One of the most well known natural hot springs and baths in Cuzco, Lares receives numerous people from the city of Cuzco as well as other places. This beautiful place is known as well for it medicinal waters. The place has pools that are organized in grades from the coldest to the hottest.
It is easy to get to Lares by the road that goes from Cuzco to Calca in the Sacred Valley and then continues on to Lares. On the other hand there are also alternative routes that imply walking and camping. It is fascinating to hike through the mountains, especially with the high, snow-clad peaks, though it is not easy to find tours that take you over this route.
One of the alternate routes requires three days and two nights to reach the thermal pools of Lares. This is a good route for people who appreciate adventure, camping, and hiking. It begins in Calca. The trail head is in Huarán and the route takes you to the north.
To take this route it is good to be prepared with a number of things, such as a compass, a first aid kit, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, clothes to keep you warm, a tent, sleeping bag, provisions for the trip, and water. In many cases you should take water purifiers. It is also important to take things that do not amount to much weight and that are necessary. It is also good to have a guide or someone who knows the route.
The path begins by following the road until it ends. This is a good place to eat a snack or perhaps have lunch. Then you continue the path to the north for five hours till you reach a small town with only four homes. If it is good weather and still early you can go further, but this is the first place where you can camp.
The next day you get up early and ready everything to begin your second day. Today you will hike up and around the large, snowy mountain Sahuisiray, before dropping down to the town of Cancha Cancha. From the slopes you can see small lakes and beautiful views of the rugged mountains. Of course the scenery is spectacular, especially when the fog comes in like a cold wrap.
Where midday falls you can stop and eat lunch with the provisions you are carrying. Then you can continue onward to the lake and waterfalls of Quellacocha. You then come to the Calca Lares highway and continue north for two hours until you reach the town of Lares.
Our trail is almost done. If you wish you can climb on a bus or truck, or you can continue walking for another kilometer until you reach the thermal pools. There are places to camp in the water park and, in this way, enjoy night amidst the thermal ponds.
The next day we can return to Cuzco. This time we will take a bus that goes from Lares to Calca and then one from Calca to Cusco. This whole route is very interesting, even if it is a little hard for people who are not accustomed to the cold and to long hikes.
Besides, this is an alternative route that lets you know more about the amazing high mountains and scenery of Cuzco.