To most, visiting the lost city of Incas, Machu Picchu tops the bucket list while travelling to South America. What if we tell you that there is more than one way to reach there? Yes, whether you take Inca Trail or Salkantay Trail, both will take you to amazing sceneries.
Classic Inca Trail is an adventurous hiking Path in Peru. This ancient Inca path was built some 500 years ago. It begins from Km.82 near the village of Ollantaytambo in Sacred Valley and takes you to the ruins of Machu Picchu. This is the only hike that licenses travellers to enter Machu Picchu through the Sun gate (Intipunku).
The rugged terrain integrated with the altitude and oxygen devoid environment can conclude in slow progression. The Inca Trail has several microclimates, from rainforests to mountains.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the symbolic trail of the Incas. In order to protect the trail, the authorities restrict the access to just 500 trekkers a day. This includes porters, guides and chefs so barely 200 trekkers get to hike Inca Trail in a day. Often Inca Trail permits are sold out six to seven months in advance.
The Inca Trail needs pre-booking. It generally gets full due to the many trekkers. This might also interfere with your photo sessions. The path takes you along the ancient trade route utilized by the Incas.
Hiking through the cloud forests of Peru is another remarkable experience.
On the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, the camping areas are put underneath the great Vilcabamba range. The Salkantay will have an extensive assortment of amenity choices accessible in this trek.
Salkantay Trek has an exhilarating experience to offer. It has turquoise blue lake “Humantay Lake“, wonderful snow-capped mountains, and a dense green setting accompanied by hummingbirds. The famous ruins of Machu Picchu await you.
Soraypampa – Chaullay is the greatly tough part of the Salkantay Trek. The elevation of 4580 can be problematic for some. The Apacheta pass is at the highest elevation in this entire trek. Too, the steep slopes add more to the trouble.
Whilst hiking the Salkantay Trek, you will be entering Machu Picchu through Aguas Calientes town.
While considering Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek, both trips provide great benefits. You will get master guides, breathtaking views and freedom to engage with the local population.
After understanding much about both the treks, let us understand the major differences.
Highest Altitude: Both are a high altitude experience. The highest point in Salkantay Trek is Salkantay Pass at 15000 feet. Inca Trail is the Dead Woman’s Pass at 13, 828 feet. It is highly recommended that you spend a few days in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.
Distance: The Salkantay trek is 46 miles over 5 days. Inca Trail Trek is around 26 miles over 4 days.
Difficulty Level: The Inca Trail trek is mild in terms of difficulty level. The Salkantay Trek is difficult due to the uneasy path.
No matter whether you choose Inca Trail or Salkantay Trail, both are equally wonderful. However, both trails require you to be fit.