One of the alternatives to the Inca Trail in Peru is the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. During a period following the massive landslide responsible for destroying the village of Santa Teresa (1998), it remained closed for a brief time. Eventually, after the Peruvian government realized the need to provide a viable, affordable alternative to the Inca trail, it once more opened. Since then, its popularity has grown substantially every year.
The trail begins, traditionally at Mollepata and stretches along 51 miles, many of it uphill. It is more challenging than the Inca Trail. The route will take you 4 days to complete. No shortcuts are available. You will walk, not take the train, to the mythical Inca city.
The Salkatay Trek differs in several ways from the Classic Inca Trail. It does not boast Inca Ruins until your reach Machu Picchu. However, the scenery is truly breathtaking. You will skirt the watershed of the Apurimac and climb up close to the snowline of the 6,271m iconic Andean peak – the Nevada Salkantay. You will also trek down deep into tropical forests of the Acobamba Valley. The end is Agua Calientes at the very foot of the Machu Picchu Mountain.
If you enjoy seeing flora and fauna, this is the trek for you. As you tramp along the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, you will experience a wider range of bird and animal life – more so than on the classic Inca Trail. The varied terrain and the potential for mud/landslides will govern trekking season in this area. The dry season from May to September is best. Either rain or snow may block the pass during the rainy season.
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is an affordable alternative to the Inca Trail. It is more challenging, and it also offers the individual a means to trek guideless to this renowned site.
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