Classic Inca Trail 4 days vs Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
When it comes to deciding which trek to take to Machu Picchu, it really depends on what you are looking for in your experience. Both the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek offer amazing scenery and the opportunity to see Machu Picchu, but they are quite different from each other. Here is a look at the main differences between the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek to help you decide which one is right for you.
The Inca Trail is by far the more popular trek, and for good reason. It is the only trek that takes you right into the heart of the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is also a bit shorter than the Salkantay Trek, coming in at just under 26 miles. This makes it a better option if you are short on time. The Inca Trail does require a permit, which can be difficult to get, so be sure to plan ahead.
The Salkantay Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Cusco region of Peru. The trek takes you through stunning scenery, including the Salkantay mountain range and the Inca Trail, before ending at the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The Salkantay Trek is a great option for those who want to trek in Peru but don’t want to do the more crowded Inca Trail.
|Classic Inca Trail Trek||Salkantay Trek|
|Scenery||Mountains, coud forest and Incan ruins||Mountains, abundant wildlife|
|Distance||26 miles over 4 days||46 miles over 5 days|
|Highest Altitude||13,828 feet||15,000 feet|
|Availability||Tourist permits capped at 200 per day, must book far in advance.||No permit restrictions, average of 100 hikers per day.|
|Facilities||Mid-range camping or luxury glamping. Porters available to carry gear||Options from rudimentary camping to luxury lodges. Pack mules available to carry gear.|
|Best For||The Inca Trail is also a great option for those looking for a challenge, as the trail can be quite strenuous in parts.||Experienced, fit hikers who want to get off the beaten path and value solitude, mountain scenery, opportunities to view wildlife and a wider range of overnight options.|
Hike Distance Inca Trail vs Salkantay trek
The Inca Trail is a 26-miles (42-kilometer) footpath that connects the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu with the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Inca Trail is one of the most popular trekking routes in South America, and for good reason. The trail takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the Andes Mountains, past Inca ruins, and to the lost city of Machu Picchu.
The Inca Trail can be divided into three sections: the easy section, the moderate section, and the difficult section. The easy section is the first 12 miles (19 kilometers) of the trail. This section is relatively flat and is a good warm-up for the more challenging sections of the trail. The moderate section is the next 8 miles (13 kilometers) of the route and the las 6 miles (10 kilometers) are somewhat difficult.
The Salkantay trek is a popular alternative to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It is a bit longer and more challenging, but it is definitely worth it! The scenery is breathtaking, and you will get to see a lot of different types of terrain and ecosystems. The Salkantay trek distance is approximately 60 kilometers, and it takes about 4-5 days to complete. If you are up for a challenge, the Salkantay trek is definitely the way to go!
The altitude Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek
The altitude of the Inca Trail
If you’re planning on hiking the Inca Trail, you need to be aware of the altitude. The trailhead is at 11,200 feet, and the highest pass is at 13,800 feet. That’s a big difference from sea level, and it can take some time to adjust.
The good news is that the Inca Trail is a gradual climb. You’ll start out slow, and you’ll have plenty of time to adjust to the altitude. There are also plenty of opportunities to rest along the way.
If you start to feel the effects of the altitude, don’t hesitate to take a break. Drink plenty of water, and try to eat foods that are high in potassium. If you start to feel really sick, it’s important to descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
The altitude of the Salkantay Trek
Salkantay is a challenging but rewarding hike, with stunning scenery and the chance to see some amazing wildlife. The highest point on the trail is the Salkantay pass, which reaches an altitude of 4,600m. This section of the trail can be tough going, but the views from the top are more than worth it. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, then Salkantay is definitely the hike for you. This is the reason why National Geographic Magazine consider Salkantay trek (Salcantay trek) among the 25 best treks in the world.
History in the Inca Trail vs. Salkantay Trek
When it comes to choosing between the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek, there are a few things to consider. Both treks offer incredible views of some of the most stunning scenery in Peru, but they each have their own unique history and culture to offer visitors.
The Inca Trail is by far the most popular trek in Peru, and for good reason. The trail takes visitors through some of the most iconic Inca ruins, including Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is also a great option for those looking for a challenge, as the trail can be quite strenuous in parts.
The Salkantay Trek is a more recent addition to the list of treks in Peru, but it has quickly become a popular option for those looking to avoid the crowds of the Inca Trail. The Salkantay Trek takes visitors through a more remote and untouched part of the Peruvian Andes, and offers stunning views of mountains, glaciers, and lush rainfore
The scenery of the Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek
Views of the Inca Trail
The scenery along the Inca Trail is truly breathtaking. The trail passes through several different types of terrain, including mountains, forests, and even a cloud forest. Along the way, hikers will pass by several Inca ruins, including the famous site of Machu Picchu.
Hiking the Inca Trail is a once in a lifetime experience.
Views of the Salkantay Trek
The trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the area, views of mountains, glaciers, and lush rainfore including the magnificent Salkantay mountain. The trek is challenging but the views are definitely worth it.
Availability of Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek
Inca Trail Permits
If you’re planning on hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to get a permit in advance. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.
The Inca Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the world, and for good reason. The trail takes you through stunning scenery, past ruins of ancient civilizations, and ultimately to the lost city of Machu Picchu.
However, because the Inca Trail is so popular, the Peruvian government has put a limit on the number of hikers who can start the trail each day. This means that if you want to hike the Inca Trail, you you should get your tickets in advance to avoid any mishaps.
The Salkantay trek is one of the most popular treks in Peru, and for good reason. The trek takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, including the Salkantay mountain range and the Inca trail. The trek is also a great option for those who want to avoid the crowds on the more popular Inca trail.
However, unlike Classic Inca trail, there is no rush to secure a permit before the day of adventure. Interestingly, Salkantay trekking has less traffic compared to the Classic Inca trail during the dry months. May to September are considered the best months for trekking in either of the routes. The increase in population on Salkantay trek is usually an overflow or late trekers that missed permits on Classic Inca trail.
The Inca Trail vs. Salkantay Trek – Which is More Expensive?
If you’re planning a trip to Peru, you may be wondering which is the more expensive option – the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek. Here’s a breakdown of the costs for both options:
The Inca Trail:
The Inca Trail is the more popular option, and as such, it is also the more expensive one. A permit for the Inca Trail costs $650, and this does not include the cost of a guide or porter.
The Salkantay Trek:
The Salkantay Trek is less popular than the Inca Trail, but it is still a fantastic option for those looking to explore the Peruvian countryside. A permit for the Salkantay Trek costs $580, and this does include the cost of a guide or porter.
The weather of Inca Trail vs Salkantay trek
When it comes to choosing the best time to hike the Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek, there are a few things to consider. The Inca Trail is one of the most popular treks in Peru, and as such, it can get crowded, especially during peak season (May-September). If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider hiking during the shoulder season (April-May or October-November). However, be aware that weather conditions can be unpredictable during these months.
The Salkantay Trek is a great alternative to the Inca Trail if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. This trek can be done year-round, but the best time to hike is during the dry season (May-September). Keep in mind that the Salkantay Trek is at a higher altitude than the Inca Trail, so the weather can be colder.
When it comes to the Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek, both treks offer unique experiences.
Food on Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek
There are a lot of different opinions out there about which trek is better – the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek. And while there are pros and cons to both, we think the food is definitely better on the Inca Trail!
The Inca Trail is a bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for in terms of food. The meals are more plentiful and higher quality, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll also have access to snacks and drinks throughout the day, so you’ll never go hungry.
On the Salkantay Trek, food is more scarce. Meals are smaller and there are fewer snacks and drinks available. This can be tough if you’re hiking for long hours and working up a hearty appetite.
Whether you choose the hike, it will be an unforgettable adventure. On the Classic Inca Trail you will immerse yourself in the world of the Inca Empire, by millennial roads. On the Salkantay Trail you will walk between the snowy peaks and the cloudy forests of the Andes mountain range. There is no way to go wrong with either of the two options, and have no doubt that you will have an extraordinary experience. Finally, we have the option to explore both routes, which you can check on this link.
If you have any questions about the Salkantay Trail or the Classic Inca Trail, you can contact me HERE.
I hope to see you on the trail!