Inca Trail hailed as one of World’s Greatest Hikes

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Winay Wanya Ruins on the Inca Trail

From the Peru News Agency

An article published by US weekly magazine ‘Time’ tells adventure lovers why the Inca Trail between Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the world’s greatest hikes.

Mark Adams, author of the New York Times best seller ‘Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time’, explains that Peru’s Inca Trail is perhaps the world’s greatest hike because it combines the best of two types of travel: reach a destination and the pleasure of the journey itself.

He describes the hike as “a four-to-five day walk to the spectacular lost city of Machu Picchu that winds through the zone where the snowcapped Andes Mountains crash into the lush Amazon jungle, creating some of the world’s most dramatic and beautiful terrain.”

In his article, Adams agrees with many experts who believe that the Incas, the advanced South American civilization, blazed this 27-mile trail five centuries ago as a holy pilgrimage that prepared visitors to enter Machu Picchu.

Adams also notes the fact that the Peruvian government now limits Inca Trail traffic to 500 persons per day, including the porters who must carry all food, tents and other necessities.

Moreover, he recommends would-be hikers to sign up through an authorized guiding service, usually months in advance since spots sell out quickly.

UNESCO To Inspect Machu Picchu

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

This year was the 100th anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s arrival at Machu Picchu reintroducing this archaeological site to the world.  At the peak of summer with thousands of people arriving each day officials began turning away visitors for the first time.

Peruvian officials determined that 2000 people per day could visit the site without causing damage to the citadel or interfering with the quality of experience visitors experienced.

Susan Baca, the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that a UNESCO delegation would be arriving in January to assess the situation and confirm that Machu Picchu is safe at the current level of tourism.

There are currently 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Peru including Chan Chan, Chavin, the City of Cusco, Historic Center of Lima, Historic Center of Arequipa, the Nazca Lines, the Sacred City of Caral – Supe, Huascaran National Park, Manu National Park, Machu Picchu and Rio Abieso National Park.

New Limits Set for Machu Picchu and Inca Trail

July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham an event that seemingly triggered such an influx of tourism that for the first time tourists have been turned away from the Lost City of the Incas when the citadel reached maximum capacity.  Additionally this week also saw the announcement by Peru’s Minsitry of Foreign Trade an Tourism (Mincetur) on the results of the Limits of Acceptable Change and Carrying Capacity of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.  The carrying capacity is measured as the maxiumum number of people who can visit the site at the same time without causing significant damage, destruction of the monument or the reduction of quality of visitor satisfaction.

“After a hard technical work we have concluded that Machu Picchu can receive up to 2 million visitors each year,” said Peru’s Deputy Tourism Minister Mara Seminario.

However, Seminario noted that a proper management is required to implement the new capacity, and this will allow easing the flow and arrange the time of visits, as well as improving the infrastructure and implement a series of improvements.

The deputy minister added that the survey methodology carried out by consulting firm Candes and financed by World Bank’s Vilcanota project shows that the Effective Carrying Capacity, that is, the maximum number of visits that a monument can have at a specific moment, is 2500 visitors.  The Inca Trail is limited to 500 permits per day – the permits are measured by number of people beginning the Inca Trail that day including guides, porters and visitors.

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