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Inca Trail V Alternatives

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Inca Trail V Alternatives

1. Posted by JenB9 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

My partner and I are looking to visit Machu Picchu next year. Whilst I have always wanted to ascend via the Inca Trail, he feels that the route isn't actually the best and has simply become commercial.

Has anyone travelled via one of the other routes that they would recommend? Such as the Lares or Quarry?

I guess to some extent it doesn't matter how to get there, as long as you do!

Any opinions would be really helpful,

Thank you very much,


2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I did the Salkantay trek about 6 years ago and it was pretty much awesome. I can't give you much more info than that, since things have changed since I was there. When I was there, the only option was camping, and it was really cheap. Now I see there are lodges, and I suspect prices have gone up.
But, the scenery was amazing, and it was one of my favourite hikes I've ever done, so it's worth looking into to see if it's still feasible these days.

3. Posted by littlesam1 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

My partner and I are not hikers so to speak, so we traveled from Cusco to Machu Picchu using the backpacker train. It served our purposes and allowed us more time in the immediate area to enjoy the experience of Machu Picchu. However you travel it's all worth it. Nothing quite compares to Machu Picchu.

4. Posted by kelley23 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi there JenB9!

I am currently on a round the world trip (more like round South America trip) and of course Machu Picchu was also a huge must for me.

Little bit of information about trekking from Cusco to Machu Picchu you are actually descending, Cusco is at 3,800m and Machu picchu is at 2,800m approx! :) Well actually you do climb upto about 4,600 on the Inca Trail, Salkantay trek or Lares trek so yes there is lots of ascending and descending!

When I was in Cusco I met up with a friend who lives in Cusco and she recommended Dos Manos travel Agency, after lots of pondering I finally choose to do the Salkantay trek and it was absolutley magical! It was tough but a good kind of tough!

Heres some a good like blog about it if you thing it will help with your decisions

Im happy to help with any questions if you have them!

5. Posted by Ianyoung1985 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I did the classic trail about 7 years ago and enjoyed every minute of it! We used llama travel who were brilliant and the cheapest we could find.
I didn't find it too commercial back then but you would arrive at a campsite to find the tents carried ahead of you and dining table set up. If you are into wilderness trekking this might not suit as much. However nothing can take away the genuine inca sites along the way and when I did it they limited numbers on the route. Now they are talking about an airport at the foot of the mountain at Machu Picchu.
I say if you are independently minded then go for one of the other trails, although you will miss out on the classic experience which is just awesome in itself!

6. Posted by amy27 (Budding Member 22 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I've just come back from doing inca trail. Was tough doing it but I did have a cold at the time of doing it! I loved it and wen I was ready to give up up wen was sick aswell , Machu Picchu kept me going. Was an awsome sight in end and made the hike so much worth it- if I had got train there I don't personally think I would have appreciated it as much. The views all along we're stunning.
I haven't done any of other treks but glad I got to do inca ( only so many permits per day apparently ) , and got to see various inca sites along the way.
I did it with g adventures which were brilliant :)

7. Posted by JenB9 (Budding Member 7 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

We climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in July so we're happy with a tough climb! My feet are still recovering mind you...

Thank you so much for all your replies, very kind of you all.

My boyfriend works for Intrepid Travel so we will use them which is working well in my favour as they tend to lean towards the Inca Trail as oppose to some of the others. I just always assumed that I would take this route, & hadn't thought about the alternatives until my boyfriend said otherwise!

Thank you again

8. Posted by kelley23 (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Hi JenB9!

Kilimanjaro is definitely on my list of things to do as well! If you have done this then you won’t have any trouble with the Inca trail or any alternatives :)

Either way, whether you book the Inca Trail or another trek you will just be blown away by you arrival to Machu Picchu, it is truly magnificent.

Charge your camera batteries and book the permits as soon as possible the popularity of this is increasing every year!