It’s a common traveler’s plight, but rarely do you hear about it: Peru’s famous Inca Trail fills up fast. It can be a sad disappointment, after months or even years of anticipation, but many Machu Picchu pilgrims face this problem every year. If this happens to you, or if you worry that it will, take heart: the Inca Trail is only one of several beautiful ways to reach Machu Picchu.
Inca Trail adventures are often laced with beer, partying, and few similarities to the trip the ancient Incas once took. Even with expensive rates, the Inca Trail’s 500-person daily limit fills up fast, forcing many travelers to find alternatives. And alternatives are everywhere, offering many trekking trips up the green-line mountains and through the famous Sun Gate.
Salkantay is the most popular Inca Trail alternative, taking you traveling for five days and four nights. Winding up Salkantay Mountain, you’ll pas through Quechuan communities, Inca ruins, and many incredible natural wonders. As the area’s second-favorite trail, though, Salkantay has become very full, as well, so if you’re looking for an even less-touristy option, keep looking.
When you arrive in Cusco, simply look around for the best trail trip for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a party or a zen-like experience, you’ll find it here, get excited. Remember, all roads here really do lead to Machu Picchu.