Machu Picchu, in the Peruvian Andes, is one of the world's most famous and important archaeological sites. It was constructed by the Inca Empire in the 15th century and is a stunning example of their engineering and architectural prowess. Exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu allows visitors to learn about the Inca Empire's history and culture while also taking in stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Getting to Machu Picchu can be done via a number of different paths, each of which is bound to be an adventure to remember. The most traveled path is the four to five day Inca Trail, which features breathtaking vistas of the Andes and ancient Inca monuments. Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Choquequirao Trek, and Vilcabamba Trek are just a few of the alternative routes available to those seeking a greater physical or mental challenge. You can explore less-visited Inca monuments, isolated Andean settlements, and verdant tropical woods on any one of these routes.
There are many ways to reach Machu Picchu, but the Inca Trail is among the most well-known. This hike takes 4 to 5 days and passes through beautiful Andean scenery as well as Inca sites. The trail takes hikers through a variety of ecosystems, from cloud forest to high mountain pass to subtropical jungle. Hikers can witness other Inca sites along the trail, including the Sun Gate, which provides a breathtaking first glimpse of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail is an arduous trek that calls for a minimum of average fitness. Hikers need to be ready for challenging terrain, such as steep inclines, rough ground, and unpredictable weather. Yet the benefits far outweigh the trouble. Hikers may expect stunning panoramas of the Andes and the subtropical jungle as they make their way down the trek. Furthermore, the route provides an exceptional chance to see a wide range of Inca sites and gain insight into the fascinating culture and history of the Inca Empire.
Hiring a guide will ensure that you get the most out of the Inca Trail, which is not only gorgeous but also historically significant. The significance of the Inca Trail as a historic pilgrimage route will be explained by your guides, who will also help you learn about Inca history and culture.
Trip Length: 3 to 5 days
Difficulty Level: Medium
There is a more difficult way to Machu Picchu that takes between 5 and 7 days to complete, and it's called the Salkantay Trek (or "Salkantay Trail"). One of the most magnificent and breathtaking journeys in South America, it takes you through snowy peaks and through lush woods. The Salkantay peak, one of the highest mountains in the area, and the Inca ruins of Llactapata are located in the Vilcabamba mountain range, which is traversed by the trail.
Crossing high mountain passes and camping at high altitude distinguish the Salkantay Trek as more difficult than the Inca Trail. Hikers need to be ready for challenging terrain, such as steep inclines, rough ground, and unpredictable weather. Hikers should be in good physical shape and familiar with trekking and camping before attempting this trail.
The Salkantay Trek may be challenging, but it's definitely worthwhile. Hikers will be treated to stunning panoramas of the Andes, including the towering Salkantay peak, the highest point in the region. In addition to seeing the natural beauty of the Andes, participants in the journey can also visit several Inca ruins, such as Llactapata, and gain insight into the fascinating culture and history of the Incas.
Permits are necessary and should be secured in advance for the Salkantay Trek. Hikers should be aware that there is limited access to amenities and supplies along the trail, and should pack accordingly. Hikers should also bring a decent quality backpack, a sleeping bag, warm clothing, hiking boots, and the like as the trek can be physically taxing.
It's also a good idea to hire a guide who can assist you find your way along the path and tell you interesting things about the local culture and ecosystem. In addition to leading the way, guides can aid with trip planning, organization, and logistics.
Trip Length: 5 to 7 days
Difficulty Level: Medium to difficult
A less-crowded option to the Inca Trail, the Lares Trek (or "Lares Valley Trek") can be completed in four to five days. The hike is a great chance to see stunning natural scenery in the Lares Valley and learn about the culture of isolated Andean tribes. The path leads hikers through stunning Andean scenery at high altitude, including the relaxing Lares hot springs, and to the impressive Inca ruins at Pumamarca.
The Lares Trek has some challenging sections due to its high inclines, rocky landscape, and unpredictable weather. People who go hiking should be comfortable in the outdoors, have a healthy level of fitness, and know how to set up tents. Hikers should bring their own camping gear and supplies because there will be overnight stays along the trail.
The Lares Trek is challenging, but it is well worthwhile. Hikers will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of Inca sites and visit isolated Andean settlements. The walk also provides the chance to see a wide range of Andean flora and fauna, as well as explore the stunning and diverse landscapes of the Lares Valley, including the Lares hot springs.
Due to the trail's remote location and low traffic, it is highly advised that you hire a guide to aid you along the way and educate you about the area's history, culture, and flora and fauna. As an added service, guides can aid with trip planning and organization.
Trip Length: 3 to 5 days
Difficulty Level: Medium
The Choquequirao Trek, also known as the "Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek" is a longer and more challenging route that takes 8-9 days to complete. The trek offers the opportunity to visit the lesser-known Inca ruins of Choquequirao, as well as stunning views of the Apurimac River Canyon. The trail passes through a variety of landscapes, including high-altitude Andean mountains, cloud forests, and subtropical jungle, and also offers the chance to spot a variety of Andean wildlife.
The Choquequirao Trek is considered to be a challenging hike, with steep inclines, rocky terrain, and varying weather conditions. The trail can be physically demanding and hikers should be in good shape and have experience in hiking and camping. Additionally, the trek involves camping, so hikers should be prepared to carry their own camping gear and supplies.
Despite its difficulty, the Choquequirao Trek is well worth the effort. Along the way, hikers will get the chance to visit the lesser-known Inca ruins of Choquequirao and explore the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Andes mountains. The trek also offers stunning views of the Apurimac River Canyon and the chance to spot a variety of Andean wildlife.
As the trail is less visited and goes through remote areas, it is recommended to hire a guide who can help you navigate the trail, provide insight into the history, culture, and natural environment of the region, and assist with logistics and organization of the trip.
Trip Length: 8 to 9 days
Difficulty Level: Medium to Difficult
The Vilcabamba Trek, or "Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu Trek," is an isolated and difficult path that takes around 9 days to complete. The climb provides access to the final remaining Inca fortress, the obscure ruins of Vilcabamba. The trail takes hikers through a wide range of ecosystems, from high-altitude Andean highlands to cloud forests and subtropical jungle, where they may encounter a wide range of Andean animals.
The Vilcabamba trail is notorious for its difficulty due to the high inclines, rocky terrain, and unpredictable weather that you'll encounter along the way. Due to the potential difficulty of the trail, hikers are advised to be in good physical condition and to have prior trekking and camping experience. Because of the need to camp along the way, hikers should also come prepared to haul their own supplies.
This Trek is a challenging yet rewarding adventure. Hikers can see the last remaining Inca fortress at Vilcabamba, one of the most magnificent and diverse mountain ranges in the world, and learn about the region's rich history along the way. As an added bonus, hikers may see a wide range of Andean flora and fauna and gain insight into the fascinating history of the Inca Empire.
Come see the wonder and mystery that is Machu Picchu on one of our six unique paths. Take in the stunning Andean scenery as you learn about the fascinating history of the Inca Empire. Your own Peruvian adventure by looking at some of our example trips .
We've got the perfect route for you, whether you're searching for a strenuous hike or a chance to see some of the world's most remote towns. Don't pass up this chance to experience one of the world's most famous archaeological sites in a way you never have before. Plan your Luxury Machu Picchu Tours with Kimsa Travel!