The Lares trek is a two- or three-day high-altitude hike in Cusco, Peru, starting near the village of Lares, approximately 40 mi (64 km) north of Cusco and 35 mi (56 km) east of Machu Picchu. The Lares Valley lies in the east of the Urubamba mountain range, traversing part of the Sacred Valley. Reaching the start of the trek requires a bus or van trip of approximately five hours from the village of Lares. The trek route transverses typical Peruvian Andean mountain areas.
The Lares Valley is home to many traditional weavers and farmers and is famous for homemade textiles. The indigenous people of this area speak Quechua and Spanish.
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. It is far quieter than the Inca Trail, as it is not as well known. It is also slightly easier than the Inca Trail, although there are still three high passes to cross, the highest being 4,400 m (14,400 ft).