There are many original Inca Trails in the Andes, but the most famous section, simply known as The Inca Trail, is the original route to the breathtaking citadel of Machu Picchu. Spread over 4 Days, the 44 km trail through the Andes crosses three stunning high passes and encounters many ancient archaeological sities, culminating at the famous Lost City of the Incas. There are few treks in the world that combine natural beatuty, history and mystery with such an awe-inspiring final destination.
The Inca trek is led by a local guide and supported by team of porters and cooks, leaving you with only a small day pack to carry. The trail can be demanding but can be completed by anyone who leads a reasonably active life - you certainly don't need to be an expert! The trail is not rushed and everyone is able to walk at their own pace. If you are in any doubt, or if you have any condition that may affect your ability to trek, we advise that you consult your doctor.
Hidden within the magnificent snow-capped Andes is a part of Peru where you have all appeal of the Inca Trail - magical mountain scenery and the legacy of the Incas - without the tourist crowds. An exceptional alternative to the busy Inca Trail, the Lares Valley trek is so far off the beaten track that it has changed little over the last 500 years. With spectacular and diverse scenary, it is amazing that the area has remained largely untouched by tourism and retains its authenticity, offering a glimpse of life the way it used to be in Peru. You will meet traditionally dressed Andean farmers, and wander markets trading as they have done for centuries. You will see thatched stone and adobe houses and watch herds of llamas and alpacas roaming free.
The Lares trek is a similar trek and grade to the Inca Trail trek (with one challenging high pass) and is full escorted. It includes 2 nights camping and one night in Aguas Calientes town before an early climb up by foot to Machu Picchu. We can generally guarantee your place on the Lares Valley trek, however you will be required to pay a single supplement if you are the only one trekking on your departure. This is payable to your travel agent at the time of bookingand will be refunded in Cusco if any additional group members join the departure of your trek.
Salkantay Trek is one of the most interesting and important alternative treks to do, due to its wide range diversity in flora and different ecosystems, and its inca site laid on top of a mountain and just in front of the back of the Machu Picchu mountain, and this trail finally gets to Aguas Calientes located at the base of the historical and archeological site of Machu Picchu, from where we take a early bus up there to see the sunshine and avoid crowds whilst doing Machu Picchu with one of our English speaking tour and knowledgeable guides.
The first day, we start early in the morning to drive from Cusco through along La Pampa de Anta ( the breadbasket of Cusco) to Mollepata(breakfast) for 2:30hours, and we then continue driving to the headtrail at Soraypampa(3,800mt), from where we start doing a gentle ascend to Salkantaypampa, and we then hike up a 7 seven switchback to get much closer to lunch at near to the small lake Soyrococha. where afterwards we hike up to the highest pass at 4550mt, and we then just descend to campsite at 3700mt at Huayracmachay, the following days we keep on descending down to 2100mt at la Playa and 1986mt at Aguas Calientes on the 4th day,each day of our hike we go through different landscapes, so basically the first day is a kind of difficult hike in terms of altitude, but we just pass, and the temperature that gradually gets colder, but this can be easily cop with thermal clothes.
For full details for these trek, click here and see the Salkantay itinerary
All trek to Machu Picchu which include time to complete the Inca Trail trek are clearly marked. On these tours you also have the option of trekking the alternative 3 nights Lares Valley trek, which also culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu on Day 4, but Salkantay trek is 4 nights 5 days and last day to visit Machu Picchu.
In 2003 the Peruvian Government proposed many changes to the administration of the Inca Trail in a bid to protect its fragile eco-structure from over-use. Government started to enforce the majority of the regulations more strictly in 2005. Most of these proposals have been aimed at reducing the number of trekkers on the trail, improving the quality of the tour operators and offering a reservation system whereby trekkers will be forced to make their reservations many weeks (even months) in advance. The maximum number of Inca Trail permits sold per day is 500 (including porters, cook and guides). Permits often sell out several months in advance and we recommend you book 6 - 4 months ahead (particularly if trekking during the peak season from June to September). We can't guarantee the availability of permits, and in all instances Inca Trail booking will be on request until confirmed by our Cusco office. If you choose to book the Inca Trail within 60 days of your tour departure (90 days during high season) we will still attempt to secure you a permit but limited availability is likely to greatly reduce your chances of success especially in peak season. Once confirmed we can't make any amendments to your permit.
You must provide Travel Tour Group & Tierras Vivas or your Travel Agent with your passport details at the time you request your Inca Trail trek. We can not book or confirm your trekking permit without this.
Your permit is linked to your name, passport number, nationality age and sex. If you change your passport after booking your Inca Trail permit or you plan to travel with a different passport, you MUST also bring the passport you used to book, you permit or you will not be able to trek the Inca Trail. It is extremely imporntant to check that the passport you use to enter Peru has a minimum of 6 months validity after the end of your tour before you apply.
Machu Picchu is included in these tours and you must decide at the time of booking if you are going to choose the Inca Trail, Lares trek or Salkantay trek. if you choose not to complete either trek, a discount will be taken from your tour price and a train trip to Machu Picchu is included instead. Please note the tour discount will not apply if you do not complete either trek after you place has been confirmed. Please note single supplements are applicable for the Lares Valley trek and Salkantay trek.
Therefore the these options are available to book as optional excursions, Machu Picchu by train is the best alternative, if you don't want to do the hike to Machu Picchu. below you can see diferent itineraries and the price is most cheaper to the hike.
When booking your tour you will pay your tour deposit plus a non-refundable Inca Trail commitment deposit. This an 'extra' payment and will be deducted from your final tour payment. you have to pay the total price. If not permits are available and you choose not to complete the Lares Trek or Salkantay trek, your Inca Trail deposit will be refunded and your tour price reduced.
If permits are not available but you would like to do the Lares trek or Salkantay trek, your Inca Trail deposit will deducted from your final tour payment as normal.
Once your place on the trail has been confirmed we cannot make any amendments to your trek permit or trek date. Cancellation by you is subject to our standard booking conditions.
The Inca trail is usually closed once a year (around Febraury) for a clean up, and during this time we sometimes are able to other an alternative trek to Machu Picchu, easier trekking route which mostly follows the Urubamba river before culminating, as normal at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. The booking rules detailed above also apply to this trek. Please note that the Lares Valley trek, Salkantay trek is available all year and is not affected by the annual closure of the Inca Trail.
Please note that the prices quoted is change every year for all routes to Machu Picchu are subject to local regulations and prices for permits, porter costs and transportation may change without notice. Although we will endeavour to keep to the excursion fees listed, it may become necessary to increase our prices accordingly. Therefore, the cost of each option is based on the trek date and not the booking date. Any changes in these excursion prices will be posted on our website; all up to date prices are shown on the relevant trek fact sheets and advised at the time of booking. Any prices increase will be paid locally in Cusco in USD cash.
Please Note: in order to comply with Peruvian regulations our trek are operated by Tierras Vivas, Our company is Inca Trail Tour operator since 2006, and This company have a extremely reputable. When booking the Inca Trail from our 'Short Hike & Tours' section you may be trekking in a pooled service (in a group with other single travelers).