On this post we have outlined the best of both the renowned Inca Trail and the lesser known Inca Quarry Trail. Read on to see which one to you is the best hike to Machu Picchu. So Inca Trail vs Inca Quarry Trail?
If you want to go on an adventure while in Peru, consider hiking the Classic Inca Trail. Everyone who has anything to do with South America knows about the Inca Trail. Inca trail leads to the Inca Ruins, which is set in a mountainous scene with snow-capped views of the Andes.
When you step onto this trail, you are stepping on the foot trails of the ancient past. The trail starts at the Cusco Capital and goes through the Sacred Valley where you can see the ruins of Ollantaytambo. Then you can keep going until you reach the Sun Gate (In Quechua its called Inti Punku). This will take you to the overlook of Machu Picchu.
In order to hike on the Inca Trail, you will need to have a permit, which can be sold out. If that is the case for you, then there is another alternative trail to take, the Inca Quarry Trail or Cachicata Trek.
Inca Quarry Trail is not as popular as Salkantay Trek or Lares Trek. But, it offers a unique experience. It takes you to the oldest and the largest stone quarry of Incas in Cachicata. Ollantaytambo houses some of the impressive stone works in the whole Sacred Valley of Incas.
It was in Cachicata, the Incas moulded these stones. Although today the quarry is considered as an archeological site, you will see many pieces of fine pink marbles scattered here. This is a testament to the massive construction project in Ollantaytambo which was never completed due to Spanish invasion.
When you hike this trek, you will be amidst the cloud forests which leaves you in awe as you look around at the indescribable beauty.
You can expect the hike to take approximately four days and during that time, you will cover twenty-seven miles. You would need a good level of fitness.
The highest point of Inca Trail is at ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ located at approximately 13,779 feet. If you have camping equipment to carry, we have porters to assist you with that burden.
This is also ideal if you are on solo travel as you will get to meet other trekkers. You will be arriving to Machu Picchu through the Sun gate.
The hike on Inca Trail will end once you reach the Sun Gate and look over the Machu Picchu.
While hiking the Quarry Trail you will be able to look around at the beautiful Andean scenery and the snow capped Veronica mountain. Inca Quarry Trail doesn’t attract many trekkers. Most want to take the Inca Trail or other popular ones.
While on this route, you will visit three archaeological spots those are unique. It also takes you to a lesser known Sun Gate (Not to be confused with the one in Machu Picchu). A secluded site that you will be reaching after hiking 26km the Incas Called Inti Punku. You will also be visiting the Perolniyoc cascade lookout.
This will give you some insight on how the Incas were able to remove stone from the mountains. The Quarry Trail is approximately sixteen miles and takes approximately three days. The highest point is at 14599 feet, which is actually higher than the Inca Trail. You wont be needing a permit for this trek.
You simply book your time and go. On this trek, you will have horses carrying your camping equipment or to carry you if you find this trail to be a challenge.
Both of these treks give you the expert guides to get you to the top and back. You will be safe while on your journey. Both treks have beautiful breath-taking views that you can keep in your mind for a lifetime. It’s important to note that either trail you choose; you will need to expect a moderate level of exercise on this trail so you should be in your best shape before you begin the hike.
Pack the basic supplies and nothing more. You will not be able to take anything other than the necessities. Use this time to enjoy nature, the scenery, our ancestors, and the beauty of the earth.
Inca Quarry Trail