Machu Picchu Trail Options
Firstly, of course, is the Inca Trail itself. This route is so popular that it can only be completed with a licensed trekking company. There are a limited amount of permits each day and these book out fast – so make sure you book at least 4 months in advance!
There are three Inca Trail routes. The first is the ‘classic’ Inca Trail which takes 4 days and covers a distance of 45km.
The second is the ‘short’ Inca Trail route. This only takes two days and covers a distance of 13km.
The third is known as the ‘Salkantay’ or ‘combo’ route. This is the longest route and takes 6 days with a distance of 65km.
Read about the Inca and their trails here.
Alternative Machu Picchu Routes
Now that we have covered the most popular routes let’s look at the lesser known routes to Machu Picchu.
The little known ‘Lares’ trek is a 4 day long hike that covers a distance of 33km. This trek is a great way to meet the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture.
The most popular non-Inca route is probably the ‘Salkantay’ trek. This is a 5 day trek over 55km and offers up incredible scenery allowing you to get close and personal with Nevada Salkantay!
Another trek for the thrill seekers is the Inca ‘Junge’ trek. This is a great downhill cycle trek – incredibly fast (60km) and nice easy walking trek (15km).
The ‘Choquequirao’ trek is a very versatile hike and can be shortened or lengthened at will. At its longest it’s a 65km 9 day trek that runs past the impressive Choquequirao ruins.
The ‘Huchuy Qosko’ trek is a fairly short 3 day trek over 20km. This short trek has great scenery and passes by the Huchuy Qosko ruins which a worth a visit!
The last route is the ‘Vilcabamba’ trek. This particular trek would suit experienced hikers and is probably the toughest trek up to Machu Picchu. 62km over 5 days, the trail is beautiful and diverse.