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Inca Trail Alternatives

By Viator, September 2017

4.5 27 Reviews | Add your review

One of the most popular treks in South America, the Inca Trail draws thousands of hikers each year. If you’d rather avoid the huge crowds, here are some equally impressive alternatives for exploring hidden ruins and enjoying scenic landscapes.

Lares Trail
Beginning in the village of Lares, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) outside of Cusco, the Lares Trek is slightly shorter than the Inca Trail and passes through many of the same stunning Peruvian landscapes. While a bit more challenging, this less traditional route offers hikers the opportunity to encounter traditional Andean farming communities where locals still dress traditionally.

Salkantay Trek
This 4-day trek is quieter, more affordable, more authentic, and more convenient than the Inca Trail—you don’t have to book months in advance. This trail passes through the same region as its more popular counterpart, giving hikers spectacular views of valleys, snowcapped Andes mountain peaks, glaciers, and cloud forests along the way. A short train ride brings visitors to Machu Picchu at the end of the hike.

Choquequirao Trek
While the two-day drek to Choquequirao is quite strenuous, the reward is a chance to explore Inca ruins with only a handful of other visitors. The ruins at the end of the trail are nicknamed “the other Machu Picchu” for their stone terraces and ornate structures, believed to have been a retreat for Inca royalty.

Inca Jungle Trail
The Inca Jungle Trail makes an excellent alternative route to Machu Picchu for adventure travelers and thrill seekers. The 4-day trek begins with a mountain bike descent to the town of Huamanmarca and also allows for hiking, zip-lining, or even rafting on your way to the famed ruins.

Huchuy Qosqo Trek
This is the shortest and easiest alternative to the Inca Trail. Hikers often make this trek to Aguas Calientes over two days, with a visit to Machu Picchu on the third. The hike gets its name from the Huchuy Qosqo ruins, set atop a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley.

Inca Quarry Trek
This trail winds for 16 miles (26 kilometers) through small villages, along scenic ridgelines, and past little-known ruins from the Inca Empire. You’ll likely see few other hikers on this 3-day trip before arriving at Aguas Calientes, where a pre-dawn bus brings trekkers to Machu Picchu.

Tours & Tickets

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5-Day Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, Cusco, null
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5-Day Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Hike for four days on the Salkantay Trek, a scenic alternative to the more traditional Inca Trail, and visit the amazing ruins of Machu Picchu – a UNESCO World ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $905.99
4-Day Jungle Adventure to Machu Picchu: Biking, Ziplining, Rafting and Hiking, Cusco, Multi-day ... 
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4-Day Jungle Adventure to Machu Picchu: Biking, Ziplining, Rafting and Hiking

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Maximize your adventure during your trip to Machu Picchu as you enjoy this 4-day, 3-night trip packed with fun activities like biking, ziplining and rafting. ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $668.00
4-Day Machu Picchu with Biking, Rafting, Ziplining from Cusco, Cusco, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

4-Day Machu Picchu with Biking, Rafting, Ziplining from Cusco

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

The Inca Jungle Trek, is an amazing 4-day alternative tour where you can practice adventure sports like rafting, trekking, biking, and zip lining. It also ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $495.00
4-Day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, Cusco, Multi-day Tours
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4-Day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

This trek combines beautiful lakes, local Quechua communities of farmers and weavers who are still living traditional lifestyles in the mountains, cultivating ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $640.00
4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure to Machu Picchu Including Mountain Biking, Rafting and Zipline, Cusco, ... 
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4-Day Inca Jungle Adventure to Machu Picchu Including Mountain Biking, Rafting and Zipline

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Descend into the rainforest to the Inca jungle tour for 4 days and dive into the epic adventure of biking, rafting, trekking, and zip line. During our ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 days (approx.)

From USD $469.00
Salkantay 5-Day Trek To Machu Picchu, Cusco, Multi-day Tours
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Salkantay 5-Day Trek To Machu Picchu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Take up the challenge of this rugged 5-day, 4-night trip to Machu Picchu along the Salkantay trekking route. This rigorous hike offers stunning views of both ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $669.00
Full-Day Hiking Trip to The Rainbow Mountain from Cusco, Cusco, Multi-day Tours
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Full-Day Hiking Trip to The Rainbow Mountain from Cusco

The colorful arenaceous rock mountains within the Vinicunca space is perhaps the best factor you’ll see in Peru. Hike through an unknown and wild territory, ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $86.00
Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Hike from Cusco, Cusco, Day Trips
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Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Hike from Cusco

3 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Take a trip to the colorful Rainbow Mountain. On a 3-hour hike you'll experience the beautiful Andean landscape, enjoy great views of snow-capped mountain ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $39.80
5-Day Unique Cusco Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Cusco, Full-day Tours
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5-Day Unique Cusco Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Classic Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley & Cusco tour with unique touches.

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $936.00
8-Day Salkantay Trek Tour to Machu Picchu from Cusco, Cusco, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

8-Day Salkantay Trek Tour to Machu Picchu from Cusco

We have created an adventure in which you will be able to experience Peru at its best and like never before. Salkantay Trek is an ancient and remote footpath ...  Read more

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 8 days (approx.)

From USD $799.00

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