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4 Alternative Ways to Trek to Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu archaeological site is one of the most famous sites in the world. World-renowned, it represents the most recognised icons of the Inca civilisation. According to archaeologists, the city was built around 1450, and was abandoned during the Spanish conquest. It is has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has become the largest tourist attraction in South America.  

In order to reach Machu Picchu, there are many different routes depending on your interests and physical condition. The traditional Inca Trail remains the most famous trek, but it requires booking well in advance as the Peruvian Government has set a limit of 500 people allowed on the trail each day in order to preserve the trail.

Here are four lesser-known (yet no less amazing) Trek to Machu Picchu that many people have never heard of, but are incredible ways to experience the Andes en route to Machu Picchu:

Inca Jungle Adventure

6 people with their bike, riding in mountains; Inca JungleOne alternative to the Inca Trail Trek is the Jungle Adventure. This trek offers the possibility to do different activities such as biking, rafting or zip-lining on your way to Machu Picchu. You will pass through little villages and discover the local life in the mountains. Enjoy the chance to immerse yourself in the culture and the traditions of Inca villages. This trip is the perfect combination between trekking and getting your adrenaline rushing with exciting activities. You have the choice of including or not the rafting and zip-lining activities.

(Physical Requirement: 3)

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Salkantay Trek

People with backpack trekking through the mountains, Salkantay trekThis is the most physically challenging trek to reach the amazing archaeological site of Machu Picchu. You will trek at a high altitude and cross a high pass at 4,650 meters above sea level, passing by the majestic Humantay and Salkantay mountain peaks standing over 6,000 meters. You will pass through indigenous villages named Soraypampa and Santa Teresa and discover their communities. You will get the chance to marvel at a fabulous sunrise at the magical site of Machu Picchu and take unforgettable pictures of the Inca site. This trek can be done in 4 or 5 days. The 4-day trek costs more than the 5-day one because it includes more transportation along the way.

(Physical Requirement: 4)

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Lares Trek

A man wearing a traditional Peruvian outfit with his horse; Another alternative way to Lares TrekAnother nice alternative to the Inca Trail is the Lares Trek. This low-altitude trek is aimed at people who are interested in discovering remote local communities and their way of life. You will immerse yourself in the Peruvian countryside and the local culture. This trek will offer you fascinating views of the Andes Mountains, villages and glacier lakes. You will be passing through Peruvian villages where people still live as the Incas used to. Enjoy getting off the beaten path and immersing yourself in local culture and traditions.

(Physical Requirement: 3+)

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Inca Quarry Trek

Two amazed friends at a waterfall; Inca Quarry TrekThis is a newly discovered route traversing the Andes mountains towards Ollantaytambo where you can hop on the train to reach the town of Aguascalientes. This trek will offer you amazing sceneries with waterfalls and Inca ruins as well as the chance to pass by a beautiful remote Sun Gate and visit breathtaking archaeological sites en route to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo you will take the train along the striking Urubamba River Valley with breathtaking views to reach Aguascalientes. Choose to do this trek in 3 or 4 days.

(Physical Requirement: 3+)

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People attending their activities; Milhouse HostelWe recommend adding an extra night before or after your trek at Milhouse Hostel!