Your day-by-day itinerary

Cusco - Lares - Huaca Wasi

Day 1

Cusco - Lares - Huaca Wasi

Easy this morning, you’ll take a minibus to Lares, the starting point of the trek. It’s a small colonial town filled with fruit trees and famous for its hot springs, so you can grab a quick dip before you take to the trail. After stopping for lunch, you’ll begin today’s 3-4 hour trek.

The route kicks off with a climb to Huaca Wasi, perched at 3,780 metres. On the way, you’ll pass through lush countryside blooming with wild orchids and begonias, as well as several small, traditional villages. Your first night will be spent camping in Waca Huasi, a charming village where you can meet the locals.

Huaca Wasi - Miski Unuyoc

Day 2

Huaca Wasi - Miski Unuyoc

This morning, you’ll set off early to trek up to Huaca Wasi pass at 4500m. It will take 4-5 hours to reach it but along the way you’ll have views across the Andean vegetation with llamas and alpacas grazing in the sunshine. From the top you will have sweeping views of the Blue Lagoon in front of you. After lunch you’ll head to your second camp in Miski Unuyoc near the Mantanay comunity, where you can watch the sunset with a steaming cup of coca tea.

woman overlooking mountain viewpoint in peru

Day 3

Misky Unuyoc - Ollantaytambo

Today the trail leads mainly downhill, giving your aching muscles a bit of breather. The trail leads past mountain villages that feel totally lost in time. After 3-4 hours you’ll arrive just outside Yanahuara in the Urubamba valley where you’ll stop for lunch with views over the plains. From here you will head into Yanahuara to catch the bus to the Inca village of Ollantaytambo, where the Lares Trail ends. Tonight you’ll stay in a cosy guesthouse; the rooms are quite small, but the décor is tastefully done in local wood and stone.

Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Day 4

Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Today, you’ll give your feet a rest and take the train to Aguas Calientes, the village at the foot of Machu Picchu. Here, you’ll be amidst the travelling community again. Aguas Calientes is centred around the railway, which runs straight through the heart of the town. Here, you will stay in a simple hotel where you can sit back with Pisco sour, plunge into the hot springs and get an early night before tomorrow’s action.

Couple being photobombed by a llama in Machu Picchu

Day 5

Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

You’ll be up before dawn to reach Machu Picchu, but it’ll be well worth it. Arriving early, you’ll see the wisps of cloud rise from the valley to reveal Machu Picchu in all its glory. After sun up, you’ll wander between the terraced fields, temples and houses of the complex, feeling mesmerised by the size of the Lost City. In keeping with Peruvian Law introduced to protect the site, you’ll explore the ruins as part of a group, along with an official guide. In the late afternoon you’ll catch the train back to Cusco.

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