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The 4-day Classic Inca Trail has limited availability. The popularity of this route is such that you need to make a purchase online 6 or 7 months before. Otherwise you will not find availability. Find out what to do if you can’t find a space to do this famous route to Machu Picchu.


The Short Inca Trail of 2 days

As its name suggests, this route is a short version of the 4-day Inca Trail. It begins at kilometer 104 of the railway to Machu Picchu. From there you climb about 12 kilometers until you reach the Inca Trail and enter the ‘Inca City’ through the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku).

During the route you can see three archaeological sites: Chachabamba, Wiñayhuayna and Machu Picchu. The first day you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where you spend the night in a local lodging. The next day is the visit to Machu Picchu.

Unlike the 4-day route, this short version can be purchased online 2-3 weeks in advance.

  • What to see : Chachabamba, Wiñayhuayna, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : 500 USD per person approximately.
  • Reservation : 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
  • More information : The short Inca Trail, as well as the classic 4-day route, offers a spectacular first view of Machu Picchu: from the Intipunku.

The Salkantay trek of 5 days

This route is a walk at the foot of the snowy Salkantay. Travel through lagoons, rivers, mountains, subtropical areas with abundant vegetation and more.

In total, 70 kilometers are traveled until arriving at Machu Picchu passing through the town of Aguas Calientes. It is one of the most difficult routes in Cusco.

The Salkantay trek is a hike that can be done on your own or through a tour. You can buy the tour through a tourism agency. Includes everything: tour guide, camps, food, return by train and more.

  • What to see : Humantay Lagoon, open Salkantay, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : 500 USD per person approximately.
  • Reservation : 3 to 7 days in advance.
  • More information : The 5-day route is the most famous of the Salkantay trek. The 4-day route is known as a short version of this hike.
camino inca Machu Picchu

Salkantay Route to Machu Picchu


The Salkantay trek of 4 days

This route is a reduced version of the classic 5-day Salkantay trek. Travel only 51 kilometers during the 4 days and 3 nights of walking. In this adventure you can also see mountains, rivers, lagoons and more.

Unlike the classic 5-day route, on the third day of this walk a bus is taken that will make the section to the Hydroelectric station. In this way it is possible to reduce the distance and duration of the adventure.

For many, the 5-day Salkantay trek is the most complete route. The 4-day version is ideal for people who do not have enough time.

  • What to see : Humantay Lagoon, open Salkantay, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : 400 USD per person approximately.
  • Reservation : 3 to 7 days in advance.
  • More information : The route can also be done on your own. However, it is best to hire a tourism agency.

The Lares trek of 4 days

This walk is recognized as the ‘cultural route’ as it runs through landscapes with Andean towns willing to show their traditions to travelers.

It travels 32 kilometers from the town of Lares (where the thermal baths of the place are visited) to Machu Picchu, this last section through the train trip through Aguas Calientes.

This hike crosses impressive mountains near the snow-capped mountains such as Verónica, Pitusiray and Chicón. In these places live camelids such as the llama and the alpaca. The route can be done on your own, although it is best to choose a tourism agency.

  • What to see : Thermal baths of Lares, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : 500 USD per person approximately.
  • Reservation : 3 to 7 days in advance.
  • More information : The Lares trek has two different routes: through Yanahuara or Patacancha. In both cases, Machu Picchu is reached through the final trip by train.
camino inca Machu Picchu

Lares Route to Machu Picchu


The Huchuy Qosqo trek of 3 days

This route to Machu Picchu is considered one of the easiest in Cusco. Travel only 17 kilometers in 3 days and 2 nights, of which only one night is in an outdoor camp.

The route owes its name to the fact that it passes through the archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo, recognized as an important Inca citadel. Then, you travel by train to the town of Aguas Calientes from where you get to Machu Picchu.

Due to the low demand of this walk it is recommended for children or older adults. Of course, the most advisable thing is to do the route with a tourism agency.

  • What to see : Archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : $ 400 per person approximately.
  • Reservation : 3 to 7 days in advance.
  • More information : There is also a route of only 1 day that visits the archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo (then returns to Cusco).
camino inca Machu Picchu

Huchuy Qosqo Route to Machu Picchu


The Choquequirao – Machu Picchu trek of 8 days

This route is one of the most difficult because during the 8 days and 7 nights of adventure it travels a total of 115 kilometers through steep, mountainous, hot and cold roads.

The most striking thing about this walk is that it goes through two of the best archaeological sites in Peru: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. The first is only accessed after a long walking route, which is why it is a place little seen by tourists.

Due to the duration, difficulty and organization of this route, it should definitely be done through a tourism agency that includes everything you need: cooks, porters, tickets, camping and more.

  • What to see : Choquequirao, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.
  • Tour price : A thousand dollars per person, approximately.
  • Reservation : 7 to 15 days in advance.
  • More information : The route requires good physical preparation.
camino inca Machu Picchu

Choquequirao Route to Machu Picchu


The Choquequirao trek of 4 days

Choquequirao is an Inca archaeological site that, due to its beauty and architecture, is called ‘The sacred sister of Machu Picchu’. Its similarity to the ‘Inca City’ makes it a unique destination.

Because it is located at the top of a steep mountain, the only way to get there is through a 4-day hiking route (two days to get there and another two days to return to Cusco).

The walk is 32 kilometers. On the way we ascend the difficult Apurímac canyon. Because it can only be reached on foot, once there the tourists will be almost alone with Choquequirao.

  • What to see : Choquequirao.
  • Tour price : 400 dollars per tourist approximately.
  • Reservation : 3 to 7 days in advance.
  • More information : The Peruvian authorities plan to build a cable car that allows you to visit Choquequirao in just 1 day.

The Ausangate trek of 5 days

The Ausangate mountain is the highest in Cusco (6,384 meters above sea level). It is located in the Vilcanota mountain range, a place full of towns and incredible landscapes such as the mountain of the 7 colors.

The Ausangate trek is a 70-kilometer route that passes through Andean towns such as Tinki, Upis, Azul Cocha, Pachanta and more. On the route you can enjoy thermal baths, Andean landscapes and the typical flora and fauna of the place (such as llamas and alpacas).

The Ausangate trek can be done on your own. However, for a safer adventure, it is recommended to do the route with an authorized tourism agency.

  • What to see : Thermal baths of Pachanta, Mountain 7 colors.
  • Tour price : 600 dollars per tourist approximately.
  • Reservation : From 3 to 7 days per tourist approximately.
  • More information : There are 4 and 6 day versions.
camino inca Machu Picchu

Ausangate Route

 

By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 23-06-2021


The entrance spaces for the Inca Trail are limited, for which it is recommended to make the reservation in advance.