LONDON, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the peak season for visiting the mystical Inca ruins at Machu Picchu approaches, this year will also mark the centennial anniversary of the "discovery" of the Lost City by American historian Hiram Bingham. This anniversary heralds a great opportunity to explore this latest world wonder yourself.
In 1911 Bingham had been searching the area for another Inca city when, as the story goes, a young Quechua boy led him up the slope to Machu Picchu. Long overgrown, there were families living among the still-discernable ruins. Bingham then unveiled this city to the outside world after it had been hidden behind encroaching jungle and the stretch of time.
It will never be possible to completely recreate the sheer awe experienced by Bingham when he laid eyes on these long-lost ruins, but a trip there today remains a breath-taking, even inspiring experience. Not least if you arrive there after having slogged your way over high passes and winding paths of the magical Inca Trail Trek.
Tucan Travel's global manager, Bec Whiffin, was herself a tour leader in South America for many years and has trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu several times and says that the sense of wonder the lost city inspires never fades.
"I have trekked to Machu Picchu six times now, and it never ceases to captivate me. The fascinating geographical elements combine with the architectural marvels to create a rather mystical place. You have this snapshot of an ancient time and culture seemingly suspended in the clouds. I still want to go back."
While the Inca Trail Trek remains the most popular route to reach Machu Picchu, it is by no means the only way. Those looking for an adventure road less taken to reach the ruins would do well to consider the Lares Trek. No less challenging, this alternative takes in some of the region's spectacular mountains and valleys as it approaches the site from a different direction.
One of the beauties of Machu Picchu is that its relative isolation has been protected by the Peruvian government and no roads have been built to carry coach loads of tourists. Of course those enjoying a slower and easier pace of life and who might be less inclined to get there by foot are by no means excluded from this journey back in time. Instead travellers can make their way to Machu Picchu in romantic style by train.
Tucan Travel offers many tour options that incorporate a visit to Machu Picchu as part of a number of itineraries in the region that vary in length. For more information, visit http://www.tucantravel.com
Ben McIntosh, communications coordinator
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SOURCE Tucan Travel