Up to 8 People
The Lares Valley Trek + Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the best trek for someone looking to experience the rich culture and unforgettable views of Peru. The first stage of your trek is a complete cultural experience in the imposing mountain peaks of the Andes. Trek through glacial peaks, stunning turquoise glacial lakes, waterfalls tumbling down the mountain side and herds of llamas and Alpacas peacefully grazing. Spend your nights in isolated communities, where the way of life hasn’t changed since the time of the ancient Incas. Your next stage is the awesome privilege to follow the original footpath of the Incas as they made their way to the Inca City of Machu Picchu. Along the way explore the ancient Inca religious cities and enter through the infamous Sun Gate directly to the Machu Picchu Citadel. Our final stage is a day completely dedicated to the Citadel, where you will receive a personalized and unique tour of the majestic archeological site. This trek offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Peru while exploring its breathtaking natural wonders.
The Lares Trek & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu offers a unique experience for hikers to combine the beauty of the Andean mountains, local villages, rich culture and the last part of the original Inca Trail. Hiking five days will give you the rare opportunity to interact with some of the most remote indigenous villages that are preserving the Inca culture.
This cultural hike through the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu begins early with your pickup at 5:00am from your Cusco hotel. Within an hour, we will arrive at the ancient ruins of the truly awesome Pisac Inca Citadel. Visit the ruins before any other groups arrive, enjoying the tranquility of the morning. Your guide will share with you the unique history of the Pisac Inca Citadel and its importance both before and during the Inca Empire.
Breakfast is served in a comfortable and private Pisac guest house. You will be impressed with your chef’s hearty and delicious breakfast, which will be just what you need to get ready for the first day trekking! Driving onward for 40 more minutes to Huaran, we meet our team of porters and horses. Time to get our boots on and begin our first 3 hours gradually ascending towards Cancha Cancha. Along the way, your lunch will be served next to the river, replenishing your energy for the trek ahead with a delicious meal prepared by your trekking chef.
Cancha Cancha (3,900m/12,800ft) is one of the most isolated and traditional communities and has been self-sustaining for hundreds of years. There is no road to the community and they were only recently connected to electricity in December, 2019. After settling into your tents and having afternoon tea, you will have the opportunity to visit a local family or play games with the local kids. With your guide as your interpreter, feel free to ask as many questions as you can come up with as you will learn all about life in a traditional Andean village. After dinner, your guide will show you the Inca constellations on which they depended and still depend on for their agricultural guidance. Look forward to clean and private toilet facilities, that are excusively reserved for our clients.
As the morning light gently breaks through, your guide will kindly awaken you with a warm cup of tea or coffee at the door of your tent, allowing you to enjoy the cozy comfort of your sleeping bag a little longer. When you’re ready to rise, a delightful breakfast awaits to fuel your spirits for the exciting day ahead. With renewed energy, we embark on our second day, a 7-hour hike to the northeast.
The initial part of the trail demands your determination as we conquer high passes en route to the pinnacle of our trek, the majestic Pachacutec Pass (4,500m /14,800 ft). Reaching this summit is no light task and a sense of fulfillment and sheer exhilaration awaits you at the top. Along the way, let the breathtaking vistas of glaciers, secluded lakes, graceful alpaca herds, rugged valleys, and awe-inspiring mountains inspire and motivate you. Also, keep an eye on the sky, for you might catch a glimpse of Caracara falcons and Andean geese soaring above!
After relishing the splendor of the summit, we gradually descend for approximately 3 hours until we arrive at our campsite near the Quiswarani community (3,700m/12,139ft). Along this isolated trail, we’ll encounter indigenous highland people adorned in their traditional attire, skillfully herding their llamas and alpacas. Furthermore, these encounters provide unique opportunities for cultural exchange as the local indigenous people warmly engage with you in their native Quechua language. Your guide acts as a bridge, translating and even teaching you some Quechua phrases. As you approach the magnificent seven waterfalls, you’ll feel relief knowing that our campsite is just around the corner!
Upon reaching the campsite everything will be prepared with care, giving you plenty of time to relax. Indulge in hot beverages and appetizers to delight your taste buds before a satisfying dinner. Then, nestle into your cozy sleeping arrangements, ready to drift off into a restful night’s sleep, enveloped by the tranquility of nature.
Get ready for the most breathtaking day of your adventure! To kick off our day, our journey continues with a 3-hour ascent towards the magnificent Willqaqasa Pass (4,200m/13,779ft). As we climb higher prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning reflection of the mountains on the glacial lakes below, creating a picturesque mirrored image. From the pass the grandeur of the Colquecruz and Pitusiray Mountains will leave you in awe. We then trek through the vibrant Puna grasslands, dotted with fertile agricultural sites and pristine natural lakes. After soaking in the beauty of this diverse landscape, we descend for approximately 2 hours to reach the welcoming Cucani community. Once there you’ll have a chance to connect with the local indigenous children, visit their school, and share meaningful moments with the students.
Leaving Cucani behind, we meet our driver and embark on a scenic journey through a lush valley adorned with expansive agricultural areas, abundant fruit-bearing trees, and a rich variety of flora. During this picturesque drive keep an eye out for the vibrant begonias and wild orchids that grace this natural paradise. The Lares Hot Springs (3,100m/10,170ft) awaits. Once we arrive, take a well-deserved break and indulge in an hour-long soak in the rejuvenating volcanic hot springs. Feel the stress melt away as you relax and soak up the therapeutic benefits of these natural waters. Following this blissful interlude, we’ll treat ourselves to a scrumptious lunch and bid farewell to our exceptional chef and horsemen, who have been instrumental in making this journey possible.
After our delightful lunch in Lares, we will board our private transport for a 2.5-hour drive to Ollantaytambo. This charming town will be our home for the night. We’ll come together for a delicious dinner and settle into our comfortable hotel accommodations, reflecting on the incredible experiences we’ve shared throughout the journey.
Get ready for another early start! Firstly, your guide will meet you at the hotel bright and early at 5:30 am to kick off the adventure. As you arrive at the train station, your guide will provide you with a packed lunch to carry in your daypack. Additionally, the train departs from Ollantaytambo at 6:10 am, giving you over an hour to soak in the scenic views and enjoy breakfast (not included). If you prefer, your hotel can arrange a picnic breakfast for you to take along. Furthermore, the train will make a stop at the famous Km104, which marks the beginning of your hike at an elevation of 2,000m (6,560 ft) above sea level.
Crossing the picturesque footbridge over the Urubamba River, you’ll pass through the checkpoint where you’ll show your passport before visiting the first nearby Inca site. The initial hour and a half of the hike is a gentle uphill climb, with convenient shelters along the way providing shade from the sun or a respite from the rain, depending on the season. Also, take advantage of the various lookout points that offer breathtaking views of the Urubamba River and Valley. As you trek along the trail you’ll experience different microclimates, including the enchanting cloud forest, prepare yourselves for some dampness or even rain regardless of the time of year. After another hour and a half of hiking with a slightly steeper incline, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning waterfall.
Pause for a moment to capture photos before setting your sights on the magnificent Wiñay Wayna, located at an elevation of 2,600m (8,500 ft) above sea level. These remarkable Inca ruins hold a fascinating history, with certain parts still concealed by the lush jungle. As you traverse through the sub-tropical jungle so close to Machu Picchu, your guide will enlighten you about the ruins, as well as the incredible flora and fauna of this microclimate. Feel free to ask any questions before a short 5-minute walk leads you to a covered shelter at the Wiñay Wayna campground, the final campground for those hiking the four-day Inca Trail. Convenient outdoor sinks and restroom facilities are nearby. Take your time to savor a hearty, gourmet lunch while appreciating the tropical flowers that surround the campground.
After lunch, your journey to the Sun Gate begins. This leg of the walk is mostly flat, providing you with an opportunity to soak in the panoramic vistas. After about an hour, the trail culminates in a set of steep stairs known as the “gringo killers” or “monkey stairs”, meticulously carved into the bedrock by the Inca. Once you reach these stairs you’ll know that the Sun Gate is coming up! Upon reaching the gate, prepare to be awestruck as you catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from this magnificent vantage point.
The grandeur and magnitude of the site will leave you speechless, surpassing any photo you’ve seen. Take your time to fully absorb this once-in-a-lifetime moment and capture the beauty on camera. The last 45 minutes of the descent from the Sun Gate offer numerous opportunities to snap more photos of Machu Picchu from this unique perspective. Along the way, you’ll encounter a few more significant Inca sites, so take it slow, relish the experience of walking in the footsteps of the Inca along the Inca Trail, and don’t hesitate to ask your guide questions about these historical places during the final stretch of your hike to Machu Picchu.
Upon reaching Machu Picchu, you’ll have ample time to take additional photos from the viewing platforms above the site, including the iconic Guardian House. Since you’ll arrive in the afternoon when the archaeological area starts to empty of tourists, you’ll have the privilege of capturing stunning photos without the overwhelming crowds.
Get ready for an extremely memorable day! Start off with an early breakfast at your hotel, and then hop on one of the first buses to Machu Picchu to ensure you can catch the sunrise over the glorious archeological site. This is a truly magical moment that you won’t want to miss! Once you arrive, your knowledgeable guide will lead you on a comprehensive two-hour tour of the Machu Picchu Citadel. You’ll explore the most important areas and learn about the three distinct sectors of Machu Picchu: agricultural, residential, and religious.
After the tour, those who have pre-booked the additional hikes to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have the opportunity to embark on their own adventure and soak in the breathtaking views. Once you’ve taken in the awe-inspiring sights of Machu Picchu, we’ll take a bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may have some free time for shopping, sightseeing, visiting the museum, or even indulging in a relaxing dip at the hot springs. The train will depart at either 2:55 pm or 3:20 pm.
As the train carries you back to Ollantaytambo, you’ll be treated to the stunning scenery along the Urubamba River. Keep an eye out for the narrow canyon and its captivating stretches of whitewater, especially as you near Aguas Calientes. If you look up high on the steep canyon wall, you might even catch a glimpse of Wiñay Wayna! Once you reach Ollantaytambo, our driver will be waiting for you at the train station exit, ready to drive you back to your hotel in Cusco in our comfortable private vehicle. Anticipate arriving at your hotel between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, marking the end of an incredible journey.
Huayna Picchu and Macchu Picchu Mt are optional hikes within Machu Picchu Citadel which does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike with guidance, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
*** The Lares Trek & The Short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is almost always available year round as long as permits are available with the exception of February when the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance.
***We provide large Eureka 4 person tents for each 2 trekkers.
***Private price is $200 USD extra per person.
Huayna Picchu is an optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel which does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
Comfortable foam mattresses for every hiker, camping pillow, transfer airport to hotel (only in Cusco), duffel bags, plastic liner bags, and extra blanket for the tent are included in the trekking price!
Please read the following information carefully. It will help with your questions about our services and the Lares Trek & Short Inca to Machu Picchu.
Upon your arrival at the airport in Cusco, our team will be there to warmly welcome you. To ensure a smooth process, kindly provide us with your complete flight details at least 14 days before your trek begins. Look for our friendly representative who will be holding a distinctive Orange SAM Corp board at the exit of the arrivals terminal. Rest assured, we’ll be there to assist you and ensure a seamless transition to your hotel.
Your briefing will take place the night before your trek.
Before your trek begins, we will provide you with a comprehensive briefing the evening prior. The briefing will be held at our office, conveniently located at Calle Garcilaso 210, office 213 (second floor) in the La CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center. Please refer to your confirmation email for the exact time, which will be either 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. During the briefing, we will ensure that you have all the necessary information and address any remaining questions or concerns you may have.
Absolutely! We understand that carrying your main luggage during the Lares Trek & Short Inca to Machu Picchu may not be ideal. You have the option to store your main luggage either at our office or at your hotel, depending on what suits you best. We want to ensure that you have a comfortable and hassle-free trekking experience. Simply let us know your preference, and we’ll make the necessary arrangements to accommodate your needs.
To book your unforgettable adventure on the Lares Trek & Short Inca to Machu Picchu, please follow these simple steps:
By following these steps, you’ll be one step closer to embarking on this incredible journey. Should you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to make your booking process smooth and hassle-free.
It is understandable that you may prefer alternative payment methods to avoid high credit card fees while in Peru. We offer the following options for paying your balance:
We want to ensure that you have flexibility and options when it comes to settling your balance. If you have any further questions or need assistance with payment arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to make the process as smooth as possible for you.
Yes! To ensure a smooth entry to the Lares Trek + Short Inca Trail, it is essential that you bring your original passport with you. It is important that the passport number matches the one you provided when booking your permit, entrances, and reservations. If you are in the process of renewing your passport or changing your name, please provide us with the information from your old passport so that we can secure your permit. Once you receive your new passport number or update your name, we can make the necessary changes for a fee of $25 USD per person. We will require copies of both your old and new passports to complete the process. We advise you to keep a copy of your old passport before making any changes.
Alternatively, if you prefer to avoid the fee, you can bring both your old and new passports with you to Peru. While you can enter Peru with your new passport alone, you will need to present both passports when entering the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, or boarding the train. Failure to provide both passports may result in denial of entry to these sites. We strongly recommend having both passports on hand to ensure a seamless experience during your journey.
The weather in the region can be highly unpredictable, making it challenging to anticipate specific conditions. To prepare for this variability, we recommend dressing in layers. This will allow you to easily adjust your clothing to accommodate quickly changing weather patterns. By wearing layers, you can add or remove clothing as needed to stay comfortable throughout your trek.
The night before your trek begins, we will provide you with a small duffel bag to pack your clothing for the next four days. Please note that the weight allowance for your duffel bag is up to 7kg/15 lbs. Our dedicated team of porters will carry your duffel bag along with the necessary food and camping gear. It’s important to keep in mind that you won’t have access to your items in the duffel bag until the end of each day, as the pack horses will always be ahead of the group.
During the trek, we recommend having a day backpack that is spacious enough to accommodate your personal belongings. This includes essentials such as a warm jacket, rain jacket, camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, and so on. A backpack with a capacity of 30 to 50 liters should be sufficient for your needs. This will allow you to comfortably carry your belongings while enjoying the journey.
The Lares Trek & Short Inca to Machu Picchu covers a distance of 39 km as you hike through the breathtaking Andes in the Cusco region. Throughout the trek, you will reach a maximum altitude of 4,700m/15,419ft. It’s important to note that the trail is considered fairly difficult, so it’s essential to be well-prepared and in good health before embarking on this adventure.
To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, it is recommended to have a moderate level of fitness and engage in regular exercise. Leading up to the trek, you may consider gradually increasing your daily walking distance to approximately 15 km or engaging in activities at a fitness club. This will help prepare your body for the physical demands of the trek.
Equally important is acclimatizing to the high altitude. We advise to spend at least 2 or 3 days in Cusco (located at an altitude of 3,350m/11,047ft) before beginning the trek. This will allow your body to adjust and adapt to the altitude, reducing the risk of altitude-related complications and ensuring a more comfortable journey. Taking the time to acclimatize properly is crucial for your overall well-being and enjoyment of the trek.
Our clients, particularly our trekkers, have expressed great satisfaction with our toilet facilities. We understand the importance of having a private, clean, and sanitary toilet while on the trek. At SAM Travel Peru, we provide individual tents with camping toilets that have comfortable seats. If you’d like to see how our camping toilet is set up, you can check out the picture through this link: [insert a link to a picture of the toilet tent]. Rest assured, we always place our toilet facilities at a convenient distance from our campsite.
One of the notable advantages of our toilet facilities is that they are readily accessible and well-maintained, even during the night. Unlike the often unsatisfactory conditions of the government-provided facilities, our toilets are kept clean for your comfort. In the Cancha Cancha area, we have even built our own toilet facilities that remain locked when we don’t have treks, ensuring their cleanliness and availability exclusively for our guests.
During the third day of your trek, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy hot showers and relax in hot water pools at the Lares Hot Springs. It’s a perfect time to unwind and rejuvenate amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit, so you can fully indulge in this soothing experience.
If you’re unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, SAM Travel Peru will assist you to the nearest town for transportation help. We carry oxygen for respiratory problems and can arrange a helicopter pick-up at your own expense in extreme cases (travel insurance required). No refunds are given if you can’t complete the trek. Those needing assistance are usually taken to Ollantaytambo and can continue to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu if they recover quickly (cost incurred by trekker).
Absolutely!! As part of the package, we provide a drop-off service at your hotel on the last day. If you have booked a hotel in the Sacred Valley, such as Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will also drop you off there. If you are staying in Ollantaytambo the night before the trek, we will pick you up from there as well.
Yes, At our core, we are a local, sustainable, and responsible tourism operator. We commit ourselves to upholding the universal principles of tourism, which involve protecting the environment and supporting the well-being of local communities while respecting their culture and religion. To ensure that we fulfill these principles, we have provided comprehensive training to all our local staff. We equip them with the knowledge and understanding to respect the places we visit and the local people we interact with.
As a local tour operator, we provide you with a duffel bag during your briefing. We also include an extra porter as part of our service. This porter is responsible for carrying up to 7 kilograms or 15 pounds of weight, which includes essential items like your 2.5-kilogram sleeping bag, mattress, and extra clothing. It’s important to note that according to Peruvian law, the duffel bag must not exceed the weight limit of 7 kilograms.
This restriction is in place to ensure the well-being of our porters and horses. Before the trek, we will weigh all bags to ensure compliance. If you require more than 7 kilograms, you have the option to carry the extra weight in your day pack or request an additional porter for an extra fee. Out of the 7-kilogram allowance, please allocate 2 kilograms for your sleeping bag and 1 kilogram for your sleeping pad. This will leave you with approximately 4 kilograms for your personal gear.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40L for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.
Explore the sites that you will actually see along your tours.
Sam Corporations has flexible departure dates, willing to accommodate your needs and travel requirements as far as possible. We guarantee exclusive luxurious tours of the hidden gems of Peru, whilst providing the best quality and personalized service.
You can book confidently knowing we offer the best value for your money
UNA DE LA MEJORESfeb. de 2023 • Pareja
Este Viaje es una de las mayores experiencias que tuvimos .con muchas cosas por aprender, conocer otras culturas, escapar de la rutina y romper barreras, miedos y prejuicios. Una de las de las mejores experiencias que pudimos tener es y sobre todo abrir horizontes, descubrir cosas nuevas .
Oasis de Huacachinaene. de 2023 • Amigos
El mejor tour de mi vida, visitar el desierto de ICA y el Oasis de Huacachina fue maravilloso, fuimos un grupo de amigos para conocer el sur peruano y nos fascino, nuestro guía fue muy divertido y muy informado sobre la historia del Perú, todo estubo excelentemente organizado sin ningún error y...
David es el top!ene. de 2023 • Familia
Esta compañía superó nuestra expectativa en el tour del Valle Sagrado y Machu Picchu, nuestro guía David fue estupendo y muy informado de la historia de los Incas.
Nuestro conductor Junior fue increíble y muy apasionado con su trabajo.
Our company is 100% locally owned. We directly contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability in Peru.
The quality of our service is one of our most important values which demands all our effort, determination, and courage to be successful in what we are doing and the services we provide
We aim to have a positive impact in all the areas that we visit. Through our training sessions and social projects, we empower women, indigenous communities and children
Our groups never exceed 10 people, giving you a personalized tour in our small comfortable vans
Interested in visiting only specific destinations? No problem, all our packages can be fully customized to suit your budget and schedule. Contact our travel advisors to plan the most comprehensive trip of a lifetime.
We commit socially and culturally to the community and adapt our business strategies to the preservation of the environment
The fast trekked 1 Day Inca trail hike is perfect for those who are short on time but still want to experience the world-famous Inca Trail and the marvel of Machu Picchu. Starting from KM104, you will embark on a hike along the Inca trail passing by various archaeological sites and encountering unique mountain and rainforest flora and fauna. Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, lush valleys, and the tranquil Urubamba River from the top of the awe-inspiring ancient site, Wiñay Wayna. As you continue your journey, the Sun Gate will unveil your first breathtaking view of the magnificent Inca City of Machu Picchu. From this vantage point, you will be able to admire the unobstructed views of the citadel and be captivated by its sheer size and architectural marvel. For anyone with limited time, this trek is the perfect opportunity to embark on an unforgettable adventure.
The Classic Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that every adventure seeker needs to journey. This iconic 4-day hike leads to one of the most beautiful wonders and archeological sites of the world: Machu Pichu. Trek back in time as you walk in the footsteps of the Inca and discover astonishing ecological diversity and gain appreciation for the rich history and traditions of the Incan people. Witness first hand the incredible engineering feats of the historic sanctuaries: Runcuracay, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñayhuayna, and Machu Picchu itself.
The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary covers 32,952 acres and accompanies 10 diverse ecological zones from glacial peaks to tropical forests. It also homes over 450 species of birds and 200 species of orchids!
Along the 42-kilometer or 26-mile trail, you’ll walk along the original cobblestone path and staircases the ancient Incan kings walked nearly 500 years ago. Experience altitudes of up to 4,200 meters, famous archeological sites, diverse landscapes, and an array of plants and wildlife. This challenging hike never has a dull moment and is perfect for any adventurer looking for a rewarding and illuminating experience.
The short hike of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, will provide you with views of impressive Inca ruins, expansive mountains, lush subtropical vegetation and extraordinary ecological varieties. The ancient and original Inca Road goes through the National Park and takes you through the Sun Gate with unforgettable views of Machu Picchu! People hiking the short Inca Trail Trek will have the privilege of seeing the famous Machu Picchu Citadel in the afternoon on the first day and also visiting it again for a guided tour the next morning! This trek was designed for those with little travel time or who prefer hotel rooms to camping, yet still want to experience part of the Historic Inca Trail and walk the magical wonder of the world that is Machu Picchu!