This 15th-century Inca site is where the mountains meet the jungle. Many travel here by train. Fewer travel by foot for 43kms, along the Inca Trail. Permits for the Inca Trail are scarce, so booking early is the key.

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Though, there is an alternative trail called the Lares Trek. It’s a breath-taking three day hike through the Andes. The main difference is that llamas and donkeys are allowed on the Lares trail, which means that the weight restriction on your luggage is relaxed. The cooks and porters load up the donkeys, so they are able to bring along more food for the trip. However, the Lares trail does not lead you directly to the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Instead, you take a train to Aguas Calientes, check into a hotel, shower, change, enjoy Happy Hour, get a good night’s sleep and catch a bus to the top of Machu Picchu the next day. So the choice is yours.

  But, there is something you need to know…

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We were informed by our guide that due to government regulations and restrictions the permits that are released to tourists to visit Machu Picchu, like the Inca Trail, are becoming fewer and fewer. Within about three years, it may be impossible to enter this site. The government has concerns that the foot traffic is ruining the integrity of the structure.

And this is something that you don’t want to miss!

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Written by Elyse Kishimoto

Elyse Kishimoto is a regular girl with an extraordinary sense of adventure. She's done everything from hiking up volcanoes in Iceland at midnight, to sitting down to dinner with royalty. She's climbed Mt Fuji and the Great Wall of China in the same week, and explored the lost glowworm caves in New Zealand. You never know where her next story is going to come from, but you can be sure that it will be packed full of fun! After spending years reading her favourite classic novels to her students, Elyse is excited to publish her second action/ adventure novel, Sky Watchers in the popular series, The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. www.thetimetravellersclub.com

8 comments

    1. Yes, we spent a few days in Ollantaytambo and Pisac. It’s fabulous. The Sacred Valley is a site not to be missed! The town of Ollantaytambo is actually built on Incan foundations. Give yourself lots of time to explore and take it all in. (And also to acclimatize yourself to the altitude) Have fun!!!

      1. Thanks. I was in Bolivia last year, so I’m already making plans for the altitude. I’m thinking of doing a homestay in Ollantaytambo, so I appreciate your advice. Did you get down to Arequipa at all? I’ll go to Bolivia again, so I’m wondering if I should do a detour to visit there or not.

      2. Arequipa was beautiful for the architecture, but the real show-stopper is Colca Canyon (a short day trip from Arequipa). You will see condors and the most beautiful landscapes. Completely worth it! A home stay is also a great way to experience the culture. I did an home stay with the Aymara natives when I visited Lake Titicaca, and it was one of my favourite stays.

      3. Thanks. Much appreciated.

        It’s great to get hear people’s experiences when planning a trip. Definitely will go to Ollantaytambo.

        Also did three Homestays last year (two in Argentina and one in Bolivia) and loved the experience.

        Happy travels!

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