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5-Day Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek

Enjoy the culture-rich Lares trek before joining the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.


Cusco, Peru


5 Days




March – January

Tour type



5-Day Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek Overview

Discover the heart of the Peruvian Andes on our 5-Day Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek. This journey offers an intimate glimpse into the enduring traditions of Andean communities, coupled with the stunning natural beauty of the Lares region. Immerse yourself in the warmth of local hospitality, and experience the tranquility of the Lares hot springs, set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and verdant valleys. As you traverse this enchanting landscape, the rich tapestry of Andean culture unfolds before you, offering a unique perspective on a way of life that has been preserved for centuries.

Transitioning to the Short Inca Trail, your adventure culminates in the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. This segment of the trek is a historical journey, unveiling ancient ruins and leading you to the Sun Gate, where you are greeted with the breathtaking sight of the iconic citadel. This trek is more than a hike; it’s an exploration of the natural splendor and cultural heritage that make the Andes and Machu Picchu world-renowned. Join us for an unforgettable expedition that combines cultural immersion with the majesty of one of the world’s most extraordinary ancient wonders.

Departure & Return Location Your Hotel in Cusco
Departure Time 5:00 AM
Estimated Return Time 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Guide Languages Available Guides fluent in English and Spanish
Key Attractions Lares Hot Springs, Ipsay Pass, Patacancha, Willoq, Ollantaytambo, Km 104, Wiñayhuayna, Sun Gate, Machu Picchu

FromUSD 1,050
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  • Standard Large GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 16ppl MaxStart Time: 05:00
  • Standard Small GroupGroup Size: 2 Min – 8ppl MaxStart Time: 05:00
  • Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 05:00
  • Deluxe Private GroupGroup Size: CustomizableStart Time: 05:00
  • Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 05:00
  • Deluxe Solo TravelerGroup Size: 1 personStart Time: 05:00

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5-Day Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek

Tour Itinerary

Explore our expertly designed itinerary below, crafted to showcase breathtaking views and provide unique adventures every step of the way.

Day 1: Cusco – Calca – Lares Hot Springs – Wacawasi

Begin your adventure with a journey from the historic city of Cusco to the tranquil town of Lares. As you travel through the Sacred Valley, embrace the breathtaking vistas of the Andes and the Vilcabamba mountain range. The highlight in Lares is the soothing hot springs, renowned for their therapeutic properties and offering a perfect antidote to travel fatigue.

The afternoon adventure leads you to the charming Wacawasi camp. Trek through paths that wind across the beautiful Andean landscape, offering a glimpse into the region’s natural splendor. The journey to Wacawasi is not just a trek but an exploration of the rich cultural tapestry of the Andes.

As night falls, settle into your camp near a local Quechua community. This immersive experience allows you to connect with the ancestral traditions of the Andes under a canopy of stars. The evening is filled with the peace of the mountains and the warmth of the local culture, setting a magical tone for your journey.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 4 hours, 10 km

Greet the morning with the invigorating aroma of coca tea. Today, you ascend to the magnificent Ipsay Pass, surrounded by the grandeur of the Pitusiray and Sawasiray peaks. The trek to Ipsay Pass is a journey through a landscape that embodies the heart of the Andes, offering both natural beauty and a glimpse into traditional Andean life.

At the Ipsaycocha lagoon, enjoy a tranquil lunch surrounded by serene beauty. In the afternoon, continue your descent to the village of Patacancha, where traditional Andean practices are still a part of daily life. The village is a living example of the region’s rich history, offering a unique glimpse into the enduring legacy of the Incas.

Your night in Patacancha is a special experience, camping amidst an authentic Andean community. Surrounded by the customs and traditions that have shaped these highlands for centuries, you’ll feel a deep connection to the land and its people. This experience is not just about spending the night in the mountains; it’s about becoming a part of the Andean world.

Accommodation: Camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 5-6 hours, 12 km

Your journey today takes you from Patacancha to Willoq, a vibrant hub of living Andean culture. This day is dedicated to engaging with the local community, offering a unique opportunity to understand their way of life and traditions. Participate in their daily activities, gaining an authentic insight into the heart of Andean civilization.

In Willoq, experience the warmth and hospitality of a local family during your homestay. Share meals, stories, and learn about their customs in a way that only living with a family can provide. This cultural immersion is a highlight of the trek, offering a rare and genuine glimpse into the lives of the Andean people.

The night in Willoq is more than just an overnight stay; it’s an invitation into the heart of a community. As you settle in for the night, reflect on the day’s experiences and the connections you’ve made. The homestay offers a unique perspective on the Andean way of life, one that is both humbling and enriching.

Accommodation: Homestay in Willoq
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 3 hours, 7 km

After a heartwarming stay in Willoq, your journey leads you to Ollantaytambo, a living piece of Incan history. From here, you’ll board a train that winds along the Urubamba River, providing scenic vistas before arriving at Km 104, the starting point of your trek on the Short Inca Trail.

Your hike begins with a visit to the enchanting Chachabamba archaeological site. As you ascend, the trail reveals a blend of lush cloud forest and subtropical jungle, a stunning backdrop for your trek. The path leads to the impressive Wiñayhuayna ruins, where terraces cascade down the mountainside.

The final stretch of the day takes you to the Sun Gate, Inti Punku, offering your first glimpse of Machu Picchu in the distance. As the sun sets, descend to Aguas Calientes. This small town, nestled in the mountains, provides a cozy retreat where you can recharge and anticipate the exploration of Machu Picchu the following day.

Accommodation: Hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner
Hiking: Approx. 6-7 hours, 12 km

The final day of your trek is dedicated to exploring the magnificent Machu Picchu. Start early to beat the crowds and fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of this ancient wonder. A guided tour reveals the history, architecture, and mysteries of this awe-inspiring Inca citadel.

Take time to explore the nooks and crannies of Machu Picchu, perhaps climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for an elevated view of the ruins and the surrounding Andean landscape. These optional hikes offer a different perspective and a deeper appreciation of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the afternoon, return to Aguas Calientes and board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Your journey back to Cusco by car allows time to reflect on the incredible experiences of the past five days, enriched by cultural insights, historical wonders, and the breathtaking beauty of the Andes.

Accommodation: Not included (returning to Cusco hotel)
Meals: Breakfast
Hiking: Exploration of Machu Picchu

Tour Highlights

5-Day Lares & Short Inca Trail Trek Highlights

  • Lares Hot Springs: Begin your adventure with a relaxing soak in the therapeutic Lares hot springs, surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley.
  • Trek through Andean Landscapes: Experience the beauty of the Andes as you trek through diverse landscapes, from lush valleys to high mountain passes, showcasing the natural splendor of the region.
  • Cultural Immersion in Willoq: Engage with the local community in Willoq, where you’ll participate in traditional activities and stay overnight in a homestay, gaining a unique insight into Andean life.
  • Short Inca Trail Adventure: Embark on the iconic Short Inca Trail from Km 104, discovering archaeological sites like Chachabamba and Wiñayhuayna en route to Machu Picchu.
  • First View of Machu Picchu: Experience the unforgettable moment of seeing Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate, a reward for your trekking efforts.
  • Explore Machu Picchu: Spend a full day exploring the world-renowned Machu Picchu, delving into its history, architecture, and mysteries with an optional hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for panoramic views.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Detailing Every Aspect of Your Travel Experience: What’s Included and What’s Not

Standard Inclusions

All package options include the following:

  • Pre-departure briefing at your hotel/office 1 or 2 days before the trek.
  • Hotel pick-up and transportation to the trailhead.
  • Bilingual English-speaking tour guide.
  • A 4-person tent for every 2 people, along with an inflatable mattress.
  • Kitchen tent, dining tent with tables and chairs, and a toilet tent.
  • Professional chef and assistant chef.
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available at no extra cost.
  • Provision of snacks during the trek.
  • Daily provision of boiled and cold water for water bottle refills each morning.
  • Horse support for carrying camping equipment and luggage up to kilometer 82.
  • Horse transport for 7 kg of your personal gear, along with muleteers to manage the horses.
  • Duffel bag for your personal gear.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle and medical kit.
  • All entrance fees for the Lares Trek and Inca Trail, including Machu Picchu.
  • Homestay accommodation in Willoq.
  • One night hotel stay in Aguas Calientes.
  • Bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on Day 1 and a round trip bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes on Day 2.
  • Train tickets to Km 104 and return from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Transportation from the trail’s end to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private van transportation from Ollantaytambo to your Cusco hotel.


Not included in our standard tour packages. Consider additional costs. Deluxe packages may cover some exclusions, as specified in the Additional Inclusions section.

  • Sleeping bag (available for rent).
  • Trekking poles (available for rent).
  • Day 1 breakfast.
  • Day 5 lunch and dinner.
  • Porter services for personal belongings on the Short Inca Trail.
  • Huayna Picchu/Machu Picchu mountain ticket (an additional US$80 per person).
  • Tips for tour guides, chefs, and support staff are not included and are at your discretion.

Additional Inclusions

Deluxe Packages Only

Elevate your travel experience with our bespoke Deluxe Package, meticulously designed to offer an array of premium amenities and services.

Deluxe Packages Include:

  • Emergency Horse & Handler: An extra horse and a trained handler provide added safety on the trail.
  • 3-Star Aguas Calientes Hotel: Rest and recharge in a carefully selected 3-star hotel.
  • North Face Four-Season Tents: State-of-the-art, weather-resistant tents for ultimate outdoor comfort.
  • Mountain Climbing Permits: Choose between Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Vistadome First-Class Train: Enjoy scenic travel from Aguas Calientes with panoramic windows offering spectacular views.
  • Private Van to Cusco: Enjoy a direct, comfortable transfer to Cusco post-trek.
  • Gourmet Lunch: Indulge in a gourmet dining experience at either Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes.
  • Sleeping Bag: Sleep well with one premium sleeping bag per person.
  • Walking Sticks: 01 pair per person for added stability.
  • Private Transportation: Transportation exclusively for your group.
  • Personal Duffel Bag: Use a durable duffel bag to conveniently carry your personal gear, including the sleeping bag and self-inflating pads.
  • Dedicated Tour Guide: Get personalized insights and guidance from an expert tour guide throughout your journey.
  • Porter for Short Inca Trail: A porter will be available specifically for the Short Inca Trail segment, enhancing your trekking experience.
  • Fair Compensation: We ensure fair compensation for all our dedicated team members.


Discover our diverse tour offerings, catering to various interests and providing unforgettable experiences for every traveler.

Standard Large Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 16ppl Max



Per Person

Join a diverse group of travelers for an economical shared experience.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Standard Small Group

Group Size: 2 Min – 8ppl Max



Per Person

Enjoy a more intimate setting, ideal for closer interactions and bonding.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
No Private Service

Private Group

Group Size: Customizable



Per Person

Curate your journey with exclusivity tailored to your group’s preferences.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Deluxe Private Group

Group Size: Customizable



Per Person

Indulge in luxury, enhancing every aspect of your tour for a memorable experience.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person



Per Person

Embrace the freedom of a solo adventure, with options to mingle or stay independent.

All standard inclusions
No Additional Inclusions
Private Service or Join a Group

Deluxe Solo Traveler

Group Size: 1 person



Per Person

Elevate your solo journey with added luxury and attentive service.

All standard inclusions
Additional Inclusions
Private Service

Special Discounts

  • Adult (12+ Years): Standard rates apply for travelers over 12 years old.
  • Student (-25 Years with Student Card): Save USD 20 with a valid Student Card for those younger than 25 years old.
  • Child (3 – 11 Years): Save USD 30 for children between 3 and 11 years old.
  • Infant (0 – 2 Years): Infants younger than 2 years old are free (must ride on the adult’s lap; for a separate seat, add them as a child).
  • Group Discount: Automatically applied during online booking.
    • Save USD 10/person for groups of 5-7 people.
    • Save USD 15/person for groups of 8-10 people.
    • Save USD 20/person for groups of 11+ people.

*Please note that the applicable age is considered at the time of completion of the trip.

Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy

Kindly take a moment to read our Payment Terms & Cancellation Policy before booking. Happy adventuring!

Payment Terms

Beginning Your Adventure – Booking Confirmation and Deposit

Your journey starts with a commitment: a 30% deposit of the total tour cost. This initial investment is pivotal in activating the extensive preparatory process, ensuring every aspect of your tour is curated to perfection.

Final Payment: The Last Step Before Your Journey Begins

The remaining 70% of the tour cost is due no later than 48 hours before the commencement of your tour. This timely payment is critical to finalize all logistical arrangements, guaranteeing a hassle-free start to your adventure.

Expansive Payment Options for Ease and Flexibility

In line with our commitment to your convenience, Huaynas Expeditions accepts a variety of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, and PayPal. Please be aware that additional fees may apply depending on the payment method selected. Detailed payment procedures and potential fees can be found on our dedicated payment page.

Implications of Late Payments – Protecting Your Reservation

Adherence to the payment schedule is crucial. Late payments can unfortunately lead to the cancellation of your reservation, with the deposit being retained as a non-refundable fee. We urge you to maintain timely payments to safeguard your tour plans.

Policy for Last-Minute Adventurers

For those inspired to join this tour on short notice, namely less than 15 days before departure, full payment is required at the time of booking. This ensures that we can expedite all necessary preparations for your inclusion.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Terms for Clients

We recognize that life is ever-changing. However, due to the elaborate planning and expenses involved in preparing for this tour, we maintain a strict no-refund policy after booking confirmation. This underscores the importance of obtaining comprehensive travel insurance, which can offer protection against unforeseen cancellations.

Navigating Unpredictable Circumstances – Force Majeure

In extraordinary situations beyond our control, such as natural disasters or political upheavals, Huaynas Expeditions will strive to offer alternative arrangements. This may include rescheduling your trip or issuing a credit for future travel, based on current availability and discretion.

Navigating Through Force Majeure

In the event of extraordinary and uncontrollable circumstances, such as natural disasters or significant political unrest, Huaynas Expeditions adopts a flexible approach. We prioritize your safety and satisfaction, offering to reschedule your trip or provide a credit for future travel, subject to availability.

Emphasizing the Need for Comprehensive Travel Insurance

To cover unexpected events, including trip disruptions and medical emergencies, we cannot stress enough the importance of securing comprehensive travel insurance. It’s your safety net, ensuring peace of mind throughout your journey. Please note, Huaynas Expeditions does not bear responsibility for costs arising from incidents not covered by your travel insurance.

Looking for the Perfect Tour?

If our standard tours don’t match your dream, let Huaynas Expeditions create one that does. Start planning your unique adventure now.

What to Pack

Your Essential Packing Guide for a Hassle-Free Adventure

Packing List

Prepare for an unforgettable journey with our essential packing guide. Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Original passport and student ID (if applicable).
  • Light day pack with clothes suitable for varied temperatures.
  • Rain gear or poncho.
  • Waterproof trekking boots and extra socks.
  • Warm clothing, including a jacket, fleece, gloves, scarf, beanie, and thermals for sleeping.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Torch or flashlight with spare batteries.
  • Camera, film, and batteries.
  • Sunblock and after-sun hydrating cream.
  • Insect repellent (minimum 20% DEET, no reported risk of malaria).
  • Toilet paper.
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, fruits, etc.).
  • Reusable canteen and water for the first morning.
  • Personal medical kit (include special medications, paracetamol, blister treatment, etc.).
  • Small towel or sarong.
  • Cash for snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Walking sticks or trekking poles.


This list is a general guideline. Adjustments may be necessary based on personal preferences and the season of travel. Always check the weather forecast before your trip and feel free to reach out to us for any specific advice or requirements.

Provided Duffle Bag and Packing Tips

Pack Wisely with Our Essential Packing Tips

We’ll provide a returnable duffle bag during the pre-trek briefing, held 1-2 nights before your tour. Familiarize yourself with the bag, pack efficiently, and get essential trek details, safety guidelines, and updates. It’s a great chance to ask questions, meet fellow trekkers, and prepare for your adventure.

Our Packing Tips:

  • Adhere to the 7 kg weight limit: Keep the weight of your personal items in the duffle bag within the 7 kg limit to maintain a manageable load for the horses.
  • Place non-essential items in the duffle bag: Store items you won’t need during the day, like extra clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags, in the duffle bag to lighten your day pack.
  • Label your duffle bag: Add a luggage tag or other identification to your duffle bag to prevent mix-ups with other trekkers’ bags.
  • Keep valuables in your day pack: Store passports, cameras, cash, and other valuable items in your day pack for added security and easy access.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Dive into our FAQ section for detailed responses to common queries. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, our team is just a click away to assist you.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for?

For more general questions about our tours, policies, and other inquiries, please visit our comprehensive FAQ page.

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Why Choose Huaynas Expeditions

Local Expertise

As a Cusco-based travel agency, our knowledgeable local guides and travel experts have an in-depth understanding of Peru's history, culture, and hidden gems, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.

Experienced Team

Our dedicated team shares a deep love for Peru and its diverse offerings, ensuring you receive a memorable and uniquely crafted travel experience.

Personalized Itineraries

We understand that every traveler has unique interests and preferences. That's why we work closely with you to create customized itineraries tailored to suit your travel goals and desires.

Top Support

Our devoted team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

Safety and Reliability

Your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We adhere to strict safety protocols and maintain strong relationships with trusted local partners to provide you with the best possible experience.

Competitive Pricing

We strive to offer high-quality travel experiences at competitive prices, ensuring you receive excellent value for your investment.