What is the difference between the 4 Inca Trail and 5 day Salkantay trek?
Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek
Trekking to Machu Picchu is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience, but did you know there’s more than one trail that leads there?
Most popular among adventure seekers are the classic Inca Trail and the more remote, but just as spectacular, Salkantay route.
Each trail has its own charms, and choosing which one to embark on can be difficult. To help you pick, here’s a quick overview of what each of these beautiful treks has on offer.
Below, you’ll also find a more detailed look at the differences between the two trails.
Classic Inka Trail Trek 4D/3N:
The total distance is 45km/26miles, the highest elevation is called Dead Women’s Pass at 4,215m/ 13,829ft and the lowest elevation is Aguas Calientes town at the end of the trek, at 2000 m/ 6562ft :
Considerations: There is not another trail that can be compared with this for so many reasons: historical importance, gorgeous nature, fascinating ecosystems, and it is the only trail that brings you in through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu. This trail is 700 years old and was built by the Inkas to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It is considered to be the most important trail that only the noblity were allowed to use during the Inka Period to make this pilgrimage. The path is paved with stones and stairs and many Inka sites can also be visited along the way as a part of Machu Picchu.
On the Inca Trail we use porter to carry our camping gear and all the food the provide to all our tourist
If you are think travelling to Peru, Your first choice would be the Inka Trail!
Is the Inca Trail Crowds? Many people talk about how crowded the Inka Trail is, especially with 500 people trekking per day? This is not necessarily true because the campsites are located in different places and groups don’t camp together. At Inti Trek always chooses slightly different campsites that allow you much more nature than crowds.
Salkantay Trek 5D/4N:
This alternative option is considered to be the best option after the Inka Trail. The total distance is 59km /36.6miles. It can be dusty and a bit slippery in the dry season and muddy and slippery in the rainy season, so requires good, waterproof hiking shoes because you will be walking across small slippery stones. The highest peak is Salkantay Pass which is above 4650 m/ 15,255ft and the lowest elevation is Aguas Calientes at 2000 m/ 6562 ft.
This trail is a bit more adventurous, with loads of nature, perhaps a bit more challenging and, of course, offers some fascinating history. It passes through various ecosystems and goes directly into Aguas Calientes by foot.
Considerations: We Use horse and mule for this trek Also you will enter to Machu Picchu via genaral public entrance
you can visit our Tripadvisor: TRIPADVISOR INTI SUN TREK
Availability of Inca Trail vs. Salkantay Trek
While there are only a certain number of spots on the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek is open for bookings anytime. During the high season, the Salkantay path can accommodate more people in a single group than the Inca Trail.
Inca Trail Permits
The number of people who could travel along the Inca Trail 2023 in a single day was limited to a maximum of 500. This includes porters, guides, chefs, and travelers. The average daily arrival of tourists is around 200. This particular number is much larger than the typical number of people that do the Salkantay Trek.
Some people feel that the Inca Trail is completely overwhelmed with tourists. This is not the case. It will depend on the schedule, the location of the campsite, and the varying departure times of each group as to whether or not there will be other travelers with you.
It is pleasant to stop and chat with someone and meet people as you are struggling your way up the mountain, so this feature of the Inca Trail is not all bad.
Tickets for the Salkantay Trek!
Although there are fewer hikers on the Salkantay path daily, the number of people in your group or accompanying you on the trail will depend on your chosen itinerary.. It may seem like a lot of fun in larger groups, but you must consider everyone’s physical condition, pace, and tastes.
There will be days when you will see more tourists on the Salkantay Trek than on the Inca Trail. Because only 200 people arrive at Machu Picchu each day by the Inca Trail, an average of 4,000 people arrive at Machu Picchu each day, which means there is a possibility that there will be more people in the Salkantay on some days.