Lares Cultural Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru

“A magical combination of daily hiking and exploring Peru’s Inca sites, with comfy but remote mountain lodges and plenty of optional activities, too.”


Cusco | Sacred Valley | lunch with the Viacha community | Inca Trail to Pisac ruins | ruins of Ancasmarca | Quiswarani to Huacahuasi | choice of walks or alternative activities | Ipsayocha Pass | Patacancha | Ollantaytambo | Machu Picchu

Description of Lares Cultural Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru

This Lares cultural trek to Machu Picchu, Peru, is a lovely lodge to lodge hiking adventure in the Lares mountains near Peru's Sacred Valley. It is a high quality, small group trip for five days, with some additional days to enjoy before and after the trek.

Spend two days in colourful Cusco before heading for the glorious scenery and traditional Sacred Valley mountain villages of the Lares region.

Trek along ancient routes, pass Andean hamlets, meet Peruvian farmers in their colourful traditional dress, take in the stunning mountain views, and in the end, explore the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

A great aspect of this trip is that we are able to give you options of what to do on some days, for example, instead of taking a long hike on day three.

Stay in comfortable yet remote mountain lodges with roaring fires, good cooking, comfy beds, and even a Jacuzzi! Enjoy daily hiking in incredible scenery. Find out about the lives of rural Peruvian in the Andes and at the Viacha community, have lunch cooked under hot stones. See lesser known ruins such as Ancasmarca and Choquecancha and watch out for condors. Explore Ollantaytambo and magical Machu Picchu.

After your Trek you have time in Cusco once again to immerse yourself in the Peruvian culture.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:ARRIVE LIMA: You’ll be met on arrival at Lima Airport and transferred to the Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport hotel.
Day X:FLY TO CUSCO: Our local representative will meet you at Cusco Airport and transfer you to El Mercado Hotel. Once you’ve settled in you can explore Cusco at your leisure, starting to get used to altitude before you return to the hotel and perhaps enjoy a drink by the firepit in the lovely central courtyard before dinner. Breakfast
Day 3:CUSCO: Today visit Sacsayhuaman then the bohemian San Blas district, followed by the hugely impressive cathedral and the ‘Golden Enclosure’ Korikancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. This afternoon you are free to spend as you wish; the restaurants, shops and museums of Cusco await! Breakfast
Day 4:PISAC: We leave Cusco early this morning and head to the Sacred Valley for the start of your trek. A steady 2 hour uphill trek take you to a pass with panoramic views. Today we have lunch with the Viacha community. We then carry the Inca Trail to Pisac ruins, and them to Pisac village. From here you'll be drive to your first lodge. About 6 hours hiking today. Lunch, dinner.
Day 5:INTO LARES AND TO HUACAHUASI LODGE: We'll take a short walking tour of Lamay village today, before a 2 hour drive towards Lares, stopping to see the ruins of Ancasmarca on the way. Today you have a choice of either sightseeing, or an easy 2-4 hour walks, or a moderate 4-5 hour hike . Whatever your choice, you'll be at your next lodge in time for dinner. Full board.
Day 6:HUACAHUASI TO OLLANTAYTAMBO: Today you spend some times the day to day activities of the Huacahuasi community, before setting off to hike for about 6-7 hours. Up to Ipsayocha Pass (4499m), probably sharing the path with local people and their accompanying animals. You might see condors along this route. You'll head through the weaving centre of Patacancha (3848m), then be driven to your hotel in Ollantaytambo. If you decide you don't want to hike today, drive instead to the Sacred Valley to visit the ethnographic museum or explore the valley by bike. Full board.
Day 7:OLLANTAYTAMBO: An early morning short hike takes you to Incan storage structures high above the village. A guided tour of the fortress is then followed by a scenic train ride to the village beneath Machu Picchu. Full board.
Day 8:MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO: An early morning start is worth it to get the best of these incredible ruins. You will be awed by the location and the ruins themselves. We'll give you lunch in the villages, before getting the train and a coach back to Cusco. Full board.
Day 9:CUSCO: You have a choice of activities in Cusco today! You’ll be collected from your hotel and taken to San Pedro market to shop for ingredients. Then you’re taken to a modern 11th floor rooftop kitchen with great views of the city, where you’ll be shown how to prepare a three-course Peruvian meal, then sit down to eat the fruits of your labours. Or, a half-day Art Trail, including a 2-hour ceramic workshop experience. You’ll lean about the history of Andean art and figures such as the Torito de Pucará that you find on the roofs of mountain houses, and a skilled local artist will instruct you in traditional techniques for making and decorating ceramic plates, cups and other items. You could also choose to take part in a workshop, painting and applying gold leaf to figures of horses or the Torito de Pucará.
Day 10:CUSCO TO LIMA, FLIGHT HOME: This morning it’s time to bid farewell to Cusco as you’re collected after breakfast and taken to the airport for the flight to Lima to connect with your flight home. Breakfast

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made from March - December

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Lares Cultural Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru


The mountain lodges we use on this trek were built on land owned by local communities, and in an environmentally respectful manner.
RESPONSIBLE PRACTICES : Lamay Lodge receives electrical energy through the Electro Sur company, energy-saving light bulbs are used in order to take care of the electricity consumption.

Regarding water we carry out frequent maintenance (all pipes, installations etc.) including trimestral analysis of waste water to ensure it has been effectively treated before entering back into the ecosystem. In Huacahuasi, the supply of electricity also comes from Electro Sur as well as a gas generator, which we use only during operation hours since our guests are not in the lodge all the time. The personnel also use biodegradable materials to clean the lodge.

Our guests follow bridle paths which belong to communities, paths that have been established years ago where wild fauna activity didn’t exist. Guests are also given bags to collect any waste they generate along the route in order for it to be recycled in the lodges. Lamay is surrounded by nature where some native flora species exist. In Soraypampa on the Salkantay route, we have a great reforestation project, it will last for 3 years and will reforest 100 hectares of native trees.

Along the route you can appreciate flocks of alpacas and flames of the settlers.

WASTE: The segregation of waste is carried out in the lodges, some of which is gathered by the corresponding municipality and is segregated for final disposal. Other waste is reused, for example, in Lamay lodge wooden fruit boxes are used for planting seeds or to display. The organic gardening and kitchen waste are destined to the compost heap.
Metal water bottles are given to our guests before they start the trek in order to avoid using plastic bottle, cloth snack bags are also given to be filled with dried fruit and nuts which reduces the use of packaging, packed lunches are given in reusable bags along the route.

The company that organises this holiday is a multi award-winning responsible travel company. We try to ensure that nothing we do at home (in UK) or abroad compromises the environment or wildlife or exploits people. We believe in ensuring that travellers are well-informed, as an informed traveller tend to be a more respectful and sensitive traveller. We also believe in giving back to the country, people wildlife and environments which are affected by tourism.

Carbon Offsetting: Ours is a multi-award winning responsible travel company. Every person that travels with us automatically has their flights carbon offset. This is done through The Travel Forest. The Travel Forest plants indigenous trees to offset the carbon emissions produced when you fly on holiday. Whilst this is the primary motivation for planting the trees, the project also works as a poverty alleviation scheme and also aims to combat environmental degradation

The UK head office has a good policy of recycling, reducing and re-using (electricity, paper, plastic etc). We also buy only fair trade goods such as tea, coffee, and use biodegradable detergents etc. We also make a point of buying only top eco-rated equipment (eg monitors).


Working through a not-for-profit civil association called Yanapana Peru, our partners for this trek are a wonderful company committed to helping communities in remote area of Peru. Their aim is to reduce the often extreme poverty which is found in the Andean highlands. Most of the projects they back are education and health-related, however they also help with income-generating projects such a coffee production, helping local entrepreneurs, or crafts projects.

The mountain lodges on this trek are part-owned by the community of Huacahuasi, and they employ many local people too, so this trek brings funds to remote rural communities. Given this link, it also means that travellers learn about traditional ways of life of the people who live in these mountains, as there is an element of sharing knowledge during the trek.

In Lamay and Huacahuasi more than 95% of workers are from the local community. We have created groups of 5 people, 4 are dedicated to auxiliary works of the lodge and improvement of the community and 1 person is in charge of repopulating border zones of the lodge with native flora. The workers receive work-specific training every year and we also have a higher education sponsorship program with the community of Huacahuasi. Furthermore, we support the community of Huacahuasi in a unique way in that they directly receive a portion of the profits from the lodge, that in turn they can spend on healthcare, education or other needs of the community.

We work with partners on the ground in each destination, and only use local guides. We also primarily promote locally-owned services (hotels etc). We are very clear which accommodations have good environmental and social responsibility credentials. This information is used to ensure that any traveller wanting to ensure they are really making a difference, can choose between one property and another on eco-issues.
We also promote community-owned projects and services where applicable and possible.

The company backs a charity with funds and administration. This is a registered UK charity whose principle aim is to relieve the poverty of indigenous communities in areas outside of the UK which are affected by tourism. The charity backs poverty alleviation, education, cultural preservation and conservation projects within these regions. It has backed schools, clinics, micro-business projects and more. They are currently raising funds for 9 different grassroots projects in nine different counties, which travellers are encouraged to donate to if they would like to give something back.

Popular similar holidays

Hiking the Inca trail holiday

Hiking the Inca trail holiday

An unrivalled combination of history and spectacular scenery

From £1949 - £2569 11 days including UK flights

Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

Taste Peru's diverse landscapes and fascinating culture

From £2649 - £3409 17 days including UK flights

Peru walking and cultural holiday

Peru walking and cultural holiday

Trek the cultural sites and mountain scenery of Peru

From £1917 10 days excluding flights

Alternative Inca trail trek in Peru, Salkantay Trek

Alternative Inca trail trek in Peru, Salkantay Trek

Salkantay trek - an alternative Inca Trail adventure

From £672 5 days excluding flights

Convert currencies