machu picchu

machu picchu

The Road Less Traveled to Machu Picchu: Travelzoo Experience

4d ago
SOURCE  

Description

Well-meaning friends have told me that I’m not very good at vacationing. While they use their time off to put up their feet as much as possible, my vacations are more likely to involve strenuous hikes through remote landscapes such as Nepal and Alaska. So when my boyfriend and I booked a great Travelzoo airfare deal to Peru on LAN Airlines, we decided that taking the easiest route to Machu Picchu wasn’t our style. As I researched, I discovered that there are many different paths to Machu Picchu’s spectacular Incan ruins. Picking one depends on your vacation time, budget and fitness level. No roads go directly to Machu Picchu, so the easiest and quickest option is by rail. Peru Rail and Inca Rail both go to the town of Agua Calientes, and from there you can catch a 20-minute shuttle bus to the Machu Picchu site. Since we weren’t pressed for time, we ruled out the train and instead looked into the more active alternative: trekking. The most famous route to Machu Picchu is the Inca Trail, which is actually three overlapping routes that take two to five days. The trail ends dramatically at the Sun Gate on top of Machu Picchu mountain, overlooking the Machu Picchu ruins. Along the way, trekkers pass Incan ruins, cloud forests and tundra. However, the trail’s popularity also means you’ll bump into a fair amount of other tourists (and people trying to profit off tourists). It also requires a permit, which I soon discovered the hard way must be reserved many months in advance—they were already sold out for our travel dates. Back to square one, I began exploring alternate routes to Machu Picchu, many of which don’t require permits. National Geographic lists their top six picks which range from 1-13 days. While all sounded spectacular, the four-day Lares Route held my interest. This route promised to be the most remote and uncrowded, passing small Incan farms where the locals raise llamas and plant potatoes by hand the same as they have for centuries. I booked our spots on a trek led by Alpaca Expeditions and began to prepare. Read more of Kelsey's trekking tips on our blog: http://www.travelzoo.com/blog/road-less-traveled-machu-picchu/ Join for free: https://www.travelzoo.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travelzoo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/travelzoo Twitter: https://twitter.com/Travelzoo