Heading to the Inca Trail through the Andes to Machu Picchu? While that is a great way to explore ancient ruins and get an up-close look at history, there is another option. You could choose to hike the Salkantay trek, instead. Why might you choose to take an alternative route to the Inca Trail? What should you expect with Salkantay Trekking?
It’s About the Scenery
The Inca Trail is all about history and archeological ruins. Salkantay trekking, on the other hand, is about exploring the land that shaped the Incan civilization and getting to know the landscapes and scenery that have not changed in thousands of years. You’ll head through the Salkantay Pass, at over 15,000 feet in elevation, be stunned by the views of snow-capped mountains, and then finally descend to the city of Machu Picchu itself at the end (at a mere 8,000 feet in elevation).
It’s the Path Less Taken
Thousands of travelers every year choose to visit Machu Picchu. That has helped the tourism industry to thrive, but it means that traveling during peak season can get a bit crowded. You can beat the crowd by traveling during the off season, but you can also opt for an alternative route. Salkantay trekking allows you to take the path less traveled, meaning that you will have more peace, more chances to get away from it all, and more time to indulge in pristine nature than if you hiked the Inca Trail.
Soak Your Cares Away
Don’t assume that Salkantay trekking means endless walking through the mountains. There is ample time to rest and relax before you get to Machu Picchu. One of the most popular attractions on the trek is to spend a little time at the Santa Teresa hot springs and soak your cares away. The natural hot springs alleviate stress and strain on your muscles, helping ensure that you’re rejuvenated and ready to move on.
Ultimately, Salkantay trekking is an ideal option for the adventurous, but also for those who want to take the path less traveled and avoid some of the crowds that sometimes inundate the Inca Trail. Ideally, you’ll work with a tour company that offers a guided trek through the Salkantay Pass, and down to the ruined city of Machu Picchu, before whisking you back to Cusco to finish your excursion.