The Lares Trek near Urubamba can be done in 3 or 4 days, depending on the route you take; we opted for the 4-day route. The first and fourth days are only a few short, easier hours of hiking, but the second and third days are quite long and challenging. This is one of the most common treks we do on the Peru program because it provides all the beauty of the famous Salkantay and Inca trail hikes but avoids the crowds and touristy feeling.
On our first day of the trek, our students felt the effects of the altitude and cold at night but were otherwise excited to be out trekking in these remote settings. After a rough night of sleeping on mats, some students felt tired and under the weather on the second day. Everyone was able to hike the 9 hours that day, but we were concerned about the additional 7+ hours on day 3 given the fatigue.
When we awoke on day 3 and checked in with the group about their health, we saw that multiple students were feeling exhausted and some were experiencing some gastrointestinal issues. We talked as a group and decided that it would be better for everyone’s health to cut the trek a day short. We spoke with our guide Americo and took an alternative route to the main road, which was only about 2 hours downhill instead of the 7+ hours over the more arduous mountain passes.
Our driver, Jesus, came and picked us up and dropped us off back at our orientation site in Urubamba, where our host Yami was waiting with a delicious dinner, hot showers, and comfy beds. The group was sad that we weren’t able to finish the initial trek plan, but we were ultimately glad to have the chance to rest and recover before our next adventure.
We’re looking forward to our upcoming day hikes in Paru Paru and the Amazon!
-Zack, Paola, and Itza