Lares Valley Cultural Trek 3D

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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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3 Days / 2 Nights
Availability : Any day with 2 people. A great wet season trek!
Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★ Moderate
Adventure : ★ A popular trek
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12
h per day



This Lares Valley Cultural Trek is a totally unique itinerary, designed by the Apus Peru team as a way of combining a cultural experience with high Andean trekking, finishing up at the incomparable Machu Picchu. Two days of remote trekking gets you totally off the beaten track, far away from the crowds, and deep into the Andean wilderness. You’ll hike the classic Lares trek but in reverse, passing through little-visited villages like Chaullacocha which are not on the normal route. Apus Peru has a close relationship with these villages, so you’ll have a warm reception and an opportunity for genuine interaction and possibly even a visit to the local school! The Lares Valley Cultural Trek itinerary is capped off with a visit to Machu Picchu, traveling by train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes – the perfect way to end an otherwise spectacular trip!

How is Apus Peru’s Lares Valley Cultural Trek 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 many Lares Valley Treks with Apus Peru get 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 3D Lares Valley Cultural Trek

Gorgeous mountain scenery, glacial lakes, wildlife and an immersive cultural experience all await you on the 3D Lares Valley Cultural Trek, as well as the spectacular Machu Picchu.


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 Lares Valley Cultural Trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead
  • Entry fee 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
  • Private transport from Chaullacocha to Ollantaytambo
  • Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Celebratory lunch at Machu Picchu.
  • Bus up and down between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Dinner in Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Entrance to the Aguas Calientes hot springs
  • Entry to 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 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.

    • 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)
    • 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 -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 with a local family in Chaullacocha! Check out our Homestay options.
    • 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.
    • Upgrade your train for an extra $30 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!

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 this Lares Valley Cultural Trek 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 Valley Cultural Trek 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 Cultural 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.

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.


Day 1Cusco – Lares Hot Springs – Maranpaqui

    To begin our Lares Cultural Trek, we leave Cusco and drive for about 2h until we reach the Lares hotsprings. 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 for the night (4000m / 13,123ft).

    Total Walking Distance – 9km
    Total Walking Time – 5hs
    Minimum Altitude – 3100m / 10,170ft / Maximum Altitude – 4000m /13,123ft
    Altitude of camp – 4000m /13,123ft
    Approx. night temperature – -10°C

Day 2Maranpaqui – Chaullacocha

    We start off early from our campsite this morning, and head towards the Colquepata Pass (4400m / 14,435ft), a strong uphill climb. Continuing along the ridge for most of the day, we pass a series of stunning glacial lakes along the way.

    Then, we turn and head down towards the village of Chaullacocha, 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 a copy of our Traveler’s Code of Conduct and read about appropriate gift-giving. We will camp for the night near 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 – 14km
    Total Walking Time –8hs
    Minimum Altitude – 4000m /13,123ft / Maximum Altitude – 4450m /14,599ft

Day 3Chaullacocha – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

    It’s another early morning this morning as we get picked up in our private transport at about 7am in order to drive 2 hours to Ollantaytambo. After a brief rest and a chance to purchase some snacks, water or a coffee, we will catch a morning train to Aguas Calientes. As soon as we arrive, we will take the bus up to Machu Picchu itself, but first, we’ll stop and have a buffet lunch at Tinkuy restaurant, inside the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

    After lunch, we will enter Machu Picchu at around 1 or 2 pm and spend the rest of the afternoon having a guided tour of the site. You will have 3 to 4 hours for to explore some of the alternative routes, like the Inca Bridge, in addition to your guided walking tour of the historic citadel. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

      Please note: It is not possible to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in this itinerary, because the hikes are only open in the morning. If hiking Huayna Picchu is important to you, we suggest adding an Extra Day at Machu Picchu. Hiking Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain 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.

    After visiting Machu Picchu, we head back down to Aguas Calientes where you will catch a 6 o’clock train to Ollantaytambo. We’ll have dinner in Ollantaytambo before continuing the rest of the way to Cusco by private transport, arriving around 10 or 11pm.

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