There are many different routes to reach Machu Picchu and each offers a different type of experience. The Inca Trail is by far the most popular trekking route. If you are not able to obtain a permit due to limited availability or your heart is set on a different and less crowded trek, know that there are other popular alternative routes that lead to Machu Picchu.
Salkantay Trek 5D/4N or 4D/3N to Machu Picchu are popular alternative trek options apart from the Classic Inca Trail hike. Salkantay Trek provides magnificent views of beautiful snow-capped mountains and glacier lakes such as Humantay Lake. You will descend to sub-tropical vegetation and observe a variety of Peru’s Flora and Fauna. The Santa Teresa Hot Springs is a beautiful treat after 3 days hike. Along the way, you visit a Peruvian Coffee plantation and taste Peru’s renowned coffee. Coffee lovers are in for a treat! Both of these treks end in the beautiful Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This trek is highly recommended!
Lares Trek 4D/3N to Machu Picchu is a tour where you will see first hand the culture and customs of Inca descendants. If Andean culture interests you then this tour is definitely for you. Lares Trek is remote with beautiful sceneries and is less crowded. You get the opportunity to visit villages of local native Inca descendant people. They are native people who still keep the customs of their Inca ancestors such as their farming practices and weaving styles. You will observe magnificent mountain ranges, lakes and also visit some local medicinal hot springs.
Huchuy Qosqo 3D/2N to Machu Picchu is a shorter trek that also ends in the beautiful sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This trek is not as difficult to hike as are the other alternative Hikes around Machu Picchu. This trek’s wonderful and focus is the views of the valleys. This Huchuy Qosqo hike is perfect if you wish to go at a slower pace and enjoy the scenery. Views such as surrounding Cusco Valley and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will also view Inca archeological remains, and observe local flora and fauna, lakes, native communities, llamas and alpacas in their natural habitat.