Top Two South American Adventures

South America is a top vacation destination, especially for adventure holidays. Part of this is because of the geography in many areas lends itself so well to such activities as hiking, horseback riding, boating, mountain biking and more.

Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is truly an experience of a lifetime. Although the hike itself is not so difficult, it can feel a lot more arduous than it is due to the high altitude of the trail. The landscape is gorgeous and there are several Inca archaeological sites to stop by along the way. Even though there are many people hiking the trail each day, there can still be moments when you find yourself on this ancient road without seeing anyone in front of or behind you. At moments like these, it’s easy to transport yourself back 500 years in time.

At the end of the trail, you will hike into Machu Picchu, an awe-inspiring Incan city. There is something really magical about entering the complex after having camped for three nights in the Andean mountains. There’s a connection that you can’t get from simply taking the train to the site.

An additional benefit to hiking the trail is the food. Most people who have done this trek agree that some of the best Peruvian food they have had while vacationing in the country is what they were served on the Inca Trail. With great food, stunning views and being steeped in this country’s history, it’s hard to go wrong with choosing the Inca Trail as your method of getting to Machu Picchu.

Bolivia’s El Camino Del Muerte

El Camino del Muerte, more properly known as the Yungas Road in Bolivia, connects La Paz to the Amazonian rainforest found in northern Bolivia. The road reaches an altitude of 4650 m at it’s highest point. There are many aspects to it that make it dangerous and it has earned its name as it has more deaths per kilometer than any other worldwide.

It is just a single lane, generally no wider than 3.2 m across. There are dropoffs in places of at least 600m with no guard rails. If this isn’t enough, visibility can be impaired due to the weather conditions, including rain which can make the road muddy.

These dangers actually drew tourists to the road beginning in the 90s. It has become a destination of choice for avid mountain bikers, turning the experience into an activity sold by travel agencies, complete with guides. By no means has this ended the danger. Cyclists have continued to die along the route.

The road has been modernized. It’s been paved, widened to two lanes, had guardrails added and a new section has been built to bypass one of the worst sections of the original road. However, adventurers continue to ride the original route as it provides for a more thrilling excursion, despite the fact that deaths continue each year.

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