Machu Picchu Hike: Everything You Need to Know; Monica Prelle; REI

Peru – Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Everything you need to know about where to go, when to visit and what to bring to this historic site

Along the train tracks next to the Urubamba River, a steady stream of poncho-clad backpackers walked toward Machu Picchu. The rain clouds lifted enough to get a glimpse of the famous Inca citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was built into the hillside between two peaks.

Two days earlier, standing on top of Salkantay Pass, a loud rumble caught my attention. Rocks and ice tumbled down the mountainside. The 20,574-foot Salkantay is the tallest mountain in the Vilcabamba mountain range in the Cusco region of the Peruvian Andes and the thin air surrounding it felt full of energy.

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