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Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D

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Why Book With Us?

  • High quality, personalized experience from start to finish
  • Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
  • Experienced staff
  • Verified sustainability practices
  • $20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Threads of Peru

Martina Puma Ccama – Chaullacocha

Handy in the Andes

handy in the andes

  • Want to give back while on vacation? Do some good while having a blast and join us on one of our Clean Up Treks!                                                                                                  Read More


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Fill out the inquiry form on this page, or get in touch. We’re always here to help!

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4 Days / 3 Nights
Availability : We depart any day with 2 people. A great wet season trek!
Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★ Moderate
Adventure : ★★★ Getting off the beaten path
Solitude : ★★★ Off the beaten path.
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12
h per day



This is a custom-designed Lares trek that you will not find anywhere else! Drawing on our close relationship with the communities in the area, our 4-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu offers a unique opportunity to experience modern-day Andean life first-hand.

Our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu begins near Ollantaytambo and visits Chaullacocha, a traditional highland Quechua community where we have the opportunity to visit the school (if it is a school day). Visiting this remote agricultural community is like stepping back in time, as the community lifestyle is largely unchanged since Inca times.

Finally, after visiting other local villages, we will descend to Lares for a dip in the hot springs before taking a 4 hour transfer back to Ollantaytambo. Here, we will take the train to Machu Picchu, dedicating the last day of our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu to visiting the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. 

How is the Apus Peru 4D Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 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 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!

What to Expect on the 4D Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Beautiful vistas and an incredible cultural immersion are the highlights of this Lares trek to Machu Picchu, as well as a visit to the unparalleled Machu Picchu site itself! On request, you may also have the opportunity to visit the school or the weaving association in Chaullacocha. 


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



What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your 4D Lares Trek to Machu Picchu departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Entry fees to Machu Picchu and the Lares hot springs
  • 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 would like 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. 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
  • 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
  • Bus up and down between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last day
  • 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.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entrance to the Aguas Calientes hot springs
  • Entrance ticket to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Additional horses 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 1.

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
    • Sleeping Bag suitable for -10˚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 with a local family in Chaullacocha! Check out our Homestay options.
    • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade
    • Extra Day at Machu Picchu


    • 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. A valid student card which clearly shows the expiry date must be presented upon booking.
  • 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.

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 Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 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 Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 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 Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 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.


Day 1Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Chaullacocha – Chupani

    We leave Cusco bright and early and travel to Ollantaytambo, a quaint living Inca city full of stone architecture and cobblestone streets. If you missed breakfast at your hotel due to our early start, you’ll have a chance to grab a bite here before we start our trek. We recommend Hearts Café, a social enterprise run by the NGO Living Hearts. Proceeds from the café support children in the villages surrounding Ollantaytambo. After resting or enjoying a morning cappuccino, we’ll head up the mountain for about an hour by car until we reach the trailhead for our Lares Trek to Machu Picchu journey: Palqaq (3900m / 12,795 ft).

    From Palqaq, we will walk for about 3h to the Chaullacocha Pass (4300m / 14,107 ft) where we’ll have gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, grazing alpacas, and the lake from which the community gets its name (Chaullacocha means “fish lake” in Quechua!). Then, we walk down into the community itself (4121m / 13,520 ft) where we’ll have lunch.

    Apus Peru has a special relationship with Chaullacocha as many of our porters come from this village. We have also been supporting community development projects in Chaullacocha since 2007, and it is one of the weaving associations currently supported by Threads of Peru.

    Thanks to our close relationship with the community, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the local school. 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 encourage you to read about being a Responsible Tourist. You can also download our Traveler’s Code of Conduct and read about appropriate gift-giving.

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

    If you do not choose the Chaullacocha Homestay option, we will continue on for another 1.5h to Chupani (3950m / 12,959 ft), where we will camp for the night.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 3-4h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude – 4300m / 14,107 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3950m / 12,959 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 2Chupani – Machaypampa – Quellokasa Pass – Vilcabamba

    It’s an early start this morning as we have quite a bit of distance to cover. We’ll continue to climb down the valley through Chupani Pampa (3838m / 12,591 ft), where we will see the vegetation start to change. With about 3-4 hours of walking, we arrive at Machaypampa (3308m / 10,853 ft) where we’ll have lunch beside the river. After a nice rest, we will start a 1.5h ascent to Quellokasa Pass (3500m / 11,482 ft), where we’ll be able to observe waterfalls, a place called Condor Huachana (“where the condor nests”), and the towns of Rosaspata, Choquecancha and Cachin. Next, we climb down by the ravine to the small village of Vilcabamba (3150m / 10,334 ft), where we will spend the night.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – 3150m / 10,334 ft / Maximum Altitude – 3838m / 12,591 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3150m / 10,334 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 3Vilcabamba – Lares Hot Springs – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

    From our campsite, we can spot the town of Lares in the distance (3250m /10,662 ft), our first destination today. After breakfast, we’ll continue walking by the ravine over undulating terrain until we reach the Lares hot springs. Here, we can relax and unwind as we take a welcome dip in the hot springs, rejuvenating body and soul. We will have lunch here before our driver will pick us up to drive to Ollantaytambo, about 3 hours away. In Ollantaytambo we’ll catch the train to Aguas Calientes, the final leg of today’s journey. Once in Aguas Calientes, we will check into our accommodations and then enjoy a celebratory dinner. Then it’s off to bed, in preparation for tomorrow’s early start!

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 2-3h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude – 3250m /10,662 ft

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 from the Watchman’s Hut (also known as the Guardhouse). After this, your guide will give you a 2-3 hour guided tour, explaining the history of this majestic site. You will then have the option to explore some of the other highlights on your own. You may want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to cap off your Machu Picchu experience, but remember that permits are limited and must be reserved at the time of booking! There is an additional cost to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain not included in the price of this trek. 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 we our driver will meet us and will 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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Viv from UK

Solo Traveller

Highlights were… contact with local people; visiting someone´s home, watching alpacas being sheared, beautiful children along the way. The food was delicious! Really good. I was impressed he knew so many vegetarian dishes.

1 June, 2011