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Hiram Bingham

The road less traveled to Machu Picchu

The road less traveled to Machu Picchu

Our first view of Machu Picchu was from across a cloud-covered valley. My daughter Betsy and I had hiked three hours in air so thick that you could cut it with a machete. We were exploring the partially restored Inca ruins of Llactapata with our companions on a seven-day trek to Machu Picchu via the less traveled Salkantay Route. Just as we reached the ruins, the mist lifted and afforded us a magical view of the mystical Inca city. It was the high point in a trip full of spectacular vistas, all-terrain hiking, high-carbohydrate food and spirited companionship. Betsy and I have gone on father-daughter trips before: scuba diving in the Bahamas when she was 11; following a pack of camels...