Peru Treks from Cusco

by on 11th January, 2018

Kathy on the Salkantay trek near Cusco.

What trek should I do in Peru?

Kathy, Andean Trails’ director, has been trekking in the Andes since 1994.  Here she gives her round up of treks in the Cusco area, from the Classic Inca Trail to the more remote and rugged mountain Ausangate Circuit.

All prices correct at the time of publishing 11/01/2018



See details here:

Cost: USD 905/GBP 724 per person on small group trek.

Our Classic Inca Trail is a 4 day trek and runs as a small group tour. You will stay at the popular campsites, use good camping equipment and thermarests to sleep on (sleeping bag not included), and be well supplied with nutritious, plentiful meals and snacks.  At campsites you use the basic, shared latrines provided, but you do have the option to pay extra for a toilet tent.  We offer daily departures, except in February, when the trail is closed to everyone. We always include a personal porter who will carry 6kg for you.

Permits for the Inca Trail are limited to 500 per day and sold on a first come first served basis.  Demand is always high, and the 4 day trek trek is already sold out for the early months of 2018 – although there is still plenty of availability later in the year.

Cancelled spaces are not resold. So, if you can’t change your travel dates to fit with when permits are available then how about considering an alternative trek.

Our alternatives are all great treks in their own right and are less well trodden. If you prefer having the mountains to yourselves, an alternative may be preferable anyway.




Our Huchuy Qosqo, Lares, Salkantay, Choquequiaro and the Moon Temple trek all take you through the heart of the high Andes and include a guided visit to Machu Picchu. Alternatively choose to hike the remote Ausangate trek that takes you well off the beaten track and can still be combined with a visit to Machu Picchu before or after the trek.

We suggest you acclimatise for a minimum of 3 days and 3 nights in Cusco, or higher, before starting any of these treks, because of the high altitudes involved. If you have longer then spend longer acclimatising.  The better acclimatised you are the more you will enjoy the trek.



See details here:

Cost: USD 990/ GBP 792 pp based on joining a small group Lares Trek with a private 2 day Inca Trail add on.

Permits for the “2 day Inca Trail” or “Short Inca Trail” are easier to come by and  are different from the permits for the full Inca Trail  so you could consider the option of doing just a 2 day trek or combining it with our Lares Trek – making it a 6 day trip with day 5 being a hike to the site of Winay Wayna where you join the Inca Trail and follow it along to the sun gate, entering Machu Picchu as you would on the Inca Trail. Day 6 is then a guided tour of the site.

For a fuller experience I’d recommend the 6 day trip, combining the two day Inca Trail with the lovely Lares Trek.


LARES: (5 days)

See details here:

Cost:  USD 860/ GBP 688 pp on a small group trek.

The Lares trek goes through a traditional weaving and farming area close to the Sacred Valley. You will see people dressed in authentic highland Peruvian clothing, farmers at work, herds of llamas etc. You also have the opportunity to bathe in some hot springs.

Departures: Group departures most Wednesdays from April to November (other departure days and private tours available, please ask).

For a more upmarket In Style Lares trek, please see our Lodge to Lodge trek.


SALKANTAY: (5 days)

See details here:

Cost: USD 840/ GBP 672pp on a small group trek.

The Salkantay option is a bit more rugged and tougher, with higher passes. Starting off at 3,600ms this trek goes up to 4,600ms and then drops down into the high jungle before coming in the back door to Machu Picchu. A stunning high-mountain walk with great views of the big snow-capped peaks in the area and ending at Machu Picchu.

Departures: Group departures most Tuesdays and Fridays from April to November (other departure days and private tours available, please ask).

Check our Facebook photos of the trek:

Or for a more upmarket In Style Salkantay trek, please see our Lodge to Lodge trek.



Cost: USD 1,600 / GBP 1,280 pp Fridays guaranteed.

The Ausangate trek takes you to a wonderful remote area at the foot of the sacred peak of Ausangate. Fewer hikers and dramatic scenery make this trek a great choice for those who’d like to veer a little off the beaten track. It is challenging mostly due to the altitude, so requires a longer acclimatisation pre-trek. This is one of our highest treks so we recommend at least 5 or 6 days of acclimatising before setting off.

Departures: Confirmed group departures every Friday from April to October (other departure days and private tours available, please ask).

Check our Facebook photos of the trek:



See details here:

Cost: USD 580/ GBP 464 pp on a small group trek.

This trekking adventure features a spectacular 5-day walk around Mount Ausangate in the remote and stunning Vilcanota Range. Fully supported, this trek features hot-springs, stunning mountain scenery and turquoise lakes – making it one of Peru’s finest hiking circuits.

You should be very well acclimatised before starting to walk as we will be camping in Altiplano well over 4,000m and crossing several passes at around 5,000m.

Departures: Regular group departures from April to October (please ask for dates to suit you).

Check our Facebook photos:



See details here:

Cost: USD 880 / GBP 704 pp on a small group trek.

This Moon Temple trek is a great alternative to the Inca Trail, taking in some remote Inca ruins and many stunning mountain views on the way to Machu Picchu. This trek is truly off the beaten track. For anyone wishing to get away from other trekkers and to experience the beauty and rich Culture of the Andes this is a perfect option.

Check our Facebook photos:

Departures: Regular group departures from April to October (please ask).



See details here:

Cost: USD 675 / GBP 540 pp on a small group trek.

Huchuy Qosqo is a fantastically varied and short trek with Inca Trails and archaeological sites en route to Peru’s jewel, Machu Picchu.  It is perfect for those seeking an alternative and interesting trek to Machu Picchu, but who don’t want to hike the longer trekking routes.

Departures: Regular group departures from April to October (please ask).



More information

If you’d like some more information about other alternative treks, itineraries, accommodation or tailor made options, as well as prices, kit lists and the best time to go, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.


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