Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail 5 days

The Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu offers a unique experience for hikers to combine the beauty of the Andean mountains, local villages, and the last part of the original 4-day Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu twice. 

Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail 5 days 4, nights tour combines a cultural hike in the mountains with the short version of the Classic Inca Trail. You will be able to visit remote villages, beautiful glaciers, piercingly blue lakes, stunning waterfalls, a train ride to the Inca Trail, arrive at Machu Picchu through the Sungate in the afternoon of day 4, and go back to Machu Picchu on the last day to enjoy the sunrise.

Trip details:

  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 nights
  • Hiking Distance: 60 km – 37 miles
  • Depart: Cusco
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Season: All year round except in February
  • Destination: Machu Picchu
  • Type: Adventure – Camping – Hotel


  • Book with Confidence and Flexibility
  • Visit the hot springs of Lares and Aguas Calientes
  • Participate in a Pachamanca barbecue ( Underground barbecue)
  • Arrive at Machu Picchu twice (1 for sunset, 1 for sunrise)
  • Panoramic Trains to return (Vistadome or 360°)
  • Support our Social projects in the places we visit

Price Per person: 790.USD    

To book the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail tour, you need to make an initial payment of 200.USD per person, the remaining balance can be paid online, in installments, or Cusco with any credit card at no booking fees at all.

Student Discount:
All travelers under 17 will have a $40. If you are 25 years old or under at the time of traveling, you can get the 40$ discount with your student ID. Please advise by email to give you a code for the discount.

Day-by-day summary

Day 1: Cusco – Lares Thermal Baths – Kiswarani (17 km, 7 hrs)
Pick up from your hotel in Cusco at about 4:30 am and drive for 3 hours to Lares thermal baths. The water is perfect for your bones, muscles, stress, and headaches. After breakfast, we started the first day with a 4-hour hike until lunch in Cuncani village. Next, it’s a 3-hour hike through Andean lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful views of mountains until the village of Kiswarani.

Day 2: Kiswarani – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha (16 km, 7hrs)
Wake up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea and prepare for the longest and most challenging day. You will start climbing for 4 hours to  Condor Pass (4700 m / 15354 ft) – the trek’s highest point and then another 2 hours down to lunch. After lunch, you will continue for 2 more hours to the campsite located at Canchacancha Village (3750 m / 12 303 ft).

Day 3: Cancha Cancha – Huaran – Ollantaytambo (12 km, 4 hrs)
After breakfast, you will visit the local houses, experience their way of life, and interact with villagers to start descending for 4 hours into the Sacred Valley for a special lunch. After enjoying a PACHAMANCA barbecue, you will drive to the Salineras. Then go to Ollantaytambo to spend the night in a hotel.

Day 4: Ollantaytambo – Km104 – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes (15km, 8hrs)
Breakfast in the hotel and take the first train, Km104, and start the Short Inca Trail; the hike takes about 7 hours following the ancient Inca Trails. You will see several archeological sites such as Chachabamba, Wiñaywayna, and Intipata and arrive at Machu Picchu in the afternoon through the Sungate. Spend the night in a hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo.

Day 5: Machu Picchu (The Lost City of the Incas) – 3 hours
On the final day, you will enjoy breakfast at the hotel, take the first buses up to Machu Picchu, explore the best of Machu Picchu, and visit the terraces, temples, palaces, and most important places in Machu Picchu. You can explore by yourself or hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Which is different from Machu Picchu citadel). In the afternoon, board the Panoramic trains and bus back to Cusco, finishing the tour around 7.30 pm in your hotel.

Included in the Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail

  • Pick up from your hotel on the day of the tour.
  • Professional tour guide
  • All Transportation Included (Door to door service)
  • Round trip bus tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance ticket to Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
  • 2 nights of camping in the Mountains
  • 2 nights 3-star hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi
  • Eureka tents for camping
  • Sleeping Foam Mattress
  • Duffle bag for your personal stuff up to 8 kilos
  • Chef, Porters, horse riders.
  • Cargo mules to carry food and equipment
  • Emergency horse in case someone in the group needs
  • First-aid kit, satellite phones, oxygen tank
  • Rain Ponchos, Pillows, dining tent, chairs, tables
  • Panoramic Trains to return

Not Included

Optional hikes after Machu Picchu tour:

Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 per person. you need to book far in advance; climbing takes 2 hours round trip
Machu Picchu Mountain: $75 per person. You need to book in advance; it takes 3 hours hike round trip.

Similar Tours to Machu Picchu: 

Full Itinerary of the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco – Lares Thermal Baths – Kiswarani village

TreXperience team will pick you up from your hotel at around 4:30 am (depending on your location) and drive you through the beautiful landscape of the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the famous Lares thermo-medicinal baths – arriving at approximately 8:00 am. We will jump straight into the medicinal pools – all of which are set at different temperatures. The water is excellent for your bones, muscles, stress, headaches; therefore, this is the perfect way to prepare for your TreXperience! after soaking our bodies, we will enjoy breakfast in a beautiful location surrounded by the majestic Andean mountains.

After breakfast, we start with a 4-hour hike to the Village of Cuncani, where your chef will be waiting for well-deserved lunch. The second part of the day it’s a 3-hour hike to the campsite at Kiswarani Village. We will pass picturesque landscapes, Andean lakes, fantastic waterfall. Here local villagers survive by farming potatoes and raising llamas alpacas. On reaching our Campsite, your tents and a hot cup of tea will be waiting for you. This is a perfect place to relax, stargaze, and learn about Inca astronomy. 

  • Campsite Altitude: 3850m/ 12361ft
  • Distance: 17 km/10 miles
  • Duration:  7 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 2: Campsite – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Community

We will wake you up bright and early with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea. This is our longest and most challenging day, and after breakfast, it is a 4-hour hike uphill to Condor Pass (4700 m / 15354 ft) – the highest point of this journey. Along the way, we will enjoy beautiful lakes where Wallatas (Andean geese or ‘love birds’) swim in the crystal clear waters and pass the imposing Andean mountains of Pitusiray, Sawasiray, Qolquecruz, all of which are over 18,000 ft. At the summit of Condor Pass, we will serve you a well-deserved cup of hot tea, and you can take some time to rest while your tour guide performs a spiritual offering ceremony to the sacred mountains. It is then over a 3-hour descent through the breathtaking scenery. You will be able to see lagoons, exotic birds, llamas, alpacas, vizcachas (which look a lot like rabbits), and Wallatas along the way.

Our Campsite is located at Cancha Cancha (3750 m / 12 303 ft) –  the only village in the Lares Valley is completely isolated from modern technology. This includes no drainage system, computers, internet connection, or cellphone service. Here they speak only Quechua – the ancient language spoken by the Incas. You will have time in Cancha Cancha to meet and interact with the local people, visit a local school, and help teach and play games with the children.

The villagers will welcome any donations of food, school supplies, or anything else you would like to give to help support this isolated community’s health and education. Late in the afternoon, your guide will take you to visit one of the families’ homes. Here you can first experience their traditional lifestyles passed down from the Incas, sample traditional food, and see how they raise guinea pigs, llamas, and alpacas. Our chef will have prepared dinner to enjoy together before a well-earned night’s rest by the evening.

  • Campsite Altitude: 3750 m / 12303 ft
  • Highest altitude: 4700 m / 15354 ft
  • Distance: 16 km/ 9.9 miles
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging

Day 3: Canchacancha – Salineras – Ollantaytambo

Start the day with a beautiful view of the mountains and delicious breakfast; prepare for our final descent from the hills into the Sacred Valley. First, we will say goodbye to the last remaining villagers still practicing Inca traditions and isolated from modern technologies. Along the way, you can observe different types of ecosystems – from the cold mountains, where only potatoes are grown, to the fertile soils of the Sacred Valley, where maize is the primary product. Our TreXperience concludes in a small town called Huaran (2700 m / 8856 ft), and from here, a private bus will drive us to Salineras and then to Ollantaytambo “Last Living Incan City.” Or as it is sometimes known, “World Capital of the Native American.” We will take some time to explore these ancient streets and the water channel that has been in use since Inca time. We will have dinner in a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo and spend the night in a hotel.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2700m / 8856 ft
  • Highest altitude: 3,750 m / 12,303 ft
  • Distance: 12 km / 7.4 miles
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Ollantaytambo – Short Inca Trail- Aguas Calientes

After an early breakfast in your hotel, we will take the train for 1 hour 30 minutes along the Urubamba river from Ollantaytambo (in the mountains) to km 104 at Chachabamba (in the cloud forest). We will head straight to the checkpoint at Chachabamba to start your TreXperience! Please note you will need your original passport to pass through the checkpoint. Our first stop is a beautiful Inca ruin at km 104, called Chachabamba. We will then hike along an ancient Inca Trail abandoned in the 16th century. The first section of the trail is a gradual uphill hike for 4 hours until we arrive at Wiñaywayna (the place that never gets old). At this point, we will take some time to explore this stunning archaeological site and enjoy the Andes’ spectacular views. A packed lunch and refreshments will be provided. Once fed and energized, we will continue our hike to the Sungate to catch your first glimpse of the Lost City of the Incas – a truly unforgettable sight. It’s a one-hour downhill walk to the city from the Sungate, with breathtaking views along the way. We will arrive at Macchu Picchu in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to experience the city almost empty. This is the perfect photo-taking opportunity! We will then take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, have dinner and spend the night in a hotel.

  • Campsite Altitude: 2000m / 6561ft
  • Highest altitude: 2700m / 8858ft
  • Distance: 15km / 8 miles
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Meals: Lunch, snacks, dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Day 5: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas)

On the last day, we have to get up very early and get ready to experience the highlights of the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail tour, visiting Machu Picchu. We will go straight to the queue and wait for the first buses to Machu Picchu at 5:30 am. As the sky brightens, we will enjoy incredible views of the city along the way.

On a clear day, you can watch the spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu; this is indeed an unforgettable sight. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you to Machu Picchu to explore on your own or climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain  (tickets must be booked in advance if possible). Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included) and return to Cusco by train and bus. The TreXperience team will meet you under the train and return you safely to your hotel.

  • Duration: 3 – 4 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast (hotel)
  • Difficulty: Easy


Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Tour Packing List

For the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail, you will have your daypack that you will carry every day and a duffel bag provided by TreXperience during the briefing at our office in Cusco the day before the trip. Your main luggage will remind at your hotel or in our lockers in Cusco, and you will only travel with the duffel bag with a maximum of 7 kg. The duffel bag will be carried by our porters and food and camping equipment.

What to put in the backpack.

The backpack will always be with you. Your responsibility is to carry it with you when hiking during the day must be as light as possible. Keep in mind that you can only find duffel bags at campsites, and everything you need during the day must be in your backpack.

  • Passport. –  The original passport must always be in a safe and dry place.
  • Student card. – If you have booked a student ID, you must also bring your student ID.
  • Water bottle. – Reusable water containers for at least 2 litters must be carried
  • Poncho, raincoat. – Plastic poncho will be provided to you together with the duffel bag.
  • Sunscreen, hat, and a long-sleeved shirt. -You will hike in open spaces without shelters and need to be protected at all times.
  • Warm jacket. -In the early morning and late afternoons, the weather is freezing.
  • First Aid Kit-You must always carry personal medicine along with band-aids, painkillers, Cipro, allergy medicine, Diamox, etc.
  • Headlights, cameras, mobile phones, sunglasses
  • Toilet paper. -Must be carried at all times
  • Extra cash. -Be sure to bring money with you in small denominations.

What to put in the duffle bag?

  • Sleeping bag. – 4 seasons (-10°) sleeping bags are required for hiking; you can bring your own or rent them from us.
  • Air mattress. -We will provide foam mattresses; however, if you want extra comfort at night, we recommend that you bring or rent an air mattress.
  • Pillows.- During this trip, we will provide you with small camping pillows.
  • Shoes.- For this hike, we strongly recommend that you wear hiking boots
  • Socks.- You need about 6 pairs of thick wool hiking socks and 4 pairs of light socks to walk around at night or after hiking.
  • 3 pairs of trousers, hiking pants or ladies’ leggings are also suitable.
  • Thermal underwear.- This is very important at night.
  • Swimsuit. -We will visit Lares Thermal baths.
  • Sandals. -Change after hiking and in the hotel.
  • Toiletries. – Toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lip balm, moisturizer
  • Towel. – Small and light towels
  • Hand sanitizer and toilet paper

Everything you need to know about Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Tour

Machu Picchu has many hiking routes, such as Salkantay Trek, Classic Inca Trail, Jungle Trek, and less-known excursions such as the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Machu Picchu. This beautiful route will take you off the beaten track to explore remote villages in the Peruvian Andes, visit pristine glacial lakes, hike with llamas alpacas in their natural habitat, and hike the last part of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

What is the Lares Trek?

Lares Trek is a new hike in Machu Picchu that is becoming very popular in the last few years. This trek is perfect for travelers who like more cultural interaction, less crowded routes, and remote mountainous areas where llamas and alpacas are the locals.

What is the Short Inca Trail?

The Short Inca Trail 3 days in the Shorter Version of the Long Classic Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu. This trek will allow you to visit Machu Picchu citadel twice, one in the afternoon of the first day, and return to it on the second day’s morning.

What is the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

The Lares Trek 5 days itinerary follows the same route as the 4 days Lares Trek and includes the Short Inca Trail hike at the end instead of just traveling to Machu Picchu by train.

When is the best time to hike the Lares Trek?

The weather in Lares Trek is very similar to the climate in Cusco, the Inca Trail, or the Salkantay trek. The average temperature during the day is 10°C to 21° (50°F-70°C). The weather is cold at night and may reach below 0°C (30°F).

There are only 2 seasons in all areas of Cusco. We have no summer, winter, autumn, or spring in the Andes, only the rainy and dry seasons. Lares Trek can be visited all year round; however, the Short Inca Trail is closed during February for trail maintenance.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from April to November, when it is Dry season.


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Upcoming departures

Friday Nov 25, 2022
Wednesday Nov 30, 2022
Saturday Nov 26, 2022
Thursday Dec 01, 2022
Sunday Nov 27, 2022
Friday Dec 02, 2022
Monday Nov 28, 2022
Saturday Dec 03, 2022
Tuesday Nov 29, 2022
Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Wednesday Nov 30, 2022
Monday Dec 05, 2022
Thursday Dec 01, 2022
Tuesday Dec 06, 2022
Friday Dec 02, 2022
Wednesday Dec 07, 2022
Saturday Dec 03, 2022
Thursday Dec 08, 2022
Sunday Dec 04, 2022
Friday Dec 09, 2022

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  • Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days
  • Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days
  • Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days
  • Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days
  • Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days