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Peru: Heading to Machu Picchu? Try this off-the-beaten-path trek

Peru: Heading to Machu Picchu? Try this off-the-beaten-path trek

Posted by Juan Gavasa on August 18, 2014

A trek to Machu Picchu is a must-do for many hikers, but routes to Peru's iconic mountaintop ruins are often congested with tourists.

Vaya Adventures is offering another way to reach the site, using less-traveled trails through Lares, a relatively untouristed region. Participants will meet in Lima before flying to Cuzco, where they will spend several days adjusting to the high altitude (11,200 feet) and exploring the Sacred Valley.

The trek begins on Day 4, with a six-hour hike (and a 3,000-foot elevation gain) to Cancha Cancha, a small village of stone houses below Pachacutec Pass, at 15,480 feet. After camping overnight, the trek heads for the pass, named for the famed Incan leader. After seven hours on the trail and a 2,000-feet elevation gain, guests will camp in Quiswarani, another traditional village.

Day 6 brings another six-hour trek; then, on Day 7, guests will begin a hike at the Urubamba River, heading uphill until reaching the last section of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. After spending the night and an early-morning exploration of the ruins, guests will return to Cuzco by train for two nights, then fly home from Lima.

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