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Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, and the Famous

Machu PicchuMachu Picchu World Heritage Site is about 1000 meters lower in the altitude than the former Inca Capital Cusco. Visit to the archeological site doesn’t require any particular level of fitness, which is among the many reasons why Machu Picchu attracts people from all over the world including the royals and the famous. The 42 kilometers (26 miles) of the Classic Inca Trail trekking route is a very different challenge. And it gets individuals no less extraordinary to push their limits on the most well-known trekking route of South America.

Here are some celebrity names from about travel’s long list: Pablo Neruda, Leonardo DiCaprio, Giselle Bündchen, Olivia Newton John, Cameron Diaz, Bill Gates, Shakira, Princess Beatrice of England, Alicia Keys, Bryan Adams, Iker Casillas, Lucy Liu, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Jim Carrey, Matthew McConaughey, or One Direction. This year alone Pharrell Williams, Katty Perry, and also Richard Quest with CNN Business Traveller visited the World’s Wonder of Machu Picchu.

Some like Antonio Banderas hiked there following the Classic Inca Trail. He and his travel partner – his daughter Stella – came in the winter (summer from the Northern Hemisphere’s point of view) of 2014. According to Banderas’ own words: ‘the four days and three nights that we spent on the route to Machu Picchu were converted, almost immediately, into an experience that combined the physical with the spiritual. […] Like we just woke up from a dream […] we found ourselves in front of an ending stairway that had us directed towards the famous Sun Gate, where everything ends or begins, a specimen of the final test, an Inca wink.’[1] He was surrounded by a great local team that helped him keep his trek a secret, so he and his daughter could have the intimate family experience they were looking for.

Hansjörg Rey, a German born and raised mountain biker, also known as Hans ‘No Way’ Rey, or simply Hans Rey,[2] rode the Inca Trail on his mountain bike in 1997.[3] ‘He combined his fascination for ancient civilizations with his penchant for pushing his competition-honed skills in unlikely, if not exotic, locations […] always looking to conquer natural and man-made elements in a way that is technically and visually exciting.’[4] Imagine the look on Inca Pachacuti‘s face! As far as we know nobody has dared to do this since.

Recently Dan Berlin, a blind runner from the United States, has pushed the Inca Trail extreme a great leap further. Berlin, who ‘lost his vision in his 30s from cone rod dystrophy’, is ‘the first blind athlete to run the [42-kilometre] 26-mile Inca Trail to the famous ruins in one push.’ [5] The Inca Trail rises up to lung-expanding 4,200 meter altitude and for most of the route the path is about 1 meter wide with a hill wall on the one side and an abyss on the other, so Berlin’s team came up with a creative directing solution. ‘Two guides formed a trapezoid. They linked arms and held trekking poles in their outside hands. Berlin held their backpacks and now had a clear channel to run between them, without stepping on the guides’ heels.’ [6] What’s more, ‘if any of the guides would stumble, Dan could catch them as well.’[7] Dan Berlin and his team completed the run in 13 hours confirming the athlete’s words: ‘you can do so much more, often times, than what you’re told you can do.’ [8]

If you want to join The Inca Trail Marathon discribed as ‘one of the world’s hardest marathons as well as one the most scenic South American marathons with the finish line at Machu Picchu, Peru’ next year, is starts at 5:00am 7th July. [9]



[2] Wikipedia





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