Cusco

TOP Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most famous trekking routes for so many reasons!

  • It is completely unique compared to any other trekking routes in the world and includes a staggering 3000 stone steps made during the Inca Empire.
  • You can walk on the actual trail the Ancient Incas built and hiked over 600 years ago.
  • You will trek through history with archaeological sites to explore all along the entire trail.
  • It is an incredibly scenic hike through glacier topped peaks, exotic cloud forests and a myriad of tropical vegetation and fauna.
  • This is only trek that hikes through the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) directly into the Machu Picchu Citadel.
  • The trek is unrivaled with its spectacular views from the Sun Gate on to the mysterious Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu.

But there are some special challenges to the Inca Trail.

First, the trail has a limit of only 500 trekking permits a day, with only about 200 available for trekkers, since the rest are required for the guides and porters.

This means that trekkers need to book early, especially if they want to hike during the peak season of May-September. When the permits go on sale in October each year, certain dates sell out in minutes for the following year. Click on the following link for Inca Trail availability!

Second, despite the limit of only 500 trekkers per day, it can feel crowded, especially at certain points along the trail. This can make the experience feel a little too ‘touristy’.

Third, the difficulty of the trek with its thousands of steps and the high altitude is more than some people can prepare for. High altitude is not for everybody!

And finally, the trail is closed in February due to the rainy season and maintenance.

So if you are not one for booking early or sharing an experience with crowds, then the following alternative treks to the Inca Trail (which will still take you to Machu Picchu) might just be perfect for you.

See the TOP Inca Trail operators.

Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trail

What makes this trek unique and special?

The Salkantay trail is perfect for mountain-lovers.

The route provides unparalleled views of the snow-capped Mount Salkantay, which stands at an intermediating 6200m. You will get two visit two visually stunning crystal-clear turquoise lakes, Humantay and Salkantay Lake. Both lakes are aptly named after the two mountains that tower above them. Depending on the trek you choose, Salkantay can also include the fascinating ruins of Llactapata that give the most spectacular view of Machu Picchu. If you book early, booking a trek that includes the Classic Inca trail is a possibility. Please Note:  Inca trail sells out months in advance. If you are looking for this option, book at least 6 months in advance during dry season and 3 months in wet season. In February the 7-day Salkantay Trek with the Classic Inca Trail is not an option because the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. 

Price Range 

As stated above, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Some of the available packages will be discussed below. The price will range anywhere from US$500 to US$999. It’s possible to get something cheaper. But as the proverb goes, “you will get what you pay for”. Also expect to pay a lot more if you are looking for something more upscale with smaller groups, and a more personalized service. 

Difficulty of the trek

It ranges from moderate to difficult. First and foremost, this is the Andes, so it is of paramount importance that you spend time in Cusco or the Sacred Valley and acclimatize to the altitude. There are many 1 day tours in the City of Cusco to help pass the time.  Whenever you have to ascend to high altitudes, you will be presented with altitude related challenges and altitude sickness is always a possibility. You do not have to be a seasoned athlete to do this, but we recommend you increase your level of physical activity or join a gym before embarking on this trail.

Different packages for the Salkantay Trail with Itineraries

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu 4 Days/ 3 nights 
Day 1: Cusco – Soraypampa – Humantay lake – Sorococcha.

Your Andean Mountain adventure begins at 4:30am when we pick you up from your hotel and drive in our private van for 3 hours to the Soraypampa trailhead. As we travel along curvy roads in the Andes, you will have views of the villages Iscuchaca and Limatambo, the surrounding valleys and the famous snow-capped Salkantay Mountain. At the Soraypampa trailhead, we have our delicious and hearty breakfast while enjoying the spectacular views of the Humantay Mountain (5,900m/ 19,356ft) and Salkantay Mountain (6,217m/ 20,396ft) glaciers.

***We then take a 2.5 hours round-trip hike up to visit the turquoise Humantay Lake. where you get to take in the beautiful, crystalline-blue waters of the Humantay Lake. Take some time to be mesmerized by the beauty of such an incredible creation of nature, then hike back down to the starting point to continue with your trek to Salkantay Pampa, where you will enjoy a hot lunch.

Next, we make our way to our first campsite at Soroccocha (4,400m / 14,517ft), situated at the foot of the towering Salkantay Mountain. At camp, will have afternoon tea to warm up and appetizers waiting for us. Your tents will already be set up and you can settle in before dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea time and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms / 8 miles
  • Difficulty: Challenging
Day 2: Sorococha – The Pass -Huayracmachay – Chaullay – Lucmabamba

Your guide will wake you with a hot mug of coffee or tea to enjoy in your sleeping bag before you get up for breakfast. After a tasty breakfast we continue onwards and upwards for one hour, we reach Apacheta Pass (4,650m / 15,367ft). Your will feel truly awed by the spectacular views of these three towering snow-capped mountains: Salkantay, Humantay, Huayanay. These peaks are considered sacred by the Quechua people and your guide will tell you about how important these Apus are in traditional Andean beliefs. Below you are spectacular rivers of whitewater and small scenic lakes.

Then we head down for 2 hours to Huayracmachay for our hot lunch. Then we descend for 3 hours toward the rural community of Chayllay and Along the way, you will love the refreshing lush green valleys and spectacular waterfalls. You have crossed over from the dry Andean highlands and are descending towards the warm and humid Amazon!

Then we will take the local transpotation to Lucmabamba where we will camp.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea time and dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 18kms / 11 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 3: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

After another hot drink enjoyed in your sleeping bag, you will be treated to the last delicious breakfast prepared by our chef. From here, we walk in the footsteps of the Inca, along the ancient and remote Inca Trail for 3 hours uphill to the Puncuyoc Pass (2,700m/8,858ft). Along the way, you will be amazed at the incredible views of deep valleys reaching into the distance with their fruit plantations.

We finally arrive to Llactapata Inca Ruins; located right across the valley front Machu Picchu. There, we take time to enjoy the strategic location of the Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surrounding mountains Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon. From there, we descend for 2 hours to the hydroelectric plant, the primary power source for Cusco. Nearby, we have lunch before we take the train for a half hour to Aguas Calientes, where we will have dinner and go to our hotel.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 3* Accommodation:  Hotel Ferre´ Machu Picchu
  • Distance: 15kms / 9 miles
  • Time: Approximately 9 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

This is the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu, so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you a tour, which takes about two hours. You will see most of the important parts of Machu Picchu Citadel. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.

After your tour, those who have booked in advance for an extra hike up Huayna Picchu will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.

The Expedition train will take you back to Ollantaytambo at 2:55pm or 3:20pm, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 7:00pm.

  • Meal included: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Itinerary provided by: Orange Nation

5-Day Glamping Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

This unique and specially designed 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu has unsurpassable views of the snow-capped mountains of Humantay and Salkantay, the holy Apus of the Incas. Trek off the beaten path, following our exclusive trekking route, where you visit two incredible crystal-clear glacial lakes, Humantay and Salkantay. Hike through the Andes Mountain range with its spectacular scenery and views of the colorful valley landscapes below and rugged, glacier-covered peaks. Camp at our private campsite which is very remote and off the beaten track, so you can avoid the crowds.

Information provided by Glamping Peru: Click on the link for a more detailed itinerary, Glamping Peru

Salkantay Trek and Classic Inca Trail Hike 7 Days/ 6 nights 

The Salkantay & Inca Trail Trek is the best route for those travellers who wish to get off the beaten track and experience a wilderness trek but still see all of the archeological wonders and historical significance of the original Inca Trail. It is a wonderful trek taking you right from the watershed of the Apurimac River to the Urubamba River and around the stunning Mount Salkantay, which is the second largest mountain in Cusco region at 6,277m/20,577ft. 

This spectacular trail twists and turns, ascends through high mountain ranges and descends down steep valleys, passing through pockets of misty cloud forest. You will experience the wildest landscapes and the wonder of the oldest traditions and finest archeological sites, a number of diverse ecological zones filled with an astounding variety of plants and bird life. The ancient and remote foot path takes you through archeological sites, on your way to the architectural and cultural grandeur of Machu Picchu itself.

Information provided by Sam Travel, for a  more detailed  Itinerary please click the following  link:Sam travel

Salkantay Mountains

Lares Trail

What makes this trek unique and special?

The Lares trek is the perfect trail for anyone looking to experience authentic Andean culture.

This trail is the second easiest of the alternative treks to Machu Picchu. It has a number of packages to suit different budgets and fitness levels.  Its unique route takes the trekker through a number of very traditional and unique local villages. Some of these remote villages have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. The Quechua people here continue to keep their traditions alive they preserve the ancient Inca culture and style of life. Along the route, trekkers will undoubtedly meet and interact with local farmers and weavers wearing their traditional Andean clothes.

It is worthwhile taking some local currency if you would like to buy locally made textiles. They are a lot cheaper in these villages than in Cusco City. Also, you have the satisfaction of knowing that 100% of your money goes directly to the person who cared for the alpacas, sheared the wool, made the yarn and wove the product. The trail also provides spectacular mountain views, waterfalls, herds of llamas and alpacas. It also requires trekkers to scale a few 4,000-meter passes. At the end you get to soak tired muscles in the natural Lares Hot Springs, loaded with minerals. Some Lares treks will include Pisac and its ruins. If you are feeling more adventurous, you could always choose a package that includes the 1-day or 2-day short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Price Range 

The price range for the Lares Trek is very broad. How much you pay will depend on the type of experience you want and the amount of time you have.  The price ranges anywhere from US$450 to US$780. What’s included on each trek is dependent on that specific tour company. Things that may be included are: a licensed and bilingual tour guide, this is necessary in order to communicate with the locals on the trek. Transportation from Cusco to the trailhead and back to your hotel in Cusco. Meals while trekking, a horse and horsemen to carry your personal items up to 7kg and all camping equipment. Things that may not be included are: Entrance fees into Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and Lares Trek, any extra hike in Machu Picchu, entrance fees into the hot springs, train tickets to Aguas Calientes, as well as bus tickets to Machu Picchu.

Reading through each tour operator´s itinerary is essential, ask for clarity on its inclusions and exclusions. Usually, companies that charge less do not have a lot of inclusions. You interact with local people a lot on this trek, it is  a good idea to bring some gifts for the children you will meet and  extra cash to buy textiles from the locals

Difficulty of the trek

The Lares Trek has medium difficulty. Compared to the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek, this route is less arduous. The only difficulty is altitude sickness, due to the trails being at high very high elevations, which will cause altitude sickness. Click the following link for more information on altitude sickness.

Example Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Huaran – Cancha Cancha

Your Andean Mountain adventure through the Lares Valley to Machu Picchu begins early with your pickup at 5:00am from your Cusco hotel. Within an hour, we will arrive at the ancient ruins of the truly awesome Pisac Inca Citadel. Visit the ruins before any other groups arrive, enjoying the tranquility of the morning. Your guide will share with you the unique history of the Pisac Inca Citadel and its importance both before and during the Inca Empire.

Breakfast is served in a comfortable and private Pisac guest house. You will be impressed with your chef’s hearty and delicious breakfast, which will be just what you need to get ready for the first day trekking! Driving onward for 40 more minutes to Huaran, we meet your horsemen and horses. Time to get ready, boots on, and begin our first 3 hours gradually ascending towards Cancha Cancha. Along the way, your lunch will be served next to the river, replenishing your energy for the trek ahead with a delicious meal prepared by your trekking chef.

Cancha Cancha (3,900m/12,800ft) is one of the most isolated and traditional communities, self-sustaining as it has been for hundreds of years. There is no road to the community and they were recently connected to electricity in December, 2019. After settling into your tents and having afternoon tea, you will have the opportunity to visit a local family. You will learn all about life in a traditional Andean village, with your guide as your interpreter. After dinner, your guide will show you the Inca constellations on which they depended for their agricultural guidance and still do to this day.

  • Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with bathroom building
  • Distance: 9kms / 5.6 miles
  • Time: 3.5hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
Day 2: Cancha Cancha – Quiswarani

Your guide will wake you with a hot mug of tea or coffee to enjoy in your sleeping bag before you get up for breakfast. Feeling all revved up to begin our second day, after another delicious breakfast, we begin our 7 hour hike northeast. It starts out as an intense walk, accomplishing high passes on our way to the highest point of our trek at Pachacutec Pass(4,500m /14,800 ft). This is where you pat yourself on the back and embrace the satisfaction and exhilaration for making it up to the summit. Motivating you along the trail for this intense part of the trek are the views of glaciers, remote lakes, alpaca herds, rugged valleys and spectacular mountain vistas. Keep your eyes on the sky for the Caracara falcons and Andean geese!

After enjoying the summit, we descend for 3 hours until we reach our campsite located by the Quiswarani community(3,700m/12,139ft). On the way, we will be taking an isolated trail where we will see indigenous highland people in their traditional outfits herding their llamas and alpacas. The local indigenous people will open their hearts and interact with you in the Quechua language (the Incas’ language). Your guide will act as your interpreter to translate and teach you some Quechua language. When you arrive at the spectacular seven waterfalls, you are almost to the campsite!

At the campsite, everything will be ready. Enjoy hot drinks and appetizers before dinner, then snuggle in for a comfortable night sleep.

  • Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities with bathroom building
  • Distance: 12kms / 7.5 miles
  • Time: 7hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: challenging
Day 3: Quiswarani – Cuncani – Lares – Ollantaytambo

Your adventure continues as you begin the most scenic day yet!  We begin our ascent for 3 hours until we reach the Willqaqasa Pass, (4,200m/13,779ft) getting a bird’s eye view of the reflections of the mountains in mirror images in the glacial lakes. The majestic Colquecruz and Pitusiray Mountains are awe inspiring to admire from the pass. We continue our trek through the Puna grasslands, undulating and productive agricultural sites and natural pristine lakes. Time to descend for 2 hours to the Cucani community. Connecting with the local indigenous children, you may have the opportunity to visit their school and share in some quality time with the students.

From Cuncani we meet our driver and ride down through a lush valley with extensive agricultural areas, fruit bearing trees, varied flora, and native flowers like begonias and wild orchids. Finally, we reach our destination, the Lares Hot Springs (3,100m/ 10,170ft), where we cannot wait to soak in the natural volcanic hot springs for an hour, have lunch and relax. Time for our goodbyes for our remarkable chef and horsemen. 

After lunch in Lares, we take our private transport to 2.5 hours Ollantaytambo, where we have dinner  and then we take  the train to Aguas  Calientes. Where we spend te night.

  •  Meals included: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea – Dinner
  • 2* Accommodation: Ferre Hotel or similar
  • Distance: 15kms / 9.3 miles
  • Time: 6 hrs approximately
  • Difficulty: Moderate
Day 4:

Today’s highlight is the amazing Machu Picchu!

After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll take one of the first busses up to Machu Picchu so that you can be there to witness the sunrise. It is a truly extraordinary site and not something you’ll want to miss! Your guide will give you the full tour, which takes about two hours. You will see all of the most important parts of Machu Picchu, including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Sun Dial, Quarry and the House of the Inca. You will also learn about how Machu Picchu is divided into three sectors: agricultural, residential and religious.

After your tour, those who have booked in advance for the extra hikes up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have time to enjoy those views on their own. When you have had your fill of the exceptional views of Machu Picchu, you will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included). Depending on your train departure time, you may also have time for some shopping, sightseeing or a visit to the museum or hot springs.

The train will take you back to Ollantaytambo, following the spectacular Urubamba River. Close to Aguas Calientes, the canyon is narrow and the river has many beautiful sections of whitewater. You can also see Wiñay Wayna from the train, if you look up high on the steep canyon wall! Back at Ollantaytambo, your driver will meet you at the exit from the train station to take you back to your hotel in Cusco in our private vehicle. You can expect to arrive at your hotel by 19:00.

  • Meal included: Breakfast
  • Difficulty: Easy

Itinerary provided by: Spider Travel Peru

Lares trek

Inca Jungle Trek

What makes The Inca Jungle Trail Unique and special? 

The Inca Jungle Trail is for that adrenaline junkie, an adventure seeker looking to experience everything with an elevated heart rate.

This is one my favorite treks, the itinerary is usually jam packed with activities. You get to mountain bike from elevations of 4350m, heading to the tumultuous Urubamba River for a thrilling rafting experience. Your trek will take you through a variety of micro climates, starting from the highlands, followed by cloud forest and finally the rainforest. Also pass the hot springs of Colcamayo to soak those aching muscles. The visit to the ruins of Llactapata will provide the most stunning and picturesque views of Machu Picchu before the official guided tour of this majestic site the next day. 

Price Range 

The price ranges anywhere from US$450 to US$800. What’s included on each trek is dependent on that specific tour company. Things that may be included are: a licensed and bilingual tour guide, Transportation from Cusco to the trailhead and back to your hotel in Cusco. Meals while trekking. Things that may not be included are: Entrance fees into Machu Picchu and other Inca sites. River rafting and the required toys, as well as a bike with front suspension and the necessary safety equipment. Hotel/ lodge accomodation for 3 days. Train tickets to Aguas Calientes, as well as bus tickets to Machu Picchu. Reading through each tour operator´s itinerary is essential, ask for clarity on its inclusions and exclusions.

Please Note: Entrance fees for extra hikes like Huayna Picchu ($75) and Machu Picchu Mountain ($75) are not included. Entrance into Colcamayo is optional and will cost you an extra 10 soles. 

Important Weather Information

This trek is weather dependent. It is not possible to do this Trail in January and February because they have the heaviest rains.  For other months please call ahead to double check if weather conditions are suitable.

Difficulty of the trek

The Inca Jungle Trek is difficult. There is extreme sports and hiking at very high altitudes. You need to be fit to partake in this trek. It’s a great thrill for extreme sports enthusiasts. Altitude sickness can affect even the super fit and healthy. We recommend giving your body time to acclimate in Cusco or Sacred Valley before your trek. Click the following link for more information on altitude sickness.

For an example Itinerary please click on the following link: Sam Travel IncaJungle trail to Machu Picchu 

Choquequirao Trek

What makes Choquequirao Trek unique and special?

The Choquequirao trail is extremely remote and only accessible by foot. The site itself is full of mystery, majesty and unexplored potential.

This trail is usually attempted by avid hikers, with Amazonian flora and flora that has the most brilliant and dazzling colors along the trail. It’s a challenging route that proves that the hardest roads traveled produce the most satisfying results. Choquequirao is often compared to Machu Picchu, nicknamed ¨the sister of Machu Picchu¨ because of their similarities and its stunning and eye-catching location. Patched at the top of the Apumaric Valley in utter isolation, aside from the snow-capped mountain peaks and the Amazon Jungle that surrounds it. Only 1/3 of it has been excavated leaving a lot to be discovered. This site is more than double the size of Machu Picchu. You not just exploring history with this site, but are part of  the journey to the rediscovery of  its  history. 

The route begins with a 2-day journey to Choquequirao, one of the largest and best preserved Inca sites outside of Machu Picchu. However, unlike Machu Picchu, there is usually only a hand full of people at this impressive site. Look out for condors flying overhead – they are quite common in this region! From here trekkers follow a beautiful 3 or 4 day trail towards Machu Picchu.

It is best done during the dry season months (March/April or October/November), as the sun is very intense in the peak season (May-September).

Difficulty of the trek

Very! We recommend this beautiful and challenging trek for experienced trekkers or people in good physical shape who are used to hiking or running frequently.  

This site is remote and rarely visited. There are no easy days to look forward to. In addition, you will descend to lows of 1 400m/4 593ft and then ascend to highs of over 3 100m/ 10 010ft and back down again. The altitude will not be your biggest challenge, it does not get as high as Rainbow Mountain for instance. However, you still get pretty high, so you need to acclimatize, either in Cusco or the Sacred Valley for a day or 2. The trek is very taxing on the legs. With everything said, it is 100% worth it. You will hike in total peace and explore the ruins with no tourists around. Compared to the thousands of visitors coming to Machu Picchu every day, Choquequirao only has an average of 25 visitors a day. It truly is an enjoyable experience to join this elite club of trekkers.

Typical itinerary in a classic Choquequirao Trek?
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc– Playa Rosalinas – Santa Rosa

At 4:30 am, we pick you up at your hotel and drive for the next 4 hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (2,850m/9,407ft). Along the way, there are spectacular views of villages, valleys and snow-capped mountains. Once at Capuliyoc we meet our horsemen and pack all of our equipment onto the horses.
Then we start walking all the way down to Playa Rosalinas (1,475m/4,840ft) where we have lunch. Along the way enjoy great views of the Apurimac Canyon, and mountain peaks such as Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). After lunch, we ascend for two hours to our first campsite at Santa Rosa, (1900m/6234ft) where we spend the night.

  • Meals: Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
Day 2: Santa Rosa – Maranpata – Choquequirao

After an early breakfast, we start our adventure by walking uphill for 2 hours to the rural village of Maranpata (2,850m/9,350ft), We enjoy the scenery and then we walk through a myriad of flora and fauna to the magnificent archeological site of Choquequirao. We have lunch here and then we will have a private guided tour for us in the afternoon. During the tour, we will explore all the important sections, such as the palaces, temple, ritual water fountains, amazing Usnu (ceremonial platform), agricultural terraces, llama’s section and much more. Finally, we head back to our second campsite located just 20 minutes from the Choquequirao ruins, where we will have tea and dinner

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Minimum Altitude: 1900m/6234ft
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,150m/10,397ft
  • Distance: 8km
  • Difficulty: Difficult
Day 3: Choquequirao – Chiquisca

After an early breakfast, we explore some of the stunning sections of Choquequirao ruins and then head back towards the rural community of Maranpata for lunch. Afterwards we descend to the magnificent Apurimac River (1,550m/5,117ft) for two hours. Finally, we walk up a moderate hill for one hour to our third campsite at Chiquisca. (1,990m/6,270ft)

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Afternoon Tea Time – Dinner
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Distance: 12kms/7.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
Day 4: Chiquisca – Saywite – Cusco

After a delicious breakfast, we walk up a moderately difficult hill towards the Capuliyoc pass. Once there we can enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the Apurimac Canyon. Then we take our car towards Cachora (2,850m/9,407ft) for lunch. Afterwards we take our private transport to the archeological site of Saywite having plenty of time to explore it. Finally, our private transport will take us back to Cusco to your hotel, arriving in the evening, arriving around 6pm.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch
  • Distance: 8km
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This itinerary has been provided by ORANGE NATION

Choquequirao trek

Huchuy Qosqo trek

What makes the Huchuy Qosqo Trek Unique

The Huchyuy Qosqo trek is perfect for people with limited time, as it is the shortest and easiest trek to Machu Picchu – only 17km.

So, if you are looking for a trekking experience that won’t give you sore feet, this alternative Inca trail is . for you! They name means ´little Cosco´ in Quechua. The route begins at Tauqaq, a small village that sits on the edge of Piuray Lagoon. You pass small rural villages on your way to visit Huchyuy Qosqo, an impressive Inca complex. Some tour operators like Sam Travel will organise a night sleep at a villagers home, with running water, a hot shower and warm bed.

Difficulty of the trek

This is by far the easiest trek to Machu Picchu. However, altitute is always going to be a factor. The Inca Archeological Complex stands at an elevation of 3 650m/ 11 980ft and overlooks the Sacred Valley above Lamay. Acclimite for a day or two in Cusco, hydrate and chew coca leaves or drink coca tea.