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DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

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Trekking to Machu Picchu

Home > Peru Destination Guide > Machupicchu / Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Essentials

Introduction

Train to Machu Picchu

Hotels in Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes

Brief history of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Photos

Treks to Machu Picchu

Tour Operators

  

Trekking to Machu Picchu

 

Trekking to Machu Picchu. The 4 day Inca Trail is one of the worlds greatest treks passing through spectacular scenery and many Inca ruins.

An alternative to taking the train to Machu Picchu is to hike there instead!! For the adventurous you can trek to Machu Picchu along the Classic Inca Trail. Starting at Kilometre 82 (82 kilometres from Cusco along the railway to Aguas Calientes) this beautiful trek through mountain scenery, jungle cloud forest and past Inca ruins, is 43 km in length and takes 4 days to complete, arriving at Machu Picchu for sunrise of the 4th day. The maximum altitude along the trail is 4200m so you need to be acclimatized and fairly fit before you begin. There are many Inca Trail tour operators who have groups leaving regularly for the trail, accompanied by a guide and spending the nights camping. Prices range from US$430 right up to US$1500 depending on the service and group size.

      

If time or energy is a problem then the Short Inca Trail offers an alternative to the full 4 day hike. This 2 day trek misses out on the best of the mountain scenery and starts further along the Vilcanota Valley at a place known as Km104, which is much closer to Machu Picchu. It's a moderate trek (but by no means easy) walking uphill from Km104 to the Inca ruins at Wiñay Wayna. You then continue to Machu Picchu itself although you won't have time for a guided tour. You then take the bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night.  The following morning you then return by bus to Machu Picchu where, if you are early, you can enjoy the sunrise, followed by a guided tour. Most people then take a late afternoon train back to Cusco.

 

The number of people allowed on the trails mentioned above is strictly limited so you must make a reservation several months in advance. You can't do either of these treks independently, you must go with an organised group operated by a licensed trekking company. These organized treks usually included your train tickets so that's one less thing for you to worry about.

 

If you've left it too late to get a space on the Classic Inca Trail trek then you may consider an alternative trek.

The 5-day Mollepata- Salkantay - Santa Teresa - Machu Picchu trek has become quite popular over the last few years  and doesn't require trek permits so can be booked just a couple of days in advance when you arrive in Cusco. However the better quality companies may fill their groups many weeks in advance so we still recommend making a booking online to avoid disappointment. The first three days involve a fairly difficult trek to Santa Teresa. The fourth day involves a shorter trek and a train ride or walk along the railway line to Aguas Calientes. The final day is spent visiting Machu Picchu and then returning to Cusco.

 

Another alternative trek worth checking out is the Lares to Machu Picchu 4 day trek. The Lares Valley is a beautiful valley that runs parallel to and "behind" the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This series of mountain pathways takes you through unspoiled valleys well off the usual tourist trail. You'll see small communities living the same way as hundreds of years ago, practicing their local traditions and farming techniques. You will also have the chance to see locals producing beautiful hand-made textiles.

 

 

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Home *About Us * Peru Highlights * Volunteer Work & Community Projects * Travel Info * Photo Gallery * Ecotourism Guide * Travel Stories * Language Schools * Books * Handicrafts * Links * Search * Contact Us

Tour Operators in Peru * Overseas Tour Operators * Mountain Biking * Rafting * Climbing * Birdwatching

TREKKING IN PERU: Classic Inca Trail / Short Inca Trail / Salkantay / Ausangate / Lares / Choquequirao / Vilcabamba / Huaraz 

DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

RECOMMENDED HOTELS: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Jungle Lodges

  

  

Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. Office Address: La Casa Cultural, Avenida Pardo 540, Cusco, Peru (just 2 minutes walk from the Koricancha Inca Temple of the Sun). If you are coming to Cusco please bring a couple of second hand clothes, toys, school equipment and drop them off in our office. We will help distribute the items to people who really need them in small village schools and communities in the Andes. For more details visit our web page www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/projects  A map of our office can be found by clicking here.  Copyright Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru 2000-2010. All material used within this web site is original work and is subject to international copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the editor. This web page was last updated in March 2010. Website designed by AndeanVisionWebDesignStudio