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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: Taking a break in the Andes

Hikers lounge on Apacheta Pass, in view of the 20,574-foot (6,271-meter) Nevado Salcantay.

<< Photo 4 of 7 >>

The air in the Andes is so thin, you get this whole polarized phenomenon with the light. I tried to use the sky, which looked unbelievable, as much as possible.

The Camino Salcantay is very old, about 500 yearsmuch like its more famous counterpart, the Inca Trail. But it draws small crowds of hardcore backpackers who usually take about three or four days to hike it.
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

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