Best Alternative Treks to the Inca Trail around Cusco, Peru

As the Inca Trail is now almost totally sold out until the end of October this year, (November and December still available) we thought we would share some of the amazing alternatives we offer. Just click on the links for the full itineraries!

Great Ruins and Real Adventure (Choquequirao – Yanama – Machu Picchu) http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/choquequirao_machu_picchu.html A trek of 8 to 9 days with the bonus of visiting both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Your first four days of trekking crosses remote mountain valleys and visits villages still only accessible by foot. You join the Salkantay route about day five.

Stunning views from the Yanama Pass on the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu route.  Photo courtesy Mark Asbury.

Stunning views from the Yanama Pass on the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu route. Photo courtesy Mark Asbury.

Last Bastion of the Incas (Choquequirao – Vilcabamba) http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/choquequirao_vilcabamba.html This is the ace of treks. From Yanama you follow Inca roads across the Choquecatarpo pass. In Huancacalle you are at an epicentre of the Inca Empire – with the ruins of Vitcos, Espirtu Pampa or Puncuyoc nearby.

Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/vilcabamba_machu_picchu.htm
This has to be the most adventurous of the 4 day hikes to Machu Picchu. After visiting the ruins of Vitcos, you follow some well preserved Inca road. After crossing three passes you descend to the fabulous ruins of the ancient Inca city.

Off the beaten track adventure is a feature of the 5 day Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu trek.

Off the beaten track adventure is a feature of the 5 day Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu trek.

Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/salkantay.htm
This four-day trek has a high point of 4,800 metres, higher than on the Inca Trail. It offers varied landscapes but lacks Inca Ruins. It’s the most popular of the alternative treks and thus has more tourist traffic.

While one of the more popular treks around Cusco, the Salkantay  trek abounds with great views.  Photo courtesy Vaughn Tapella.

While one of the more popular treks around Cusco, the Salkantay trek abounds with great views. Photo courtesy Vaughn Tapella.

Lares Trek http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/all_lares.htm
A wilderness trek of between 4 and 7 days where you cross from the Sacred Valley to the Lares Valley, and stumble upon people still living an age-old lifestyle. You are sure of few tourists and an invigorating soak in the hot springs of Lares.

Apus Peru specialises in unique Lares routes, here are the Apus Peru guides during an exploratory trip in early 2013.

Apus Peru specialises in unique Lares routes, here are the Apus Peru guides during an exploratory trip in early 2013.

Inca Jungle Trek … Abra de Malaga – Machu Picchu http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/inka_jungle_trail.html This bicycle/hike combination if 4 days is becoming popular amongst those who want a bit of adventure! You descend the Abra de Malaga by bicycle (like Worlds Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia!) and then walk into Machu Picchu by a back route.

Steep paths are a feature of the adventure lover's Inca Jungle Trail. Photo courtesy Barry van Eyk.

Steep paths are a feature of the adventure lover’s Inca Jungle Trail. Photo courtesy Barry van Eyk.

Classic Choquequirao Trek http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/choquequirao.htm
A tough but spectacular 4 day trek. From snowcapped mountains you plunge to the Apurimac, and then climb to the mysterious Choquequirao ruins. This is an increasingly popular trek but has the disadvantage of returning over the same route.

The Choquequirao trek features wonderful views of the Apurimac Canyon.  Photo courtesy Mark Asbury.

The Choquequirao trek features wonderful views of the Apurimac Canyon. Photo courtesy Mark Asbury.

Ausangate Trek http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/ausangate_5days.html
This 5 to 7 day hike takes you around this snow capped massif with awesome views of snow peaks, alpine lakes and glaciers. It is cold, but magnificent! A soak in hot springs in the shadow of Ausangate is a fitting end on the final day!

Moon-like views on the simply breathtaking Ausangate trek. Photo courtesy Michael Mossop.

Moon-like views on the simply breathtaking Ausangate trek. Photo courtesy Michael Mossop.

Happy trekking!

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2 thoughts on “Best Alternative Treks to the Inca Trail around Cusco, Peru

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