If you’re planning a trip to Machu Picchu, you may be wondering which trek to take – the classic Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek. Both offer stunning views and a chance to experience the Andean culture, but there are some key differences to consider. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right trek for you.
Understand the difference between inca trail and salkantay
While both the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek offer breathtaking views and a chance to experience the Andean culture, there are some differences to consider. The Inca Trail is a more popular and well-known route, with limited permits available and a higher cost. The Salkantay Trek is a more challenging and remote route, with fewer crowds and a lower cost.
Here are some key differences between salkantay vs inca trail:
- Distance: The Inca Trail is approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles) long, while the Salkantay Trek is around 74 kilometers (46 miles) long.
- Difficulty: The Inca Trail is considered a moderate to challenging trek, with many uphill and downhill segments and high altitude passes. The Salkantay Trek is considered more challenging due to its higher altitude, steep ascents, and longer distances.
- Entrance tickets: The Inca Trail requires a permit to trek, and only a limited number of permits are issued each day. The permits must be secured months in advance and are non-transferable. The Salkantay Trek does not require a permit, so it is a good alternative for those who weren’t able to secure an Inca Trail permit.
- Fame: The Inca Trail is the most famous trek in South America, and it attracts many tourists each year. It is known for its stunning views of the Andes Mountains and the Inca ruins along the way. The Salkantay Trek is less famous but equally as stunning, offering views of snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes, and lush valleys.
- Altitude: The highest point on the Inca Trail is Warmiwañusca Pass, which stands at 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) above sea level. The highest point on the Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass, which stands at 4,650 meters (15,255 feet) above sea level.
- Terrain: The Inca Trail follows a well-preserved Inca road, featuring ancient ruins, tunnels, and bridges. The Salkantay Trek goes through diverse terrain, including glaciers, jungles, and high-altitude plains.
- Duration: The Inca Trail is typically a 4-day trek, while the Salkantay Trek can take anywhere from 4 to 7 days depending on the itinerary.
Overall, salkantay trek vs inca trail offer unique and unforgettable experiences, therefore we have an alternative journey to join the Inca Trail and Salkantay. Check our new itinerary now!
Consider your fitness level and hiking experience
When deciding between salkantay trail vs inca trail, it’s important to consider your fitness level and hiking experience. The Inca Trail is a more moderate hike, with some steep climbs and descents, but generally well-maintained paths. The Salkantay Trek, on the other hand, is a more challenging hike, with higher altitudes and rougher terrain. If you’re an experienced hiker with good fitness, the Salkantay Trek may be a more rewarding and adventurous option. However, if you’re new to hiking or have concerns about altitude sickness, the Inca Trail may be a better choice.
Decide on your preferred level of comfort and amenities
Another important factor to consider when choosing between the Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek is the level of comfort and amenities you prefer. The Inca Trail offers more basic camping accommodations, with tents and sleeping bags provided. The Salkantay Trek, on the other hand, offers a range of options from basic camping to luxury lodges with hot showers and comfortable beds. If you’re looking for a more rustic and authentic experience, the Inca Trail may be the way to go. But if you prefer a bit more comfort and relaxation after a long day of hiking, the Salkantay Trek may be a better fit.
Choose the trek that aligns with your interests and goals
Both the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek offer unique experiences and stunning views of the Andes Mountains. The Inca Trail is known for its historical significance and the opportunity to visit Incan ruins along the way. The Salkantay Trek, on the other hand, offers a more rugged and remote experience, with opportunities to see glaciers and wildlife. Consider what you want to get out of your trek and choose the option that aligns with your interests and goals.
If you’re interested in history and culture, the Inca Trail may be the better choice for you. Along the way, you’ll visit ancient Incan ruins such as Wiñay Wayna and Intipata, and you’ll end your trek at the famous Machu Picchu. However, if you’re looking for a more challenging and off-the-beaten-path experience, the Salkantay Trek may be the way to go. You’ll trek through remote mountain passes, see stunning glaciers, and have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as Andean condors and llamas. Contact us!