Hiking the Peruvian Andes

Everyone's heard of Machu Picchu, of course, and this magical spot does indeed live up to the hype. And most visitors take a train here from Cuzco, but for real adventure, find a guide or join a group to get there the old-fashioned way nature intended - on foot, with a four- to five-day trek through ancient sites and mountainside communities of weavers and farmers. The best known route is the 26-mile Inca Trail, consisting of three overlapping routes and much of it following paved tracks laid down by the anicent Incans themselves (but it's become pretty popular in recent years, so Peru's government has limited the number of trekkers to 500 daily, and you'll need to book well in advance). Lesserr known but equally rewarding - and favored by Incan priests - is the Salkantay Trek (which also has the advantage of being easier to book). Another big difference experience-wise is that this 46-mile route goes mostly through mountains - more than 16,000 feet above sea level - which yields some majestic views but is also more taxing, both in terms of endurance and potential soroche (altitude sickness).


Read more in Tripatini member Sadie Brooks' post 7 Awesome Active Vacation Ideas for 2023.


Jorge Arciniega


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