Top Ten Peru Classic Adventures

Machu Picchu: Tread on This
By Rob Rachowiecki

You can't avoid huge crowds en route to the best known site in Peru, so don't try. Just appreciate Machu Picchu for what it is: a mysterious 500-year-old Inca ruin that wasn't known by outsiders until Yale historian Hiram Bingham reached it in 1911. The most dramatic of Inca sites, set on a remote high Andean ridge, it's now the centerpiece of a national park and a world heritage site. Though everyone does it, the hike isn't that easy; the steep climb from the trailhead at 7,000 feet over 14,200-foot "Huarmiwaqusca" (Dead Woman's Pass) exhausts thousands of trekkers a year. Because of the altitude, we recommend at least three days to enjoy it, though many folks take four.


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