Inca Trail or Salkantray Trail Machu Pichu (Day 12-16)

Machu Pichu

Backpacking Machu Pichu

Backpacking Machu Pichu is an 82K trail marking the journey of a lifetime on the ancient trail of the Incas. Most tour organizations include local porters and guides ensure to take the load off your back and provide stress free trips. Fascinating ruins and spectacular scenery fill every day. On the final day, climb the steps to Intipunku, the ‘Sun Gate’, where we will see Machu Picchu for the first time. Return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and transfer by van to Cusco.

Machu Pichu

Best Time to go Backpacking to Machu Pichu:

While you can pretty much go any time of year the most popular time to go is during the coldest and driest months between June to August. While temperatures can drop at night to what feels like freezing levels, it makes for much more comfortable climbing conditions when you aren’t sweating climbing up steep mountains and the cool breeze is very refreshing as you work up a sweat. I would suggest avoiding going during Peru’s raining season (December- April) when trials can be muddy and the views may be obscured by fog and clouds.

Salkantay Trek

Backpacking Machu Pichu: The Inca Trial

The most popular trek in Peru and some would say South America is the 4 day, 33 km Inca trial. While this trail is beautiful with its snow capped Andean peaks, lush forests overflowing with orchids and llamas galore, this is just one of the many trails the Incas built to reach Machu Picchu.  The Peruvian government heavily regulates this trail: including mandating that all tourists must be accompanied with a guide, and requiring all tourists to carry their actual passport which is checked at checkpoints through the trail.  Treks book up fast, so book at last 2 months before and up to a year before during busy season.

Salkantay Trek

Backpacking Machu Pichu: Salkantay Trekking

This trek is a great alternative to the Inca trail which if often booked up months in advance and can be overly crowded during the busy months. This 4n/5d trek covers 58 km through mountainous terrain down into beautiful jungles and ending up at the magnificent Machu Pichu

Salkantay Trek

Backpacking Machu Pichu: The Lares Valley Trek

For those wanting to get off the beaten track and get glimpse of Peru that has not changed in over 500 year, trek through the spectacular  scenery of the Lares Valley. This remote and rarely visited area offers travelers a chance to experience rural Andean villages, lesser known Inca archaeological sites, hot springs and river gorges. While this is a beautiful trip, it is more of a cultural experience than an intense trekking trip.

Salkantay Trek

Trekking Agencies:

Students with a valid ISIC card are eligible for a student discount on some tours.

A 4/5 day tour ranges anywhere between $225 (if you get a last minute trip from Cusco and bargain hard) up to $320

  • Llama Path- while slightly more expensive than the average tour, this agency comes very highly recommended as it offers a range of adventure tours with guides that are friendly and respectful towards both the porters and local community. To top it off, the food from breakfast to dinner is fantastic.
    • San Juan de Dios 250
  • Andean Treks- this tour operator has over 25 years of experience has some of the best guides and reliable equipment
    • in USA call 617- 924-1974

Peru Treks- this locally owned, eco-friendly company boats experienced guides and high value tours.

  • 2nd floor, Calle Garcilaso 265


Backpacking Machu Pichu is the reason many travelers come to Peru, you cannot miss the adventure.

Backpacking Bex