The Lares trek is a two- or three-day high-altitude hike in Cusco, Peru, starting near the village Lares, approximately 40 miles north of Cusco and 35 miles east of Machu Picchu. The Lares Valley lies in the east of the Urupampa mountain range, traversing part of the Sacred Valley. Reaching the start of the trek requires a bus or van trip of approximately 5 hours from the village of Lares. The Lares trek route transverses typical Peruvian Andean mountain areas.
The Lares Valley is home of many traditional weavers and farmers and famous for homemade textiles. The indigenous people of this area speak Quechua and Spanish and will often give you a chance to weave something yourself.
The Lares trek is one of the main alternatives to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is slightly shorter and higher in altitude than the Inca Trail; it is accessible from Cusco. Unlike the Inca Trail, permits are not required to hike the Lares Trek.
There are a number of different route itineraries and variations available on the Lares trek. The trek is also far more quiet than the Inca Trail as it is not as well known. The Lares trek is also slightly easier than the Inca Trail, although there are still 3 high passes will trek over, the highest being 4,400 meters.