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Cusco Region Treks

Llamas and alpacas on the Lares Trek.

This is the best way to get out in the mountains and also the best way to hike yourself to Machu Picchu. Of the treks below, only the Inca Trail takes you directly to Machu Picchu. The others can be arranged to end in the town of Aguas Calientes, from where you hike or take a shuttle up to the Machu Picchu ruins.

Only the Ausangate Trek is not compatible with a visit to Machu Picchu. It is a six hour drive south of Cusco, while Machu Picchu is a 1.5 hour drive and 2 hour train ride northwest of Cusco. The other treks are north of Cusco and close enough to Machu Picchu that all agencies offer a visit to Machu Picchu on the last day. If you have already seen (or don’t want to see) Machu Picchu, ask for the trek price without the last day at Machu Picchu.

Tour Agencies

Using a tour agency to deal with trek logistics is all but essential for most treks – see Cusco Trek Agencies.

Ausangate Trek

The most sacred apu (4 days)

Choquequirao Trek

Machu Picchu’s sister (3-5 days)

Huchuy Q’osqo Trek

Little Cusco (1–2 days)

Inca Quarry Trek

aka Cachicata (3 days)

Inca Trail

Walk directly to Machu Picchu (4 days)

Inca Trail Day Hike

From Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu (1 day)

Lares Trek

High Andean valleys (4 days)

Salkantay Trek

Mountains to jungle (4 days)

Text © Heather Jasper

Image by Heather Jasper