inca trail machu picchu

Cusco not only has archeological sites to be visited but also has a variety of places to take walks in its different circuits. This is due to the increase in tourists from all over the world throughout the year who seek to be in contact with nature and the customs of the locals. For this reason, Cusco offers a variety of options for short and long walks that can be developed as the possibility of practicing various adventure sports such as ziplining, rappelling, mountain biking, among other activities. But there is no doubt that the most popular sport is hiking. Next, we will tell you what these trails are like so that you can choose your favorite walk.

1.- Short Walks of 1 Day

These walks are short-distance routes but the level of difficulty is medium since they have to be carried out at more than 3,500 meters above sea level. Among these walks that we can highlight are the following:

1.1 Hike to the Rainbow Mountain

This trek to the Vinicunca mountain is one of the most famous treks after Machu Picchu, the mountain of colors is the second largest tourist attraction in Cusco due to its strange coloration of the ground similar to the colors of the rainbow. To get to Vinicunca you have to walk 5 kilometers to an altitude of 5,100 meters above sea level. For many people, this walk is part of the adventures that you have to do at least once.
rainbow mountain vinicunca

1.2 Hike to the Humantay Lake

The turquoise waters of the Humantay Lagoon are one of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world, it is located at the foot of the Salkantay mountain at 4,200 meters above sea level. To get to it you have to take a 2-kilometer uphill road, because the road is steep and the altitude exceeds 4000 meters, this section of the route is the most difficult for many tourists. This route is full of beautiful landscapes and full of the traditional culture of the locals.
lake humantay trek

1.3 Waqrapukara Trek

According to the investigation, the archaeological site of Waqrapukara is a religious site of the Kanchis culture that was conquered and occupied by the Incas. Waqrapukara is famous for its rock construction in the shape of a horn as well as for the impressive landscapes that can be seen, to get to it you must first take transport from the city of Cusco, then you have to walk 5 kilometers to reach the archaeological complex.
waqrapukara trekking

1.4 Hike to Rainbow Mountain Palccoyo

The trek to the Rainbow Mountain of Palccoyo is a new trekking alternative in the Andes since, like the Vinicunca mountain, it has beautiful color throughout its route, this mountain is located south of the city of Cusco in the district of Checacupe in the province of Canchis at a height of 4900 meters above sea level. To get to Palccoyo, it only requires a gentle walk of one hour and a half on a light path, which makes it a walk of little demand.
rainbow mountain palccoyo

2.- Long Treks

In the multi-day treks, we generally have those that go to Machu Picchu and there are also alternative treks that can be developed far from the congested treks to Machu Picchu.

2.1 Treks to Machu Picchu

The walks to Machu Picchu are the most popular among which we can give a list we have the following:

2.1.1 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

This 4-day hiking route is considered the best hike in Peru and the world. This 39-kilometer route is part of the ancient Royal Inca Trail called “Qhapac Ñan”. In the Inca times, this route was very important for the transport of food to the Inca city, currently, this route is protected by the Peruvian state and you can only walk through it through authorized tourism agencies. It is worth mentioning that there is a short version of this trek the Inca Trail 2 days that is nothing more than a junction of the main route.
inca trail machu picchu

2.1.2 Salkantay Machu Picchu Trail

The path is so-called because on its way to Machu Picchu it crosses the slopes of the Salkantay mountain, and this famous hiking route covers almost 50 kilometers in 4 days. This route is famous for its beautiful landscapes and the demanding nature of the hike. Although you can do it yourself, the best option is to book with a travel agency since they already have all the logistics to carry out this type of tour.
salkantay trek

2.1.3 Inca Jungle Trail Machu Picchu

“Inca Jungle” is the name of an adventurous 4-day trip to Machu Picchu, the route includes biking, ziplining, hot springs, canoeing, and a trek through the high jungle where mountains and vegetation are everywhere. This is one of the tourist projects preferred by young people who are looking for a different way to get to the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
inca jungle trek

2.1.4 Inca Trail Lares Machu Picchu

The path through Lares will take you through one of the most traditional towns in Cusco, and from there you will begin a 4-day trekking route towards Machu Picchu. Before leaving, visitors can enjoy a relaxing bath in the thermal baths of Lares. Then the trip will be 34 kilometers, where visitors will appreciate the beautiful Andean mountain landscapes, lagoons, rivers, forests and learn more about the culture and customs of the small towns that are along the way. Finally, before arriving at Machu Picchu, you will pass through the town of Aguas Calientes, for which you must take the train in Ollantaytambo.
lares trek

2.2 Alternative Treks

These walks are little known by tourists and travelers, however, along their route, we can find a great variety of landscapes.

2.2.1 Choquequirao Trek

The road to the archaeological site of Choquequirao lasts 4 days (2 days to go and 2 days to return) as Choquequirao is located in the upper part of the mountain, its architecture and landscape beauty is impressive for every traveler who visits it. The route on foot is 32 kilometers. On its first day, it will be descending, then it will be ascending through narrow paths and a steep slope, which requires good physical resistance. Upon arrival, you will be one of the few visitors of the few in the place since not many are lucky enough to visit Choquequirao.
choquequirao trek

2.2.2 Ausangate Trek

The Ausangate mountain is the highest in Cusco (6,384 meters above sea level). The route will last 4 days through the surroundings of this mountain and extends for approximately 56 kilometers along a path surrounded by snow, lagoons, mountains, and beautiful Andean landscapes. The route is demanding and it is recommended to be in good physical condition. Although you can walk on your own, it is best to hire an all-inclusive tour.
ausangate trek

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