Camino Inca vs Salkantay Trek Which one should I choose?

Camino inka Salkantay Trek
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The Inca Trail and the Salkantay are two treks that take tourists to Machu Picchu. Now we will tell you about the differences.

The Inca trail trek is one of the cherished dreams of many people around the world, because it is an iconic path due to the importance of historical, archaeological, and landscape preservation, according to National Geographic it is considered one of the best treks in the world.

But it will always be found that the Inca trail is full throughout the year since its reservations are given throughout the year.

The Salkantay trek is one of the most difficult treks due to the type of trek to reach the closest part of the Salkantay snow-capped peak. Its importance in this trek is to see mountains and the other, the connection of the Andes with the Peruvian jungle is also recognized. by National Geographic as one of the best hikes in the world.

Mention that both comparisons of these walks are not entirely accurate, but we will consider enjoying the importance in terms of history, archaeological complexes, and view of nature in general.

Differences between the trekking distances of the Inca Trail and Salkantay

Between these two walks, they have different durations and different itineraries as well as the degree of difficulty, these walks have a long difference in terms of the number of kilometers.

Inca Trail

The classic Inca trail begins in the part of what is the sacred valley, in the town of Piscacucho called km. 82. From this place the 4-day trek to the Inca citadel of Machupichu begins. The total route of this walk is 43 kilometers. Throughout the journey you can appreciate the path made by our ancestors and also different archaeological complexes.

Camino inca Salkantay


This little bed begins in the Mollepata district, or it could also be started from different places such as Marco Casa, Challacancha, or Soraypampa. The traditional route begins at the base camp of Soraypampa from this place begins an ascent towards the Humantay lagoon, Salkantay pass, and the cloud forest until reaching the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The total of this walk is 70 km.

salkantay camino inca

The landscape on the Inca Trail and Salkantay

Inca trail

Throughout the walk, you cross mountains and see different archaeological complexes such as Llactapata, Sayaqmarca, Phuyutamarca, Intipata, Wiñay wayna. Orchids can also be seen, as well as the first connection to Machu Picchu from the Intipunku (Sun Gate) on the last day of the trek.


In this walk from the beginning you will be surprised by the scenic beauty where you can see the peaks of the Humantay and Salkantay snow-capped peaks, both more than 5000 meters above sea level, you can also see the Humantay lagoon the water is turquoise, the lagoon of salkantay that is located at 4620 m.s.n.m. and the connection of the Andes with the cloud forest, and the view of Machupichu from the llaqtapata viewpoint considered one of the first views of Machu Picchu.

Altitude of the Inca Trail and Salkantay

As many of us know, altitude sickness is one of the problems that occurs on the trip to Machupicchu. Days before arriving in the city of Cusco, it is recommended to eat lightly (soups) and drink plenty of water to hydrate.

Altitude on the Inca Trail

On the Inca Trail, you will pass through two mountains: Paso de Warmi Huañusca “dead woman” located at 4200 meters above sea level, which lasts about 5 to 6 hours on its ascent and you have to descend about 2 hours. The second ascent is the Runquraqay pass, which is located at 4,000 meters above sea level. and you get to go up in 2 hours and a half approximately.

This trek is lower than the Salkantay trek but due to physical fatigue it often happens that you have altitude sickness problems “soroche”.

Altitude in the Salkantay trek

On the Salkantay trek, the highest point that can be reached is 4630 meters above sea level. 200 meters higher than the Inca trail the ascent to the salkantay pass is around 3 and a half hours and a descent of 5 hours to the cloud forest part.

On this walk, the possibility of having altitude sickness is greater. This happens by walking for two days at a higher altitude, the second day you descend to 2600 where you have an improvement since the climate is hot and humid and this altitude sickness passes.

salkantay camino inca

What can we learn in both walks?

In terms of history, the difference between these two walks is that on the Inca trail, you get to know more about the Andean culture through the archaeological remains associated with the Andean culture. As for the Salkantay trek, you can learn more about nature and geography.

Accommodation in Inca Trail and Salkantay

In these walks and mainly in the Inca Trail walk, tents that repel the rain, and inflatable matras are provided, Salkantay there are houses or camps where you can rent a hut inside which there are beds.

Accommodation in the Salkantay

Salkantay offers two types of accommodation, one in tents and in lodgings, but most of many local families made modern constructions and offer lodging and food service throughout the journey you can find and reach the town of Aguas Calientes where, as you can find hotels and hostels.

Salkantay Trek

Accommodation in Inca Trail

The accommodation along the way belongs to the Ministry of Culture, which designates camping sites. The strong porters are in charge of carrying the camping equipment, as well as food and all the logistical equipment for the 3 overnight stays.

Along the way, there are different camps where bathrooms are located as well as places to eat lunch.

Costs of the Inca Trail and Salkantay Trek

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is strictly regulated by the Peruvian government through its entity, which is the Ministry of Culture, with an opening of 500 people per day. The entrance to the Inca Trail is approximately $100.00 per person.

It is important to know that one person cannot do it, you only need to take the services of a tour operator since they know about the visiting regulations on the walk, personal porters are needed the individual price becomes a bit excessive average of $800 at $900.00 dollars.

In case you do the group tour, the tour has a lower cost since you share the costs.

camino inca salkantay


Permits are not required for this walk, since the municipality of the district of Mollepata directly charges the visitor 10 soles for a national tourist and 20 soles for a foreign tourist. On the way, payments are also made for lodging per person.

If you wish, you can visit the waters Cocalmayo hot springs the price is 10 soles per person, just like the visit to the Inca citadel depends on the visitor, A national tourist the price is 64 soles and for foreigners 152 soles, which likewise the price of the train varies.

Salkantay trek

Both options are great for travelers looking to get to Machu Picchu. The best route for you will depend on your interests and preferences.

Check out our tours of both trails and find out which one is right for you!

Nicole Maxdeo
Nicole Maxdeo
Comunicadora, viajera y amante de los gatos 😍

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