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Hiking Machu Picchu the Sustainable Way
Machu Picchu hardly needs an introduction – the ancient Inca city is one of the most popular destinations in South America, and while the trail leading to the spectacular "Lost City of the Incas" is strenuous, even the most inexperienced hiker can do it. As the area is one of the most treasured and unique archeological sites in the world, permits to the Inca Trail that ascends to Machu Picchu are limited to ensure the conservation of the habitat and the ruins.
Yet not all tour operators organizing Inca Trail treks are equally committed to preserving the environment and ensuring that local communities and economy are allowed to prosper from tourism.
Nonprofit-Owned Tour Operators
We have long partnered with a tour company in Peru owned by a nonprofit called Peru Verde, whose mission is to “conserve Peru's wildlife and wildlands through field research, habitat protection, and eco-friendly economic alternatives for local communities.” All net profits go to local conservation projects. To ensure that the porters are not exploited and can provide for their families, the tour operator pays them well and provides them with nutritious, protein-rich meals.
Carbon Footprint Offset
Regardless of how carefully you try to treat the local surroundings and communities, traveling does lay an added burden on the environment. A simple solution to minimize the harm from traveling on the planet is to offset the carbon footprint for each trip taken, which is why Global Basecamps offsets the carbon footprint of every Inca Trail trip we book.
How Fit Are You? Choosing the Right Inca Trail Tour
Depending on your fitness level, you may want to choose to hike from 6 hours to 5 days to reach the Machu Picchu citadel. The least arduous Inca Trail hike starts from Kilometer 104, while the classic Inca Trail takes 4 days, and requires around 10 hours of continuous hiking at a time, stopping only for breaks. While the latter option may sound daunting, the natural beauty and history of the area along the length of the trail make it all worthwhile. If 10 hours of uphill hiking sounds like too much to handle, you can also pick the tour with a slower pace; the trek is extended to five days and more time is spent exploring the archeological sites along the trail.