Cusco and Lake Titicaca 11 Days 10 Nights Alpaca Expeditions

Trek Comparisons


Which trek is for me?

Hello fellow trekker!
If you are here it is because you are 100% certain about going on a trekking vacation with us but as a lot of our clients you are wondering, which trek is the right one for me?, which one I will enjoy the most? Which one am I trained to do?
And since almost all of our hikes end up in Machu Picchu, well, search no more, here we will let you know the basic details of each one of our treks so you can decide based on your likes, experience and companion among this trek, so, let’s go!

Classic Inca Trail 4D/3N


We start with our main course, the Classic and worldwide known Inca Trail. This trail was built by the Incas and was used as a communication network, only chosen people were able to enter this path, nowadays this is almost the same, the Inca Trail has limited permits per day, and with our help you can be one of the chosen ones to enter this sacred trail.

The trail head for this 4-day experiences is located 1-hour away from Ollantaytambo city which is also 2 hours away from Cusco, in this city we have our porter’ house, where you will enjoy a fresh cooked hot breakfast and then head up to Km. 82 with all of our staff.

The whole trek is divided into 3 days and 3 nights inside the Inca Trail territory and 1 whole day for your Machu Picchu visit and return to Cusco. We will trek with you along 43 km (26 miles) in total,, each day will be a different adventure, different ruins along the way and the beautiful ecosystem change, you will go from the high mountain to the cloud forest within one day, you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous mix between nature and Inca architecture. The highest point you will reach is at the Dead Woman’s Pass, located at 4215 meters high (13829 feet). We know the name may sound intimidating but with the help of the Green Machine, you will be able to conquer this Pass. Along the way, you will be able to find public restrooms, these are located at the campsites but don’t worry, our package includes a portable toilet for exclusive usage of our team, we don’t trust the bathrooms provided by the government and that’s why we provide this option with no extra cost. We have a porter dedicated to this only task, he has the right equipment for this enterprise and he does not carry any extra weight, all of our porters carry the same amount of weight and always under the regulations the government provides. This trek is challenging but not impossible at all, since it is always on high demand, you will need to book months in advance which will give you time to train for this, cardio and step climbing are the best exercises for this, don’t worry about trekking experience our guides and porters are professional ready to help at command. So, if you are looking for a challenge, to cross your Machu Picchu visit from your bucket list in an amazing way, if you like history, Inca architecture and amazing landscapes, this is the trek for you.

Considerations: There is no other trail that can be compared with this one, for many reasons: historical importance, gorgeous nature, fascinating ecosystems, and this is the only trail that brings you through the Sun Gate, into Machu Picchu. This trail is 800 years old, and was built by the Incas to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It is considered to be the most important trail that only the nobility were allowed to use during the Inca period. The path is paved with stones and stairs. Many Inca sites can also be visited along the way. The different ecosystems that you will encounter are stunning.

Many people talk about how crowded the Inca Trail is, especially with 500 people trekking per day. This is not necessarily true, due to the varied locations of the campsites. Alpaca Expeditions always chooses different campsites that allow you to experience more nature than crowds. Our guides get an earlier start than everyone else to make accommodations.

Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history, culture.
Total Distance: 43KM/26 Miles.
Good For: Those who enjoy hiking and have a moderate level of fitness.
Difficulty: Challenging.
Considerations: Permit required (We will obtain it after you book with us).
Seasons: From March 1st to January 31st.
Trail closed: February for maintenance.
Price: $690 USD person

Inca Trail 5D/4N


We know that a multi-day camping experience is not for everybody, what if you can ask for the classic Inca Trail but a bit paced down and including a hotel night?, nice, right?. Well, that’s one of our treks, the Inca Trail 5D/4N is designed for clients who want to trek the whole Inca Trail without the rush of finishing it in 4 days and also to enjoy one night at a hotel where you will be able to take a good hot shower and relax your tired muscles on a normal bed.
The itinerary and distances are basically the same as for the classic version, the only and great difference is that sith this 5-days plan, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking sight of Machu Picchu not once but twice, the Inca Trail is connected to Machu Picchu, so, on your way out towards your hotel in Aguas Calientes, you will go through the Intipunku (Sun Gate) and stare at Machu Picchu in order to get inside the next day.
This trek is perfect if you are not that experienced in camping and want to relax before the Machu Picchu visit, also is a great idea for a family trek. The hotel is a 3-stars one in Aguas Calientes and the visit the next day will be the first time in the morning so you can get inside before the crowds and even before the trekkers doing the classic version.

Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history, culture
Total Distance: 43 km/26 miles
Good For: Families with children, or those who wish to take their time
Difficulty: Moderate, but challenging
Considerations: Permit required
Price: $850USD per person

Inca Trail 2D/1N


We understand that time is very limited when travelling and Cusco is one of your destinations in your Peru vacation, so, if you don’t have the time for a multi-day hike like the 4-day Inca Trail or if you are not experienced in hiking, we have this option for you, the short Inca Trail version, the last portion of this amazing trek, you will experience hiking through the cloud forest towards Machu Picchu.
This trek has a very particular trailhead, in order to get there you will need to catch a train early in the morning directly to Km. 104 and get ready for a moderate challenging but rewarding trek.
You will trek 15 Kms (8 miles) and will be able to witness Machu Picchu twice after going through the Sun Gate and on your guided tour the next day.
We cater to every like, so, we have 2 versions of this same trek. Distances are the same in each one of them.

With Camping

After seeing Machu Picchu you will take a bus down to Aguas Calientes town, but won’t stop there, you will stop before at Puente Ruinas and walk around 10 minutes to our private campsite, Alpaca Expeditions is the only company with a campsite that close to Machu Picchu, here, your trekking chef will have dinner ready for you to enjoy after a rewarding and tiring day. The tents will be set up and you will be able to take a nice hot showe and some well-deserved rest.
The next day our staff will wake you up with a hot cup of coca tea and a hot breakfast done, after some time to get ready you will head to Aguas Calientes to catch your bus, this will be a 20 minutes’ walk, unfortunately, there is no transportation in Aguas Calientes besides the buses to Machu Picchu, but a small walk will be nothing compare to the hike you just had done. We recommend this version to our clients who love being near nature and love a good camping night.

With Hotel

In this version, you will stop in Aguas Calientes town and head to your hotel, your guide will meet you later so you can enjoy a nice hot shower and be taken to a restaurant to have dinner. After this you can walk around the city and nice weather, we recommend you to go to bed early so you can recover your strength.
The next day you will wake up early so you can enjoy breakfast, hotels in Aguas Calientes have the breakfast station ready from 4 am so you can enjoy without rush and go to the bus station for your Machu Picchu visit.

Tour Type: Trekking/Hiking, cultural, adventurous
Good For: Those in moderate shape, families.
Difficulty: Moderate. It’s not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals.
Consideration: Permit is required, but a separate permit process for the 4 day hike and generally available with little notice.
Season: Opened March through January. Closed February

WHAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE TREK?


An Alternative Trek is as the name commands it. A different or alternative way to get to Machu Picchu. Due to the strict permit process for the Inca Trail, these first became popular for those who were not able to secure a permit. Now, people recognize some real advantages to the alternative treks.

Compared to the Inca Trail:

Of course there are several differences between the Inca Trail and other treks. One being, the amount of ruins you pass along the way. However, the main difference is that the Inca Trail is the only hike that allows you to walk directly through the Sun Gate, into the Machu Picchu. Everyone else must enter through the main gates of the citadel. Once inside, you are always able to walk to the Sun Gate and get that view from above (for free), but it will not be your first view of the ruins.

The alternative treks that end at Machu Picchu, will all spend one evening in a hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes, the village below Machu Picchu. Your Machu Picchu day will begin with a bus trip from Aguas Calientes up to the ruins (about 25 minutes), and these buses are first come, first serve. It is possible to hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, but you will still need to enter through the main gate.

Pros of the Alternative treks:

Even though they are growing in popularity, it is still likely that you will hike through the Andes with only your group. The roads are not crowded with tourists, and you are visiting places that can only be reached by foot.
Having all the space for you and your group can’t be defeated. It will always add a plus on your experience. Hiking at your own rhythm and enjoying being disconnected from the crowds and big cities.

Also, for those interested in nature, these treks are often more beautiful.
The alternative treks are more centered in nature. Amazing views from the high Andes, rivers diving the land and fauna running wild and magnificent.
Each one offers something special, like heading to Salkantay Pass by the glaciers while doing the Salkantay trek. Be surrounded by the eternal mountains and the snowed peaks.

Visit local villages and be part of their history. Learning their traditions and lifestyle with the Lares Trek.
Treks like Choquekiraw or Vilcabamba allowing you to visit other tremendous and important Incan citadels not as popular as Machu Picchu but equally beautiful and breathtaking.

Conquering the Sacred Valley while doing the Huchuy Qosqo trek and witnessing the fortress located at the mountain.
Amazing lakes and the most privileged views while trekking the Ausangate trek and visiting the Worldwide known Rainbow Mountain.
To mention a few of the amazing features our alternative treks have to offer.

The alternative treks, also, provide the chance to use animals to help with the distribution of wait which will make things easier for the clients and the staff. You will always have an emergency horse to use if needed or to cover a very steep section of the experience.

Meals are included as well. You will enjoy the best meals cooked by your trekking chef. All the best flavor without losing the amount of every portion. You will have enough food to get full or to ask for a second or third portion.
The service along the alternative treks is the same as for the Inca Trail.

A once in a lifetime experience with the Green Machine!

Classic Salkantay trek 5D/5N


As mentioned above, the Salkantay trek is the best option for nature lovers and medium to more experienced hikers. In this version we will go on a multi-day trek that will take you in a great mix of camping, lodging and a night at a hotel.

The most remarkable part of this trek is the pick up the afternoon before the actual hike, this safe us time and also allows you to be up in the Humantay lake beating the crowds, but we won’t let you just spend the night at a campsite, we have our first lodge in Soraypampa (the community next to the Humantay lake trail), you will be able to spend the night at our glass cabins lodge and witness the sky before taking some rest.

The highest point of this trek is at the Salkantay Pass which is 5200 meters high, this will make that day the toughest but will be rewarded by spending the next night at our Hobbit Houses lodge, here will enjoy our Inca Shire, your trekking chef will have your dinner ready and you will enjoy a hot shower to relax your muscles. This trek will also give you the chance to meet the coffee farmers from the area and you will learn how to toast your own coffee to purchase it later. After one more one on a campsite (Llactapata, in front of Machu Picchu) you will hike your way to Aguas Calientes and will enjoy a nice hotel night. Dinner will be served at a restaurant and you will go to take some well deserved rest so you can go to Machu Picchu with your energies recharged.

Tour Location: Salkantay Trek – Amazing Alternative Route to Machu Picchu
Tour Type: Trekking/hiking, cultural, adventurous
Good For: Those in moderate shape, or better
Difficulty: Challenging
Considerations: In order to include Hamantay lagoon (Turquoise Lagoon) and Llacatapata (amazing camping spot with Machu Picchu in the distance) we need to leave the afternoon before the trek starts making this trek 5.5 days and 5 nights.
Season: From March 1st to January 10th.
Closed: From January 10th to February 28th (Due to rainy season).

Lares trek 4D/3N


What about a less challenging but more cultural trek?, What about an option for you and your beloved family?, say no more, we have the Lares trek for you, this is as well a 4-day hike but with only 33 Km in total and the highest point at 4650 meters high.
This trek will take your towards the Lares region and on your way you will find hot springs, lakes and most importantly, communities, people from the village who will be more than happy to show you their culture and share with you the still living Inca way of living. If you book this trek in Peruvian school time, you will be able to meet the children taking classes at their school, you can bring school supplies for them if you want to, a smile on their faces will say it all.
At the beginning of this trek you will have the chance to witness the antique llama ceremony performed by your horseman. This trek will be a cultural rollercoaster, a great family memory, this trek is child friendly because it only has 2 nights a campsites and 1 night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes, will you walk there?, no, you will be taken in the expeditions train and be taken to your hotel and restaurant by your guide in order for you to save energy for the amazing Machu Picchu visit the next day.

Tour Location: Lares Trek to Mystical Machu Picchu, Peru
Tour Type: Trekking/Hiking, cultural, adventurous
Good For: Those in moderate shape, families.
Difficulty: Moderate. It’s not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals.
Consideration: Since you are hiking in the Alpine, this is one of our coldest treks. Please be prepared with lots of warm layers.
Season: Open all year – January through December.

Huchuy Qosqo trek


If you are looking for a trek but are new on the field or don’t have enough time on your schedule we have this option for you. The Huchuy Qosqo or Small Cusco trek. 2 days of hiking to then enjoy a great Machu Picchu visit on the 3rd day.

This trek will take you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas until conquering the ancient archaeological park of Huchuy Qosqo. A hidden treasure well preserved by the time. The guided tour will cover every single space of this fabulous place and will give you the chance to get the best photos from this site located at the top of a mountain.

The whole experience will take you through the high Andes and reaching a top elevation of 4150 meters high (13615 ft.) at the Coriccocha Pass. Witnessing beautiful views and lakes all along the journey. The big attraction for this experience is located at 3600 meters elevation which won’t be a challenge after conquering the 2 Passes you will go through.

Once all the trekking is done you will get down to the Valley again but in order to being picked up and be taken towards Ollantaytambo to catch a train and being taken to Aguas Calientes where a great hotel will be ready and your Machu Picchu visit will take place the next day!
A whole day dedicated to the World Wonder and all its secrets. You will enjoy a full guided tour and then being taken back to your hotel in Cusco.

Tour Location: Huchuy Qosqo, little Cusco perched above the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history, culture
Good For: Anyone in moderate shape, families.
Difficulty: Moderate
Consideration: Huchuy Qosqo is one of our prettiest treks and it is shorter and a bit easier for those with limited time. Great for families and those who want a taste of hiking.
Season: Open all year – January through December.

Ausangate 3D/2N trek


Machu Picchu is not always the only destination when coming to Cusco. If you already visited the site and want to discover new treks leading to new attractions or places to conquer.

Well, this is one of them. Instead of leading to Machu Picchu our Ausangate trek offers a new experience while trekking through the high Andes leading to the ancient Ausangate snowed peak.

This trek will challenge you and amaze you at the same time. You will have the chance to discover the Andean wild life but also privileged views from the different lakes and mountains you will find at every step.

One of the biggest highlights of this experience is the chance to hike to the Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca during the 3rd day. Since you will get there hiking you will beat the crowds and have the site almost empty and ready to take a lot of great photos. This is something not a lot of people can witness and what you will earn after a great trek.

Once the Rainbow Mountain is done you will have the chance to do the Red Valley as well. We will provide a wonderful last lunch cooked by our trekking chef and pick you up towards Cusco while you recover from the task you just fulfilled.
The total distance of the trek is 30 Km approx and beating an elevation of 5030 meters high while at the top of the Rainbow Mountain.

Tour Location: Rainbow Mountain and Ausangate trek
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure
Good For: Those with a sense of adventure and in good shape
Difficulty: Challenging
Consideration: Enjoy the amazing colors of the Rainbow Mountain and Ausangate beating the crowds
Season: Open all year – January through December.

Ausangate trek + Machu Picchu 4D/3N


Yes, the Ausangate trek is the best option if having limited time or already visited Machu Picchu but what happens if I what to do both? Do I need to book two different tours to accomplish this?.

Not at all! In Alpaca Expeditions we have the perfect trek for each client and always can find the best trek for you.
Our Ausangate 4 days cover this and more. You will have the chance to enjoy the amazing Ausangate experience. Trekking alongside the snowed peaks and beating the crowds at the Rainbow Mountain but having the addition of being picked up and taken to Ollantaytambo to catch a train to Aguas Calientes.
You will spend the night at a great hotel to recover your strength since you will have a Machu Picchu guide tour the next day. Fourth day is dedicated for the World Wonder and this way you will get the best out both Worlds!

The total distance of the trek is 30 Km approx and beating an elevation of 5030 meters high while at the top of the Rainbow Mountain.

Tour Location: Rainbow Mountain, Ausangate trek and Machu Picchu
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history and cultural
Good For: Those with a sense of adventure and in good shape
Difficulty: Challenging
Consideration: Enjoy the amazing colors of the Rainbow Mountain and Ausangate beating the crowds while on your way to visit Machu Picchu
Season: Open all year – January through December.

Combined tours

Alternative + Inca Trail


Choosing is hard. We know that. And for that same reason Alpaca Expeditions has a wide number of options to cover everyone’s needs and likes.
You learned about our Inca Trail options and our Alternative treks to Machu Picchu but what about if there is the chance to combine these 2?
We can offer customized treks adding your favorite alternative trek with a version of the Inca which suits it better.
This is of course for people looking for a challenge and with the needed time available since this trek will become multi-day hiking experiences that an enthusiast trekker won’t let pass by.

Inca Trail w/ Salkantay 7D/6N


Is very hard for us to say which one of our 2 most famous hike is better so, with this plan we don’t have to, you can enjoy he best of both worlds, the history and architecture from the Inca Trail and the deep contact with the high mountains combined with the amazing natural landscapes from Salkantay trek.
We recommend this trek to experienced trekkers and camping lovers because you will be spending the nights in campsites for 6 days, which also means that you will enjoy your trekking chef cuisine for a long period of time.

The trek will start in Marcocasa where you will get in a car and then will cover a total of 75 Kms (46.7 miles). You will go from 3300 in Marcocasa to 5200 meters high in the Salkantay Pass, this part of the trek offers a deep connection with the high mountains and the scenery is just breathtaking, bringing warm clothes is mandatory here, weather can go down to 0°C or 32°F. Along the way you will witness different lakes such as Humantay lake (or blue lagoon), Ancascocha, to mention the main ones and will be able to see the holy apu (mountain) Salkantay just in front of you.

After this, you will enter the Inca Trail, you won’t even know when you’ve done but you will start feeling the climate change and also how the terrain changes from natural mountain to worked path, the Inca Trail will carry all the history you were waiting for and will take you up to 4200 meters high at the Dead Woman Pass, after this, you will start your way down to the cloud forest, witness Wiñay Wayna ruins, so you can enter Machu Picchu on the last day from the inside. A long and rewarding trek that a trekking lover can’t let pass out.

Tour Location: Inca Trail and Salkantay Trail – Epic 7 day Hike to Machu Picchu
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history, culture
Total Distance: 46.7 miles/75 km
Good For: Experienced hikers
Difficulty: Quite Challenging
Considerations: Permit required for day four

Lares trek + 2 Days Inca Trail with Camping - 5D/4N


We just talked about our Lares trek. A wonderful experience starting on the Sacred Valley of the Incas and covering the high Andes while sharing with local communities. An amazing trek combining both adventure and culture.

What if we tell you can also add history and architecture to this experience.
After some study and practice we got to this amazing itinerary. A mix of these two experience.
The cultural Lares trek and the Ancient Inca Trail on its short version for a total of 5 days adventure.
You will cover all of the path the Lares trek offer and instead of going to Aguas Calientes on the 3rd night you will stay at Ollantaytambo to take your train the next morning. All the way toward the Inca Trail trailhead at Km 104 to start the ancient path.
This will be our Short Inca Trail with camping version which means that you will spend the night before your Machu Picchu tour at the only campsite near the World Wonder. Doesn’t get better than that.
As usual we will provide the best Machu Picchu guided tour and will take you back to Cusco using our private transportation and professional drivers.

Tour Location: Lares Trek to Mystical Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail short version
Tour Type: Trekking/Hiking, cultural, adventurous and historical
Good For: Those in moderate shape, families.
Difficulty: Moderate. It’s not a technical hike but the altitude may affect some individuals.
Consideration: Since you are hiking in the Alpine, this is one of our coldest treks. Please be prepared with lots of warm layers.
Permit required for day 4.
Season: Open all year – January through December. Except for February and based on availability