The most iconic and popular routes to Machu Picchu are of course on the Inca Trail. However, there are other route options. Below we have provide a summary on all the available trail options up to Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail:
The Classic Trail: 4 days: 45km. By far the most popular route to Machu Picchu, the Classic trail is the historical pilgrimage route that has been in operation for hundreds of years. A beautiful trail with a lot of steps! Can get crowded in the dry months between May and September. To hike the classic trail you need to be with an accredited tour company and you also will need a permit. These sell out very quickly, so make sure you book months in advance.
The Short Trail: 2 days. 13km. This trail is by far the shortest to Machu Picchu and is a great option for the less energetic of trekkers.
The Salkantay (combo) trail: 6 days. 65km. The ultimate Inca Trail! Combines both trails so you get the classic Inca trail feeling along with mountain scenery!
The Lares Trail: 4 days. 33. This little hiked trek is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Inca Trail! You’ll be able to get to know the local culture and meet the locals.
Choquequirao – 9 days, 69km trek: The Choquequirao ruins are brilliant and should not be missed! This is one of the few treks that can be shortened or lengthened depending on your energy levels. As this is the longest trek up to Machu Picchu it is probably best attempted in the dry season from May to September.
Huchuy Qosko – 3 days, 20km trek: Fairly short and easy going, this trek is best hiked between May and September. It offers up beautiful scenery and the Huchuy Qosko ruins should be visited if possible!
The Salkantay Trail: 5 days. 55km. As it is generally at high altitude this a fairly difficult trek. Like the Lares trail, the Salkantay trail is fairly crowd free. The reward for this high altitude trek is getting up close to see Nevada Salkantay.
The Vilcabamba Trail: 5 days. 62km. Vilcabamba is the toughest trek to Machu Picchu and is therefore for experienced backpackers. The trail offers up amazing scenery!
The Junge Trail: 4 days. 60km (cycle) 15km (trek). If you’re a thrill seeker then this is the trek for you! The trail has a long and fast downhill cycle trail, zipwire and rafting! Sound like you?
See here for a complete overview on Machu Picchu hikes.
To book your Machu Picchu trek with a great little operator, see Kandoo Adventures.