The four-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is already a classic of course (actually tickets are sold-out until October 26th), but luckily there are also what we can call best alternatives: most of them shorter in time, but all having in common the typical flavor of the Inca Trail, and without some of the possible inconveniences of longer tours. Here are these top valuable options for this year 2017.
Best Alternatives for Hikers
We can begin with a 2-day, 1-night, Inca Trail-like tour, which starts at your Cusco hotel and you’re taken up until a 7-mile distance from Machu Picchu, which you will cover on a hike, ending with a wonderful tour at the Inca site. The highest point of this trail is at Winaywayna at 8.700 feet, also an Inca impressive architectural remain. No camping, no large crowds, you will spend the only night at a hostel in Aguas Calientes, nearby village to Machu Picchu. This tour actually connects with sections of the classic, 4-day Inca Trail. A top valuable option to consider (and the great news is that this tour is now available on a daily basis).
Now for the Lares trek, 4-day, 3-night hiking tour, which begins at the Lares village, continues with a 20-mile hike until the Inca site of Ollantaytambo, going uphill for two days, so it is categorized as a very demanding hike. The highest point of the trek is at an amazing 14.500 feet, therefore you must make your arrangements to cope with altitude sickness and great physical effort. Nights are spent in tents; good waterproof and windproof jackets must also be packed. Then you will board a train to Aguas Calientes, stay that night at a hotel, prior to your grand tour at Machu Picchu the next day, last one of the tour. Another top valuable option instead of the Inca Trail for this year 2017. As one of the rewards, you will have the wonderful opportunity to see typical Andean camelids like alpacas and llamas just a few steps away. Indeed one of our best alternatives!
The next one, the Salkantay trek, can be called a hardcore tour; 5 days, 4 nights, begins at Marcoccasa, 2 hours away from Cusco city by car, and ends 35 miles away at Machu Picchu’s Hydroelectric, which is located 30 minutes away by train from Aguas Calientes. This is the most demanding of all described here, for the most uphill, rough, long and high altitude sections (highest point at an astounding 15.200 feet). Nights will be spent at campsites. You will have the chance to enjoy the beautiful hot spring pools for a relaxing time on day 3; on the next day’s morning, you may want to take part on a ziplining adventure. Day 5 is entirely reserved for your best Machu Picchu experience! Really valuable option for tough trekkers!
One tour that is considered really fun and also the most economical, another valuable option, is the 2-day, 1-night tour to Machu Picchu by car; on the first day, you will be picked up in Cusco city having the Machu Picchu Hydroelectric as final destination for the day, but before there will be a wonderful section which covers the city of Urubamba, breathtaking landscapes, sightings of snow-capped mountains, until arrival at the Hydroelectric. From there a 3 and a half hours walk to the village of Aguas Calientes, and night spent at a hostel. The second day is a hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, finishing with an extensive, 2 and a half hours tour at the citadel. Besides the van journey from Cusco to the Hydroelectric and back, this tour mainly consists of walking and hiking along the railway and then uphill to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu and back; this package is mostly recommended for the adventurous spirits or the ones who don’t mind any kind of discomfort. Also a highlight among our best alternatives to the classic Inca Trail.
The Choquequirao tour (4 days and 3 nights) is also one of our best alternatives instead of the Inca Trail for 2017; it starts in Cusco city and alternates hiking, camping, archaeological sites visits and breathtaking landscape sighting. The highlight is the tour at the Inca Choquequirao archaeological site, a refuge in the times of the empire; on the way back to Cusco city, the tour includes a much valuable and relaxing stop at Cconoc’s thermal waters, a favorite for most travellers. This tour is mostly recommended for adventurous people who really are in good shape, as the terrain and the trail are really demanding.
Best Alternative for Adventure Lovers
Here we recommend the Inca Jungle Trail, a 4-day, 3-night tour which is mostly downhill, and includes mountain biking, ziplining, river rafting, really the most for adrenaline junkies! The adventure starts 10.000 feet height at the Malaga Pass, and then a downwards mountain bike ride until the Huamanmarca Inca site (about 3 to 4 hours long). Then the rest is a trekking tour for 11 miles which ends up in Aguas Calientes. Tourists sleep in dorms or basic family hotels en route; there’s no camping on this tour. Valuable option, really top choice for adventure, adrenaline-rush lovers.
Best Alternative by Train
This is a comfortable, relaxing and valuable option instead of the Inca Trail; you will travel by bus from Cusco early in the morning to the Inca site at Ollantaytambo. Then the train ride begins until the village of Aguas Calientes, where you will be picked up by staff at the train station and then off on bus until the Machu Picchu site, where there will be a professionally guided tour for about 2 and a half hours. After that, you must board the bus back to Aguas Calientes to begin returning to Cusco, first by train and then by van, until arrival at your hotel in Cusco city.
So, there are plenty of best alternatives and valuable options instead of the classic Inca Trail! You also have the great opportunity to expand your vacation with several wonderful 1-day tours: the Sacred Valley, Cusco city tour, the Vinicunca Mountain (Rainbow Mountain), the Humantay Lagoon, Vuelo de los Cóndores (Condors’ Flight), Maras-Moray, the South Valley and more! And last but not least, we also offer additional full-adventure packages for ziplining, river rafting, quad biking, snowboarding and more!
Don’t wait any longer to book your dream vacation here in Peru! Contact our professional staff at TOUR IN PERU to get more information for the best alternatives to the Inca Trail, for much valuable options in 1-day tours and full-adventure packages, we want you to have the travel experience of a lifetime in 2017!