LARES HOT SPRINGS TREK

4 Days 3 Nights

The LARES HOT SPRINGS TREK is a less strenuous way to see the beautiful Lares Valley and Machu Picchu.

It is one of the most beautiful treks available through the Vilcanota Mountain Range of the Andes to Machu Picchu. The Lares Hot Spring trek is more cultural as you see local stone houses and encounter local people along the way. This is an excellent and popular alternative to the Inka Trail, offering more connection to the local people and culture. On this trek to the Lares Hot Springs, you also see many beautiful lakes, snow-capped mountains, and herds of alpacas and llamas. This trek is moderately difficult, is approximately 32 km/20 miles and goes up to 4,700 m/15,420 ft.

The Lares Hot Springs Treks are usually completed over 4 days (the 4th day being in Machu Picchu), however, we can offer alternative lengths (3 or 5 days). Please email us to enquire about the itineraries and prices for alternative trek lengths. Minimum passengers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).

Meters

Kilometers

Days

Nights

The Nitty Gritty Trek Details

Highlights

Cultural, pristine wilderness, snowy mountains, lakes, hot springs, Machu Picchu

Location/Terrain

Snow-capped peaks, lakes, one high pass, rocky terrain, dirt trails.

Acclimatization

2 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended

Duration

4 Days/3 Nights

Distance

32 km/20 miles

Altitude

2,870m/9,416ft to 4,959m/16,270ft

Adventure Rating

★★★☆☆
Moderate, high altitude

Solitude Rating

★★★☆☆
Neither crowded nor remote

When to Go

Best from March to November

Departures

Daily departures with 2 or more people

Prices USD

6-10 trekkers: 770, 3-5 trekkers: 850, 2 trekkers: 1100 per person

Customizable

Yes! Private, custom, add-ons all available.

DAY 1: CUSCO – URUBAMBA – PUMAHUANCA – CUYOC

We will pick you up at your hotel at 5:30 am in order to take a panoramic route by car into the Sacred Valley, passing through Chincheros and stopping in Urubamba for a quick breakfast at a local restaurant. Restrooms are available and you have the opportunity to buy last minute items such as a rain poncho or extra snacks. After breakfast we drive another 25 minutes to the Pumahuanca valley, famous for its white corn and Chicha (traditional corn beer of the Incas). Here we begin our trek through this gorgeous valley, where the woods of the Queuñas (Polylepis) trees predominate the landscape, on a gentle serpentine ascent and impressive views. We hike for about 3 to 4 hours to the archeological site called Inca-Kancha, and after exploring the complex we will have lunch. You will have time to relax until we continue our hike through the Queuñas trees to the community of Paccha where a spectacular mountain landscape with plenty of lamas, alpacas and sheep awaits us. We will walk for another 2 hours, passing several small waterfalls, arriving at our campsite Cuyoc at an altitude of 4.010m/13,156ft. Walking distance approximately 13.5km/8.4 (6-7 hours).

DAY 2: CUYOC – PUMAHUANCA PASS – CUNCANI

We will start the day at 6:00 am with a cup of hot coca tea and enjoy breakfast. Then we start our trek with a view of the snow capped peaks of Chicón, San Juan, and Verónica. Surrounded by woods, a challenging 5 hour adventure awaits us. We climb up a path with steep stone steps and a few tight bends to the Pumahuanca pass (4700m/15,420ft). From here we can enjoy the view of Moray, Maras and Salineras (the salt mines). After enjoying the scenery we begin our 1 hour descent along a stone path with lovely views until we are close to the lakes where we will have our lunch and enjoy a brief rest. After lunch we walk for about 2 more hours, mostly downhill until we reach out campsite in Cuncani (3,900m/12,795ft). Along the way may come across local farmers wearing traditional and colorful clothing, which is typical of Lares Valley. Cuncani is very famous for its textiles which are still being woven according to ancient traditions and techniques. You will have the opportunity to buy handmade textiles directly from the people of Cuncani/Lares if you wish. Walking distance approximately 13 km/8.1 mi (6-7 hours).

DAY 3: CUNCANI – LARES – OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES

Breakfast will be a little later because today’s hike is fairly easy and it is the last day of trekking. Today we also have the opportunity to visit a traditional home where the family will share their simple and humble way of living, connected to nature, preserving the traditional customs of farming and weaving. Afterwards we walk another four hours downhill until we reach the village of Lares, famous for its medicinal hot springs, where we can enjoy a hot soak. After lunch our private transport will take us on the 3 hour drive to Ollantaytambo where we will take the 2 hour train ride to Aguas Calientes. After arriving in Aguas Calientes we check into a hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Then rest up for Machu Picchu bring and early tomorrow morning! Walking distance approximately 6km/3.7 (3-4 hours).

DAY 4: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Wake up call and breakfast is very early (Approx 4am) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30am, 25 min ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. From the entrance, it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy watching the sun rise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore. The new rules for 2019 have split the entrance times into three slots per day. Our tour includes the first ticket (6-10am) so at 10am you would need to exit the ruin site unless you choose to purchase an extra time slot (or two). If you wish to do one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain) you would need to prepurchase a permit as well as an extra time slot in Machu Picchu (these new rules are dictated by the Peruvian government and we are sorry for the inconvenience). After you are done exploring the ruin site, either at 10am or later if you’ve booked more time, take one of the many, frequent buses down to Aguas Calientes.  There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat. After grabbing a bite to eat you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo where private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.
  • Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour
  • Overnight: Not Included

Helpful Info:

  • There are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost is 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper. If you leave close to the time your ticket expires it is likely they will not permit re-entry.
  • You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L)
  • They are no longer allowing box lunches to be brought into the ruin site. We recommend bringing extra snacks (we provide snacks too) or going down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and returning depending on how much time you’ve booked in Machu Picchu
  • They no longer allow plastic water bottles so please come prepared with water bladders/reusable water bottle(s)
  • Please do not climb on or deface the rocks or leave trash/debris of any kind.
  • Our recommendation is to add one extra time slot to allow for more time in the Ruin Site (with or without an extra hike).

Machu Picchu Entrance Times: in 2019 there will be 3 time slots with only 2800 people allowed to enter Machu Picchu each day (down from 4000 in 2018)

  • First Entrance: 6am to 10am
  • Second Entrance: 9am to 1pm
  • Third Entrance: 12pm to closing
    • Note: there will potentially be 4-5 entrance times in 2020

HIKES WITHIN MACHU PICCHU

There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If you want to hike one of these please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo).

We recommend the 10am time slot as Machu Picchu tends to be cloudy in the morning. You are only allowed to hike one of these mountains on a given day so if you would like to do both you would need to return the next day to hike the other one.

INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning or our departure point Plaza Regocijo (your choice)
  • Private bus transport to starting point of trek
  • Personal porter up to 8 kg/17.6 lbs to carry your overnight gear
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • One inch thick foam mattress pad
  • English speaking professional tour guide
  • Full meals on the trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Emergency horse (1-2 per group depending on group size)
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Dining tent with tables and stools
  • Toilet, toilet tent, and toilet paper
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents/food/cooking equipment)
  • Hot water every morning/evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill water bottles every morning/afternoon
  • Round trip tourist train: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and back
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex (first time slot 6-10am)
  • Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes and dinner in a local restaurant
  • Private Transport back to hotel in Cusco
NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs (20 soles)
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike (85USD each including an extra time slot) – advanced booking essential. Please note we cannot guarantee a spot as they sell out in advance.
  • Extra time slot into Machu Picchu (60 USD per slot per person)
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Tip for your guide(s) are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
PRICE AND NUMBER OF TREKKERS
A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group. Price for 6-10 trekkers: 770 per person. Price for 3-5 trekkers: 850 per person. Price for 2 trekkers: 1150 per person. Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome! Please email us to customize.
WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
Year round. This trek is rated as a moderate (intermediate) hike considering the high altitudes and length of walking. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least 2-3 days before trekking.
ON THE TRAIL
On the trail you should carry a day pack with your camera, water bottle or bladder, snacks, cold weather clothing and rain gear or poncho in case of rain (unlikely in dry season – May to October) and anything you will need before dinner as horses do not walk alongside you. Your bag will be waiting for you at every campsite. We will provide you with a duffel bag for extra luggage to be carried by horses.
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK
What to bring: for your trek: The weather varies a lot in Peru, having 28 climates and 84 of the worlds 104 ecosystems. Cusco is set high up (3,380 mts, 11,089 ft) near the Andean Mountain Range and the dry season (winter) is from April/May to October/November with the wettest part of the year (summer) being January through March. Temperatures don’t vary too much between these seasons but the amount of precipitation does. If the sun is out it can be quite warm, but in the shade it gets cool fast. Temperatures change quickly and you will need layers as you hike during the day. At night it is quite cold in the mountains (usually near or below freezing) and most people will need long underwear and layers to sleep in, nice warm socks, gloves, and a hat. Everything you need for the day should be kept in your daypack that you carry because all the items you leave with your porter will not be available to you until the evening at the campsite. It is recommended not to hike in cotton or jeans in the event of rain as cotton takes a very long time to dry. It is also recommended to bring true hiking boots or trail running shoes as regular running shoes do not get very good traction especially when it has rained

 

  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
    • Recommend bringing a sleeping bag rated for below freezing
  • Sleeping bag liner (for your sleeping bag if you wish)
  • Mattress pad – while we provide a mattress pad, being rested is essential for a great hiking experience and we find that sleep habits are very individualized. Therefore we recommend bringing your own pad that you know you are comfortable sleeping on, as well as any other sleep items you might want to have (camp pillow, etc).
  • Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Hiking pants and shirts (layers)
  • Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
  • Hand warmers if you wish
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
  • Cash for tipping porters, cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged soles are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swim suit, flip flops, towel for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us)
    • E.g. especially if you have a favorite protein bar as Cusco does not sell items like this
  • First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
  • Personal medication and toiletries you might want
  • Camera, extra memory cards/film, batteries
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power adapter/converter
  • Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
  • Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
  • Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
  • Small quick-dry pak towels and/or wipes for a quick wipe down at the end of the day

What to bring: medications – medications are optional and depend on your specific needs

  • Antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI
  • Antibiotic for a severe bacterial infection
  • Medication for upset stomach/indigestion
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed
  • Cold/flu medication
  • General pain killer/fever reducer
  • Vaccinations – recommend bringing all boosters up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc)

View latest travel advisories and recommended vaccinations and medications for the regions you plan to visit. For Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu there are generally no vaccinations required. If you are going to the jungle or any other higher risk area you may need: yellow fever vaccine, medicine for malaria, typhoid vaccine, etc. Click here for updated info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx NOTE: Please visit your doctor several weeks before your trip to discuss any health restrictions you may have, medications he/she might recommend for you personally, and to seek more information about any vaccinations or medications recommended for Peru (or any of your other destinations). Additionally: speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications alone or combined.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Itinerary is subject to change and Killa Expeditions is not responsible for loss of personal effects, interruption in your travels (from illness or other reason), or inclement weather/natural phenomena. Please see our disclosure agreement for further information. All trekkers will be required to sign an accident waiver form at time of departure and travel/medical insurance is highly recommended.

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