Both trips take you through spectacular scenery. You'll enjoy beautiful views atop high passes, walking through cloud forests and exploring Inca ruins. The Lares trail offers an incredible cultural experience, passing through many remote villages that have little contact with the outside world.
The Lares is a very special trip if you want a true immersion in the culture of the Inca descendants living along its path.
The Inca Trail is a lot busier. It does have many ruins along the way with it's own unique destinations to see, with a stunning dawn arrival at Machu Picchu through the "Sun Gate".
If you are looking for a less "touristy" trek and a real cultural experience on your way to Machu Picchu, the Lares Trail is probably the best for you. If you want to take the more classic and well known Inca Trail route, you can tick this off your bucket list.
Read more about what you can expect on each trail here: Inca Trail vs. Lares Trail: How to Get the Most out of Your Adventure