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Alternative routes to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Alternative routes to the Inca Trail

Welcome adventurers! If you’re looking for a unique experience during your visit to Machu Picchu, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will guide you through the best alternative routes to the Inca Trail, offering exciting options to discover the majesty of this ancient wonder. Get ready to immerse yourself in spectacular landscapes and connect with the history and natural beauty of this region. Let’s get started!

Discovering the Alternative Routes to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The journey to Machu Picchu is not limited to the traditional Inca Trail. There are various alternative routes that offer equally enriching experiences. Below are some options that will allow you to explore this gem of Peru from different perspectives.

Trek Salkantay: High-altitude adventure

If you’re seeking a challenging and thrilling trekking experience, the Salkantay Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. You’ll traverse the impressive Salkantay snow-capped mountain and descend through valleys, passing lush tropical forests and waterfalls. This route rewards you with incredible panoramic views and lets you connect with nature in its purest state.Trek Salkantay

Trek Lares: Encounter with local communities

For those who wish to immerse themselves in local culture and have a closer contact with Andean communities, the Lares Route is an excellent choice. Along this path, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with inhabitants of local communities, learn about their traditions and customs, and appreciate the beauty of Andean landscapes. This route is perfect for those seeking an authentic cultural experience.Trek Lares

Trek Choquequirao: Exploring the lost city

If you’re an archaeology enthusiast and love discovering ancient civilizations, the Choquequirao Trek will fascinate you. This trail will take you to the Inca citadel of Choquequirao, known as the “sacred sister” of Machu Picchu. During the journey, you’ll be amazed by well-preserved archaeological remains and enjoy stunning views of the majestic peaks of the Andes.Trek Choquequirao

Trek Inca Jungle: Multi-sport adventure

And if you’re looking for a combination of trekking and exciting outdoor activities, the Inca Jungle Trek is the perfect option for you. Dare to mountain bike down thrilling descents, go rafting in turbulent waters, enjoy zip-lining over lush valleys, and walk along historic trails. This adventure allows you to experience a unique and adrenaline-filled journey as you approach the majesty of Machu Picchu.

Preparing for the Adventure

Before embarking on any of these alternative routes, it’s essential to be prepared. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment depending on the duration and type of trek, such as your documents, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kit, suitable clothing and footwear, a sturdy backpack, and an ample supply of water, energy snacks, and cash. Additionally, acclimatizing to the altitude before starting the trek is advisable to avoid possible health complications.

Must-Try Dishes Along the Way to Machu Picchu

During your journey to Machu Picchu, you’ll have the opportunity to try a variety of delicious and unique dishes that are part of Peru’s rich culinary culture. Here are some recommendations:

These are just a few of the meals you can sample during your trip to Machu Picchu.

Which option is best for you?

The choice of the different alternative routes to the Inca Trail presented here will depend on your preferences and capabilities. Consider your level of physical fitness, personal interests, and the time available for your adventure. All these routes offer unforgettable experiences, so choose the one that best suits your needs and expectations.

If you need more information or wish to book a tour, don’t hesitate to contact us easily. You can call or send a WhatsApp message to +51 901557125, or if you prefer, you can also reach us via email at ventas@incatrailinperu.com. Our team is excited to provide you with top-notch service and ensure your journey to Machu Picchu is truly unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration and difficulty of each alternative route?

Alternative RouteDurationDifficultyDistanceMaximum altitudeAccess allowed
Salkantay Trek5 daysHigh75 km4580 mFree
Trek Lares4-5 daysMedium37 km4700 mFree
Choquequirao Trek4-5 daysMedium to high62 km4350 mFree
Trek Inca Jungle3-4daysMedium35 km4350 mFree

What is the best time of the year to do the alternative routes?

The best time to do the alternative routes Trek Salkantay, Trek Lares, Trek Choquequirao and Trek Inca Jungle is during the dry season, from May to September. During these months, there is less rainfall, stable weather, breathtaking panoramic views and trails in good condition. However, the rainy season (November to March) has fewer tourists, lush and colorful landscapes, but requires being prepared for wet weather and climate changes. The choice of season will depend on personal preferences and desired experience.

How to manage altitude sickness?

To manage altitude sickness on all alternative routes in Peru, such as Trek Salkantay, Trek Lares, Trek Choquequirao and Trek Inca Jungle, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Gradual ascent: Increase altitude slowly and progressively to allow your body to gradually adapt to the altitude.
  2. Hydration: Drink plenty of water to maintain good hydration, which helps prevent altitude sickness.
  3. Adequate rest: Get enough sleep and avoid intense physical exertion at the beginning to allow your body to acclimatize.
  4. Adequate food: Eat light meals rich in carbohydrates to obtain the necessary energy during the hike.
  5. Avoid alcohol and tobacco: Both can worsen the symptoms of altitude sickness, so it is best to avoid them during the trek.
  6. Coca leaves: Chewing or drinking infusions of coca leaves can alleviate some mild symptoms of altitude sickness.
  7. Consult a professional: If you experience severe or persistent symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

By following these recommendations, you can increase your chances of avoiding or minimizing the effects of altitude sickness while trekking the alternative routes in Peru.

Tip: Before undertaking any of the alternative routes, it is highly recommended to spend at least one day in Cusco for optimal acclimatization. Cusco is at a considerable altitude, and spending some time there before starting the trek will allow your body to gradually adapt to the altitude.

Is it necessary to have guides or guided tours during the alternative routes?

Yes, it is highly recommended to have guides or guided tours during the alternative routes (Trek Salkantay, Trek Lares, Trek Choquequirao, Trek Inca Jungle). They know the trails well, offer orientation, safety and can carry the necessary equipment, which enhances the experience and guarantees a safer and more comfortable trek.

Do I need to book in advance and what is the cancellation policy?

Considering the high season, we are providing the following data:

Alternative routeTime of anticipation for reservation
Salkantay Trek2 to 4 months
Lares Trek2 to 3 months
Choquequirao Trek2 to 3 months
Trek Inca Jungle1 to 2 months

What is the cost of alternative routes?

The approximate price may vary due to different factors, such as the season of the year, the duration of the tour and its variations.

Alternative routeApproximate cost
Salkantay TrekBetween 164 and 439 US$
Lares TrekBetween 219 and 658 US$
Choquequirao TrekBetween 549 and 690 US$
Trek Inca JungleBetween 153 and 548 US$

Is it necessary to have previous hiking experience to do these routes?

It is not necessary to have previous experience in long treks for routes such as Trek Salkantay, Trek Lares, Trek Choquequirao and Trek Inca Jungle. However, it is beneficial to be in good physical condition. The routes vary in difficulty and duration, some are challenging. Many agencies offer options for different levels of experience. Physical preparation is recommended. Guides and porters provide support and local knowledge for a safe and successful experience. People with no previous experience have enjoyed these routes in Peru.


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