Selected one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013 
 

 

Accounts, Articles and Stories

Stories about Trekking & Running Adventures in the Andes. Adventures References refer to trips currently offered and may not correspond exactly to the itinerary described in an article. Also see our Andes Adventures Gallery and guest Photo Albums.

Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2013.

"Tackling the Inca Trail"
By Mike Morris.

Adventure Reference: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

Published in the Travel Section of the Sunday Edition Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2013.

Running a marathon in June along the Inca Trail, high in the Peruvian Andes, seemed like a good idea when I signed up for this trip nine months earlier.

Although this marathon left me gasping — because of the scenery, I'm sure — it was worth it once I reached the Sun Gate and viewed the finish line — the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu — a short distance below.

Arriving on foot, just as the Incas did, made this journey profound. And running it felt like an even greater accomplishment.

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National Geographic Traveler May 2013

"50 Tours of a Lifetime"
By Margaret Loftus.

Adventure References: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Running Adventure

Published in the May 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

Marathon mania has spilled over into mainstream adventure travel, spawning running-focused trips around the world, including this twist on the classic Inca Trail trek. Runners tackle the ancient Andes route in two days, from the Urubamba Valley, through the "Pass of the Dead Woman" at 13,780 feet, and into the cloud forest to the Intipunku "Gateway of the Sun" at 8,923 feet, where they'll get their first eyeful of Machu Picchu in its full splendor. Trip veteran Joshua Price calls the experience "challenging, but incredible." The big event is sandwiched between acclimatization runs, stints in the cities of Cusco and Lima, and a day spent touring the ruins....

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Trail RunnerJuly 2007 Issue 46

"Patagonian Passage"
By Elinor Fish.

Photography by Dan Patitucci.

Adventure References: Patagonia Running Adventure & Torres del Paine Running Adventure

Published in the July 2007 issue of TrailRunner. (Copyright 2007 Big Stone Publishing Ltd. Reprinted with permission.)

Clad in running tights, a light thermal top and windproof hat and gloves, I kick steps into sunwarmed snow toward Garner Pass, the most remote and treacherous section of a 100-kilometer (62-mile) circuit throughChile’s Torres del Paine. Sheer 6800-foot granite spires flanking the pass channel chilling winds fromneighboring Antarctica. Despite the icy blasts, I work up a sweat, and surprisingly, my feet aren’t cold even though slushy snow soaks through my running shoes...

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Runner's World UK October 2003

"Empire of the Run"

Story & Photos by Steven Seaton.

Adventure References: Chasqui Challenge 100 Mile Adventure Run & Stage Race & Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

Published in the October 2003 issue of Runner's World®. (Copyright 2003 Runner's World. Reprinted with permission.)

Yesterday I was in Lima, the modern capital of Peru, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Today I'm in Cusco, the capital of the once-powerful Inca Empire, which sits on a mountain plateau some 11,000ft higher. Elite athletes searching for serious altitude training never come this high and the idea of racing, never mind running a marathon, would be laughable. So what more could I expect?

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American Way February 15, 2000

"Peru On The Run"
By Ken McAlpine.

Photography by Carl Yarbrough.

Adventure Reference: Peruvian Andes Running Adventure

Published in the February 15, 2000 issue of American Way®. (Copyright 2000-2007 American Airlines. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher and author.)

Cuzco is interesting, but the real magic begins when we get out on the trail. Few places rival Perus natural beauty, and few places give you a better gander at it than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. From its jumping-off spot at Chilca, the trail is only thirty-three miles long. But it winds through a potpourri of stupefying natural wonders. Peru's mountains dont hump into the sky; they sheer straight up, like mossy shark fins. Far below, amidst a broccoli-mass of trees, rivers glint like silver thread. Between the two, birds wheel gracefully in stomach-lurching space...

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UltraRunning November 2002

"Running the Inca Trail" By Richard Donovan

Adventure Reference: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail Marathon is much more than a race. It's a nine-day trip into history, a rich cultural experience, and a holiday in a mind-boggling beautiful paradise.

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Inca Trail, © 2000 Carl Yarbrough

"The Inca Trail Marathon" By Steve Frederickson

Adventure Reference: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

It was early morning as I made my way up the steep trail to the top of Dead Woman’s Pass, 13,779 feet above sea level. My breath was coming in short, loud rasps and my heartbeat was pounding in my ears. Looking up, I could see several runners on the trail ahead of me. I was approximately 13 kilometers into the 46-kilometer Inca Trail Marathon.

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"Patagonia: A Trail Runner's Heaven" by Paul Norberg.

Adventure Reference: Patagonia Running Adventure

If there were a trail runner's heaven, at least some of it would be in Patagonia. It is a place of tortuous trails threading thick forested slopes; of wide open alpine meadows ablaze in scarlet flowering notro bushes; of pristine lakes and immense glaciers; and of very few people. Recently, a dozen runners from the USA sampled the fantastic national parks in Chile and Argentina during the far south's summer month of December.

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UltraRunning April 2001

"Patagonia Running Adventure" By Ed Demoney.

Adventure Reference: Patagonia Running Adventure

Published in the April 2001 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

For me, running has been the answer to curiosity about our world, a quest for adventure and a test of personal limits in the challenges available in marathons and beyond. Bruce Hoff's account of his Patagonia Adventure Run in the March 2000 issue of UR was intriguing. He convinced me Patagonia was an ideal opportunity to explore the unknown. That running in southern Chile and Argentina was an adventure not to be missed. And there was no doubt in my mind that 140 miles of trail running in less than two weeks would be challenging.

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UltraRunning March 2000

"Patagonia!" By Bruce Hoff.

Adventure Reference: Patagonia Running Adventure

Published in the March 2000 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

On December 3rd, the noses of six ultrarunners were pressed against the windows of Lan Chile flight 605 from Santiago to Punta Arenas, gazing downward at the immense ice field called the "Campo del Hielo Sur". A remnant of the last ice age, it still covers the southern Andean mountain range. As arranged by our friend and professional trekking guide, Devy Reinstein, we were heading to Patagonia for two weeks of exotic trail running along the glaciated fringes of the southern Andes. Devy has been arranging running tours in the Peruvian Andes, and wanted to scope out some possibilities in Patagonia (which comprises southern Chile and Argentina). He invited several runners to go along. Before departing Los Angeles, I met four of the other guinea pigs: Gard Leighton, Byron Choinere, and Michael Duncan, from northern California, and Jonathan Said, a fellow southern California resident. In Santiago, we collected the seventh member of our party, Jurgen Kuhlmey, from Germany.

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UltraRunning January 1998

"Adventure in Perú's Southern Highlands" By Norman Klein.

Adventure References: Peruvian Andes Running Adventure (Easier), Chasqui Challenge 100 Mile Adventure Run & Stage Race (Harder)

Published in the January 1998 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

“Was it really beautiful?” - “Unbelievably so”. “Was it very difficult?” - “You’d better believe it.” “Would you do it again?” - “In a minute.” These are some of the questions our friends asked us, along with our responses, upon returning from our eleven day journey to Perú in August. We were there to take part in a six day running adventure along the Inca trail, and the trails circumnavigating Mt. Ausangate, at 20,905 feet, the highest mountain in Southern Perú. This incredibly exhilarating experience is the brain child of Devy Reinstein, a native Perúvian now living in Santa Monica, California. A gifted ultramarathon runner in his own right, Devy decided several years ago, to give runners of all abilities, the opportunity to see some of the most magnificent sights nature has to offer.

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UltraRunning December 1999

"Adventure Running in the Andes" By Ray Nyce

Adventure Reference: Peruvian Andes Running Adventure (Easier), Chasqui Challenge 100 Mile Adventure Run & Stage Race (Harder)

Published in the December 1999 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

Twenty runners started and completed the Inca Trail Run in less than one day. These hardy soles began the journey in Llactapata at 5:30 am and at 8000 feet of elevation. It was August 17, 1999 and the first sunlight had just illuminated the surrounding mountain tops. There would be two aid stations in the next 28 miles which included three 13,000 foot passes and 3200 steps cut in stone by the Incas in the 14th century.

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Runners World April 1998

"Running to the Lost City" By Alex Acceta.

Adventure Reference: Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu

Published in the April 1998 issue of Runners World Magazine (Copyright Rodale Press. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

The Lost City of the Incas lay more than 27 miles away. Starting at Llactapata, the Town on the Hillside, 23 of us were preparing to run this grueling section of the Inca Trail in one day. We would follow the narrow trail over three passes, through jungle thick with leafy trees and past a series of ancient ruins perched on dramatic outcroppings. The highest point, Warmiwañusq'a Pass, the Pass of the Dead Woman, was 13,779 feet in elevation. It would be our first climb of the day.

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UltraRunning September 1996

"Dances with Llamas" By Bruce Hoff.

Adventure Reference: Peruvian Andes Running Adventure (Easier), Chasqui Challenge 100 Mile Adventure Run & Stage Race (Harder)

Published in the September 1996 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

"Is this it?" I asked as I caught up to Earl, Paul, and Ciriaku, our Peruvian guide. For the past hour I had been trying to catch up to them, while walking the steady uphill grade, glancing at the llamas and alpacas along the trail, and at the bluish ice of the glacier "Nevado Ausangate" that crept down the mountain near our trail. But here, above 16,000 ft., the thin air slowed my pace so that I was only able to maintain the 100 yard separation between us. Now, as they sought the shelter of some large rocks from the stiff breeze on the exposed pass, I was able to join them. Ciriaku shook his head "no" and smiled, a bit of the coca leaf he incessantly chewed showed from inside his cheek.

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Marathon and Beyond July/August 1999

"The Inca Way" By Michael Duncan.

Adventure Reference: Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash Running Adventure

Originally published in the July/August 1999 issue of Marathon & Beyond Magazine (Copyright 1999 by 42K(+) Press Inc. Reprinted with the permission of the Marathon & Beyond.)

We had been traveling nearly six hours, heading north by bus from Lima. For the last 90 minutes we had been climbing east into the mountains. A perpetual gloom shrouds the coast of Peru for five months each winter—something to do with the warm Pacific currents suddenly encountering South America and the cold air of the Andes. The higher we went, the clearer the sky became, finally taking on the deep blue hue of high altitude. As we topped the pass, we came upon a scene that struck me as a good omen. In the foreground were several hundred square miles of altiplano, the high plateau country that makes up the bulk of the Andes. Towering on the horizon from north to south were a series of snow-capped peaks, glaciers sliding down their sides. And presiding over it all was a statue of St. Francis, patron saint of my hometown, San Francisco. St. Francis had his arms raised protectively over an Andean condor and a llama. All the indicators were there—this was going to be a great trip!

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UltraRunning March 2000

"Cordilleras Blanca & Huayhuash Adventure Run" By Stu Sherman.

Adventure Reference: Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash Running Adventure

Published in the March 2000 issue of UltraRunning Magazine. (Copyright UltraRunning. Reprinted with the permission of the author.)

This first day of running and hiking was only moderately strenuous. The trail was easy to follow, as we climbed steadily along a river. It was exhilarating to be running a mountain trail high in the Andes and it was an exciting moment, as it would be every day on the trip, when our campsite came into view. Our campsite was spectacular, adjacent to a beautiful lake, with two 20,000 foot peaks on either side of the valley in which it was situated. We gained 3,500 feet in elevation today.

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