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Inca Trail Alternatives

Hiking one of the various Inca Trails is definitely one of the highlights of an overland tour of Peru. However, the new regulations on the number of people allowed daily on the ‘Classic’ Trail often make it difficult to obtain a booking and in peak season this trail must be booked well in advance. However, for those wanting to take the road less travelled, there are a number of alternatives to the ‘Classic’ Inca Trail, some easier and some slightly more strenuous. The most popular of these are mentioned below. All routes end up at Machu Picchu and Oasis uses all of them.

Shorter Inca Trail

This trail allows trekkers to enjoy the overall experience of the Inca Trail, and to bear witness to its scenic beauty without trekking for days on end. It is ideal for the less physically inclined traveller as well as for groups with time constraints.

The trek begins with a train ride to Km104 which leaves only a 6-7 hour trek before you come upon the Sun-Gate looking out over Machu Picchu, which marks the end of the conventional Inca Trail. You’ll bypass the ruins on the first day and overnight in the little town of Aguas Calientes, which lies at the foothills of the mountain that Machu Picchu stands on and close to the raging Urubamba River. On the second day you’ll take the first bus up to Machu Picchu to enjoy sunrise over this NEW WORLD WONDER!
This shorter trek allows for enough time and energy to appreciate the ruins in all their glory and is an appealing alternative to the Inca Trail for many a visitor.

Machu Picchu via Salkantay

This is the most popular alternative to the Inca Trail and although slightly more difficult, is gloriously isolated and scenically stunning, making it worth the extra effort. The trail begins at Mollepata and winds through various passes along the way. Magnificent views abound and varying terrain and vegetation make for a fascinating trek through the Peruvian Mountains, with the highlight of course being the magnificent and sacred mountain of Salkantay. Eventually reaching Machu Picchu, trekkers will have been awed every step of the way.

Lares Trail

For an alternative adventure escape to a part of Peru where time stopped half a century ago – the Lares Valley. This remote and untouched region offers trekkers an insight into old world Peru. If you are in search of a cultural experience this is definitely the trek for you.

Need to know more about alternatives to the Inca trail? Contact Oasis Overland today.

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  1. Salkantay Trek | Oasis Overland | Overland Adventure Travel linked to this post on December 2, 2009

    […] new restrictions on the Inca Trail and its ever increasing popularity have meant that more and more, visitors to Cusco are turning […]



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