The Lares Trek is a hidden gem nestled in the Andes Mountains of Peru, known for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. For adventurers and trekkers seeking a unique experience away from the bustling crowds of the more famous Inca Trail, the Lares Trek offers an excellent alternative.
One of the first questions that often comes to mind when planning a trip to this region is, “How high is the Lares Trek, and what is the altitude?” In this blog post, we will delve into the altitude of the Lares Trek and its impact on your journey.
- The Lares Trek is a challenging but rewarding trek
- The Lares Trek crosses several high mountain passes, the highest of which is the Ipsaycocha Pass
- The altitude along the Lares Trek can be a significant challenge, especially for those not acclimated to high elevations
Lares Trek Overview
The Lares Trek is a challenging but rewarding trek that takes you through the high-altitude landscapes of the Sacred Valley, passing through remote villages where you can immerse yourself in the traditional Andean way of life. The trek typically ranges from 33 to 49 kilometers (20 to 30 miles) in length, depending on the specific route you choose.
Altitude Along the Lares Trek
To truly understand the altitude of the Lares Trek, we must break down the key points along the route:
The trek usually begins in the town of Lares, which is at an altitude of approximately 3,150 meters (10,334 feet) above sea level. This marks the starting point for most trekkers, and it’s already at a significant elevation.
The Lares Trek crosses several high mountain passes, the highest of which is the Ipsaycocha Pass, at an elevation of approximately 4,450 meters (14,600 feet). These high passes provide spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Throughout the trek, you’ll camp at different locations, and the altitude can vary. Campsites can range from around 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) to 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) above sea level, depending on your chosen itinerary.
The trek also includes descents into valleys and visits to traditional Andean villages, where the altitude is lower than the high passes. These locations can be at elevations of around 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) or lower.
Altitude Effects on Trekkers
The altitude along the Lares Trek can be a significant challenge, especially for those not acclimated to high elevations. Common symptoms of altitude sickness (known as “soroche” in Peru) can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. To minimize these effects, it’s essential to acclimatize in Cusco or a nearby location before starting the trek, stay hydrated, and take it slow to give your body time to adjust to the reduced oxygen levels.
Local guides and trek organizers are experienced in helping trekkers manage the altitude. They often carry oxygen and can provide assistance when needed. Proper planning, including adequate rest and acclimatization days, is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.
Check out this guide on how to prepare for hikes that have a high altitude.
The Lares Trek is a high-altitude adventure that offers stunning landscapes and cultural insights. While the exact altitude may vary throughout the trek, with the highest point at around 4,450 meters (14,600 feet), trekkers should be prepared for the effects of altitude and take necessary precautions. With careful planning and respect for the environment and local culture, the Lares Trek can be an unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty and resilience of the Andean region.
Check out the free Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3N itinerary from Bamba Travel.