National Geographic : 2005 Dec
GREAT JOR tNhe WORLD The Allure of Machu Picchu "EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN SACRED EXPERIENCE at Machu Picchu," says author and filmmaker Karin Muller. As one of the world's most mysterious ancient ruins, Machu Picchu, a vestige of the Inca Empire, is the most visited site in Peru. "Some people watch the early morning shadows move over the ruins, others tour the site and learn about the Inca, and some people like to go in at night," says Muller, who, with a grant from National Geographic, spent six months documenting her escapades along the 4,000 mile Inca Trail. Muller likes to tap into the mysticism of the area with a hike up Huayna Picchu, the famous pointy mountain which looms over the city. "When you hike, you really get a sense of what the Inca had to overcome to create Machu Picchu. Even with so many disad vantages-no wheel, no beast of burden except the llama-they built something of such tremen dous size and complexity," she says. "It's incredibly rough and rugged. I once went off the trail and it took me two and half hours to go 150 feet," says Muller. But Machu Picchu is only one stop in a long list of places to visit in the SacredValley. "I suggest people also visit Ollantaytambo, a massive citadel which has a living Inca village at its base. When you walk the streets of this wonderful town, you can get a feeling for how the Inca lived. The special customs, the traditions, the rich culture-it's all still there." Join National Geographic Karin Muller Author, Filmmaker and Adventurer Join National Geographic and Karin Muller as they escort you through the mountains and rain forests of Peru. Discover the old capital of Cusco, hike through ruins, and explore the phenomenal Machu Picchu. The 2006 trips are scheduled for: March 8-19, September 13-24 March 20-31, October 11-22 For more information, call 1-888-966 -8687, or visit nationalgeographic.com/ ngexpeditions.