It's the most famous hike in South America – perhaps the world – and a must-do, life-changing experience. Hiking the Inca Trail through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu is both arduous and awe-inspiring. Four days of cold, pain and exhaustion dissipate as the mist lifts to reveal the emerald peaks and terraced ruins of the mystical ancient city.
The most famous hike in South America, the four-day Inca Trail, is walked by thousands every year. Although the total distance is only about 24 miles, the ancient trail laid by the Incas from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu winds its way up and down and around the mountains, snaking over three high Andean passes en route, which have collectively led to the route being dubbed ‘the Inca Trial.’ The views of snowy mountain peaks, distant rivers and ranges, and cloud forests flush with orchids are stupendous – and walking from one cliff-hugging pre-Columbian ruin to the next is a mystical and unforgettable experience.
Chase the ever-changing horizons of the Pan-American Highway on Wild Frontiers’ Peru 4X4: Traverse the Hidden Andes trip.
You’ll pit-stop in the Paracas Desert to see the Nazca Lines before crawling Andean ridges to Cusco’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, then finish in the Amazon among the wildlife of the Pampa Hermosa reserve.
Who: Wild Frontiers (020 8741 7390; www.wildfrontierstravel.com)