The Classic Inca Trail and the Royal Inca Trail both like to play hard to get. It doesn’t matter how soon you make up your mind and book one of these two beautiful treks, you are always prone to missing out on the last permits. You don’t want to think about alternatives, because you have been wanting to do the Inca Trail for years. Why would you settle for an alternative, if you can do the real deal? Good question. What if we told you, that the Inca Trail alternatives are actually better than the real deal?
Ever since 2002, the Peruvian government has had a strict permit system for the famous Inca Trail. The classic path to Machu Picchu became overrun and some structure was needed. The permit system helps to keep the trail clean and allows everyone to have a genuine Inca Trail experience. It can be very disappointing when the permits for your preferred travel dates have run out. This either means that you have to try your luck for other dates or postpone your plans (another) year. You would do that because you are looking for a genuine, authentic Inca Trail experience. Right?
Hold on there. Genuine and authentic. The Inca Trail system, Qhapaq Ñan, as a whole has an accumulated length of 40.000 km. Surely there is something more genuine and authentic than a trek that attracts thousands and thousands of people per annum? Of course, there is. In fact, there are some Inca Trail alternatives in Peru that are much, much better than the Classic Inca Trail and the Royal Inca Trail. Here they are: