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TREKKING IN PERU: Classic Inca Trail / Short Inca Trail / Salkantay / Ausangate / Lares / Choquequirao / Vilcabamba / Huaraz 

DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

RECOMMENDED HOTELS: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Jungle Lodges

  

The Lares Valley Trek

Home > Treks in Peru > Lares Valley Trek Introduction

   

For trekkers wanting to get off the well beaten tourist path and escape to a part of Peru that has changed little over the last 500 years then a trek through the spectacular scenery of the Lares Valley is a must. This remote and rarely visited region offers the trekker an insight into the real lives of the Andean farmer, dressed in their traditional brightly colored ponchos. You’ll have the opportunity to see thatched stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas. Inside the houses you’ll see guinea pigs running loose. 

 

Of the last few years this trek has become more and more popular especially since the number of trekkers on the Classic Inca Trail has  been limited and permits are selling out 5 or 6 months in advance. The advantage of this trek is that permits are not required and, in theory, you could just turn up in Cusco and make a booking 2 or 3 days in advance. However most companies are combining these treks with a visit to Machu Picchu and therefore train tickets between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes are best bought several weeks in advance.

 

Photos of Lares Trek, Cusco, Peru Photos of Lares Trek, Cusco, Peru Photos of Lares Trek, Cusco, Peru Photos of Lares Trek, Cusco, Peru
>> more photos of Lares >>      

 

There are several variations of the Lares to Machu Picchu trek, the main five are listed below. The small Andean communities that are visited along the way are famous for producing high-quality handmade textiles using natural dyes. Most tours include a chance to see weaving taking place, you may even be given the opportunity to have a go yourself!! Try to take some extra cash on the trek you can buy some of these beautiful textiles for a bargain price direct from the weaver. Eco-tourism doesn't get any better than this.

  

Unlike the Classic 4 day Inca Trail the Lares trek is not subject to government-controlled regulations. This means that companies offering this trek do not need any special operating licenses and any company can sell this trek. You therefore have to be especially careful when choosing a tour operator since the quality of service on offer can vary considerably. Try to book with a reputable company, one that is recommended in this website or in your guidebook. At the end of the day you get what you pay for. If you pay for a cheap trek then not only will the quality of the guide, camping equipment and food be below standard but you may also be contributing towards the exploitation of trekking staff such as porters and horsemen from the local communities. Expect to pay at least US$390 (2008) for a 4-day group trek including the return train trip to Aguas Calientes, accommodation in Aguas Calientes and entrance fees to Machu Picchu.

      

Route 01: Lares (thermal springs) to Patacancha to Machu Picchu "The Weaver's Way" (moderate) 4 days

Often referred to as the "Weavers Way" this version of the Lares trek starts at the thermal springs in Lares. The trek then passes through the weaving communities of Huacahuasi and Patacancha. A bus then takes you down to Ollantaytambo where you will take a train to Aguas Calientes. A visit to Machu Picchu is included on the final day. This is probably the easiest of the Lares options listed and is the most popular and well used route. >> more info >>

Route 02: Lares (Quishuarani) to Patacancha to Machu Picchu (moderate) 4 days

The trek starts in the small village of Quishuarani and then climbs to a high pass offering spectacular views of snow-capped mountains and turquoise lakes. The trail then drops down to the village of Cuncani and continues to Patacancha. A bus then takes you down to Ollantaytambo where you will take a train to Aguas Calientes. A visit to Machu Picchu is included on the final day. The first day is slightly more difficult as it involves climbing a high pass but the reward is a visit to the beautiful Quellacocha Lakes. >> more info >>

Route 03: Lares (Quishuarani) to Yanahuara to Machu Picchu 4 days

This is a more remote trekking experience offering spectacular mountain scenery and is suited for the more experienced trekker since it includes 3 passes over 4200m. The trek starts in the small village of Quishuarani and then climbs to a high pass offering great views of snow-capped mountains and the turquoise Quellacocha lakes. The trail then drops down to the village of Cuncani. However instead of continuing to Patacancha the trail turns to the left (West) and skirts the base of Nevado Pumahuanca and past the beautiful Lake Aruraycocha before descending to the small village of Yanahuara in the Sacred Valley. A bus then takes you to Ollantaytambo where you will take a train to Aguas Calientes. A visit to Machu Picchu is included on the final day.  >> more info >>

Route 04: Huaran (Sacred Valley) to Lares to Machu Picchu 4 days (difficult) or 5 days (moderate)

This is a beautiful trek and a lot less popular than the first two routes mentioned above. It is quite a strenuous trek that starts at Huaran in the Sacred Valley (between Calca and Urubamba) and steeply climbs to the remote community of Cancha Cancha. The trail then passes through Quishuarani, past some spectacular turquoise lakes and then on to Cuncani before ending at the thermal springs in Lares. A bus then takes the group to Ollantaytambo and then onwards by train to Machu Picchu >> more info >>

Route 05: The Lares Circuit:  Huaran (Sacred Valley) to Yanahuara to Machu Picchu 6 days (difficult)

>> more info >>

 

 

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Home *About Us * Peru Highlights * Volunteer Work & Community Projects * Travel Info * Photo Gallery * Ecotourism Guide * Travel Stories * Language Schools * Books * Handicrafts * Links * Search * Contact Us

Tour Operators in Peru * Overseas Tour Operators * Mountain Biking * Rafting * Climbing * Birdwatching

TREKKING IN PERU: Classic Inca Trail / Short Inca Trail / Salkantay / Ausangate / Lares / Choquequirao / Vilcabamba / Huaraz 

DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

RECOMMENDED HOTELS: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Jungle Lodges

  

 

Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. Office Address: La Casa Cultural, Avenida Pardo 540, Cusco, Peru (just 2 minutes walk from the Koricancha Inca Temple of the Sun). If you are coming to Cusco please bring a couple of second hand clothes, toys, school equipment and drop them off in our office. We will help distribute the items to people who really need them in small village schools and communities in the Andes. For more details visit our web page www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/projects  A map of our office can be found by clicking here.  Copyright Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru 2000-2008. All material used within this web site is original work and is subject to international copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the editor. This web page was last updated in July 2008. Website designed by AndeanVisionWebDesignStudio