Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: Magical Mountain Scenery
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Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: Magical Mountain Scenery

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Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: Magical Mountain Scenery

An alternative trek offers a unique choice for those seeking an alternative to the classic Inca Trail. This trail, also nestled in the breathtaking Andes Mountains and Cusco region, is renowned for its popularity but often sells out rapidly, necessitating advanced reservations.


Fortunately, there are several excellent alternative treks that ultimately lead to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. These alternatives are steadily gaining more recognition as they become better known. What sets them apart is that they aren't subject to government restrictions, making them available year-round. Among the top choices are the 4-day/3-night Lares trek and the 5-day/4-night Salkantay trek. Additionally, there are alternative treks like the 5-day/4-night Choquequirao route, which doesn't conclude at Machu Picchu but leads to a newly discovered Incan city, larger than Machu Picchu, known as Choquequirao.


The scenic beauty and vistas on these alternative treks to Machu Picchu may be even more breathtaking than what you'll experience on the Inca Trail. However, instead of hiking directly to the ruins, these treks culminate in Aguas Calientes, where you'll spend the night in a comfortable hotel. Notably, these paths tend to be less crowded, and you'll still get to embark on the Machu Picchu tour the following day, gaining the advantage of entering the ruins two hours ahead of the Inca Trail trekkers. On clear mornings, you'll be treated to the mesmerizing sight of the sun rising over Machu Picchu and its encompassing mountains.

Lares Valley Trek

Hidden within the magnificent snow-capped Andes is a part of Peru where you have all appeal of the Inca Trail – magical mountain scenery and the legacy of the Incas – without the tourist crowds. An exceptional alternative to the busy Inca Trail, the Lares Valley trek is so far off the beaten track that it has changed little over the last 500 years. With spectacular and diverse scenary, it is amazing that the area has remained largely untouched by tourism and retains its authenticity, offering a glimpse of life the way it used to be in Peru. You will meet traditionally dressed Andean farmers, and wander markets trading as they have done for centuries. You will see thatched stone and adobe houses and watch herds of llamas and alpacas roaming free.

The Lares Trek is a similar trek and grade to the Inca Trail trek (with one challenging high pass) and is fully escorted. It includes 2 nights camping and one night in Aguas Calientes town before an early climb up by foot to Machu Picchu. We can generally guarantee your place on the Lares Valley trek, however, you will be required to pay a single supplement if you are the only one trekking on your departure. This is payable to your travel agent at the time of booking and will be refunded in Cusco if any additional group members join the departure of your trek.


Salkantay trek

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most interesting and important alternative treks to do, due to its wide range diversity in flora and different ecosystems, and its inca site laid on top of a mountain and just in front of the back of the Machu Picchu mountain, and this trail finally gets to Aguas Calientes located at the base of the historical and archeological site of Machu Picchu, from where we take a early bus up there to see the sunshine and avoid crowds whilst doing Machu Picchu with one of our English speaking tour and knowledgeable guides.
Salkantay Trek
The first day, we start early in the morning to drive from Cusco through along La Pampa de Anta (the breadbasket of Cusco) to Mollepata (breakfast) for 2:30hours, and we then continue driving to the headtrail at Soraypampa (3,800 mt), from where we start doing a gentle ascend to Salkantaypampa, and we then hike up a 7 seven switchback to get much closer to lunch at near to the small lake Soyrococha. where afterwards we hike up to the highest pass at 4550mt, and we then just descend to campsite at 3700mt at Huayracmachay, the following days we keep on descending down to 2100mt at la Playa and 1986mt at Aguas Calientes on the 4th day,each day of our hike we go through different landscapes, so basically the first day is a kind of difficult hike in terms of altitude, but we just pass, and the temperature that gradually gets colder, but this can be easily cop with thermal clothes.


During the years, this trail are changing the itinerary. There are three tours for this Sacred mountain:



 Salkantay Trail Day 01 Day 02 Day 03 Day 04 Day 05

Salkantay Trek 3 days

Cusco - Soraypampa - Chaullay

Chaullay to Playa - Aguas Calientes

Machu Picchu    
Salkantay Trek 4 days Cusco - Soraypampa - Chaullay Chaullay - Lucmabamba Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu  
Salkantay Trek 5 days Cusco - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake - Salkantaypampa Salkantaypampa - Chaullay Chaullay  - Lucmabamba Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu


Inca Quarry Trek

Inca Quarry trek’s proximity to Machu Picchu makes trekking around it an attractive alternative to the oversubscribed Inca Trail. Cachiccata is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in this trek will appreciate the Huarocondo terraces, the water fall, incas ruins, andean terraces, Intipunku (Sun gate), Inca trail original, stone quarries. During this hike you will enjoy of both nature of the highland andean. Continue the hike will arrive to Ollantaytambo archeological. where we take the train to Machu Picchu.
The last day will visit the lost city of the Incas Machu Picchu. The Inca Quarry trek is best option for you!


Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

If you're a haphazard traveler aiming for Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is possibly not the best option. It gets booked up months in advance (only 500 people can start the trail daily) and I do not like to think too far into the future and it is much more expensive than other treks. However there are many more exquisite hikes in the area so I did not feel that the famous Inca Trail was necessary.


We found out about the Inca jungle trek, a tour that involves biking and trekking through tropical jungle to Aguas Calientes. It is known as the fun tour to Machu Picchu as it includes white water raftin and zip-lining as well. It also cost a lot less than the Inca Trail. A 4 day hike like the Inca Jungle Trail is a very pleasing and fulfilling way of visiting the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. It's long shirts and pants.


Best Machu Picchu Trek


The best time to hike to Machu Picchu

The best travel time for trekking around Machu Picchu is dry season from May to September is the best travel time for this trekking experience. However, the months of June to August are quite cold at night. March, April, October and November are warmer and rainy. The Inca Trail tours are completely closed in February for maintenance work.


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