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Who is The Inca Trail best suited to?

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 15-06-2022

The Inca Trail is considered one of the best hiking trails in the world and the best hiking route in Peru. However, there are only a few people who actually get to enjoy this adventure, due to the tricky availability for the trail. To book this epic trek, you need to reserve permits at least 6 or 7 months in advance. So, what to do if there are no spaces available for the Inca Trail? The best solution is to choose another multi-day hiking route to Machu Picchu or even combine the shorter 2 day trail with an alternative trek, such as The Lares Trek. Is the Inca Trail for you?  Of course it is, however depending on your trekking needs, there are different ways to hike this incredible trek through the Andes, here are some suggestions.


Inca Trail Steps


Ideal treks for adults

Adults can choose between a number of treks to Machu Picchu. Top of this list has to be the classic 4 day Inca trail. If you are having problems with availability, you may want to also consider the 5 day Salkantay trek. Both of these trails are demanding with the Inca Trail covering 42 km and The Salkantay trek traversing 70 km distance 
Of course, adults can hike any of the other trails in the area.



Inca Trail Group


Ideal route for families with children

If you come to Cusco as a family, the best option is to choose an easier hiking route that offers beautiful landscapes and activities that the little ones like, such as the short 2 day Inca Trail or The 3 day Huchuy Qosqo trek as you only camp one night along this 17km route. The second night is in a hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes. The third day Machu Picchu is visited and the train returns to Cusco. The Short Inca Trail runs only 11 km from km 104 of the train track to Machu Picchu. The night is spent in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.


Family Trekking


Ideal route for young people

Young people and “young at heart” trekkers, can choose a variety of challenging and adventurous routes. Of course, the Inca Trail and the Salkantay trek are the main routes that trek into Machu Picchu. However, if you are looking for something different to bring out your spirit of adventure, you may want to think about other trekking options.
The 4 day Inca Jungle trek runs through the jungle part of Cusco until reaching Machu Picchu along the Hydroelectric route. Along the way there are biking, hiking, kayaking (optional), zipline (optional) and an afternoon of rest in thermal springs at Santa Teresa.
The Inca Jungle trek brings together young adventurers from all over the world and there is always availability.


Young Trekking Group


Ideal route for couples

If you plan to trek with your partner, spouse or as a couple, The Classic Inca Trail will always be the best option for most people. Couples will enjoy this route that offers walks surrounded by beautiful landscapes and, as a grand finale, the spectacular view of Machu Picchu.
If you cannot find availability for the Inca Trail, an excellent option is to do the 4-day Lares trek. The Lares trek is recognized as the ‘cultural trek’ to Machu Picchu. Along the way, there are several traditional villages to visit along the route. The walk is not that difficult at 34km long and includes an afternoon of relaxation in the thermal springs in the town of Lares.


Couple at Machu Picchu


Ideal route for older adults

Older adults can also take to the hiking trails in Cusco. Of course, it is necessary that he or she is in good health and always consult your doctor before deciding. The 2-day Short Inca Trail is perfect for older trekkers covering 11 km on the first day, with the second day being the Machu Picchu visit. It is a good way to feel the emotion of the Inca Trail but with the added comfort of a shorter trek and no camping involved, as you spend the evening in a hotel in Aguas calientes.
The 3-day Huchuy Qosqo trek is also recommended for older adults because it is a simple route that is only 17 km. This trek also leads to Machu Picchu.


Trekking Lares


Ideal routes for people with different abilities

People with different abilities can choose from a number of adventures, depending on their needs. The 2 day Inca Trail or The 3 day Huchuy Qosqo trek are relatively easy treks if you are acclimatised appropriately.


Trekking Salkantay


The trip to Machu Picchu for 1 day.

Machu Picchu is a difficult place to visit if you have mobility issues because it is on top of a mountain. It takes a lot of assistance to get there in a wheelchair, for example. But there are tours for people with different abilities specialized in taking people to the top of Machu Picchu on a train tour. Please let us know your requirements and we will do all we can to help!


Trekking Machu Picchu