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Compare Machu Picchu Hikes

When planning your trip to Machu Picchu in Peru, there are a lot of options of how to get there. Many people choose to do a hike that involves camping in the mountains and then they tour Machu Picchu on the last day of the hike. However, there are a wide variety of treks that include hiking the Inca Trail or an alternative trek. We’ve compared our 4, 5 and 6 day hikes so you can choose the best option for you that Cusi Travel offers!

Traditional Inca Trail Lares Hike Mantanay Hike Salkantay Hike Salkantay Plus Inca Trail
Duration 4D/3N 4D/3N 4D/3N 5D/4N 6D/5N
Level of Difficulty Moderate to Difficult Moderate Moderate to Difficult Moderate to Difficult Difficult
 Distance 45 km or 28 miles 35 km or 22 miles 40 km or 25 miles 57 km or 35 miles 65 km or 40 miles
Permit Required Yes. There is a 500 limit per day and permits generally sell out well in advance. No. Since this hike does not require permits there is always availability. No. Since this hike does not require permits there is always availability. No. Since this hike does not require permits there is always availability. Yes. For the Inca Trail part of the hike, there is a 500 limit per day and permits generally sell out well in advance.
 Highest Altitude 4,215 meters or 13,828 feet 4,450 meters or 14,600 feet 4,660 meters or 15,288 feet 4,635 meters or 15,200 feet 5,000 meters or 16,400 feet
How the Hike Arrives to Machu Picchu You follow the Inca Trail and arrive to Machu Picchu on foot via the Sun Gate. On the 3rd day we hike to the town of Ollantaytambo and then take the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel. On the 4th day we take a 25 minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. On the 3rd day we hike to the town of Ollantaytambo and then take the train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel. On the 4th day we take a 25 minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. On the 4th day we hike from Hidroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night in a hotel. On the 5th day we take a 25 minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. You follow the Inca Trail and arrive to Machu Picchu on foot via the Sun Gate.
Who Should do this Hike Hikers who are interested in Inca history and visiting many archaeological sites. Hikers who want a cultural hike that passes through Andean villages so they can learn about the Quechua culture. Hikers who want a remote hike in the Andes where few other travelers go. Hikers who want to enjoy a variety of beautiful scenery and changing landscapes. Hikers who are in good shape, well acclimatized, and who want a challenge.
Inca Ruins Yes, the historic Inca Trail follows the same path the Incas used to arrive to Machu Picchu, so we pass 7 unique archaeological sites. Yes, on the 3rd day we visit the archaeological site of Pumamarca and can also visit the Inca Colcas (storehouses) in Ollantaytambo. Yes, on the 3rd day we visit the archaeological site of Pumamarca and can also visit the Inca Colcas (storehouses) in Ollantaytambo. Yes, on the 1st day we visit the archaeological site of Killarumiyoq. On the 4th day we visit Llaqtapata and can see Machu Picchu from across the valley. Yes, on the 1st day we visit the archaeological site of Killarumiyoq. Then on the historic Inca Trail there are 7 unique archaeological sites.