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Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu

Alternative trek to Machu Picchu, when Inca Trail permits are sold out in 2020, you can still do some great trekking in Cusco. Simply take an Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu.

The 500 permits available each day for the Inca Trail usually sell out. They are already sold out for most of April, all of May and most of June in 2020. So if you are not booking far enough in advance you may have to consider an alternative trek to Machu Picchu. But do not worry, there are plenty of options and they are just as good.

Alternative treks to Machu Picchu when Inca Trail permits are sold out?

  • Lares Trek plus Short Inca Trail
  • Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek
  • Ausangate Trek
  • Salkantay Trek
  • Vilcabamba Trek

Lares Trek plus Short Inca Trail.

How does the Lares Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

The Lares Trek and short Inca trail is similar in difficulty and distance to the Inca Trail. It goes slightly higher. While it does not have Inca sites, instead you get indigenous culture which you do not get on the Inca Trail. The Lares Trek is much quieter than the Inca Trail. It feels easier on your legs because there are no stone steps. The scenery is mountainous with less change of ecosystem than the Inca Trail. There are fewer weight restrictions. You do not require a permit unless combining with the short Inca Trail, which is what we offer.

8 Days Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek

How does the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is a much harder alternative to the Inca Trail. It is more remote and has far fewer people than the Inca Trail. It is 28km longer with more ascent and descent. It takes 8 days instead of 5. You reach the same maximum altitude as the Inca Trail, 4200m/13800 ft but require less acclimatisation. It is hotter and drier. It is ideal if you want to go trekking in Cusco, on a challenging alternative trek to Machu Picchu.

NB: most companies offer a shorter Choquequirao Trek that does not go to Machu Picchu. They only go to Choquequirao and back. But we offer a trek which carries on past Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, which is a far better option.

Ausangate Trek

How does the Ausanagate Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

The Ausangate Trek is a much tougher alternative to the Inca Trail. It does not go to Machu Picchu. Instead, it completes a circuit around Ausangate Mountain to the south of Cusco. It has 2 passes over 5000 metres, and various camps above 4000 metres. There are no Inca sites on the trail, but you get fabulous big mountain scenery, the famous rainbow mountain and very few people.

4 Days New Salkantay Trek

How does the Salkantay Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

The Salkantay Trek is similar in difficulty to the Inca Trail. It takes the same time as the Inca Trail, 5 days. But it is 22 kilometers / 13.7 miles longer. The maximum altitude is 4618 meters higher than the Inca Trail. It is almost as busy as the Inca Trail. Unlike the Inca Trail, there are people who live all the way. Horses, instead of chargers, carry your gear. You travel through glaciers and coffee plantations.
We recommend the new salkantay trek 4 days / 3 nights, which has contact with the classic Inca trail, keep reading on this link.

5 Days Vilcabamba Trek

How does the Vilcabamba Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

This is a 5 days vilcabamba trek like none other, taking you to the last Inca city, Vilcabamba. As you hike off the beaten path, through a unique route to Machu Picchu passing the beautiful forest to the remote villages of Huancacalle and Racachaca. For anyone attempting to avoid the tidal wave of crowds surging along the Classic Inca Trail and popular alternative treks to Machu Picchu, while at the same time learning extensive history of Peru, this remote trek is perfect for you. 

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