Machu Picchu might be synonymous with the Inca Trail, but that’s by no means the only way to reach those majestic ancient ruins, tucked away miles up in the mountains.
With the same magical mountain scenery, but fewer tourists to bump into, the Lares Trek offers a fantastic alternative. And it’s so far off the beaten track that it’s barely changed at all in 500 years!
So if you want to venture to the famous Inca dwelling, but you’d rather have a quieter and more authentic experience as you do it, Lares is the way to go.
On your Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, you’ll adventure along the Qhapaq Ñan, the network of ancient roads that connected the Incan Empire. Unlike its more famous sister route, the Lares Trail passes rural communities whose inhabitants have preserved their traditional way of life over the centuries.
In these parts, Spanish is the second language since most people mainly speak Quecha. These friendly and fascinating people dedicate most of their time to agriculture and weaving, giving you a glimpse of what life might have been like in Machu Picchu way back when.
In between the villages, when it’s just you and the mountains, take moments to stop and listen to a sincere silence that only exists with this level of remoteness, high up in the Andes. This is a journey that you’ll never, ever forget.
Things are a little different back in Cusco and Lima, where you’ll spend a few days to bookend your trek. The beguiling blend of cobblestone streets and that unmistakable Peruvian street spirit will bring you back down to earth in the best way possible: with a bang.
Until then, keep dreaming of Machu Picchu peeping out of the mist, and once you’ve worn in your walking boots, we’ll see you in Peru.