huaran
Destination: Ollantaytambo
Max People : 12

About the 5 Day Lares Trail

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!

See Full Description

    Experience all that the Lares Valley has to offer! Our 5 Day Lares Trail itinerary starts off like the Classic 4 day Lares trek in the heart of the Sacred Valley. After driving from Cusco to Huaran, the first day is spent hiking steeply up into the mountains towards the high Andean community of Cancha Cancha.

    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.

How are Apus Peru's Lares Trail Treks Unique?

    Our multiple Lares trail 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 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!

Lares Trail Highlights

  • An exclusive experience of the Lares trail, unique to Apus Peru
  • Marvel at gorgeous mountain scenery, hike by glacial lakes, and see crystalline waterfalls and an abundance of Andean wildlife
  • Immerse yourself in an unforgettable cultural experience, and learn about life in a traditional Andean community
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Price
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

$1640

3 people

$1195

4-6 people

$930

7+ people

$790
WHY BOOK WITH US?

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 Lares Trail

What is Included?

Accommodation

  • 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

Meals

  • 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

Transport

  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your 5 Day 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 10kg /22 lbs per person).
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals

Safety

  • 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?

Meals

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

Equipment

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

Other

  • 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 10kg (22 lbs) per person
  • Llamas to carry your own things. Note that this traditional Inca beast of burden can only carry about 10kg (22 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

Important!

  • 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.

Lares Route Map

LARES TRAIL 5D

What to Pack

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:

  • 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.

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 5D 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 5D Lares Trail is a great wet season trek! If you want to trek anytime between December and March, read more about our Wet Season Trekking policies.
  • One of the great things about this 5D Lares Trail 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.

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 Trail 5 Day Trek Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Huaran - Cancha Cancha

      • Total Walking Distance: 14km
      • Total Walking Time: 5hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3010m (9,875ft) / Maximum Altitude: 3800m (12,467ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 3800m (12,467ft)
      • Approx. night temperature:-8°C (18°F)

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!

Day 2Cancha Cancha - Quishuarani

      • Total Walking Distance: 15km
      • Total Walking Time: 7hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3700mt (12,129ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4460m (14,632ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 3700mt /12,129ft
      • Approx. night temperature : -8°C (18°F)

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.

Day 3Quishuarani - Concani - Lares Hot Springs

      • Total Walking Distance: 11km
      • Total Walking Time: 9hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3100mt (10,170ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4400m (14,435 ft)
      • Altitude of camp: 3100m (10,171 ft)
      • Approx. night temperature: -5°C (23°F)

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.

Day 4Lares Hot Springs - Chaullacocha

      • Total Walking Distance: 15km
      • Total Walking Time: 8hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3100mt (10,170) / Maximum Altitude: 4100m / 13,451ft
      • Altitude of camp: 4100m / 13,451ft
      • Approx. night temperature: -14°C (7°F)

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.

Day 5Chaullacocha - Meloqcocha lagoon - Patacancha - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

      • Total Walking Distance: 14 km
      • Total Walking Time: 6hs
      • Minimum Altitude: 3800mt (12,467ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4300mt /14,107ft

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.

apus-peru-handy-in-the-andes
 
2 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Zoe (USA)

Couple Traveller

So impressed how they handled difficult mountain rocks. Best trip guides I’ve ever had!

21 March, 2024

Matthew

Group Traveller

Outstanding-perfect mix of archaeological sites and modern life in Peru. Loved stopping at the elementary school.

1 April, 2011

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