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Important Inka Trail Information and Inka Trail Alternatives The Inka Trail Trek is one of our most popular trekking itineraries- for good reason! Not only is the landscape geographically stunning with snowcapped, jagged peaks and lush green valleys brimming with crimson and ivory orchids and hummingbirds of all sizes and colors, it is the road that connects the most Incan scared sites in the shortest distance with Machu Picchu as the ultimate finale! As the trekking season in Peru is ramping up, I would like to take the time to talk about some important information surrounding availability and additionally take a moment to present some alternative, and equally great hiking options to Machu Picchu. The hiking permits that the Peruvian government administers and regulates have been completely sold out for this year from April-August. There are still permits available for September-December but they are also going very quickly. For those wishing to procure permits to do the Inka...
Trekking, Kayaks, Scotch and Wine: Doing Chile Right with John and Nicole John and Nicole just got back from celebrating their birthdays on an incredible 12-day, custom, multisport adventure in Chile.  From trekking in Torres del Paine, to a three-day kayaking trip down the Serrano River, to drinking scotch with ice fresh from a glacier, to wine tasting and horseback riding at the elegantly rustic and luxurious Matetic Vineyards, they truly embodied our Wild Style and then some! "This "trip of a lifetime" was all that, and more!  Pretty much enjoyed every bit of the trip: lodging meals, transfers and guide staff were all great. On day 2 of our kayak trip we were blown away by the grandeur and magnificent scale of the place...truly jaw-dropping. Will Copestake, our kayaking guide, was a joy to get to know and we became fast friends. Weʼve always found the people in Latin America to be very warm, welcoming and FUN. The Chileans were no...
THE TRIFECTA EFFECT: Tank, Fleece and Shell for your next Trek While hiking the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, part of what makes the experience so exceptional is the vast array of microclimates you pass between. Though absolutely incredible, it can present its self as a challenge when creating a packing list. This past August when I was hiking the Inka Trail, I couldn’t have been more thankful for the three lightweight layers I ended up living in (and out of) while hiking. Here are three excellent choices for the perfect trifecta of hiking layering for your upcoming trek from ExOfficio! LAYER ONE: The quick drying and wicking GO-TO TANK for when the sun (much closer at such high elevations) beats down overhead. The wicking and quick dry is critical because, though you will be feeling quite hot while on the move, the wind will give you unwelcomed chills when you stop if you are wet with sweat.  LAYER TWO: The lightweight...

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Kicks for your next adventure When I’m not out on a mountaineering adventure, I prefer to wear a lighter and more comfortable shoe for all of my outdoor activities. It can be difficult to find lightweight footwear that meets the performance demand of the great outdoors, but the Keen Targhee II WP Hiking Shoe fits the bill. Whether you are casually strolling around town or out on a hiking adventure, these shoes will keep your feet dry, safe and comfortable. My favorite feature on these shoes is the waterproofing. When I’m day hiking or backpacking, keeping my feet dry is a must. I wore these Keens on a 5-day trek in Torres del Paine and my feet stayed dry as I tromped across streams, through knee-deep mud and across areas with snow pack. Comfort is also important in the outdoors. These shoes have excellent cushioning with a high arch (removable footbed for those who prefer...

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How to Tip on the Inca Trail Trek Head porters, chefs, toilet porters and guides - oh my! The Inca Trail trek, like any supported backcountry trip, has a large cast of characters who ensure that you as a trekker are encouraged, enriched, well-fed and safe throughout your journey. These individuals work very hard, literally engaging in 'back breaking' labor for a seemingly puny salary by our standards, and they rely on tips from trekkers as a portion of their compensation. The polite thing to say is that 'gratuities are at your discretion,' but in reality if you are trekking the Inca Trail in Peru, you should budget porter, guide and support staff tips into the overall cost of your trip. Here are my recommendations for 'how-much' and 'how-to' when it comes to divvying up tips on the Inca Trail.  How Much: This varies greatly based on the number of people in your trekking group, but at a...
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