Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Trek 5 Days / 4 Nights
Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Trek 5 Days 4 Nights, The best option for those who want to get off the ‘beaten track’ and walk at least on the last stretch of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Our own unique route is incredibly picturesque, with majestic ice glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. On the original Inca trail hike just like in ancient times, explore the ancient Inca religious cities along the way and enter through the Sun Gate directly to Machu Picchu Citadel.
This beautiful trek combines the amazing Lares trek, which is our cultural tour focusing on local people and our lifestyle (while passing through amazing scenery) and the Short Inca Trail. This will give you the total package of beautiful views, camping in the Andes and still walk through the Sun Gate for your first site of Machu Picchu.
- Tour Type: This tour combines our Lares trek (2.5 days) with the short Inca Trail allowing you to spend time under the stars while camping and still walking through the Sun Gate for that first glance of Machu Picchu.
- Good For: All hikers, including families with younger, active children
- Difficulty: Moderate, but challenging
- Considerations: Emergency horse is available only until you enter the Inca Trail. Inca Trail requires a permit.
Day 1- Cusco – Calca – Lares Hot Springs (optional) – Wacawasi
Early in the morning, we’ll pick you up from your hotel. We will then drive for about 3 hours and 30 minutes to get Lares hot springs 3,200 m / 10,496 ft, on the way, we’ll stop in Calca a small town in the Sacred Valley, to visit its typical market and get some items for the trail. Upon our arrival at the hot springs, we’ll meet our muleteers and get ready our rucksacks to start the adventure. The trail starts going up the highland valley gradually. Today we’ll have our lunch at about 1:30 pm on the halfway to the first campsite. After lunch, the adventure goes on, along this section of the trail we’ll see some herds of llamas and alpacas, and we’ll reach our first campsite located in Wacawasi village 3,800 m / 12,464 ft. At the campsite after our arrival, we’ll have our tea time and dinner. Today, we’ll have an option to swim at the hot springs before our hike starts, whose cost is 10 PEN (not included), or just start hiking to the first campsite instead, as the most hikers do, this will be managed by you and your trek leader.
- Meals: Lunch/Dinner
- Hiking distance: 8 km / 4.97 miles.
- Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours.
- Lowest elevation: 3,200m / 10,496ft (hot springs)
- Highest elevation: 3,800m / 12,464ft (camp site)
Day 2 – Wacawasi – Yanacocha Lagoon – Mantanay
Today, we’ll wake up early in the morning and a great nutritious breakfast will make us ready for the challenging day. After having breakfast, we’ll hike up to the highest point on the trail called Wacawasi pass at 4,420 m / 14,498 ft, for about 4 hours from our campsite. On this section of the trail, we’ll still see some herd of llamas and alpacas close to us, and pretty scenic views. When we arrive at the highest pass, we’ll take a deserved break while savoring great views around and a perfect time to offer some Coca leaves to the Andes spirits making an Apacheta (cairn, a mound of stones piled up as a memorial or to mark a boundary or path). We’ll then hike downhill to reach our lunch spot located close to a beautiful lagoon called Aurora Qocha, where we’ll enjoy just prepared fresh meals and hot drinks. After lunch, we’ll continue descending to our second campsite located in Mantanay valley, a valley with beautiful Andean trees called Queuña (a typical tree from the highlands of Peru that grows up between 3,400m / 11,152 ft trough 4,300m/ 14,104 ft, polylepis “Rosaceae” is a genus of low trees with rugged scaly bark). In the evening we’ll take our hot drinks and dinner.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Hiking distance: 14 km / 8.69 miles.
- Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours.
- Lowest elevation: 3,700m / 12,136 ft (camp site)
- Highest elevation: 4,420m / 14,498 ft (pass)
Day 3 – Mantanay – Yanahuara – Ollantaytambo Town
Another great day awaits us and a great breakfast makes us ready for it. After taking our breakfast, we’ll descend for about 3 hours to Yanahuara, a village located in the Sacred Valley, where we’ll have our last lunch and say goodbye to our muleteers and cook. After having lunch, we’ll take our transportation to our hotel in the picturesque Ollantaytambo town, where we stay this third night, after a deserved relaxation at hotel, we’ll go for an exploration of the authentic Incan streets in the same town. At night, We’ll have our dinner at the tourist restaurants.
- Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
- Hiking distance: 7 km / 4.35 miles.
- Hiking time: 2 – 3 hours.
- Lowest elevation: 3,050 m / 10,004 ft (The end of the trail)
- Highest elevation: 3,700m / 12,136ft (camp site)
Day 4, Ollantaytambo – Km 104 – Short Inca Trail – Machu Picchu
We will pick you up from your Ollantaytambo hotel early in the morning and then we walk to the train station in Ollantaytambo and take the train to Kilometer (Km) 104, which takes about 1 hour and half to 104 is an unscheduled train stop so you will probably feel a twinge of satisfaction that the train is stopping especially for you – and by knowing you are about to see things that no one else will get to! At Km 104 we will get off the train and pass the Inca Trail checkpoint where we will see our first archaeological center called Chachabamba (2,170 m / 7,170 ft).
These ruins were one of the last shelters that the Incas used before they reached Machu Picchu. This site was also used as a religious and administrative center, and features several buildings. Then, we will gradually ascend for about 2-3 hours climbing Inca stone steps while our guide points out different flora and fauna along the trail.
We will then pass a tall waterfall before arriving at the archaeological site called Wiñay Wayna at (2,650 m / 8,700 ft), which is named after an orchid and means Forever Young in Quechua. We will climb to the top of the ruins and enjoy lunch with an incredible view of Wiñay Wayna and the Sacred Valley. This large site sits on a mountainside and features experimental terraces that the Incas used to grow different crops. We will visit an important temple with 7 windows that was dedicated to the rainbow as well as observe the amazing engineering of water channels that still function today.
Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about 1 ½ hours on a part of the Inca Trail which is relatively flat, with small ascents and descents along the way. At about 2:00 pm we will reach the Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,920 ft) which is called Intipunku in Quechua. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu and from there we will head down to the ruins to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes you will check in to your hotel. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner.
- Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch / Dinner
- Accommodations: Hotel
- Maximum altitude: 2,720 m / 8,920 ft
- Minimum Altitude: 2,040 m / 6,691 ft
- Distance to walk: 9.0 miles/13 km
- Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours
Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
After breakfast, we will board the bus which will take us one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. As part of our itinerary the same professional tour guide from your Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Trek 5 Days 4 Nights will teach you about all the history of this mysterious and beautiful place. We will visit the Sun Temple, Royal Palace, Principal Temple, Temple of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana Sun Dial. It will be an unforgettable and inspiring experience. After the guided tour, you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own.
If you have booked the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll need to coordinate with our guide regarding your scheduled time to take this additional hike. For people not hiking Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (Book in advance), there are other optional activities you can do on your own:
- Visit the Sun Gate: You will have an opportunity to walk (approx. 2 hours up and down) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) to see Machu Picchu from a different angle.
- Hike to the Inca Bridge: The Inca Bridge offers a dose of adventure for your next Machu Picchu visit. However in this case, the adventure is a little less strenuous, but a lot more death defying, not for people with vertigo.
When you are finished with your personal time exploring the extraordinary city of Machu Picchu you will return to Aguas Calientes by bus and board the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where our private van will be waiting to transport you back to your hotel in Cusco. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Lowest Elevation: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
- Highest Elevation: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. We will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.
- Transfer from your hotel
- Private transportation from the hotel to Lares – Trail head.
- Licensed guide fluent in English and Quechua.
- Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to KM 104
- 2 Bus tickets from machu picchu to Aguas Calientes and back to Machu picchu
- Admission ticket to the Machu picchu Archaeological site
- Entrance tickets to the Short Inca Trail National Park
- 2 nights Hotel with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, storage and buffet breakfast included
- 2 person Igloo tents (large and comfortable)
- Thick Foam Mattress
- Delicious meals during the 4 days as indicated in the itinerary
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Horseman and mules, to carry all camping and personal equipment (7 kilograms of your personal items such as extra clothes, sleeping bag, these will be carried by our mules) (on Lares Trek portion only)
- First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
- Boiled water to fill your drinking bottles
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
- Transfer back to Cusco for our group
- Sleeping bag
- Water on Day 1
- Energy snacks which can very useful such as chocolate and granola bars and dried fruits
- Breakfast on Day 1, Lunch on Day 5
- Porter to carry your personal belongings
- Waynapicchu Mountain USD $25.00 (Walk to the top without a guide. The trail is well marked.)
- Tips: Guide, Cook, Porters
Bring for the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail Trek 5 Days 4 Nights:
- A good daypack: Eagle Creek Afar Backpack –appropriate packs to carry your personal belongings.
- Original passport with the migration Peru card (for Trains, Machu Picchu Park, and Hotels)
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not required).
- Swimwear for the hot springs of Lares
- Lighter trekking boots (with good ankle support)
- 3 pairs of trekking pants (not jeans): 1 hiking, 1 cotton–which is just enough. Please spray both
- pairs with an insect repellent before the trip.
- Layers for variable temperatures especially at night
- 1 rain jacket: The first night the temperature can be as – 5 degrees Celsius/41 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The rain jacket can be helpful, because there are rainy days even if we are in dry season!
- 1 warm/Winter jacket
- Thermals: wool socks, gloves, scarf, and woolen hat for cold nights.
- 4 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks (Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried).
- 3 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 good sleeping bag liner that is super lightweight and easy to pack. Definitely does its Job!
- Travel-size tissues and wet wipes–The air is cold and damp so your nose is going to run a lot.
- Everyone seems to run out of tissues by the end of the trek. Also, most bathrooms do not have toilet paper (if you even get a bathroom), so wet wipes are key.
- Iron tablets and pills for altitude sickness. Several people on the hike have varying degrees of altitude sickness and both of these remedies (in addition to the coca tea) are very helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
- Sun protection cream (SPF 45 or higher recommended).
- Bug spray with 30% DEET in it–which you need, but it doesn’t work very well.
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container or a hydration pack such as Camel back
Water (only for first day hike). Then we will provide you with water throughout the hike.
Camera and film
- A headlamp to navigate camp in the evenings and pre-dawn mornings with spare batteries
Bandages or moleskin
- Flip flops to change into at night–your toes will thank you!.
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste/floss, shampoo/conditioner, brush/comb, Vaseline (for feet great for potential blisters), feminine hygiene products, deodorant, nail clippers/file/tweezers, spare glasses.
- Medication (Imodium AD or something for your stomach.
- Plastic bags for dirty and wet clothes
- Something to read in the evenings
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks, & tips to your staff
- Additional Notes
- Gift for Andean children (Optional)
We recommend bringing: Coloring books, crayons, pens, notebooks, pencils, stickers, clothes, toys, etc. but not candies or chemical products. Approved note books for the Peruvian school system can be purchased in school supply stores in Lima or Cusco. Children will love to receive these gifts when we pass through Andean communities which have schools.
We really can do this tour any day of the week, any month of the year other than February, when the Inca Trail is closed. *** We need a minimum of 2 people to run the tour.
Group Price:$779USDPer person
A group tour means that it is open for other trekkers to join you. This means that your group will have varying hiking and fitness abilities. All our guides are experts on how to keep the trek moving and happy no matter how fast you hike.
- Student Discount: US$20.00 Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a University Student Card our under 17-years-old, we need to see a copy of their card or passport at the time of booking to receive the discount.Please send all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Optional Extras (Need to Book in Advance):
- Machu Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: USD 25.00 (Need to book in advance)
- Vistadome Train Aguas Calientes-Cusco: USD65.00 (Need to book in advance)
The hotel is 2-star and is based on sharing a room – either double, matrimonial, or triple. There is a single room surcharge of $30 if you are booking alone. Rooms all include private bathrooms, with hot showers and wifi. We can also upgrade your hotel if you prefer something fancier. Please remember that the service you receive in Aguas Calientes may not be comparable to that in Cusco. Below is a list of possible upgrade options, although we can usually work with most hotels in Aguas Calientes.
- Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (5 star hotel) – US $580 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel (4 star hotel) – US $345 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Santuario Hotel (3+ star hotel) – US $65 per person per night (double occupancy)
- Vistadome train -US $65 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Hiram Bingham train (deluxe) -US $385 for trip from Aguas Calientes to Poroy
- Hiking poles – US$20.00
- Sleeping bag – US$20.00
- Sleeping bag Deluxe Package (+ Pillow & Liners) US$30.00
- Private Tent – US$25.00
Terms & Conditions
By booking or participating in a tour and any related products or services (a “Tour”) with Cusco Journeys, you agree to these Terms & Conditions.
- Your booking is confirmed and a contract exists when the Tour Operator or your travel agent issues a written confirmation after receipt of the applicable deposit amount. Please check your confirmation carefully and report any incorrect or incomplete information to the Tour Operator or authorized agent immediately. Please ensure that names are exactly as stated in the relevant passport.
- You will pay a deposit which is completely non-refundable in any situation. There are no exceptions.
- You will be required to show the original passport (not a copy) that you booked with, at the checkpoint to enter the Inca Trail. If you originally booked with an old passport and then renewed your passport, you must also bring your expired passport along with your new, valid passport to permit entry or they will refuse your entrance to the trail.
- The only acceptable ID to receive a Student Discount is your University Card with a clear expiration date that must be the same year as trek. IDs with expiry dates the following year, even though clearly valid, will not be accepted by the Peruvian government. You must submit a copy of this card at time of booking.
- Cancellations: In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 40% is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing (we do not accept medical notes of any kind) as our out of pocket expenses are non-refundable to us.. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
ONCE BOOKED, DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. CHART BELOW OUTLINES WHAT FURTHER FEES WILL BE DUE.
|91 days or more before departure||we will retain 50% of your deposit.|
|90 – 30 days before departure||we will retain 75% of the total tour cost.|
|29 – 0 days before departure||we will retain 100% of the total tour cost.|
Inca Trail Tours:
- Permits: Permits for the Inca Trail are in your name and can not be transferred to anyone else under any circumstances. Change of dates is also not possible once a permit has been purchased. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. The deposit will be forfeited. Please note that this is a regulation of the Peruvian government and not Cusco Journeys (or any agency).
- In extreme cases when the “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu” is declared closed for safety reasons, Cusco Journeys will replace your trek with an alternative trek.
- Those who booked PERMITS with a Student ID must bring that ID with them on the trek. If they fail to show this card to the Park Rangers, they will not be allowed entry onto the trail.
- You must advise Cusco Journeys of any medical problems or allergies you may have. You need to be in good physical health, and if your health is questionable, then you should consult a doctor. If you are over the age of 70 years old, then you will need to present us with a current good health medical certificate.
- You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. The Tour Operator does not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your own unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level and medical requirements.
- Cusco Journeys reserves the right to deny you permission to travel or participate in any aspect of a Tour at any time and at your own risk and expense where the Tour Operator determines that your physical or mental condition renders you unfit for travel or you represent a danger to yourself or others.
- Pregnancy is considered a medical condition and must be disclosed to the Tour Operator at the time of booking. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry pregnant women over 24 weeks. The Tour Operator may refuse to carry anyone with certain medical conditions if reasonable accommodation or alternatives cannot be arranged.
- It is strongly encouraged to purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case of medical emergency or any tour cancellations.
Tours and Treks:
- All balances need to be paid in either cash, Western Union, Transfer Bank or PayPal (in full) prior to the briefing which will be held the night before your tour. Visa incurs a 5% service fee and if you need to use another card, it must be through PayPal which incurs a 5.5% service fee.
You must advise your guide if you wish to leave the group or the camping area for independent walks or sightseeing. If you are experiencing any problems with the services of the guide or tour, please advise the guide in that moment, so that he can resolve any problems.
- All Adventure Treks include transportation to Cusco. The return train route depends on train availability.
- If you become ill or injured on the trail and are unable to continue, a porter will be provided to accompany you back to an area with emergency assistance capabilities. Helicopter air lifts and medical assistance are at the expense of the trekker. If you are unable to complete the tour due to illness, we will assist you in meeting your group at Machu Picchu to recommence your tour at that point. There will be no refund of the original payment. However, we will prepare a document to certify illness which can be presented for your travel insurance.
- Cusco Journeys will take all reasonable care in providing to our clients avoidance of accident, illness, and loss of personal property, and will only employ suitably qualified staff. We accept responsibility for the actions of our own employees. Cusco Journeys cannot, however, be responsible for any action of third parties. You are totally responsible for your own personal property and rented equipment.
- Cusco Journeys does not take responsibility for unfavorable weather conditions, natural catastrophe, strikes, accidents, illness, injury, loss of personal ítems, etc. It is the client’s responsibility to carry insurance to cover these types of events. We reserve the right to modify or cancel the program due to any of the unforeseen conditions listed above.
- Cusco Journeys may modify your itinerary where reasonably required in its sole discretion.
- Group tours might be as large as 16 participants. Groups are open to everyone no matter skill or age. By accepting a Group Tour you acknowledge that others might change the speed and timing of the tour.
- All tours are done in English.
- Any costs, whether direct or incidental, incurred by the Customer as the result of delays caused by bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, sickness, government intervention or other contingencies which are beyond the control of southern explorations will not be reimbursed.
Thank you so much for choosing Cusco Journeys!!!