The 4-day Lares Trek offers a unique and culturally rich alternative to the more popular Inca Trail for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure to Machu Picchu. This trek takes you through breathtaking landscapes, picturesque Andean villages, and high mountain passes, ultimately leading to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the highlights, challenges, and invaluable tips for embarking on this unforgettable journey.
Day 1: Cusco to Quishuarani
The journey begins in the city of Cusco, where you’ll be transported to the picturesque village of Quishuarani to start your trek. This first day sets the stage for the adventure ahead, as you’ll be immersed in the stunning Andean scenery and introduced to the warm hospitality of the local communities.
Day 2: Quishuarani to Cancha Cancha
Day two brings you deeper into the heart of the Andes. You’ll traverse rugged terrain, pass by glacial lakes, and be treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks. The highlight of the day is arriving at Cancha Cancha, a traditional Andean village where you’ll have the opportunity to interact with local families and gain insight into their way of life.
Day 3: Cancha Cancha to Ollantaytambo
The third day takes you through lush valleys and ancient Incan agricultural terraces. As you descend into the Sacred Valley, you’ll witness a dramatic change in the landscape, transitioning from high-altitude grasslands to subtropical forests. The day culminates in the town of Ollantaytambo, where you’ll have a chance to explore the well-preserved Incan ruins.
Day 4: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu
The trek’s final leg involves a scenic train journey to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. From there, a bus ride will take you to the majestic archaeological site. As you enter through the Sun Gate, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of Machu Picchu spread out before you, surrounded by mist-covered peaks.
Practical Tips for a Successful Trek
Acclimatize: Spend a few days in Cusco or similar high-altitude locations before the trek to acclimate to reduced oxygen levels.
Pack Light and Smart: Prioritize essentials like comfortable hiking shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, a sturdy backpack, and a refillable water bottle.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Carry enough water and energy-boosting snacks to sustain you throughout the journey.
Respect the Environment: Leave no trace of your passage and follow the principles of responsible hiking to preserve the beauty of the trail for future generations.
The 4-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is an adventure of a lifetime, combining breathtaking natural beauty with rich cultural experiences. From high mountain passes to ancient Incan villages, every step of the journey offers a deeper understanding of this remarkable region. With careful planning and a spirit of adventure, this trek will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your soul. Embark on this journey, and let the mysteries of Machu Picchu captivate your heart and mind forever.