If you think of Machu Picchu the Inca trail is what comes to mind. It’s the trail that everyone does and everyone’s heard of. If I say Salkantay trek you’ll probably wonder where it is and where it goes (so did I until a few weeks ago!)

The Salkantay trek is perhaps the most popular alternative route to Machu Pichu. It’s the trail we’ve chosen for our trip to South America in May, and I think it’s going to prove a great choice over the Inca trail. The word Salkantay means “Savage Mountain” in Quechua, which probably sums up what I’ve learnt about this trail over the Inca trail…

Admittedly we were planning on doing the Inca trail. That was until we tried to book it and found out that there were no more spaces left in May. Only a few hundred people a day are allowed to do the Inca trail and we’d left it just a little too late. So we had a look into other options and came across the Salkantay.

Salkantay is cheaper (by over $200), longer, harder and it’s supposed to be a bit less quieter too; giving it a more authentic feel. This is possibly this trails biggest selling point. No one wants to trek in the Peruvian mountains surrounded by several other tour groups – makes it a bit less special in my opinion. But clearly there’s some irony in saying more people are doing the trek because it’s quieter – enjoy it while you can and before it becomes ‘the trail to do!

Another advantage of the Salkantay trek seems to be the scenery. Yes the scenery on the Inca trail is amazing too, but the views on the Salkantay hike seem to be of the type that takes your breath away.

Once we’ve done it I’ll clearly keep you updated. And if you’ve done either the Inca trail or an alternative route I’d love to know!

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