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Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours–Looking for an off-the-beaten-path trail to Machu Picchu or an alternative way to experience? Take a look this essential information to answer your questions and which trek is suitable for you.

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel nestled high in the crest of the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century, and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments, and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

A common misconception is that one needs to complete the four-day trek to reach this incredible site or only exists the Inca trail to reach it by hiking, Fortunately, the Incans were master road builders who blazed trails all throughout the Andes, and many of these are alternate routes to Machu Picchu. Here are some alternative hiking/trekking routes, most of which require no permits and can be arranged through Peru Summit Adventures. Some of these hikes are available in multiple variations, and can be tailored to meet a particular fitness level; those listed here are among the most popular versions–Machu Picchu Hiking Tours.

“I’ve been hiking for over 10 years in the remote and wilderness areas of the Peruvian mountains to reach Machu Picchu, uncovering ancient Incan ruins (lost incan cities) and following the ancient unknown Incan footsteps to reach the impressive unique Quechua emperor’s palace. The experience has been absolutely amazing, it’s something like Andean Indiana Jones in search of Incan treasure. I invite you to check out this list of the top alternative routes to the Incan masterpiece” — Carlos Borda R – Founder of Peru Summit Adventures—Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

1. CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

Unknown to many travelers (and indeed until recently, unknown to much of the world), Choquequirao site is one of the largest and well-preserved Inca cities. Much bigger and more isolated than Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is still being excavated, and archaeologists can sometimes be seen working at the site.
Choquequirao is equally beautiful and truly awe-inspiring, so much so that it is called Machu Picchu’s “sister city.” Historical records make hardly any mention of Choquequirao, whose name means “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua, suggesting that this citadel was truly a lost city for centuries after the Spanish Conquest.

  • The trek takes usually 9 days to reach Machu Picchu by a difficult terrain, making about 125 km / 77.67 miles.
  • You can even do in lesser days, but it is tiring, and you are in a rush.
  • Every day you hike between 6 – 9 hours.
  • You spend 7 nights in a roomy 4 season tents, set up in scenic camping spots.
  • The last night, you spend in a cozy hotel in Machu Picchu town, where you take a very deserve shower. Then, you have a time for Pisco Sour & beers for a trekking celebration.
  • Not only Choquequirao is to see, there are other small Incan sites along the trail, like Pinchayunuyoc, where you spend one of the camping nights.
  • The trail goes winding up and down in switchback way for 3 – 5 hours.
  • You gain about 5,576 ft in elevation, and loss about 8,692 ft.
  • On the trail the lowest point is at 4,920 ft, and the highest point is at 15,252 ft.
  • The lowest camp site is at 4,920 ft, and the highest camp site is at 11,972 ft.
  • You hike in a wilderness and remote area of Cusco, where there is no phone coverage, either modern services.
  • It’s a fully supported trek, by private trek leader, mules, muleteers, emergency horse.
  • You hike in a company of mules and muleteers, which carry our gears, food from camp to camp.
  • Best months to trek, April to November, which is the dry season in the highlands of Peru, December to March are the rainy months, usually rainfall very single day.
  • You visit 2 important cities from the Incan times in a single trek.
  • Some days you hike through the lush cloud forest, other days in a high alpine lands.
  • The trail is dusty, rocky, slippery and sometimes muddy.
  • Temperature ranges from 45 F to 90 F during the day. And 40 F to 56 F at nights.
  • In physical grading is, Demanding, Challenging.
  • Lesser people on the trail, sometimes you are the only one group on the trail.

2. AUSANGATE TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

Savor the dramatic vistas of the Ausangate Mountain, and the colored hills (Rainbow Mountain), with snow-capped peaks, highland valleys, herd of llamas & alpacas in the Vilcanota Range as you make your journey to the lost city of the Incas. This trekking to Machu Picchu around the skirt of the highest peak in Cusco, Ausangate mountain and the Rainbow Mountains  (Vinicunca mountain for locals), beckons curious travelers with its astounding natural feature, remarkable wildlife, and local poeple. Soaring glacier peaks scrape the sky in different directions. A valley plummets to the right and the left. Front and center is a mound of earth striped with intense turquoise, rust red and golden yellow. The colors flow like a wave so perfectly that you would believe they were painted by the gods. The only way to get to this secret corner of the earth is by Ausangate Trek, then to immerse into in the cloud forest to conquer the lost Incan city perched high above the crest of the Andes Mountains.

  • The trek takes 7 days.
  • The trail length is 56 km / 34.8 miles.
  • In physical grading is, Demanding, Challenging.
  • Weather is totally unpredictable, be prepared! for wind, rain, snow, hail, frost.
  • Temperature ranges from 46 F to 68 F during the day, and 40 F to 14 F at nights.
  • You hike generally above 14,436 ft.
  • On the trail the lowest point is 13,780 ft, and the highest point is 16,831 ft.
  • You hike in a high deserted land.
  • You walk close by to llamas and alpacas, or even through them.
  • It’s a fully supported trek, by private trek leader, mules, muleteers, emergency horse.
  • Your journey ends at the Incan masterpiece Machu Picchu.
  • Best months to trek, April to November, which is the dry season in the highlands of Peru, December to March are the rainy months, usually rainfall very single day.
  • The trail is rocky, slippery and sometimes muddy.
  • You spend 5 nights in a roomy 4 season tents, set up in scenic camping spots.
  • The last night, you spend in a cozy hotel in Machu Picchu town, where you take a very deserve shower. Then, you have a time for Pisco Sour & beers for a trekking celebration.
  • You hike in a wilderness and remote area of Cusco, where there is no phone coverage, either modern services.
  • Rainbow Mountains are explored and seen on the trail.
  • Clear sky at nights, perfect to make awesome shots of milky way with glacier peaks at backdrops.
  • You hike through 6 high passes over 16,404 ft.
  • Lesser people on the trail, sometimes you are the only one group on the trail.

3. LARES TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

This trek takes you truly off-the-beaten-path, from the most iconic Inca sites of the Sacred Valley to the best trails of uncrowded Lares.
The spectacular Lares trek route is perfect for trekkers looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in a remote area of Peru still appears as it did 500 years ago. This remote and rarely visited region offers the traveler exceptional insight into the lives of Andean villagers, who still dress in their traditional brightly-colored ponchos, life continues much as it has for centuries. Locals in traditional Andean dress plant potatoes by hand, raise herds of llamas and alpacas, weave cloth as they have for generations, and speak the Incan language Quechua. Those farmers and artisans may be the only other people you see for days. This trek usually starts at the tiny town of Lares, home to a famous hot spring, and passes through several villages. Along the way it provides close-up views of the 18,000-plus feet of Mount Pumahuanca and several high-altitude lakes. It ends near the main town of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and from there you continue by train trip to Machu Picchu.

  • The trek takes 4 days.
  • In physical grading is Moderate to Strenuous.
  • You only spend 2 nights in tents.
  • The last night, you spend in a cozy hotel in Machu Picchu town, where you take a very deserve shower. Then, you have a time for Pisco Sour & beers for a trekking celebration.
  • Weather is totally unpredictable, be prepared! for wind, rain, snow, hail, frost.
  • Temperature ranges from 46 F to 68 F during the day, and 40 F to 14 F at nights.
  • On the trail the lowest point is 10,824 ft, and the highest point is 15,744 ft.
  • You hike in a high deserted land.
  • You walk close by to llamas and alpacas, or even through them.
  • It’s a fully supported trek, by private trek leader, mules, muleteers, emergency horse.
  • Your journey ends at the Incan masterpiece Machu Picchu.
  • Best months to trek, April to November, which is the dry season in the highlands of Peru, December to March are the rainy months, usually rainfall very single day.
  • The trail is rocky, slippery and sometimes muddy.
  • The trail goes through remote Quechua Andean villages
  • You can interact with locals (playing soccer with children).
  • Lesser people on the trail, sometimes you are the only one group on the trail.
  • Hot springs to plunge before starting the hike.

4. ANCASCOCHA TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

A truly hidden Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a far more strenuous, yet less traveled and more rewarding path. The trek takes roughly five days wandering through traditional villages, high passes over 15,200 ft, Inca trails, and Incan ruins.
The outposts of the vast Inca Empire were kept connected by fleet-footed chaski messengers, who ran so fast (according to lore) that the emperor was able to dine in Cusco on fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean, or fresh tropical fruit the Amazon jungle, a mountainous 300 miles away. This high-altitude route follows some of the same paths those runners might have used, and takes in scarcely visited Inca buildings, water channels. The trail includes a stop at the spectacular waterfall named Perolniyoc and its nearby ruins, then it follows to the first day section of classic Inca Trail with amazing views of ancient Incan temples, and Incan crop terracings. The trail ends at km 82 from where you take a car ride to Ollantaytambo, where trekkers can visit one of the most famous sets of Inca ruins before hopping the train to Machu Picchu.

  • The trek takes 5 days, included Machu Picchu.
  • In physical grading is Moderate to Strenuous.
  • You spend 3 nights in tents.
  • The last night, you spend in a cozy hotel in Machu Picchu town, where you take a very deserve shower. Then, you have a time for Pisco Sour & beers for a trekking celebration.
  • You walk on the hidden Inca Trail.
  • You explore small Incan ruins along the trail.
  • You walk the first section of classic Inca Trail.
  • You explore the quaint and Incan town of Ollantaytambo.
  • A journey by train to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes town).
  • Your journey ends at the Incan masterpiece Machu Picchu.
  • Temperature ranges from 46 F to 68 F during the day, and 40 F to 14 F at nights.
  • On the trail the lowest point is 8,528 ft, and the highest point is 15,285 ft.
  • You hike in a high deserted and forested land.
  • It’s a fully supported trek, by private trek leader, mules, muleteers, emergency horse.
  • Best months to trek, April to November, which is the dry season in the highlands of Peru, December to March are the rainy months, usually rainfall very single day.
  • The trail is rocky, slippery and sometimes muddy.
  • Lesser people on the trail, sometimes you are the only one group on the trail.

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