Five Reasons Why the Cachicata Trek to Machu Picchu is Better Than the Inca Trail
1. Trekking Off the Beaten Track
The Inca Trail’s popularity comes with a price: hundreds of hikers, guides, and porters crowd the trail. Don’t feel like hiking with five hundred other people? The Cachicata Trek (also called the Inca Quarry Trek), which has only became known recently to travellers and receives barely ten visitors per day, is a far cry from the Inca Trail. Its campsites are silent and secluded, and you will be free to explore the trail’s most interesting sites at your leisure, with only your guide for company.
2. Photo Opportunities of a Lifetime.
Incredible sights and scenery are scattered along the Cachicata Trek, from views of the brilliant white glacier atop Mt. Veronica to an ethereal Inca doorway which stands alone on a ridge 3,925 meters above sea level. Whether you are an experienced photographer searching for the perfect shot, or just hoping for an unforgettable photo with friends, you will not be disappointed. Not bringing a camera? Watching the sunrise through Ollantaytambo’s ancient “Sun Gate” is still an unforgettable experience not to be missed!
3. Hands-On History.
The Cachicata Trek passes through many fascinating sites of historical significance, including the Sun Gate, the moon temple at Choquequilla, the Q’orimarca ruins, an Inca quarry, and more. With your guide, you will be able to enter and explore these former glories of the Inca culture, discovering their magic for yourself as you climb past former palaces, intact altars, and mystic carvings.
4. The Perolniyoc Waterfall.
The first day of the trek will take you to the region’s highest waterfall, the stunning Perolniyoc Cascade. Water plunges over one hundred meters through the lush mountain foliage towards the valley floor, while shining spray mists visitors and rainbows stay suspended in the air. Although one of the most beautiful places in the Cusco region, few travelers will ever be able to see this breathtaking spectacle; on the Inca Trail, there is nothing to compare.
5. Affordable Adventure.
Due to the Inca Trail’s popularity, permits and operating costs have become very expensive—four days on the Inca Trail can cost between $650-$900! The Cachicata Trek, meanwhile, can be done for under $700. Travellers searching for an authentic, high quality trekking experience that won’t break the bank will find that Cachicata offers the perfect alternative: more adventure at a more affordable price!