Which is the better choice, Salkantay vs Inca Trail
The only case of being able to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu itself is already a great experience, the truth is that there are several ways to take the route to get here, with some peculiarities and different activities that we will see in this post.
Here we will provide information about the two of the best routes to finish the visit to the citadel of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek.
We will leave Cusco: In this part you won't have to warm up your head thinking. Cusco is the city from where all the trips to Machu Picchu depart and can be found, so getting to this city will be indispensable.
Upon arrival in Cusco is when you will have to choose between the following destinations of Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek, both trips culminate in the citadel of Machu Picchu, but each destination has a very different route to the other.
Let's take a look at the details of each trip
The Salkantay Trek
The Salkantay trek is an interesting option to get to Machu Picchu which we have 2 options which would be the 4 day trek and the 5 day trek. It is a newer route, where you will find a variety of really incredible landscapes.
In the excursion we will leave Cusco by bus for about 3 hours. During the tour, we will be able to visit the radiant Humantay Lagoon, an impressive glacial lake next to the Salkantay snow-capped mountain.
The availability for this tour is greater, since the trails are larger and there is no problem of space. However, keep in mind that we will surely find many more people, as there are different tours along the Salkantay route.
Another particularity of this trek is that there are campsites and lodges along the way, where we will stay and we can appreciate the valley and mountains, and an incredible experience.
The Inca Trail
This is the original road built by the Inca empire centuries ago. Also known in Quechua (language of the Incas) as Qhapaq Ñan, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014.
This road is made up of more than 30,000 kilometers that interconnected the four cardinal points of the Inca Empire, with its capital, Cusco.
In favor of this option of the Inca Trail in 4 days, we also have another shorter alternative which is 2 days, which will allow you to access Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. It is believed that this was the gateway to the ancient Inca city, and that only invited people passed through here, generally the elite of the empire.
The only drawback is that the Inca Trail tours are small groups. Therefore, it is difficult to get availability, as they sell out quickly.
The other option that may interest you in case you do not get availability in the first option would be the 2 day Inca Trail tour, the only difference would be that it is less strenuous because it will not have much walking.
But if you finally decide for this option, you will have the security of doing a very quiet trek, with hardly any people, and far from the crowds that are created in other tours.
Finally, you should know that since this is the original route of the Incas, there is nothing built. There are no camps or accommodations along the way, so you will sleep the 3 nights in tents. It is, without a doubt, a wilder and more authentic route.
If you did not manage to get your Inca Trail reservation, you have a shorter option that usually has more availability. This is the Inca Trail in 2 days. In this, you will save 2 days of walking and you can also enter through the Puerta del Sol. It is not a bad option if you want to do this trail and the 4-day Inca Trail site is no longer available.