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Trekking to Machu Picchu (the Cool Way)

No crowds. Plush lodges. Jungles, glaciers, and high Andean peaks. The Camino
Salcantay is the savvy traveler's alternative to the Inca Trail. Never before has
the road to ruins been so much fun.   Photograph and text by Brent Stirton

Photo: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu at dusk

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Seeing Peru's Machu Picchu is quite an epic experience—even when it's teeming with people, as it is on any given day. While trekking along the Camino Salcantay, writer Tom Clynes and I wondered if we might be able to see the ancient Inca city by the light of a full moon, which coincided with our last night on the trek. I placed a tripod and waited for the sun to set, but travelers are not allowed inside the site at night.
Photographer Brent Stirton

Plan your own trip with our Adventure Guide to Peru's Camino Salcantay >>

See the feature story "Machu Picchu the Cool Way" in the November 2007 issue of National Geographic Adventure.

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