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Three of the Best Routes to Walk to Machu Picchu

These spectacular Inca ruins are the long-awaited highlight of a trip for most visitors to Peru. Located 2,430m above sea level and surrounded by tropical mountain forest which makes for an extraordinary and beautiful setting, it’s easy to see why this is one of the top trekking destinations in the world.

The problem is, everyone knows about it – in the high season Machu Picchu receives 2,500 visitors daily which means that the mysterious atmosphere of this awe-inspiring ancient city can be lost in the crowds. We’d like to share our three best routes to walk to Machu Picchu. Read on to find out more…

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The Salkantay Trail

Although this trail is less well known, we think this is a superior trek to the Inca Trail and is far less busy. Enjoy views of 6,271 metre Salkantay and trek though cloud forest, fruit and coffee plantations. You’ll ascend to Llactapata which offers fantastic birdlife and glimpse Machu Picchu from an angle few get to see. As well as exploring Machu Picchu, this trip gives you plenty of time to discover Cusco and the Sacred Valley on foot..

The Weavers’ Trail

This trip is a great alternative to the Inca Trail and perfect for those who want to trek trails that aren’t busy and witness traditional Peruvian life along the way to Machu Picchu. You’ll trek through the dramatic and lesser-visited Lares Valley, over mountain passes, past glittering lakes and through remote villages. For the most part you will be delightfully alone in the Andean wilderness and can enjoy a full day at Machu Picchu as well as spending time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. This trip is also less physically demanding than The Inca Trail and Salkantay route.

The Classic Inca Trail

Although this is the most popular route to Machu Picchu (and therefore busier than the Weavers’ and Salkantay trails), it is also one of the best. During this walking trip, you’ll trek amongst ice-capped peaks and sweeping valleys followed by lagoon-filled cloud forests. We love this trail because the landscape along the way is spectacular and the terrain is so diverse. Read more here.

Extend your stay in Peru

Why not make the most of your time with an extra few days at the end of your trip?

Fly from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Basin, then travel by boat to your rainforest lodge. Stay for three nights. During your time at the lodge, you have activities included such as guided walks, boat trips, piranha fishing and bird watching. You'll learn about the flora and fauna of the forest and hear about medicinal uses of plants.