Lares Trek to Machu Picchu (The Ultimate Cultural Trek)
The Lares trek is a hike that lasts two or three days in Cusco, Peru starting nearby the town of Lares, approximately 64 kilometers north from Cusco and 56 kilometers east from Machu Picchu. It is placed on the mountain rage of Urupampa (on the east) crossing part of Sacred Valley. To start this trek you need to take a 5 hour trip on bus or van. The trek route crosses typical zones from the mountains of Peru.
This road was used by the Inca culture in the past to transport food and also to send messages to others towns. Only the domestic South American camelids were employed at that time and the most employed were the llama and the alpaca. The llama could only transport 20 pounds and the alpaca was used for clothing and food. In this valleys you can see people that still follows those traditions. During the trek we can appreciate thermal medicinal baths, lagoons, mountain ranges, cloud forest, rivers, snow-capped mountains and a variety of birds and plants.
Many traditional weaver and farmers lives on the Valley of Lares. It’s also famous for its handmade textiles. The villagers speak Quechua and Spanish and if you want they can teach you how to weave by yourself.
The Lares trek is one of the many alternatives to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is a little bit smaller and bigger in altitude than the Inca Trail and it is accessible from Cusco. Unlike the Inca trail, permits are not required to do the Lares trek.
There are a vast number of different itineraries and variations available on the trek. It is also calmer than the Inca Trail as it is not well known.