Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu are treks that are not hiked on the Classic Inca Trail.
Most alternative treks do arrive at Machu Picchu to allow the hiker to get the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu Citadel, however the trail does not lead to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. There is a huge variety of alternative treks available through Orange Nation Peru to meet the needs, abilities and desires of most hikers. The type of trail, level of difficulty and number of days varies. There are also alternative treks combined with the Classic or Short Inca Trail, where the trekker gets the best of both worlds, a chance to walk on the Inca Trail and the beauty and or culture of an alternative trek. Some of our most popular alternatives treks are the Lares Trek, Salkantay Trek, Wilderness Salkantay Trek and the Choquequirao. Some treks are very scenic such as the Salkantay Trek and others like the Lares Trek are both scenic and cultural. The Orange Nation website has detail descriptions of each of the treks. Please feel free to consult with our expert staff also.
Please note below why purchasing the tickets and or permits for the Short Inca Trail (if a combo trek) required for your desired trek dates need to be purchased as early as possible. Entrance tickets are now being sold on a limited basis and or for shorter time frames to protect the Machu Picchu Citadel site and the Inca Trail from potential damage.
5 Days - 4 Night
This is an alternative route to the Classic Inca Trail, which will take you through incredible landscape and natural beauty with exotic flora and fauna endemic of the region. The trek will involve hiking through valleys and mountains before arriving ...
3 Days - 2 Night
The Huchuy Qosqo trek takes you to a combination of amazing Inca ruins, secluded indigenous villages, incredible snow-capped mountains and exotic vegetation of different types and varieties. The trail goes off the beaten track, over high Andean pas...
5 Days - 4 Night
The Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu is an incredible trail! This adventure is for people who really want to experience nature and the Andes at its best: snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, pristine lakes, animals such llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, an...
4 Days - 3 Night
Our specialization is in trekking, “off the beaten track.” Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu Trek is a personally designed and unique trek taking you to remote and rarely visited Inca ruins. You’ll trek by beautiful waterfalls, view wild...
3 Days - 2 Night
The Incas left some fascinating archaeological sites in and around Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, the Sacred Valley with all of its treasures and ancient ruins to discover which all lead up to the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu, the ultima...
4 Days - 3 Night
A Unique and specially designed 4 day Wilderness Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, which takes you around the stunning spectacular peak of Mount Salkantay while “trekking off the beaten track.” It is the second tallest mountain in the Cu...
4 Days - 3 Night
The Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu is a truly unique adventure with Mountain Bike, Rafting, Zip Line & Trekking that goes off the beaten track! You travel through several micro-climates in the Andes Mountains through the beginning of the cloud ...
Orange Nation highly recommends that if you have specific dates you need for your trek to book as early as possible. Otherwise you may not get all the options you would like to have as a part of your tour. The demand for treks to Machu Picchu has increased over the past couple of years. Alternative treks can be booked closer to your departure date unlike the Inca Trail that has to have a permit which may sell out. If you are booking an alternative trek combo with the Inca trail included, then you do need to book as early as possible to be sure you get your Inca Trail permit. Please be aware that even with alternative treks that include Machu Picchu Citadel and the train there can be issues to get the entrance tickets you may desire. The government has added more restrictions and changes in scheduling and options. For example, permits for the Inca Trail, tickets for Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, and train tickets that will coordinate with the time table of your trek, now are selling out much earlier than before. Booking ahead of time allows Orange Nation Peru to be able to purchase tickets for the entrance times and or trains required to coordinate time wise all the parts of your tour for a relaxing trek and tour to Machu Picchu. Orange Nation wants your trek to be the vacation that you have been dreaming about. By booking early, you ensure that Orange Nation will be able to fulfill all your desires and hopes for every aspect of your trek to Machu Picchu.
It may be possible to book at the last minute in the low tourist season but in high season you will likely not get all the options you would like as a part of your trek, such as the time of day you prefer to enter Machu Picchu, or tickets for Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain are sold out for your specific date. Also, you may have to take a very early or late train because the best train times are already gone. In addition, if you want to trek the Short Inca Trail as a part of your combo trek, it is possible the permits may not be available. If you book at the last minute you must be very flexible with your dates and times and in addition you may not get all your chosen options. Please do not wait until the last minute, book now if you have set dates! Feel free to talk with our expert staff and they can let you know what is possible at the time you wish to tour.
Read why to book early above
Orange Nation needs your personal details and they must match your passport. What is required is your full name as written in your passport, passport number, date of birth, nationality and gender. Once again, it must match exactly your passport! After booking, please send us a copy of your current passport or driver’s license if you are booking with that.
If you are renewing your passport, Orange Nation can book with your old passport number (or your driver’s license number) and we will update once your new passport arrives. Further details are written below.
If you are still in the process of obtaining your passport, you can still book with your driver’s license information and when you obtain your new passport then simply email Orange Nation a photo of both your new passport and your driver’s license and we will update your permit information at the government office. Please bring your drivers license and new passport when you come to Peru.
If your passport will expire before you trek, you can book the tour with your current passport and when you obtain your new passport take photos of both your old and new passports. Then email Orange Nation those photos and they will update your information. It is also wise to bring both your old passport/drivers license if you booked with that and your new passport to Peru when you come.
Yes, it is possible to do some alternative treks if the Inca Trail is not included without a tour provider. Hiking in the wilderness of the Andes Mountains without an experience guide is dangerous, accidents happen and the chance of getting lost is very possible. Orange Nation does not recommend this for your own safety and enjoyment. SAM Travel has highly train guides in 1st aid and altitude sickness, satellite phones for emergencies, and guides that are knowledgeable of the Andes trails, people and culture.
That said, purchasing tickets and entrances have become much more complicated due to new regulations for Machu Picchu Citadel and the increased tourist traffic. It has become very complicated to coordinate all the entrance times, trains, and transfers required to be able to experience a hazzle free trek. If you wish to trek the short Inca Trail as a part of your trek, please note that the government of Peru strictly controls the Inca Trail. This hike can only be booked by a fully licensed tour operator. Orange Nation is a 100% licensed Inca Trail tour operator by the government here in Cusco, Peru. (Not all tour operators can do the Inca Trail).
Please read above all the reasons under why booking early is important to fully understand why it is difficult to be able to do a coordinated tour to Machu Picchu without a knowledgeable tour operator.
Orange Nation specializes in small intimate groups of 2 to 8 persons! We want to guarantee the best possible experience for all our clients who choose to trek with us. Small groups allow you to get to know better the individuals trekking with you and to receive lots of individual attention from your guide. We want you enjoy your hiking experience and make memories that will last a life time. Also, unlike other tour companies, if 2 persons book we guarantee you go even if no other people book. You book, pay your deposit, you go!
YES, you absolutely can book a private trek at an additional cost! The cost varies depending on the size of your private group. A private tour means that you will have your own personal guide, chef, horsemen, and only the members of your group will be part of the entire trek group. Of course, there will be other tour groups from SAM Travel and other travel agencies at the sites you visit or on the Inca Trail except for the Lares Trek which has its own campsites.
Booking with Orange Nation is easy. All you need to do is click on the BOOK NOW link and follow the instructions. If you have questions, please chat with us or give us a call using the phone numbers on the top of the main page for the Peru office or the USA office.
Please be sure you have all your passport information ready when you book and send us a copy of your passport via email afterwards. (see earlier instructions if you do not yet have a passport or it will expire before the trek begins. It is still possible to book now!
As soon as we receive your completed booking form and your $200 deposit per person, we will email you a confirmation.
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!
It was perfect! On the first day we had a great time exploring the Sacred Valley and see the main attractions and learn about the history of this beautiful place.
I would definitely recommend the short Inka trail, I think it was the best way to get to know Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. We arrived at Machu Picchu when most of the crowd was gone and it felt really special.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru
Best mix of adventure, history and nature: Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
4-day trekking option seemed too intense for us, but we still wanted to experience the entrance to Machu Picchu through the ancient Inka trail, so we opted for Orange Nation’s combination of Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I couldn’t be more happy about our decision.
We booked and paid the deposit to Orange Nation / Sam travel for the 4 day Inca Trail and Machu Pichu trip back in 2019. But we couldn't travel in 2020 and 2021 - but the company honoured our agreement and so we came back in 2022.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru. This tour had so many incredible things and places packed into 4 days.
My girl and i did the Machu Pichu trek tour with Orange Nation. It was seriously the most amazing experience that we'll never forget. Gorgeous views! The long trek was worth the amazing view. The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. We considered other tours but chose Orange Nation because we liked the idea of smaller groups and this was definitely worth it. I will be using Orange Nation again next year when I come back to Peru!
Wow, what a wonderful trekking experience! My trip to Peru was amazing thanks to this awesome tour that i took with Orange Nation. I did multiple tours with this company. I'm a solo traveler and everyone in my group was always still friendly and did not make me feel left out. I loved going off the beaten track with this company. It's much better to pay extra to go off the path for the quality experience of this amazing guided tour They definitely helped guide us and gave us a quality experience with a small group and paid special attention to each one of us. I highly recommend using Orange Nation for your next tour in Peru!