In addition to the most well-known tourist and spiritual experiences, the trip to Machu Picchu, in Peru, reserves scenarios and possibilities still little explored by most tourists.
They are trails with stunning landscapes, challenges that turn into personal victories – all aligned with the well-being provided by the practice of physical activity outdoors and with routes that provide alternative ways to reach the lost city of the Incas.
With the objective of introducing you to this universe, we have selected in this post 7 un miss able tips that enable incredible experiences that will forever mark the trip and your life, in addition to two tips on care to be taken at the altitude of this Peruvian region. Interested? So get on that one!
1. Salkantay Trail
For trekking enthusiasts, there is no better route than the Salkantay trail, located at 6,271 meters above sea level. The crossing has stretches of intermediate to strong efforts.
And it takes five days and four nights to complete the route, considered by National Geographic Adventure Travel magazine as one of the 25 best trails in the world. In other words, it is an unforgettable experience, with scenarios that are worth the effort.
Get ready and also take suitable clothes, since the temperature varies from -5Cº to 26Cº. Walking distances from 15km to 25km salkantay lodges 5 1 300×200 – Trip to Machu Picchu: discover 7 incredible experiences per day, the route has paths filled with the richness of the mountains, with all the diversity of flora and fauna in the region – not to mention the friendliness and cultural wealth of the villages along the route.
There are two ways to do this trail. Camping with all the logistical support of equipment for this, porters, guide and the like and the other is enjoying the comfort of the structure and tasting the refined gastronomy of the Mountains Lodges Peru .
2. Homes – Sacred Valley of the Incas
The tour requires acclimatization to the altitude of at least one day in Cusco.
Then, it is to hit the road once and for all on a walk that will reserve moments back to the past when visiting archaeological sites, such as Ollantaytambo, Písac and Machu Picchu.
But the greatest expectation is regarding the arrival in Lares trek 4 days, with a remarkable Andean landscape and still little explored by travelers on duty.
The feeling is to arrive at a destination that has remained intact over the centuries, with a serenity perceived both in the locals and in the scenarios that present themselves.
Observing the loom in the skillful hands of women or dealing with subsistence agriculture, as well as dealing with cattle, llamas and alpacas refers to a world that is more human and fully integrated with nature.
There are different levels of trails and you can choose the one that most attracts you, being able to walk from 2 hours to 7 hours a day, according to your physical conditioning.
Best of all, there are comfortable accommodations along the route, with incredible experiences for your trip , such as outdoor hot tubs. Check out the Homes package and if you can go in the coming months, opt for the promotional outings .
The “Classic Inca” is the classic route for those who want to reach Machu Picchu on foot. Therefore, it is also the most popular. It is advisable to book this trail at least 6 months in advance.
In this itinerary, hikers arrive at Machu Picchu through Porta do Sol – or Inti Punku, in Quechua language. Arriving at Porta do Sol very early and waiting for the dawn is to witness a spectacle. The first rays of light enter the portal, filling the sacred city with color.
Leaving Cusco by bus, hikers are taken to kilometer 82, where the journey begins on foot. The overnight stays are made in well-structured campsites, set up by guides who go ahead to set up the tents and prepare meals.
Along this route, between 6 and 8 hours of walking per day are planned between jungle and altitude landscapes.
The Classic Inca Trail is the best known and most sought after route by tourists, it is about 43km long in 4 days and 3 nights. If you’re out of breath just reading, stay tuned for the next travel tip, which brings a shorter route option.
4. Short Inca Trail
For those who do not have much time, or want a slightly lighter walk, the best option is the Inca Trail, which can be done in a single day to Machu Picchu, but an overnight stay in Águas Calientes is recommended to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu more calmly the next day.
The first part of the route is made by train, leaving from Ollantaytambo station until kilometer 104. From there, it is about 16km to Machu Picchu, passing through Wiñayhuayna and Inti Punku.
After the night in Aguas Calientes, the second day is dedicated to a guided tour of Machu Picchu.
5. Aguas Calientes
A base city for those who want to visit Machu Picchu, Águas Calientes deserves an overnight stay. Do you know why? That’s what we’re going to explain now!
The stay will assure you more tranquility on the tour, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a sunset at the ruins of the Incas, one of the most anticipated moments by travelers and will dispense with the need for all the rush and worry to catch the train back to Cusco. .
In addition, the next day, as you spend the night very close to the archaeological site, you will arrive at the citadel of Machu Picchu before tourists coming from Cusco or even the Sacred Valley and will be able to enjoy the place with less people around you. When you return to Cusco at the end of this day, your body will be more rested.
6. Sol y Luna
In the Sacred Valley, a stay or even a visit at the Sol y Luna hotel , in the Urubamba district, is for a very special reason: the social work carried out in the community, through the Sol y Luna Association .
The couple of owners created an association in 1996 with the aim of valuing history, culture and the environment, giving opportunities to local residents.
Incredible experiences in this way, today it has more than 100 employees who help with service work, offering a dignified life to members, with classes that cover art, education and culture. This is a good tip for your trip !
7. The “Young Mountain” and the “Old Mountain”
The sacred city of Machu Picchu is at the foot of two mountains: Huayna Picchu, “Young Mountain”, and Machu Picchu, “Old Mountain” or simply Mountain. Do you want to experience even more excitement on your trip to Machu Picchu? Climb one of the two!
To travel the old Inca trails towards the top of these mountains, it is necessary to buy tickets in advance, mainly for Huayna Picchu, which has two daily shifts with a maximum of 200 people for each one.
These trails are of moderate difficulty. Good physical preparation is necessary to complete them. At times, the narrow steps of steps carved into the stone make the ascent slower. The view throughout the route and from the summits is stunning and rewarding in both cases.
Important precautions for your trip to Machu Picchu
Hire a guide
The presence of a guide is not mandatory when visiting Machu Picchu, but it is essential if you want to know the stories about the construction and operation of the citadel. The guide will help you explore each corner, telling you the possible functions of each space, places of devotion and ceremonies.
On the other hand, just as a good guide saves a trip, a “suitcase” guide can ruin yours! The ideal is to hire a package with an included guide, as specialized companies know who should hire, but if you have not hired a travel package, you will find guides licensed by the Ministry of Culture at the entrance to Machu Picchu. You can hire them right there. It is common for payment to be made before starting the guided tour, which lasts, on average, two and a half hours. The price will vary according to the number of people in the group.
Avoid the effects of altitude
Altitude sickness, is a common difficulty when traveling to places far above sea level. The ideal is to try to reach Cusco before the scheduled date to go to Machu Picchu. So you give your body a little time to adapt.
Tiredness and nausea can be avoided by drinking a lot of “mate coca”, the coca tea offered almost everywhere in this region. You can also chew coca leaves to get around the malaise.
Related Post: INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU: HOW MUCH IT COSTS, WHAT TO TAKE AND MORE!