How long is the Lares Trek and how many hours do we hike per a day?
The Lares Trek is 33 kms ( 20.5miles) long and depending on which campsites are used the approximate hours hiked per day are:
Day 1: 5 hours
Day 2: 8 hours
Day 3: 4 hours
What type of accommodation is used on the Lares Trek?
On the first night of the Lares Trek, we stay at a community-owned campsite established by the Planeterra Foundation that features composting toilets, solar showers, and a solid-waste management system that's the first of it's kind in the region. On the second night, we'll spend the night in three-person tents designed to accommodate two same-sex travellers. Trekkers will be served a bowl of hot water (and a hot drink) in their tents during morning hours. On the third night, we'll stay at a simple hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Is altitude sickness common? And how high is the Lares Trek?
It's impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude is determined by your genetic makeup and has little to do with fitness or health. Most people will have no problems as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. A full day spent in Cuzco (3249m), taking it easy and drinking plenty of water, is usually enough for most people.
The highest point you will reach while hiking the Lares Trek is 4550 meters. You will sleep at 3600 meters for one or two nights.
Is it possible to skip the Lares Trek even if the tour includes it?
Yes! If you do not wish to hike the Lares Trek please advise us at the time of booking (it is very difficult to make these arrangements once you have already confirmed). If you choose not to hike the trail you will spend two nights in Cuzco and then take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes for the third night where you will rejoin your group and spend the night before touring Machu Picchu the following morning.
When do we reach Machu Picchu and how much time do we spend there?
You will reach Machu Picchu early in the morning on Day 4. You will be met by a local guide who will take you on an informative 2-hour tour of the ruins. After the tour you will have a few hours of free time to explore the area on your own before the group travels by bus to Aguas Calientes where we catch the train back to Cuzco.
Do porters carry our luggage while on the Lares Trek?
No, llamas, pack mules and/or horses will be provided to carry your personal items. You will still need to bring a day backpack to carry any essentials you might want or need, such as water, snacks, camera, sweater, rain jacket, etc.
How cold does it get on the Lares Trek (will I need to bring hats and mitts)?
The high altitude means it can get quite chilly, especially during the Andean winter (May - September) when the temperature can drop to below zero degrees (Celsius) at night. It can still be cool at other times of the year and so we recommend bringing thermal underwear and a warm sleeping bag. You can purchase warm, inexpensive and locally made hand-woven hats and gloves in Cuzco.
How difficult is the Lares Trek?
The Lares Trek is considered a moderate hike. It's not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals. We recommend purchasing a wooden walking stick while in Peru as it will help with your balance and reduce the load on your knees. We ask that you not use a metal tipped walking stick as it can harm the fragile environment along the trail.
Is a sleeping bag and mat included?
Sleeping bags are not included and so we recommend bringing a compact three-season sleeping bag. If travelling between May and October a 4-season sleeping bag is recommended. These can be rented in Cuzco for approximately $15 for the length of the trekSome renters may choose to bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Foam mats are provided however some travellers also bring their own self-inflating mat (ie. a Thermarest). These may also be rented in Cuzco for approximately $15 for the length of the trek.
Is purified water available on the trek?
We recommend that you bring a refillable water bottle as boiled water will be provided in the morning at breakfast, at lunch and every evening after dinner.
What type of food will we get on the Lares Trek?
Our cooks prepare excellent high-energy meals appropriate for a trek of this nature. The menu usually includes pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods. Vegetarian alternatives are available upon request at the time of booking.