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Alternative treks to the Classic Inca Trail

Alternative Treks to the Inca Trail

Alternative treks or alternative hiking routes to Machupicchu. All those trails were also used by the Incas for different purposes. The same trails in the present day are still use by the Quechuas. But also travelers to Machu Picchu, take those routes as the alternative trekking routes in the region of Cusco.

Is very well-known that the 4 day classic Inca Trail hike is the most popular trek in South America, is one of the main pilgrimage trails of the Incas to connect Cusco the big capital city with Machu Picchu.  At Top Peru Trips we offer many of those alternative treks as: Salkantay trek, Lares trek, Cachicata trek, Ancascocha trek, Huchuy Qosqo trek and Choquequirao trek. Many travelers know them as alternative Machupicchu treks.

Here is some brief info of each of the alternative treks and the Classic Inca Trail. which should be considered by the travelers trying to choose the trekking route to Machu Picchu

  1. Classic 4 day Inca Trail hike.- The most popular hiking trail to Machupicchu, is the only one arriving straight through the Sun gate, it requires trek permits from the government office, is limited to 180 hikers a day (500 including porters and guides) and usually is busy all year-round. To secure your spot you may need to book 7 or 8 months in advance.
  2. Short Inca Trail hike. – The second great option if travelers want to arrive through the Sun gate to Machu Picchu. This 2 day Inca Trail hike, is ideal if you want to taste part of the famous Inca Trail trek. It covers 13 km of one day hike in the lower altitude than the 4 day hike. It requires trek permits, as the popular Inca Trail trek this is limited to 250 people a day (guides and trekkers).Usually travelers have better chance to find availability for the Short Inca trail hike than the 4 day classic Inca trail trek.
  3. Salkantay trek.- The most popular of the alternative treks to the classic Inca Trail. as any other alternative trail it does not arrive straight to Machu Picchu. Usually is crowded, because there are more than 4 Salkantay trek options using the same trekking path. But still beautiful, challenging and does not require trek permits. Not recommended in the wet season (December to March).
  4. Lares trek. – Considered as the second most popular alternative treks. Not crowded as the Inca trails or Salkantay trek, because the trekking options in Lares are following different routes. Lares trek has beautiful mountain scenery, indigenous communities along the way, Alpaca and Llama farm of native Inca descendants. Lares valley has one of the best Hot-springs around Cusco region, which is included on the trek itineraries. The 4 day Lares trek is our recommendation to experience the true Andean lifestyle in Peru.
  5. Cachicata trek. – One of the great alternative treks, called also with the names of Inca Quarry trek or Soqma trail. A great trek if you want to combine Nature and Inca history. Still off the beaten path, it goes the beginning part of Ancascocha trek. But it ends up in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. No trek permits are required to do this Cachicata trek 4 day.
  6. Ancascocha trek. – Totally off the beaten path trail. This trek is our recommendation for people seeking for less traveled trekking routes in 2018. Is very scenic, quiet and is the best way to give a firsthand look of the country life in the Peruvian Andes. Ancascocha trek 5 day is a perfect combination of nature and little visited Inca sites. This trek goes on parts of the ancient Inca trails. Any of the Ancascocha trails are recommended to do in the dry season (April to November). Not trek permit are required to walk on Ancascocha trails, so this amazing Ancascocha trek to Machu Picchu is open to everybody. Check our Ancascocha trek options.
  7. Huchuy Qosqo trails. – If you are looking for short treks around Cusco. You should take Huchuy Qosqo trek to Machupicchu. This is the shortest version of the hikes in the Peruvian Andes. Huchuy Qosqo is an amazing Inca ruins located in the outlaying area of the Sacred Valley and the trails heading there are just fantastic. Travelers can also take Huchuy Qosqo day hike as part of the acclimatization to the high altitude. We invite you to see our Huchuy Qosqo tour options.
  8. Choquequirao trek.- for those people looking for challenging hikes to extraordinary Inca sites, we have the 5 day Choquequirao tour and if you want to connect to Machu Picchu you best option is Choquequirao trek 9 day. Any of the Choquequirao trek is off the beaten path yet. Choquequirao is a magnificent Inca citadel, called the sister of Machu Picchu or the last Inca refuge. Was considered by Lonely Planet one of the best places to be visited in 2018.

Another trekking options we offer in the Peruvian Andes are: Rainbow Mountain trek, Pumamarca trek, Chonta Condor sighting tours and some day hikes around Cusco, as part of the alternative treks.

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