Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of April 10-16, 1997
Exploring Grand Staircase-Escalante
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Hiking, biking, and paddling in Maine
Learning to sail in the Caribbean
Tips for climbing the Tetons in July

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Question: I would like the names of some local reputable companies that lead hiking trips on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru and in Bolivia.

Lyn Rawlinson
Seattle, WA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: Wildland Adventures (800-345-4453) offers three trips to give you the experience of Machu Picchu, but lead you away from the maddening crowds. Here are its three offerings: Machu Picchu Vilcabamba Trek — a horseback supported hike through ancient Indian villages to Machu Picchu; The Inca Trail Trek — a hike along the 45-kilometer trail known as the Camino Inca to Machu Picchu; Andes and Amazon Odyssey — a nine-day trip to the high Andes into a remote Amazon rainforest. All three have regular departures.

With the five different itineraries offered by Wilderness Travel (800-368-2794), you're likely to find one that fits your idea of the ultimate Andean experience. The offerings include Inca Trail to Machu Picchu — a classic 12-day trip following the Inca Trail; Ultimate Andes — an Inca Trail trek plus a challenging hike around the 20,640-foot Auzangate; Andean Odyssey — a journey to Chile, Peru and Bolivia; Peru Explorer — a motorized exploration of Peru's ancient cultures; and Royal Inca — a non-trekking nine-day sampler trip.

Marked as an easy- to moderately difficult trip, the nine-day adventure offered by Overseas Adventure Travel (800-221-0814) includes a float trip and a lesson in backstrap weaving from local artisans. You can also join a Peruvian family for some down-home cookin'.

Although the above-mentioned come highly recommended, I'd dig around at a local bookstore or travel agent to find a trip that fits your needs. As you can see, the "lost city" of Machu Picchu isn't so lost anymore.

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