Adventure travel in Peru is a destination you really should consider, and really it is more than just the magnificence of Machu Pichu.
Amongst other things it boasts the second highest mountain range in the world; Cordillera Blanca. Set mostly within the boundaries of Huascarán National Park, it has more than 33 summits over 18,000 feet. Close to the equator, yet unbelievably maintaining 663 glaciers and an ice cap. Alpamayo is king of the peaks here and only accessible by way of a multi-day approach on foot.
Chavin was born Machu Pichu by more than 2,000 years. The stone monolith called Lanzon is hidden in its heart, entombed in a labyrinth of tunnels and dark antechambers, a 15-foot-tall deity of the Chavin religion. Christophe Noel has a lot to say in a recent ExpiditionPortal piece, check it out! Great images BTW Chris!
July saw LarkyCanuck giving it up, budget style, for the Town of Raqchi in Peru, and in particular the Inca ruins there, though to be frank whilst I can’t say they look so much of a must-see, the pictures on the site do certainly give you a taste of what independent travel in Peru might look like.
Julia Zaremba (the Culture-ist) also wrote in July about the Sacred Valley. Situated in the land that could be said to have been the heart of the Inca Empire, it is in the Andes, between Cuzco and Machu Pichu. Mountains up to 5000 meters, ruins again said to rival Machu Pichu. Pisac and Ollantaytambo contain such and each of these small towns are worth half a day. Pisac is a place for art, Yoga and spiritual cleansing. Ollantaytambo for festivities and fireworks, and it would make a great base for hiking. But they are by no means alone check out Calca, Maras and Urubamba the transportation hub for hereabouts.
Don’t forget the other activities that Peru offers. You might be forgiven for thinking that Peru is just about Lima and Hiking on the Inca Trail or time on the Gringo trail. There is a wealth of stuff for the Adrenaline addict.
A mountain bike is a great way to see the terrain. Expect more effort than you might require in Europe though. Tracks are generally narrower, steeper, and adrenalin inducing. Runs of over 50 km are common and with vertical descents of up to 3,300 metres; mountain top to the ocean. But why not do it in style and make it an avalanche.
Every year some of the best riders come out to tear up the Inca Avalanche. Carnage ensues and when most downhill races last 2-3 this Enduro trail lasts 20-30 minutes. With every type of terrain: mud, woods, jumps, rock gardens, fluidity and serious water holes…. Don’t miss it! Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking might be the dudes to visit.