The Inca Trail is one of top treks in the world! The trek offers a 4 day journey through Andes including amazing views of snowy peaks, hardly accessible, but impressive Inca ruins and the overwhelming Inca city of Machu Picchu! This hike is very popular, which unfortunately makes it a bit crowdy. For that reason, the Peruvian government has limited its availability (only 500 persons a day including Tour Guides, Cooks and Porters!).
For those who prefer less traffic and stress trying to book the Inca Trail, there are some perfect alternatives. These so called Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu offers challenging hikes, less crowd, beautiful sceneries, contact to local Andean inhabitants and some Incan archaeological sites.
The very best of those Alternative Treks are the 5 day Salkantay Trek, its shorter Salkantay Trek 4 day, you will appreciate the Salkantay Mountain, flora and Jauna or the new version route to Salkantay Trek Expedition 5 days, this trek involve a short Inca Trail, Salkantay Mountain and beatifull landscapes,
The difference between the Inca Trail and Alternative Treks:
Many customers have asked us about the differences between the Inca Trail and the Inca Trail Alternatives to Machu Picchu. Well, choosing the right trek might be difficult so we have stated below a list of various factors that might help you deciding
CLASSIC INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
- One of the most famous treks worldwide
- Following an authentic path of the Incas
- Taking you to Machu Picchu
- Arrival to Machu Picchu through Inti Punku (Sun Gate) offering impressive views of the Lost City of the Incas
- Breathtaking views from snowy mountains to luxuriant cloud forest
- Everyday´s visits of inaccesible Inca sites
- 500 permited persons to do the Inca Trail a day (including trekking staff)
- A necessity of booking approx. 4-6 months beforehand when you like to hike during high season and 2-3 months in advance if you like to trek it in low season
- When booked, you CANNOT change your starting date!! If someone cancels, his/her permit CANNOT be used! There is no "waiting list"!
- Good facilities and toilets at campsites
- Campsites are very crowded and do not provide you a feeling of wilderness or adventure camping
- If you like to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you need to buy another Machu Picchu entrance ticket including one of these mountains. The cost is about US$ 65!
- On some of the hikes you might be the only person/group departing that day
- A unique opportunity of cultural interaction meeting remote Andes inhabitants
- Adventure feeling discovering new trails; however, the trails are original Incan
- Real wild camping with quality camping gear
- A feeling of real independence and seclusion
- Some campsites have either basic toilets or only toilet tents at disposal
- There are not so many Inca ruins along the Alternative Treks as can be found on the Inca Trail
- An average number of trekkers per day is 60 persons
- The last night of each of these treks is spent in Aguas Calientes (a small town just below Machu Picchu)
- Majority of the alternative trails cost less the classic tour
- If you like to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you just upgrade your ticket to include one of these mountains. The cost is between US$ 8 and 10! However, no change is allowed once you have purchased your entrance ticket!