Even though the falling snow provides ample opportunity to venture outside and be active, let’s face it; winter, especially the calorie-laden holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years, is a difficult time to stay in shape. Having goals to look forward to, particularly if they involve both travel and a physical challenge always keeps me motivated and a trekking adventure in Peru can be just the thing to ditch your winter hibernation and get ready for an exciting 2013. If you are free in July, consider joining me on a spiritual, physical and cultural journey through the Andes on our Escorted Trek to Machu Picchu + Virgen del Carmen Festival . I’ll be leading an exclusive group of Wildland Adventurers around the sacred Apu of Mt. Salkantay, along foot trails of the Incas on this specially escorted journey from July 5-18, 2013. We’ll savor 5 ½ days of spectacular trekking between remote Andean mountain lodges, spend two nights at Machu Picchu for ample time to explore the ruins with our expert guide and on your own and finish our journey with a special trip to the Quechua village of Paucartambo, where we bear witness to the ancient pageantry of the Virgen del Carmen Festival. This colorful and lively performance of parading and dancing blends pre-Columbian pagan rites and Roman Catholic traditions in a authentic cultural celebration experienced by few outsiders. Costumed devils donning startling colorful masks dance on balconies and rooftops, creating a surreal enactment of ancient Andean spiritual traditions as the dancers act out the eternal struggle between good and evil. Travelers with more time and an interest in the in experiencing the deepest heart of the Peruvian Amazon can extend their trip and join me on our Manu Wildlife Camping Safari.
If these dates don’t work for you but you still want to stretch your legs in the Peruvian Andes, consider the regularly offered group departures on our Machu Picchu Mountain Lodges Trek, the challenging Inca Trail Trek to Choquequirao (operational again after flood waters wiped out a bridge crossing last year) and the ever popular Traditional Inca Trail Trek. Remember, permits for the latter are limited to 500 people per day (including all porters, guides and trekkers). These go on sale starting in February and the most popular dates for trekking (June-August) sell out well in advance so NOW is the time to contact us to plan your Inca Trail trekking adventure next year!
Peru is also an excellent destination for travelers seeking more cultural immersion with less exertion and we have several non-trekking based Peru Trips, offering an in-depth look at the Andes and Amazon regions of Peru. Within these trips there are still opportunities for short walks through Quechua villages, optional hikes at Machu Picchu, and the possibility of including the 1-day Inca Trail Express trek , which can be added to any itinerary and is a great option for families with active children who aren’t quite ready for a multi-day hiking adventure. And, if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for on our website, please contact me directly to discuss customizing one of our trips for just your family or a group of friends or working together to build a completely personalized and perfectly hand-crafted Peru vacation.