Lares Trail vs Salkantay Trail

Which one is for you?

We have had the pleasure of hiking both of these Peruvian trails to Machu Picchu, and we want to help you decide which trail is right for you. In a perfect world, you would have the opportunity to hike both, which may seem like overkill, but we are here to tell you that it’s not. One simply cannot get enough of Peru, and the experiences to be had there are as vast as the country itself.

For our first 2 trips, we hiked the Salkantay Trail because we wanted a challenging Andes experience that would immerse us in beautiful moments of peace and connection to ourselves, the earth, and our fellow trekkers. The spectacular hike through different terrains, ecosystems, and elevations felt like a rite of passage that led to the great wonder of Machu Picchu itself. We were extremely skeptical that the Lares could ever compare to the enthralling Salkantay trek.

But here again lies the magic of Peru. Lares provided, if possible, a more diverse experience than Salkantay. We like to refer to Lares as the Spirit of Peru Trek. From alpaca farmlands to cultural experiences, Lares is a softer version of Salkantay, offering a glimpse into the vast array of Peruvian life. It’s dreamy. But don’t think you can’t challenge yourself with some incredible hikes. Lares hosts mountain trails that will leave you feeling accomplished. We loved it so much, we are planning to return for a second round!

Both trails offer incredible accommodations, delicious food, welcoming staff, and top-notch service. When deciding which trail is right for you, ask yourself the following question: Do you prefer a more rigorous trekking experience where hiking is the main event, or do you prefer a more diverse immersive experience of Peruvian culture? Like we said, in a perfect world you could do both, but if you have to choose, you can use this information to guide you. Whatever you decide, it will be an amazing experience of a lifetime and remember, all trails lead to Machu Picchu!

To learn more about our retreats and adventures, including the Salkantay an Lares Trek visit here for full details.

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Vanessa Lambert