Machu Picchu is a majestic area full of culture and history. Located at the top a mountain, hiking through it is almost a requirement. Even so, the satisfaction of reaching the entrance of this ancient village is truly a remarkable experience.
Initially there was a main walking trail going to Machu Picchu which is the Inca trail. But over the years, more trails were developed that will lead you to the village.
Here are the top 5 Machu Picchu Trails:
Famous for its topography and ecosystems, this route will get you within 20,500 feet of Mount Salcantay. This mountain is considered the holiest of all mountains for the Incas. From the peak, the trail descends going to a subtropical forest that goes through the Inca highway. A few more steps will then lead to Llactapata, where you get a side view of the Machu Picchu complex.
This route is by way of the Lares Valley which isn’t as crowded as the other trails. Its snow-capped peaks will keep you encouraged while you trek the trail to your reward: Machu Picchu. It starts from the town of Cuncani and along the way, you’ll be greeted by Mount Veronica and some high altitude lakes.
Finally, getting to Machu Picchu is just a 90 minute train ride by way of Ollantaytambo.
3. Huchuy Qosqo Route
Just north of the town of Cusco, this is the shortest and the fastest route to Machu Picchu. Aside from that, it is also the easiest trail to the ancient structure as it has minimal elevations that only require light trekking. Feel free to use this if you are short on time in visiting this architectural ancient wonder.
4. Vilcabamba Traverse Route
This route is one of the most (if not the most) difficult routes to Machu Picchu. It is a weeklong journey and it is not recommended for those who do not have proper training in long walks. It starts from the town of Cachora, and then crosses down to the Apurimac River canyon and to the ruins of Choquequirao. The trail continues to the small village of Cordillera Vilcabamba and more trails that showcase Peru’s bio-diversity on the way
The route is full of high altitude trails that were used possibly by Chaski messengers. The trail starts with the barely visited Inca buildings goes through the water channels and some quarries as well as the Perolniyoc waterfall. It then leads you to Ollantaytambo where you can use the train to arrive in Machu Picchu.