Climb the Hike of Death; Huayna Picchu, Peru
You won’t get the rush from classically touristy Machu Picchu, Peru. But if you like extreme hiking, you can take a less traveled, practically vertical mountain climb via its much larger sister, Huayna Picchu. Climb the skinny, ancient Incan stairs (careful, they’re slippery and there are no handholds). Though you’ll be rewarded with birdseye views of Peru at the top, be warned: It's not called "The Hike of Death" for no reason. Also, take it easy on the way up, as altitude sickness above 7-8,000 feet can hit you like a train.
YOU NEED Good hiking boots, water, and coca leaves for the altitude. You’ll also need to buy a separate ticket for Huayna Picchu when you purchase your ticket to Machu Picchu’s ruins.
HOW TO DO IT You can either take a train from Cusco in the morning, or spend the night in Aguas Calientes before your hike. Hike first thing in the morning as you’ll beat the other climbers to the top and get to watch the morning mists rise off the mountainside. ($60; machupicchu.gob.pe)