LARES TREKS PERU
GO BEYOND THE INCA TRAIL
A cultural flare: experience the thrill of hiking the Andes, and spend time in local villages learning more about this incredible culture. This trek immerses you in not only the beauty of the trail, but the people too! Once a “secret” compared to the more widely known Inca Trail, the Lares Trek is a favorite as a less traveled route to Machu Picchu.
Because you do not need a permit to hike this trail, it is especially easy to plan—and while all treks in the Andes are physically challenging, this hike moves a bit slower, making it a great fit for our youngest, oldest, and more casual hikers!
Why Choose Alpaca Expeditions for your Lares Trek?
When you're on the trail with us, you can expect top-quality camping equipment, nutritious meals on the trail prepared by professional chefs, and leading safety procedures on every trek. Beyond this, you can feel good about supporting a 100% Peruvian company whose involvement with local communities includes social projects and initiatives in porter welfare.
FAQ Lares Treks
How hard are the Treks at Lares?
While Treks through Lares can be quite cold as it is an Alpine trail, our Lares Treks are much slower paced than those through many other trails, making them more manageable for less experienced, younger, and older hikers. It is said that day 2 is the most strenuous of the 3 to 4-day hike.
It is generally an easier trek than the Inca Trail. As long as you dress warmly for the trail, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful sights and culture of the mountains, lakes and local villages.
The Lares Trek is considered a moderate hike. It's not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals. We recommend purchasing a wooden walking stick while in Peru as it will help with your balance and reduce the load on your knees.
What is the ‘Llama Ceremony’ about?
Andean ceremonies have an incredible history, with traditions dating back centuries.
llameros (our horsemen) will do a ceremony with llamas showcasing these beautiful animals and will introduce you to them while discussing their importance and explaining why owning one was a sign of privilege. Llamas are fundamental to the economy in locations like ours.
Traditionally these ceremonies would start with dancing and gathering of the animals while preparations were made to present an offering to Pachamama or Mother Earth in their honor.
The offering is to thank Pachamama for the water, grass, and environment that allows their animals to thrive. The llamas are thanked for what they provide to their community; warm wool for weaving and their work transporting crops and other heavy loads.
We hope to continue the tradition of the Incas and give some llamas work. We do this to support the community that helps protect them. Llamas are pleasant to walk with and are friendly animals. Just don’t get too close, they might try to kiss you.
Is a permit needed for Lares Treks?
In 2002, the Peruvian government began restrictions on the trek to Machu Picchu, so that famous hike is on you cannot do without a permit and a registered operator, and ever since the competition for these permits has been intense. Only 500 people per day can trek the Inca Trail (200 travelers, and 300 porters and guides).
Unlike the Classic Inca Trail, you do not need to purchase hiking permits for the Lares. There are no daily restrictions of hikers on the Lares Trek, since there are only a handful of hikers departing each day. We hope you are one of those adventurous hikers!
Do I need to pack food for Lares Treks?
You will need to eat while in Cusco prior to joining us if you are visiting there, otherwise if you are coming straight to us, we have you covered! Family style meals and snacks will be made by our chefs for everyone! If you have a restricted diet - no problem, let us know and we can handle your needs around that too!
We will make sure you have a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for the trek along with a happy hour of tea and snacks. A snack is on the menu each morning for you to enjoy along the trek as well, we want to help you keep your energy up, so you enjoy every moment of this Alpine Experience!
Is it safe to drink the local water in Lares?
Do not drink tap water in Lares. Parasites, amoebae, and other undesirables can cause serious infections or have you spending a few days in close proximity to a Peruvian bathroom. Unfortunately, it’s not advised to brush your teeth with local water in Peru either, we do provide fresh filtered water for anyone participating in our treks and tours so you will be taken care of.
You must bring personal water bottles and or a camelback. We recommend carrying about 3L worth. You’ll be able to refill your water at each meal.
What clothing is recommended for my hiking in Lares?
You want things that wick, are synthetic and midweight to be most comfortable while trekking in Peru. Don’t wear shorts, they may not be considered appropriate in some parts of Peru.
We recommend clothing on the warmer side especially for those high-altitude nights. Fleece, long pants, woolen hats and gloves are all must haves. Layering is always a good idea for trekkers so you can consider things like zip off pants, lightweight fleece, t shirts (long sleeve) and so on.
An excellent full packing list can be found here if you want to dig a little deeper.
What is the weather in Lares like?
Peru basically has two seasons owing to its proximity to the equator. One is called the "dry" season, which is May to September, and the other is referred to as the "rainy wet" season which runs between December and March. Rain or snow can happen in both, but the rainy season sees more rainfall.
In Cusco where our tours begin, about 700 millimeters (27.5 in) of rainfall per year, almost all that rainfall is in the period from October to April, from May to August it almost never rains
The treks in Lares are Alpine in nature so it can be on the chillier side because of the high altitude.
Can we access the springs in Lares?
One you arrive you will be able to dive right in and enjoy the springs, which are divided up between various pools ranging from freezing to hot water. They’re all composed of pure volcanic water, which is medicinal and considered to be good for your bones, stress, muscles, and headaches.
The hot springs of Lares are in the district of Lares, within the province of Calca. They are 300 meters from the town of Cusco, at an altitude of 3,250 m.a.s.l. and are the most visited hot springs here! These particular springs have become well known for their healing properties for various diseases, including stomach and rheumatic diseases and conditions such as arthritis.
What language is spoken in Lares?
The Lares Valley is home of many traditional weavers and farmers famous for homemade textiles. The indigenous people of this area speak Quechua and Spanish.
English isn't widely spoken outside the tourist areas of Peru, so learning a few Spanish words and phrases might come in handy. Spanish is the primary and official language of Peru, followed by Quechua, Aymara, and other indigenous languages. English is not commonly spoken outside of tourist areas.
How do tips work? Are tips included?
Porters will support trekkers by carrying their duffels however we want to protect their wellbeing while providing this service as well. The Maximum amount that we allow our Porters to carry is 8 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air mat (if you bring one/rent one from us), these two items weigh 3.5 kg.
Generally, groups give collective tips that are shared between the cook and all porters including the head porter and is usually given on the last night of the trek. If the group pools together money and at the end each porter receives 60 soles and your cook receives double that, 120 soles, they will end with a great tip. Often, the tip for your guide is done personally and is generally 50 soles per traveler.
Andean Travel Web (an independent website, not a tour agency) recommends taking an extra US$25 to $30 (65 to 78 nuevos soles) per person to cover tips, with additional personal porters tipped separately.
The Alpaca Difference
Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism and Community Projects in Peru Since 2013
100% Peruvian Company
Alpaca Expeditions has been growing year by year, not only in number of clients, but also the number of employees.
Active in our Community
Alpaca Expeditions is trying to give a voice to these women. Give them a safe place to say "I want more." We have opened
Commitment to our Home
Alpaca Expeditions is based in Cusco, Peru. The company was created by Raul Ccolque, an ex-porter and tour guide
These men and women are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to create the experience we provide