The Lares Trek is an alternative to the Inca Trail. It’s for those who want to hike to Machu Picchu amid gorgeous scenery and local peoples vs. hundreds of other hikers.
I don’t like hundreds of other hikers. The choice was a no brainer.
The Lares Trek starts at a hot springs in the Sacred Valley, then rapidly veers off the beaten path.
To get to Lares, you have a four-hour ride from Cusco (via Huaran, Cancha Cancha, and Quishuarani) along unpaved, stony, bumpy, windy roads.
At one point, all 12 of us on the bus but the driver and me were asleep, and it occurred to me that if the driver nodded off we were done for — right over the side of a cliff.
But we made it. And that’s what counts.