trip advisor Andean Paths


Lares is an incredible adventure whose best features are the indigenous people and authentic Andean culture you will interact with throughout your four days in the Lares and Machupicchu regions. You will get the chance to stroll among communities that speak only Quechua—the language of the Inka Empire—and wear colorful dress, you will glimpse Andean lakes populated with alpacas and llamas, and experience and participate in the traditional practices of these proud highland communities

Detailed Itinerary / 






This trek begins in the City of Cusco, where ANDEAN PATHS ADVENTURES will pick you up from your hotel between 5:30 and 6:30 am in a private van.  We will set out for the Sacred Valley of the Inkas, first stopping in the town of Calca, at 2,900 meters above sea level (9,500 feet).  In Calca, you will have opportunity to enjoy breakfast on your own in the village (10-15 Peruvian soles).  After breakfast, we will continue in the van, crossing over a mountain pass at 4,580 m (15,000 ft), the highest point of the trek.  Our journey in the van will finish in Lares village at approximately 8:45 am, named after an aboriginal ethnic group absorbed by the Inka ruler Manqo Qhapaq and located at 3,100 m (10,170 ft). 

On arrival to Lares, the mounted staff of ANDEAN PATHS ADVENTURES will take our kitchen and camping equipment and our overnight bags (maximum 7 kilograms [15 pounds] per trekker) on horses apart from the group; you will only need a daypack for the trail.  As the mounted staff takes care of the heavy goods, you will get a chance to relax in the famous hot springs of Lares on your own (10 Peruvian soles).  After a relaxing dip in the thermal baths, we will have lunch as a group and then begin the afternoon hike, consisting of a gentle climb of about six hours.  We will stop along the way to take in the astonishing views the high Andean grasslands and purchase water and snacks from the indigenous communities we pass along the way. Towards the evening we will arrive in Wakawasi (“Sacred House” in Quechua), where we will set up camp, enjoy hot beverages, and finally have dinner before tucking in for the night.

Summary of Day 1 (all figures approximate)

• Walking time: 6 hours 

• Total distance covered: 9 km (5 mi)

• Finishing altitude: 3,750 m (12,330 ft)



In the morning you will wake up gently over a piping hot cup of coca leaf tea to energize you for the day ahead.  After a hearty breakfast we will take to the trail, climbing up slowly and keeping a comfortable pace for about four hours. We will pass by fields of potato crops and farms full of llamas and alpacas; vistas of Andean lakes; impressive moraines, boulder fields, and other glacial formations.  We continue on until we reach the Ispsayqocha mountain pass at 4,550 m (14,900 ft), soaking up the amazing landscape of the Lares province, with its unique flora and fauna.  Then we will head down to Ipsayqocha Lake (“Lake of My Twin Babies”), where we will have lunch.  Afterwards, we will descend toward Patakancha (“Field at the Top”), where we will have dinner and camp overnight.

Summary of Day 2 (all figures approximate)

• Walking time: 6-7 hours

• Total distance covered: 10 km (6 mi)

• Finishing altitude: 3,700 m  (12,140 ft)


We will wake up early in the morning and enjoy a satisfying and tasty breakfast at 6:30 am.  We will start trekking as a group leaving Patakancha, and the gentle downhill trail will surprise us with babbling brooks and quaint communities.  After 16 km (10 miles) we will reach Ollantaytambo, where we will rest up and eat lunch.  In Ollantaytambo we will board the train for Aguas Calientes, also known as Machupicchu Village.  The train ride is approximately an hour and a half and features snack service and panoramic windows for viewing the descent to Machupicchu.  Upon arriving to Aguas Calientes, we will check into a premium hostel, where you will have a chance to enjoy a hot shower and drop off your belongings.  During the afternoon you will have a chance to explore the town and, if you choose, visit the namesake thermal baths (10 Peruvian soles).  In the evening we will have our last group meal, a dinner in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards we will return to the hostel to rest up for our big day at Machupicchu.  

Summary of Day 3 (all figures approximate)

• Walking time: 5 hours 

• Total distance covered: 16 km (10 mi)

• Train ride: 1.5 hours

• Finishing altitude: 2,050 m (6,700 ft)



Day 4 will be our earliest wake-up, at 4:30 am, but only so you will have time to enjoy the sunrise over Machupicchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.  We will walk by flashlight as a group up the famous Inka Stairs to Machupicchu, arriving just before daybreak.  (There is also the option to take an eco-friendly bus up to the park for US$ 9.50.)

This vast archeological park is also known as the “White Stone City” and is surrounded by Apus, the snow-capped mountains regarded as deities by the Quechua people.  The latest archeological research stipulates that Machupicchu was built during the reign of Pachakuteq (also known as “The Transformer of the Earth”), the Alexander the Great of ancient South America.  You will have a guided walking tour for two hours throughout the ancient citadel, after which you will have free time to explore the vast city for yourself.  After you are ready to leave Machupicchu, you can take an eco-friendly bus down to Aguas Calientes (fare included).   Here you will have the opportunity to again relax in the thermal springs the town is famous for and have dinner at many of the fine bars or restaurants in Aguas (both are optional and at your own expense).  At the end of the day we will take the train back to the Sacred Valley, where a private van will return you to the City of Cusco.  

Summary of Day 4 (all figures approximate)

• Walking time: 1-2 hours 

• Total distance covered: 4 km (2 mi)

• Altitude at Machupicchu: 2,400 m (7,800 ft)


REMINDERS: Any point of the itinerary could be changed because of circumstances out of our control such as weather conditions, flight schedules, etc. 




  • Pre-departure briefing.
  • Private van from Cusco to Lares.
  • Official and licensed English-speaking guide, with vast knowledge of the entire Cusco region, especially the Lares area.
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners, with vegetarian options available for each meal.
  • Hot beverages every morning and afternoon
  • You will be lent a duffel bag (weekend bag) to store up to seven kilograms (15 lbs.) of your personal belongings, including a sleeping bag and the roll pad mattress.  
  • Roll pad mattress.  (Sleeping bags must be self-provided or are available to rent for US$20.)
  • All Camping Equipments: Sleeping tents and kitchen tents with all cooking and dining implements  
  • Entrance fee to Machupicchu Archeological Park.
  • Return train service to the Sacred Valley.
  • Private van from the Sacred Valley to the City of Cusco.
  • The first breakfast and snacks in Calca and the final dinner at Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance fee to Huaynapicchu Mountain, the tall mountain towards the back of Machupicchu. This is optional; please tell us before the trek because tickets to Huaynapicchu may only be purchased in the City of Cusco, not at Machupicchu.
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs of Lares (10 Peruvian soles) and Aguas Calientes (10 Peruvian sols)
  • Bottled- or mineral-water.
  • Extra money in Peruvian soles and US dollars (snacks, souvenirs, personal expenses). 




  • Original Passport and (ISIC student card if applicable).
  • Travel and Health Insurance (bring only copies with you).
  • A backpack (daypack) to carry your belongings.
  • Trekking boot with ankle support.
  • Trekking poles (available to rent for US$15).
  • Warm clothes layer for variable temperatures especially at night.
  • Thermal underwear.
  • Gloves or mittens scarf, wool socks, woolen hat for cold nights.
  • T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for comfort.
  • Head light or torch and extra batteries.
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Wear a hat with a broad visor to keep the sun off your face!
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses!
  • Rain jacket and rain poncho.
  • Toilet paper, small towel.
  • Insect repellent, with at least 15% DEET.
  • Personal medicine kit.
  • 2-Liter water bottle.
  • Water purifying tablets.
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs.
  • Extra money in Peruvian soles and US dollars.
  • A sense of humor!