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Trekking to Machu Picchu: 3 Beautiful Routes

Trekking to Machu Picchu

A major misconception is that there is only one trail to Machu Picchu. In reality, this is an admired trekking destination for an entire network of trails and routes.

Different tour companies and guides will offer treks along different routes. Only a select few require a permit, including the main Inca Trail (which only allows 500 people per day, including guides and porters).

The three most popular routes are The Inca Trail, the Lares Trek, and Salkantay Trek:

Inca Trail
The main Inca Trail is 26 miles and takes 4 to 5 days to complete. The hike leaves from Cusco, and several guided tour companies lead treks, accompanied by local guides and porters. (Some tour companies suggest hiring your own porter as well – an option highly recommended by top travel blogger “Alex in Wanderland”).

Lares Trek
The Lares Trek is 21 miles and does not require a permit. This is one of the more moderate treks to Machu Picchu. You will wind your way through the snow-capped Andes, pass through local villages, and take in many ecological wonders along the way.

Salkantay trek
Salkantay is 37 miles, and does not require a permit. It is a much more challenging hike, with multiple tour companies categorizing it as “challenging” and “difficult.” Usually taking 4 to 5 days, it was included as one of the top 25 treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine.



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Santiago de chejoña - Puno

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