Hike the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 5 Days - Orange Nation Peru

Hike the Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 5 Days

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From $697

The Lares trek and Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is perfect for the traveler who wants the best of the wild Andes Mountains and also experience part of the  historical path of the famous Inca trail and  see magical Inca archeological sites like the youthful Wiñay Wayna – this trek offers the best of both worlds in 5 days!

You pass through the most isolated indigenous communities keeping the Inca culture alive, living with no road routes to the outside world. Our own unique route is incredibly picturesque, with majestic glaciers, shockingly blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. The Inca Trail portion is on the original Inca trail just like in ancient times, explore the ancient Inca religious cities along the way and enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, where most of the famous photos of these ancient ruins are taken. For the cherry on the cake, visit the majestic Citadel of  Machu Picchu twice!

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Service Level: Spacious and luxurious camping facilities. Private chef for the group. Emergency horse. Exclusive modern vehicles with private driver.
Physical Rating: A moderate to challenging hike. Sufficient acclimatization and pre-trek training is highly recommended. One of the more moderate alternative trails to Machu Picchu.
Travel Style: Adventure, hike, train, camping, 1 night mid-tier hotel (option to upgrade) and shuttle bus
Group Size: Small group experience; Max 12, Avg 5.
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 5 days - Orange Nation Peru


Your Cultural adventure Hike through the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu begins early with your pick up at 6:00am from your Cusco hotel. We make a quick stop at the Calca local market for any extra supplies you might need on the trek or a few souvenirs. Then we drive for 1 hour toward Huaran, we meet your horsemen and horses. Our stop along the river bank is accompanied by a delicious breakfast to replenish our energy for the hike ahead.

As we start our ascend, be prepared for a pretty steep hike in the beginning. Pace yourself, taking in the scenery with the calming river, gently flowing down stream to your left. Flanked on your right by a statuesque lush mountain with a scattering of gorgeous flora indigenous to the region. The rest of the trail is gradual. Pass old Inca bridges, a beautiful clear lake with a couple of grazing domesticated animal, a perfect spot to stretch your legs and take a rest. We meet up with our chef along the way for a scrumptious 3-course lunch. After lunch we continue on our scenic hike to the village of Cancha Cancha.

The snowcapped mountains creep closer and the air becomes crisp, as we get closer to the village. We cross over a small stream to settle into our campsite along the river. Once we arrive in Cancha Cancha we get to interact with the locals, depending on the season, we can either play soccer with the local kids or visit a local school. We enjoy our afternoon tea and spend the rest of the afternoon taking in our surroundings, take pictures of the local women heading their llamas and alpacas in traditional clothing or the breathtaking mountain peaks that tower above you.

As the sun begins to disappear behind the mountains and the stars start to brighten the skies, we cozy up inside the dinner tent for another outstanding meal by our dedicated chef. We spend the rest of the star-studded night, getting to know the rest of our group and listening to our guide explaining how the Incas have used the constellations to guide their farming. We then settle into out tents to get ready for a challenging second day of hiking.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with comfortable 4 person tents for every 2 people
  • Time: 6hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate

We depart Cancha Cancha walking uphill through the valley, passing stone houses, scenic mountainous ranges and high Andean landscapes. After 2 hours, the path flattens out, and we arrive to the highest pass called Pachacutec Pass (4,758m / 15,610ft). After we have conquered the first summit you can relax and enjoy the views of Pachacutec Lake and the snow-capped mountain peak of Pitusiray. We then head downhill for the next 2 hours to have a well-deserved lunch before continuing downward for another 1.5 hours into the valley where we can see a few glacial lakes, herds of alpacas, llamas and sheep. Our camp is at (3,870 m / 12,694ft) close to Kishuarani village.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with comfortable tents, foam mattress, blankets, pillows
  • Distance: 14kms/10.3 miles
  • Time: 8hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenge

As we are half way through our trek, it is time to take on the second mountain pass, Hillkiccasa Pass (4,200m / 13,779ft). We hike along with views of the Andean Mountain ranges Colquecruz and Pitusiray which are awe inspiring to see from the pass. We continue for another 5 hours through the Puna grasslands, passing robust agricultural farming land in the most unforgiving terrain , and with breath taking views of pristine deep blue glacial lakes. Eventually, we reach the isolated indigenous village of Cuncani. After a brief rest we continue down the valley, to finally reach our destination, the Lares Village (3,100m / 10,170ft). Here, we have an extended break to have a big lunch from our chef and to soak in the natural volcanic hot springs for an hour or so.

After lunch in Lares, we have a private transfer to Ollantaytambo, where we spend the night in a comfortable hotel within walking distance to the town shopping and train station.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge or Similar
  • Distance: 15kms / 9.3 miles
  • Time: Approximately 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

We will pick you up from your hotel at 5:45am for a short walk to the strain stain, to catch the 6:10am train for an hour & 15 minute scenic train ride to KM104, the starting point of the Short Inca Trail. After crossing the Urubamba River on a picturesque foot bridge, we show our passports at the checkpoint, pack our picnic lunch and apply some sun screen and insect repellent before proceeding. First stop is an archeological site just a few steps from the checkpoint, we spend some time exploring site and learning what this site was used for.

At this point, we begin our 3-hour trek to Wiñay Wayna archaeological site (2,650/8,747ft) also known as Forever Young in Quechua. The first hour and a half is a gentle hike upward. Along the way, we stop at several outlooks where you have an expansive view of the Urubamba River and pass through several microclimates, including a cloud forest. Along the way we stop at a beautiful waterfall with cristal clear waters, a convinient spot to stop and splash yourself with cold water and take a short break before the steep climb that awaits you to the age-less site of Wiñay Wayna.

Upon reaching Wiñay Wayna (Quechua for Forever Young), we explore this site that has remained well preserved for many centuries and that was only discovered after Machu Picchu. Climbing to each section with our guide giving us a quick explanation for the use of each section. Once we reach the top, we arrive at a campsite of the same name. We tuck into our gourmet box lunch and enjoy the dazzling views of this amazing site. Here we intersect with the Classic Inca Trail, this is also a great opportunity to make use of the restrooms.

After lunch, we continue on a gradual hike towards the Sun Gate (2,730m/9,00ft). You will encounter one final challenge before our first magnificent view of the Citadel, these steps are aptly nicknamed the gringo killer steps or monkey steps. Our suggestion, get on all fours and just get it done, these steep stairs are carved directly into the bedrock of the Trail. Once you walk through the Sun gate, Machu Picchu Citadel stands infront and its sheer size will take your breath away. It is just an hour hike down the flat rock stairs to Machu Picchu. Be sure to have your camera ready to take all of the incredible views of Machu Picchu Citadel along the way.

Once you reach Machu Picchu, you will have time to take more photos from the viewing platforms above the site (Guard House), where you can take the famous postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the afternoon, as the archeological area starts to empty of tourists, which gives you the opportunity to take beautiful photos in the afternoon light with fewer people in your shots. Take your time to take in this magical experience before you take the bus down to Aguas Calientes to check into your hotel. Your will have a delicious dinner, then have time to walk around this picturesque little town, visit the hot springs or just go to your hotel to rest after such an exciting day.

  • Meals: Breakfast in the Hotel – Picnic Lunch – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Wiracocha Inn Hotel or Intipunku Tambo
  • Difficulty: Moderate

After an early breakfast at your hotel, we are ready to get an early bus at 5:30am up to Machu Picchu just in time to witness the sunrise. It is a truly mystical site straight out of history books and not something you’ll want to miss! After enjoying the sunrise your guide will provide a guided tour of Machu Picchu, which takes around two hours. You will see many of the most important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel during your tour.

After the tour, those people that have booked an extra hike in advance will have time to hike it on their own. When they have had their fill of the incredible views of Machu Picchu, a bus back down to Aguas Calientes will be waiting. Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes lunch is waiting with numerous restaurants to choose from (lunch not included). Depending on your train departure time, there may be some time for shopping, or sightseeing.

The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Enjoy the scenery from your window, as the lush mountain, become more rugged and the soothing river to your left. Back in Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private van. You can expect to arrive at your hotel about 7:00pm.

  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • On the Inca Trail, we will be doing the circuit #3 and there is no way to do another circuit unless you buy an additional entrance to Machu Picchu.
  • You can upgrade to the Vistadome Train for the same times, 2:55pm or 3:20pm, 4:22pm, or 4:43pm. The cost is $57 USD.
  • Early trains can be organized by requested and it has to be done by booking time.
  • The Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike depends on availability and let us know about it at booking time.

Enjoy Lares Trek and Short Inca Trail !

2 to 12 people $ 697 USD per person

***This price includes the extra pack horse which will carry your belongings up to 7 kg / 15lbs. We will provide you a duffel bag to put your belongings in.
***ORANGE NATION provides large Eureka 4 person tents for each 2 trekkers.
***Private price is $100 USD extra per person


  • 18 to 25 years old: $30 USD. Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
  • Under 18 years old: $30 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Under 11 years old: $40 USD. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Group of 5 people or more: $30 USD. All you need to do is book the trek together at the same time.

*** The short Inca trail to Machu Picchu is available year round except it is closed in February for maintenance — This trek takes you into Machu Picchu by walking through the SUN GATE like in the ancient times, you will explore some amazing Inca ruins along the way like Wiñay Wayna.


  • Sleeping Bag: $20 USD per person per trek (They are steam cleaned after every trek)
  • Air Mattress : $20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles : $15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal Tent: $30 USD – (Tent is for solo trekkers only)
  • Additional Night in Aguas Calientes – From $60 USD (depending on availability)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade: $57 USD per person (For the return to Poroy at 4:43pm )
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Hotel single supplement: $35 USD for solo travelers.


Orange Nation provides 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 trek price!

  • EXTRA PACK HORSE is included in the price, which will carry your things up to 7 kgs / 14lbs. including sleeping bag, mattress, clothes etc. (Lares Trek portion only)
  • COLD BOILED WATER will be provided along the trek, there will be hot and cold water at each meal time.
  • OXYGEN TANK will be available.
  • EMERGENCY HORSE is included which can be ridden if you feel tired or sick. (Lares Trek portion only)
  • BEST ITINERARY operated by Lares Trek specialist only.



  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Cusco
  • First breakfast
  • Private transportation from the hotel to the Huaran trailhead
  • Professional guide fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua
  • Round trip train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • 3 Bus tickets between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance tickets to the Inca Trail
  • 2 nights in Hotels with private bathroom, hot shower, wifi, storage and buffet breakfast included
  • 4 person tents for every to people for space and comfort
  • Foam mattress and camping pillow
  • Delicious meals during the 5 days as indicated in the itinerary
  • Horsemen and pack horses to carry all camping, cooking and personal equipment (7kg / 15 lbs. of your personal items such as extra clothes and sleeping bag will be carried on the Lares Trek portion)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank
  • Boiled water to fill your drinking bottles
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Chef, cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Transfer back to Cusco


  • Sleeping Bag: $20 USD per person per trek (They are steam cleaned after every trek)
  • Air Mattress: $20 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
  • Walking Poles: $15 USD per pair per trek (Professional Poles that can be extended)
  • Personal tent: $30 USD – (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Vistadome Train Upgrade: $57 USD per person (For the return to Cusco (Poroy) at 4:43pm)
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain: $75 USD per person (Please request when you book your trek)
  • Hotels before and after the trek
  • Flight tickets
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Optional upgrades for hotel
  • Tips for the crew, guide and cook of ORANGE NATION PERU


  • Original Passport (it has to be the same as the one you have used for booking your trek)
  • Valid university card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack
  • Drinking Water: 2-3L (Please bring reusable bottles, not disposable)
  • Comfortable hiking
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from ORANGE NATION)
  • Headlamp
  • Toilet paper


As a Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffel bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 lbs. including your 2kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.

  • Necessary clothes, layers for hiking
  • Bathing suit for the thermal waters
  • Warm clothes. It can get quite cold at night
  • Gloves (Preferably waterproof)
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office to line your duffel bag
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from ORANGE NATION PERU


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal medications


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 duffle bag at camp.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal. Please bring your canteens or water bottles
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Headlamp
  • Warm hat
  • Rain gear
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars
  • Rain poncho
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Extra money for souvenirs, drinks & tips

Why travel with Orange Nation Peru?

We have become the leaders in small group adventure travel over the past three decades by consistently listening to our travelers and delivering what they desire: adaptable itineraries, the freedom to explore, smaller group sizes, safety and peace of mind, and knowledgeable local guides who provide unique insights into the destination that would be missed through any other means of travel.

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EXPERT GUIDES : Our expedition staff are experienced, enthusiastic and among the best in the industry - they are our secret to success

SMALL GROUPS: Travelling with us will always feel like going with friends and not with a group of strangers in an organized tour.

OUR EXPERIENCE: With fifteen years’ experience and over 25 Packages to Machu Picchu alone, our team knows how to deliver a successful expedition.

ENVIRONMENTAL: ENVIRONMENTAL: Education and conservation are our passion. We aim to create lifelong ambassadors for the protection of all wilderness areas.

Travelers' Choice Awards 2022
Excellent based on 280 reviews based on 280 reviews

Letty C

Excellent worker

Jun. 2023

Joaquín excellent 👍 Very Caballero helped me with my 🎒 offered me oxygen does very well His work ⁇ in singing to Subme to the 🐎 And what a beautiful mountain it cost me to Climb but with the Joaquín's help I did!

Mariana D

A great adventure!

May. 2023

We made 4D / 3N of the Inka Trail. The experience was challenging, but it was worth it. Chef Fortunato's meals and explanations of Jony and David's places were very complete. Tmb the patience to make sure we all get there on time.


Fast and friendly service

Dec. 2022

We did not get to specify the service due to the political situation in the country, however the company quickly and carefully proceeded with the return. Very good service and when the situation calms down we will resume service with them.

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