Not a bad article on Inca Trail Trek to Machu Pichu in the New York Times:
As it runs through craggy mountain passes and ancient Incan ruins, the fabled Inca Trail in Peru reveals surprise after surprise to travelers hiking its length to the lost city of Machu Picchu. But hereâ€™s a new one: To set foot on that fabled Andean footpath, youâ€™ve first got to fight through a three-month waiting list. …
A few years ago, the Inca Trail was becoming the Long Island Expressway of central Peru, brimming with trash, tourists and growing concerns about overuse. So the Peruvian government began enforcing strict limits on the number of people allowed on the trail. Right now, only 500 people a day may enter â€” about 200 tourists and 300 guides and porters.
And so, â€œalternativeâ€ Inca Trails are gaining popularity with travelers unable or unwilling to book a slot three to six months in advance. These treks can be booked a day or two in advance and can cost less than half as much as a hike on the Inca Trail.
We agree that most serious hikers would prefer one of the alternatives to the Inca Trail.
The standard is Salcantay which was good when we did it in 2004, but is degrading rapidly. And now also regulated.
Far better and far more difficult is Choquiquirao to Machu Picchu. Hurry on that adventure, however. Peruvian officials are already looking at it.
At besthike we have high hopes for Bolivia. Trekking there is as yet very little developed due to government instability. But one day …
Check our full list of the best hikes in South America.
day 2 – Choquequirao to Machu Picchu – Zusk’s trip report