Intrepid to become the first global tour operator to bring travellers along a new remote section of the famous Inca Trail.
Intrepid Travel is debuting a new 12-day trek of the Great Inca Road. The new tour, which will depart for the first time in June 2023, will offer an alternative to the popular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and presents an opportunity to develop an entirely new trekking region in Peru. The trail, which starts in Huaraz, is nearly 1,000 miles from Ollantaytambo where the famous Inca Trail embarks. This new section of the trail will bring the benefits of tourism to new communities and help with the ecological, historical and cultural preservation of one of the most important routes along the ancient Inca Trail.
Intrepid, which worked to scout and preserve the new path in partnership with fellow B Corp SA Expeditions, will become the first global tour operator to bring travellers along this section of the 25,000-mile ancient highway. Gary Cohen, Intrepid’s General Manager of Latin America, took part in one of the first scouting trips within the region during the early developmental stages of the project. “We are so excited to share this spectacular Great Inca Road trek with the world,” says Cohen. “The future of Peru tourism is truly in these trails, and without sustainable development, they will be lost forever,” he adds.
Intrepid’s new 12-day Peru Expedition: Trek the Great Inca Road starts at $3,185 USD per person and includes guided hikes, accommodations, 11 breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners. Other highlights include:
- Joining a local leader and traditional llama caravan to hike storied paths that few travelers have ever seen
- Visiting well preserved yet remote Inca outposts
- Exploring the Caral-Supe archaeological site, left behind by a civilisation pre-dating the Inca and built at the same time as the first Egyptian pyramids
- Meeting with a master weaver to learn about his work and life on the Great Inca Road, where his family has lived for generations
This new trip from Intrepid is an example of the company’s ongoing commitment to growing its style of sustainable, experience-rich travel, as its product team continues to create new and more responsible ways to explore a destination. During the pandemic, the Peruvian government announced they would reduce the number of trekking permits offered for the popular Inca Trail to help protect and preserve the region and its famous ruins. Today, only 500 trekking permits for the traditional trail are offered per day, which includes porters and other tourism workers. The development of alternative trekking routes in the Andes, such as the Inca Trail Road, helps to drive tourism to new communities while reducing the strain on the environment.
“As a Quechua descendant and trekking adventure guide, I’ve always dreamed of walking some of Qhapaq Nañ [also known as the Main Inca Road],” says Martiza Chacacanta, Intrepid’s Deputy Operations Manager in Peru. “Walking alongside llamas, considered sacred by the Incas, and resting in tambos where my ancestors would have slept, made me feel privileged, blessed and proud of my culture. Over the last few months, we have been eager to welcome travelers back to our country. Tourism plays such a vital role for our economy and impacts so many people’s lives. Now, as travelers return, I am so excited to show the world the Great Inca Road and help preserve it for future generations.” she adds.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.