How Difficult is the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

by | Dec 19, 2020 | Peru Travel Blogs | 0 comments

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Lares Trek Difficulty and level of Hike to Machu Picchu

Are you considering hiking Lares Trek in Peru? Like so many before you, you may be worried about the hike’s difficulty or maybe even Lares trek altitude sickness? of course. If you are thinking to hike this wonderful Andean hike. There’s is always a question such as How Difficult is the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu?

If this is the situation, you have come to the right place. This post is dedicated to elucidating all of those uncertainties regarding Difficulty hiking Lares Trek in Peru. We will look at the Lares Trek ins and outs and compare the difference between Inca Trail and Lares Trek so that you can make an informed choice.

Finally. We will also cover Lares trek altitude sickness and the fitness level you should be at before attempting the hike.


Lares trek Length, Duration, and Climb

The Lares Trek is a total of 33 km or 20.5 miles long, and contingent on which campsites are utilized, the approximate hours hiked per day will be:

  • First 8 hours
  • Second 10 hours
  • Third-Day 4 hours
  • Fourth 4 hours

Day 1 of hiking Lares Trek in Peru will start you off in Cuzco at about 3200m. Officially, the trek starts in Lares, but most tours will pick you up in Cusco and drive to Urubamba village. From where you will begin the hike via Pumahuanka Lares Hike.

Even though day two will be your most challenging day. As this is when you will reach the highest altitude at 4800m on pumahuanka Pass, the Lares Trek is considered a moderate hike. Technicality is low, which means there is no serious vertical climbs or water hikes, and you will mostly be walking at a slight incline, decline, or level surface.

You will get to Machu Picchu early in the morning of day four of Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days. Here you’ll be greeted by a native escort Tour Leader. Who will accompany you on an educational two-hour excursion through the Inca Machu Picchu ruins. After the visit, you will have a couple of hours of free time to study the area on your own before the group travels by bus to Aguas Calientes, where we catch the train back to Cuzco.

Inca Trail Hike To Machu Picchu
Inca Trail Porters before dead woman pass

Hiking Pools

Most hikers use a wooden walking stick while in Peru. This type of walking stick will help with your balance and reduce the load on your knees. Metal tipped walking sticks are discouraged on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days as it can harm the fragile paved stone along the trail.

It is recommended that you should be able to hike about 5-7 hours per day to prepare for the hike. No prior hiking experience is necessary, but it will benefit you in preparation for this trek.  Naturally, with the highest altitude reaching 4,800 m, travelers should be prepared for Lares trek altitude sickness.

Inca Trail vs. Lares Trek

Lares Trek

If you have the impression that the Lares Trek is a less stunning version of the Inca Trail. You’d be wrong. The Lares Trek may not feature as many Inca ruins as the traditional Inca trail, but it is by no means boring or second rate.

The four day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is a popular choice for travelers searching for a less congested alternative to the Inca Trail. It is the shortest trail and can be completed in just two days, allowing you additional time to explore the Lost City, Machu Picchu.

The Lares Trek features grand agricultural terraces, fortresses, and majestic mountains. The breathtaking Andes are almost ever-present, and you can expect to see never-ending views of the snow-capped Cordillera de Vilcanota range while passing remote communities and potato farms.

Lares Trek To Machu Picchu 4 Day

Inca Trail

On the other hand, the Inca Trail is a famous and classic Peruvian trek.  It is also a four-day trek that follows an ancient mountain trail. With beautiful nature views topped with many Inca ruins. It crosses three high passes, the highest of which is the infamous Dead Woman’s Pass at 4212m, before finally arriving at the ruins of Machu Picchu.

On the downside. The Inca trail is the busiest of all the trails and is usually fully-booked months in advance, so you will most likely be sharing all of this beauty with many strangers.

Inca trail To Machu Pichcu 4 Days - K 82
IS The Inca Trail a Dangerous Hike For Altitude sickness?

Altitude Sickness

Not everyone is affected equally by altitude. And it is nearly impossible to predict who will suffer from Lares trek altitude sickness.  In most cases, slowly taking the ascent is the key to preventing altitude sickness. As this gives your body time to adjust.

Travelers are advised to spend a full day in Cuzco at an elevation of 3249m. Relaxing and drinking plenty of water to hydrate properly before the four days Lares Trek to Machu Picchu starts. This day should give your body the much needed time to adjust.

It is wise to carry some altitude sickness medication with you just in case and some Cacao leaf tea, which is readily available in Peru.

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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!

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