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Lares trek and Machu PicchuPeru

We run this trip differently from most other companies, trekking from the Sacred Valley to the Lares Valley, rather than the other way around. Why? Because camping overnight at the Lares hot springs is one of our favourite things to do in the world, and we want you to experience it too!

Maximum group size:

12 Guests


3 4 days


US$ 1,090


zOutdoors FHike


The trip in detail

We’ll pick you up from your Cusco accommodation at 6am and drive 1.5 hours through the Sacred Valley, past Urubamba and into the Pumahuanca valley, where we’ll start to hike – straight up! We’ll gain about 1,100m (3,600 feet) in altitude today, over around six hours of walking, as we head up towards the top of the huge Andean cordillera (range) between the Sacred and Lares valleys.

Along the way we’ll stop to check out a cool, little-visited ruin, and have lunch next to a waterfall, before arriving to our campsite at Cuyoc, a charming spot in a native
queuña forest, with incredible views across to Salineras and Maras on the other side of the Sacred Valley.

Meals: Lunch and dinner included

Accommodation: Camping

Walking: Nine km (5.6 miles)

Minimum Altitude: 2,960m (9,710ft)

Maximum Altitude: 4,000m (13,120ft)

Altitude of camp: 4,000m (13,120ft)

Today starts with the final, two hour push to the high (4,700m/15,400 feet) pass, where we’re rewarded with breathtaking (in more ways than one!) views of surrounding snow-capped peaks including Colque Cruz, Sahuarsiray and Veronica.

From here we start to descend - through continuing spectacular views, past llamas and lagoons – about an hour to the village of Cuncani, where we’ll stop for lunch.

After Cuncani we continue descending for another three hours, emerging into the Lares Valley about halfway through, to a fitting reward for a long, hard hike: a campsite set up right next to a natural hot spring! The Lares hot springs are our favourite place in the world to arrive to after a tough day, and you’ve just done two! Sitting in the hot, medicinal water looking up at the stars tonight will make it all more than worthwhile, and it's an experience you’ll never forget.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Camping

Walking: 12km (7.5 miles)

Minimum Altitude: 3,150m (10,300ft)

Maximum Altitude: 4,700m (15,000ft)

Altitude of camp: 3,150m (10,300ft)

This morning we’ll drive an hour before beginning today’s two-hour hike down through a river canyon to the village of Totora. The contrast in ecosystems between the exposed mountain tops of the high Andes, where we’ve spent the last couple of days, and the temperate forest of the Lares valley, is stunning, and makes this charming, easy stroll all the more enjoyable!

After lunch in Totora we’ll drive for an hour or so to Ollantaytambo, then take the scenic 1.5-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu mountain. Here we’ll enjoy a hot shower and a gourmet dinner, before an early night in preparation to be at Machu Picchu in time for sunrise tomorrow!

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Clean, comfortable lodgings in Aguas Calientes

Walking: Eight km (five miles) hiking

Minimum Altitude: 1,700m (5,580ft)

Maximum Altitude: 3,150m (10,300ft)

A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

We’ll be up at sunrise so there’s time for your guide to show you around Machu Picchu’s main citadel, as well as our favourite hidden nooks and crannies, before the crowds arrive. Then there’s time for your own exploration of the massive, still-mysterious site, before we catch the train back to Cusco.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

How much does this trip cost?

US $



for a group of four to 12 people

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  • All accommodation (based on twin-share, tent two nights, hotel one night. Single Supplement available for US$50)
  • All ground transport (private vehicle and train)
  • Dedicated Aspiring Adventures guide
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu and Lares hot springs
  • All meals as specified (three breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners)
  • Drinking water on days 1, 2 and 3


  • Tip for your guide, driver, cook and horse wranglers
  • Sleeping bag and mat (available to hire for US$40 per item or bring your own)
  • Mule to carry your personal belongings (available for US$60pp, or carry your own)

Katy, Aspiring's co-founder, says

When I used to guide for other companies, I always wondered why they sent us to start the Lares trek at the hot springs. We'd drive there, have lunch and a dip, then start hiking, uphill, full and sleepy, in the heat of the day. I've since learned: it's cheaper to run that way. At Aspiring we run the trek backwards, so you get to the springs after two days of hiking, camp right next to them, and have the whole evening to soak up the glory.

This is why we started Aspiring: not to do what everyone else does. Not to squeeze out the maximum possible profit. But to run awesome trips we're proud to put our names to.

Check out all our adventure tour itineraries and find groups of like-minded people to share them with. Have us create your own private and/or custom tour. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re here to make it happen!

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