The traditional Inca trail is crowded and expensive, although is still nice, there are some alternatives.
Choquequirao: Experts say that it is even bigger than Macchu Picchu; and there are still arachaeologists working in there. To go there you can take a bus from Cusco to Andahuaylas. The journey will start in the town of Cachora (kilometer 154 of the road from Cuzco to Abancay). Cachora is 2900 meters of altitud, then you go down until 1530 meters of altitud; and again go up until 3085 meters over the sea level.
You can either hire a Horse in Cachora or go trekking, you will need a lot of water and some food. You have to be prepared to walk 6 hours per day, you can do it in a day. Then you can go camping almost in the same complex. There is a place special for the people.
There is a trail from Choquequirao to Macchu Picchu, and Vilcabamba which is even harder. So just do it.
It occurred to me that I am not so happy to see this posting... Luis ís right; Choquequirao is probably one of the most beautiful treks I ever made, and the site, although not nearly restored as well as MP, is not of this world, especially in early morning...
But shouldn't it be kept that way? Call me a romantic fool (and a hypocrit since I have been there myself), but isn't it bad enough that so many other sites that bear witness to the indigenous cultural inheritance of South America are trampled by tens of thousands of tourists already? Shouldn't some of them simply be left alone? I know that we westerners constitute a major source of funding for the repairs and all, but I am not sure if that is always a compelling argument... thoughts, anyone?
Selfishly, i say "Take me to the road less travelled!" Sigh* However, considering your concious-tweaking comment, we will probably be taking the more expensive route to MP. Although, being posted on a travel forum doesn't necissarily equal its demise...