Lares Trek Packing List For June - September

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Thousands of people travel to Peru each year to visit Machu Picchu. The most famous and most popular hiking route is the Inca Trail. However, this trek is restricted to only 500 people per day and so permits run out 6-9 months in advance for the peak season (June - September). There are several other hikes though that are just as incredible, including the Lares Trek!

The Lares Trek is a day shorter than the Inca Trail, 3 days / 2 nights, and an additional night is then typically spent in a hotel in Aguas Calientes the night before visiting Machu Picchu. The route is 33km long, but reaches a higher altitude of 4,750 metres above sea level at the highest point. This means that during the Peruvian winter months (the peak season to visit) the days can be warm and the nights can be freezing.

This brings travellers to a very important question - how do you pack for the Lares Trek? 

The answer is: lots of layers! The key is to not pack bulky clothes, but to pack lots of items that can be layered and taken on / off easily when needed. 



One main advantage of hiking the Lares Trek compared to the Inca trail is there are far less weight restrictions for what you can pack. This is because mules are used to carry the luggage rather than porters.

If you pick a company that has a guide along with porters and horsemen, this most likely means you will only need to carry your things that you'll need during the day: extra layers, water, snacks, camera. The rest of your stuff will go in a spare duffel bag (provided by your travel company) that the mules will carry. Just remember to keep hold of your valuables.

Camping Gear (assuming a tent is included with your tour company):

  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag - If you're hiking between June to September you might want to consider taking two sleeping bags each. The temperature can drop to below freezing at night. We rented two sleeping bags each and put one bag inside the other and were nice and warm during the night.
  • Hiking polls - definitely needed for the descent on the second day.
All of the above can be rented from stores in Cusco.



Clothes:

  • Down jacket - useful in the evenings when the temperature starts to drop. (I used this one here)
  • Rain jacket
  • Fleece - I used a 3-in-1 rain jacket with a removable fleece to layer easily. (similar here)
  • Rain poncho - one that covers most of your body and can go over your backpack. 
  • 3 x short sleeve quick dry t-shirts (similar here)
  • 1 x long sleeve quick dry t-shirt (here)
  • 1 x Gym leggings 
  • 1 x Hiking trousers (similar here)
  • Waterproof trousers (here)
  • 4-5 x Underwear
  • 1 x sports bra
  • 1 x regular bra
  • 3 x merino wool hiking socks (here)
  • 1 x regular socks
  • 1 x Pj bottoms
  • 1 x thermal leggings (here)
  • 1-2 x thermal tops (depending on how much you feel the cold, I used this one)
  • Bobble woolly hat
  • Neck warmer (here)
  • Thermal gloves
  • Sunglasses 
  •  Hiking boots
  • Trainers / converse / Vans (any other comfy shoes to wear at the campsite in the evenings)



Toiletries and Medication:

  • Shampoo and shower gel - for the night before Machu Picchu in a hotel
  • Baby wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturiser
  • First aid kit and any necessary medication (Find my DIY first aid kit post here)
  • Bug spray
  • Sun lotion
  • Hair brush


Electronics:

  • Phone
  • Portable phone charger
  • Plug adapter (for the hotel night before Machu Picchu)
  • Camera
  • Camera charger (for the hotel night before Machu Picchu)
  • Ear phones (not essential, but useful for the evenings)

Other:

  • Sleeping bag liner (here)
  • Blow up camping pillow (here)
  • Head torch (similar here)
  • Waterproof bag cover
  • Large zip-lock bags to keep all of your clothes and belongings in
  • 1 litre aluminium water bottle (here, perfect to use as a hot water bottle as well at night)
  • Ear plugs
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Your day backpack
  • Money, cards etc. (tipping is usually expected for your guides, chefs, and horsemen)
  • Passport (for entry into Machu Picchu!)
When packing your duffel bag provided by your travel company it's important to remember that you won't have access to these bags during the day. So remember to pack anything that you'll need during the day in your regular backpack.

Hiking in the Peruvian winter isn't the easiest trip to pack for, but hopefully this list will help!

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