Machu Picchu – Intelligent Travel

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Making Connections at Machu Picchu

You’ve probably seen this before. It’s what everyone pictures when they think of Machu Picchu—the verdant network of stone terraces, temples, and open-walled houses; the soaring peaks of Huayna Picchu framing the dramatic scene. When I arrived at Peru’s “lost” Inca citadel in the clouds, I was expecting to round the path beneath the guardhouse, walk through…

Just Back: Cusco, Peru

Travel photographer and writer Erika Skogg (on Instagram @ErikaSkogg) spends most of the year guiding students on photography trips with National Geographic Expeditions. She recently returned from a journey through Peru, a trip she has been lucky enough to have done many times before, including a lengthy stop in Cusco. Here are some of the high points of her trip, in her own words.

Discovering Colombia’s Lost City

It is my first day in the tropical rain forests of northeast Colombia and, along with about a dozen other hikers, I am on the trail to La Ciudad Perdida, or the Lost City. The pre-Colombian city was built around 800 A.D., making it some 650 years older than its Inca Empire counterpart, Machu Picchu, in Peru.

Oh, the Places Nat Geo Goes

When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories. That’s why we asked folks on National Geographic’s Travel team to share a story about the best trip they’ve taken in the past year with our Intelligent Travel readers.

The Best of Intelligent Travel

Comments Off on The Best of Intelligent Travel

We publish new travel stories all the time on the Intelligent Travel blog network, but there are a few that really got your attention this year.

In case you missed them, here are the 13 most popular posts of 2013.

Nat Geo Travel Staff’s 2014 Bucket List

The staff at National Geographic Travel is always criss-crossing the globe to uncover the best and the brightest places, but we have travel wish lists just like everyone else. Here’s where we want to go in 2014 and why.

Nat Geo at 125: Travel Touchstones

In honor of 125 years of exploration and high adventure, here are four ways National Geographic has made a lasting mark on the world of travel.

Three Modern Travel Writing Classics

While I’ve met a few modern-day nomads in my travels, most of us can’t be on the road all the time. So how can we keep our wanderlust satiated in those stretches between journeys? We can escape into a really good book that brings a far-off place to us. Here are three extraordinary travel narratives that deserve to be counted among the classics.

Hiking the Inca Trail

The Inca built many of these trails 500 years ago, and they’re still the only way to reach all of our destinations—Machu Picchu and also a few seldom visited yet equally impressive Inca sites, such as Choquequirao; the water shrine Picha Unuyoc; and Vilcabamba, also called Espíritu Pampa, the last city of the Inca.

Then + Now: Machu Picchu

In 1913, National Geographic Magazine dedicated the entirety of its April issue to showcasing the Inca’s “wonderful city of refuge on the mountain top” — and the man who had brought the archaeological treasure to the world’s attention. Here’s a look at Machu Picchu through Hiram Bingham’s eyes, and mine…one hundred years later.

Beyond Machu Picchu

Who doesn’t dream of visiting Machu Picchu? I finally got my chance after hitching a ride on National Geographic’s Around-the-World-by-Private-Jet expedition last week. And while the Inca village in the clouds is exhilarating, there’s much more in the Peruvian highlands for travelers to explore while they’re in the Sacred Valley.

Who Saw Machu Picchu First in 2012? This Guy.

By Aric S. Queen It was a silly thing to think could be done, I told myself as the second and third person passed me on the steep incline. It was done for the attention – the hiking equivalent of holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in photos. An online high-five. It shouldn’t be…