The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the alternative routes to the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Inca books up to six months in advance and only a certain amount of passes are available each day. As we didn’t want to restrict ourselves to a date, we opted for an alternative.
Initially we planned to sign up for The Salkantay Trek but decided to do the Lares Trek instead because we would have been the only two people on the trip with Pariguana Expeditions Peru, a company who organise treks to Machu Picchu. I feared that we would throw each other off the Andes if that were the case. We were not disappointed with our change of plan. The four day / three night trek consists of trekking through valleys, mountains, tropical forests, up and down hills, past lakes, waterfalls and towns. You camp for two nights and sleep in a 2* hotel the night before the big trip to Machu Picchu. Day two is the hardest, which everyone says of all three treks to Machu Picchu.
Before You Trek To Machu Picchu – Altitude
Arrive in Cusco (there are flights from Lima and buses from other destinations such as Arequipa) at least two days before your trek to acclimatise. Do not take this warning lightly. One member of our team was very ill with altitude sickness; she ended up with two days of flu/hangover like symptoms and trekking via donkey taxi on day two. Her friend was fine so it affects everyone differently. With the Lares Trek the highest point is 4650m (15255ft) ABOVE SEA LEVEL and it is horrendous! (Craig enjoyed it, weirdo). But then you see a ‘bonito’ (beautiful) lake so like childbirth, I assume, you swiftly forget the pain.
Machu Picchu Trek Travel Insurance
Research this question: does your travel insurance company cover you at this altitude? Many others did not insure above 3000m.
Many people buy coca leaves to chew. Not only is it legal, it’s recommended to help oxygenate blood and prevent altitude sickness. Just remember the activator ash to go with it. We didn’t chew any but drank a lot of coca tea (best served with a spoonful of ‘azucarar’ sugar) and opted for coca sweets bought from the supermarket for a boost while at the high heights.0