The Inca Jungle Trekking tour and the traditional Inca Trail are two popular options for exploring the Machu Picchu region, each with its own distinct characteristics and unique experiences.
Traditional Inca Trail
The traditional Inca Trail is a historic trail that follows in the footsteps of the ancient Incas towards Machu Picchu. It is a classic and iconic route that offers an authentic and challenging experience for adventurers. The trail is approximately 42 km long and takes three to four days to complete, depending on the pace and route chosen. Along the way, hikers cross mountains, forests, rivers and pass several Inca ruins before arriving at Machu Picchu. The traditional Inca Trail requires advance booking, as there are a limited number of places available each day, and it is necessary to hire the services of an authorized agency.
Trekking in the Inca jungle
On the other hand, the Inca Jungle Trekking tour is an alternative option for those looking for a more varied adventure. This tour combines hiking, mountain biking, rafting and zip-lining over approximately four days. The route includes mountain trails, thrilling bike descents, river navigation and adrenaline-pumping zip lines. The Inca Jungle Trekking tour is more flexible and does not require an advance booking, as it is not subject to the same capacity restrictions as the traditional Inca Trail.
While the traditional Inca Trail offers an experience more focused on walking and immersing oneself in the history and Inca ruins along the way, the Inca Jungle Trekking tour offers a combination of adventure activities and contact with nature. Travelers have the opportunity to explore different landscapes, experience the local culture, enjoy exciting activities and, finally, visit Machu Picchu.
Both options are valid and exciting, offering visitors different approaches to experiencing the Machu Picchu region. The choice between the traditional Inca Trail and the Inca Jungle Trekking tour will depend on the traveler’s profile, the time available, the level of adventure desired and individual preferences. Regardless of the choice, both options will provide an unforgettable experience and the opportunity to see one of the wonders of the world.
Alternative routes to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is the ancient Inca city perched high in the mountains of the Peruvian Andes. It is one of the most impressive destinations in the world. Although the traditional route to Machu Picchu is via the Inca Trail, there are alternative routes. These routes offer unique experiences and different perspectives of this archaeological wonder.
1. Salkantay Trail:
- The Salkantay Trail is one of the most popular alternative routes to Machu Picchu. This challenging and breathtaking trail takes adventurers through spectacular landscapes, snow-capped mountains, tropical forests and picturesque villages. The trek usually lasts around five days and ends in Aguas Calientes, the base town for visiting Machu Picchu.
- The Lares Trail is another interesting option for exploring the Peruvian Andean region. This route offers a unique opportunity to interact with local indigenous communities, learn about their culture and lifestyle. The trek usually takes three to four days and passes through beautiful landscapes such as lush green valleys, crystal-clear lakes and natural hot springs.
- The Choquequirao Trail is a lesser-known but equally fascinating option for reaching Machu Picchu. This route takes adventurers to an impressive archaeological complex known as “the sacred sister of Machu Picchu“. The trek to Choquequirao can take up to five days, passing through dramatic landscapes and untouched wilderness. After exploring Choquequirao, visitors can continue the trek to Machu Picchu, completing an epic journey.
- The Vilcabamba Trail is a demanding route that takes travelers along ancient Inca trails. It also offers breathtaking landscapes, such as majestic mountains and deep valleys. This trek usually takes about a week. During this time, travelers have the opportunity to explore lesser-known archaeological sites, such as Vitcos and Espiritu Pampa, before reaching Machu Picchu.
5. Huchuy Qosqo Trail:
- The Huchuy Qosqo Trail is a shorter and less demanding option for reaching Machu Picchu. This route takes visitors to an impressive archaeological site called Huchuy Qosqo, which means “Little Cusco” in the Quechua language. The hike usually takes two days and offers breathtaking views of the Andes mountains and the surrounding region.
It is important to note that, regardless of the route chosen, it is necessary to obtain prior authorization to carry out the trek and visit Machu Picchu. In addition, it is recommended to hire an experienced local guide to ensure a safe and enriching experience.
Exploring Machu Picchu via alternative routes allows travelers to experience the majesty of the Andean region in a more authentic and less touristy way. Each of these routes offers different challenges and rewards. They offer a unique perspective on this incredible archaeological site and Inca culture. Whichever route you choose, your trip to Machu Picchu will be an unforgettable adventure.