Salkantay Trek Vs Inca Trail

Hiking Machu Picchu is a dream of life for many travelers, but you have to know that to go there are more than one way. We compare Salkantay Trek vs Inca Trail, to see and know what is the difference between this amazing treks.

The first one is The classic Inca Trail and the second is Salkantay Trek, now we are going to compare this 2 options, from pros and cons to witch one is better for you.

Salkantay Trek Camp - Lake

Salkantay Trek

  • You will hike almost all the way to Machu Picchu: it ends in Santa Teresa, very close to Aguas Calientes.
  • Highest point reached: 15, 000 ft
  • Very popular: the Salkantay trail and especially the campsites are full of people.
  • Distance: 46 miles over 5 days
  • Highlights: incredible snow-capped peaks, alpine views, followed by a descent into the Andean jungle.
  • Few Inca Ruins in trail (Llactapata)
  • Optional hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Often less expensive
  • Only available during the dry season (April-October)
Inca Trail

Inca Trail

  • The best way to go to Machu Picchu.
  • Passing many ancient Inca sites along this route
  • Highest point reached is 13,828 feet
  • The difficulty is Moderate
  • Distance: 26 miles over 4 days
  • No Inca ruins
  • Tourist permits capped at 200 per day, must book far in advance. More customizable than Salkantay.
  • Typically more expensive due to the train ride to Machu Picchu.
  • Mid-range camping or luxury glamping. Porters available to carry gear.
  • Close on February.

*The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu popular route has less flexibility and availability because there is a strict limit on the number of permits allowed (200 per day for tourists).