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Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 26-06-2023

Nestled high in the Andes Mountains of Peru lies a hidden gem called the Lares, a captivating destination that offers a photography experience like no other.  The Lares Trek is a popular hiking trail in Peru that offers an alternative route to the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is named after the Lares Valley, located in the Cusco region of Peru, and is a scenic and culturally rich trekking experience. With its dramatic landscapes, vibrant traditional communities, and remote Andean beauty, this off-the-beaten-path destination provides a wealth of opportunities for capturing breathtaking images. Enjoy a photography tour through the enchanting Lares region and embark on a visual journey that will leave you inspired and in awe of the natural and cultural wonders that abound. unforgettable.


The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is known for its stunning Andean landscapes and rural communities. You Will also have the opportunity to encounter llamas and alpacas grazing in the highlands. These animals are often seen as you pass along the Lares trek, adding to the picturesque scenery and cultural experience.

Llama on The Lares Trek


A Scenic Tapestry of Nature

Trekking through the Lares Valley allows you to experience the local culture, witness traditional farming practices, and learn about the customs and traditions of the Andean people. The Lares region boasts diverse Andean landscapes of natural beauty that provide endless possibilities for photographers. From snow-capped peaks piercing the azure sky to emerald green valleys dotted with llamas and alpacas, every frame captures the essence of Peru's stunning landscape. Hike along ancient trails, explore crystal-clear lakes, and witness cascading waterfalls that seem to flow from the heavens themselves. Be prepared to capture landscapes that will transport your viewers to a world of wonder and tranquility.


 Along the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu, you'll encounter picturesque lakes, towering peaks, and lush, green valleys. The landscape is ever-changing, offering a variety of views that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of the Lares Valley region.

Lares Scenery


Authentic Encounters with Andean Culture

Beyond its natural splendor, the Lares region offers a rich cultural experience that photographers will find truly captivating. The region is home to indigenous Quechua communities that have preserved their traditional way of life for centuries. Engage with friendly locals dressed in vibrant textiles, capturing their joyous smiles and warm hospitality. Immerse yourself in the rhythm of daily life as you document ancient agricultural practices, traditional weaving techniques, and vibrant festivals that celebrate the region's proud heritage.


The Lares Trek provides numerous opportunities for authentic encounters with Andean culture. You will have the chance to meet local Quechua-speaking communities and learn about their traditional way of life. You can even visit local homes, participate in traditional ceremonies, and even try your hand at traditional weaving techniques.

Local Llama Herder 


A Surprisingly Gastronomic Delight

Peruvian cuisine is renowned worldwide, and the Lares region is no exception. Along your photography tour, savor the flavors of Andean delicacies and document the vibrant colors and textures of traditional dishes. From hearty soups made with local ingredients to the colorful array of potatoes and quinoa-based specialties, this gastronomic journey will tantalize your taste buds and provide unique subjects for your lens. Don't forget to capture the lively markets, brimming with vibrant fruits, vegetables, and spices, offering a glimpse into the vibrant culinary culture of the region. The Lares trek offers diverse Andean ingredients and cuisine that is unique in its simplicity and local organic ingredients.


The cuisine on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu offers a taste of traditional Andean flavors. This provides a unique culinary experience for trekkers. Meals are typically prepared by local cooks using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Andean Potatoes and Corn


Wildlife and Flora

The region is home to diverse flora and fauna. You may encounter llamas, alpacas, and other Andean wildlife during the trek. Additionally, the trail passes through areas with beautiful wildflowers, ancient trees, and unique plant species, offering chances for nature and macro photography.


The Lares Trek offers the opportunity to encounter a variety of wildlife native to the Andean region. You Will see foxes, condors, llamas, alpacas and even pumas if you are lucky enough!

Andean Condor


Traditional Architecture

Along the trek, you will come across remote villages with traditional Andean architecture, including stone houses and thatched roofs. These architectural elements, combined with the stunning natural surroundings, make for interesting compositions.


Andean adobe constructions are a traditional building style found throughout the Andean region, including on the Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu.  Adobe is a mixture of mud, clay, straw, and sometimes other organic materials, formed into bricks and dried in the sun.

Andean House


Best time to Visit

When planning your photography tour to Lares, consider the best time to visit, taking into account the weather, lighting conditions, and the level of visitors. It's also advisable to check if there are any local regulations or guidelines regarding photography in specific areas. By choosing a photography-focused tour or hiring a local guide who understands the region and its photographic potential can be beneficial. They can provide insights, guidance, and access to hidden gems that may enhance your photographic experience.


The weather on the Lares Trek can vary depending on the time of year and the specific day. Generally, the Lares Trek experiences two main seasons: the dry season (May to September) and the wet season (October to April).

Trekker in Rainy Season


Embarking on a photography tour of the Lares region in Peru is an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your creative soul. From the majestic landscapes to the vibrant cultures and ancient ruins, the region offers endless opportunities to capture moments of pure magic. As you return home with your photographs, you will not only have a visual treasure trove but also a collection of stories that reflect the rich tapestry of the Lares region. So, pack your camera, embark on this extraordinary adventure, and let the beauty of Peru's Lares region unfold before your lens. Find out more here.


Llama farming plays a significant role in the lives of communities along the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu. Llamas are domesticated camelids that have been used by Andean people for thousands of years as pack animals, for their meat and wool, and in religious ceremonies.

Llama Farmer, Lares