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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: Plaza de Armas, Inti Raymi festival


Crowds gather at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco before the Inti Raymi festival.

<< Photo 6 of 7 >>


The Inti Raymi festivities in Cusco lead up to a choreographed Inca ritual celebrating the summer solstice. All of the stuff before the actual Inca ritual felt very authentic, with people from all over the region participating and having fun. It took place in an old colonial square in Cusco that felt like something in a spaghetti western, and everyone was dancing and drinking a lot of chicha, or corn beer.  
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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