Popular Treks

Many people dream of hiking to Machu Picchu, but many people don’t realize that there are options in how to get there.  The classic Inca Trail is the most popular trek and can be done in a variety of ways.  Most people choose to cover the trek in 4 days, with your last day spent at Machu Picchu, but there is also a 2 day and 5 day option.

The classic Inca trail is great, but it books up very quickly and is often not available on the dates you are hoping to travel.  There are many alternative routes available for trekking to Machu Picchu, and in many ways they are superior to the classic trail.

Alternative treks are always less crowded and cheaper than the Inca trail.  The Inca trail was regulated by the Peruvian government in 2000 and there is now a significant cost for each person (this includes guides and porters) to enter the trail.  Even though the Inca trail is limited to only 500 people per day, the trail is crowded and you are constantly asked to stop hiking for a minute to let people pass (often porters carry 25 kg).
But the alternative treks do not only offer affordable hiking or open space – they offer amazing views, totally different experiences and the possibility to see how the Inca descendants live today.  These trails are always available and are ready to book.  Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit, lots of trails offer hot springs – a great way to relax your bones after so much walking.
Below are some highlights of what you will see on our alternative treks.
*****
LARES TREK
The Lares trek is best way to see and experience life on the mountains.  You get to visit some local indigenous villages and participate in their daily life to better understand how the Incas lived.  You will step inside their homes and get to eat their food.  Remember some spending money, because its a great place to buy a little memory and see the different textiles they make on the mountain. But that’s not all, we are in the Andes after all.  As we are hiking, we pass through big families of llamas and alpacas.  We also get to enjoy the nice views of valleys, rivers, lakes, glacier mountains and peaks, and nice flora and fauna.
   

SALKANTAY TREK
The Salkantay trek is one of our most challenging treks offered, but the views can not be beat.  They are truly spectacular with highlights including views of Salkantay, the second highest peak in Cusco, walking through a forest of clouds, getting lost in the jungle and experiencing the tropical valleys, rivers and waterfalls.

   
VILCABAMA TREK
Machu Picchu is the sacred city of the Incas, but didn’t survive as long as Vilcabama, which was the last refuge for the Incas after the Spaniards invaded.  This trek is special in that you start and end at the two most cherished Inca ruins.  One of the best features of this trek is how unknown it still is – you will get to experience all this with very little crowd.  After experiencing the ruins of Vilcabama you will hike on the original Inca trail which hasn’t been restored. We get to see nice mountains with snow, many lakes, rivers and waterfalls.  You will probably have a viewing of condors, eagles, and falcons before descending into tropical jungles where you can see coffee, passion fruit and cocoa plantations.
   
HUCHUY QOSQO
Perched on top of a cliff over the Sacred Valley is another alternative trek location, Huchuy QosQo.  This is a great way to explore the Andes without huge crowds. You will walk through mountain passes, along ravines, by waterfalls and into amazing Inca ruins.  You will encounter beautiful flora and fauna including different varieties of cacti and will walk side by side with llamas and the other animals of the Andes.
   
ALPACA TREKS OR AUSANGATE TREK

These treks have recently been created for those who are interested in doing more hiking after or before they reach Machu Picchu.  It is still relatively unknown, so it’s great for those who want to avoid crowds.  This hike through the Andes involves impressive views of the biggest mountain in Cusco, Ausangate, and many other glacier mountains.  This is the only hike that you will get to see VICUÑAS, the animal with the softest wool in the world.  Of course you will get to enjoy all the animals of the Andes including alpacas, llamas, and condors. This hike is quite challenging because the elevation is pretty substantial – make sure to get in shape.
   
CHOQUEKIRAW TREK
Choquekiraw means “cradle of gold” and is another impressive Inca ruin which is located at Vilcabamba Mountain range.    There are beautiful views of the glacier mountains, flora and fauna.  The Incas became extra artistic at Choquekiraw, creating pictures of llamas with stone into the terraces.
                                                              
This is just a small glance at what you will see and experience on your trek.  We hope you find the Andes as beautiful as we do. 
Visit http://www.AlpacaExpeditions.com for more information on each of these treks.

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