I honestly think Lares with KM104 Inca Trail is an ideal option for most of you.. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Permits are easy to get
Yes the main ( 4 or 5 day) Inca Trail is world famous. But the permit issue is so restrictive. We and no doubt you never sleep quite as well until we have those permits in our hands. The KM104 Inca Trail permits have a special allocation of 250 permits and never sold out in 2016
You still get the Sun Gate and other Inca ruins
So many people have heard of the Sun Gate and it is the classic way to get your first sight of Machu Picchu
Only two nights camping
We appreciate not everyone loves camping, but we are sure most of you will enjoy with two nights followed by two nights hotels.
It is easier than Salkantay, Ausangate or Choquequirao to Machu Picchu
Thus more suitable for a wider range of people
You have the best backup of any trek
Our 4×4 vehicles reach camp every night. You will not notice them, they certainly do not follow you around, but they are there just in case. This provides us with unmatched support and evacuation opportunities should anyone suffer excessively from the altitude.
It is completely do-able for almost anyone
The ascents and descents are reasonable. They are nowhere near as tough as the Inca Trail, Choquequirao, Ausangate or Salkantay. You walk for the most part on wide trails, where you can stroll two abreast chatting away. The distance is not too far. It is only 4 days and 3 nights. And if you get tired you can jump on a horse for a bit. It makes for the perfect achievable trek for everyone. Kids love it too. Yet it is also tough enough to feel like a good challenge for the fitter ones amongst us.
You have more comfort than any other trek
Again, down to the vehicles. They can carry heavy items that would require huge teams of porters or horses. You also do not have to feel guilty when you are sitting there in luxury, worrying about who had to carry it. Many of you will appreciate your comforts and may feel your days of roughing it are probably behind you. Having that extra comfort is great.
It offers more of an insight into Peruvian life than any other trek
Travel is not just about seeing nice places. You will really appreciate the insights into local life you get. Lares is a fascinating place, untouched by time. It is the Peruvian equivalent of visiting the Masai, or the Thai hill tribes. Before the crowds got there. The people of Lares are almost completely unchanged by tourism. No other trek has as many local villages en route.
Because we have worked with these communities for years, planting trees and helping them in other ways such as donating laptops and photocopiers, you get special treatment. The locals see plenty of agencies coming through who do not care for them or the area at all. Amazonas Explorer as one of the few who does, gets very well looked after by the communities. They give us the best campsites and do all they can to make your trek as enjoyable as possible.
So while you do not have the amazing architecture of the Inca trail, the huge glacial scenery of Ausangate or Salkantay, or the remoteness of Choquequirao, when it comes down to the modern day client, Lares could well be the perfect option.