Peru’s Inca Trail was recently named as one of CNN’s 49 Journeys that will Change Your Life.
The Inca Trail – which came in third on the list – was joined by other stunning adventures like a 10-week trip from Cape Town to Cairo or an elevator trip from the ground floor to the 89th of Taiwan’s Taipei Tower.
Built more than 500 years ago, the Inca Trail was part of the most extensive and advanced road system in Pre-Columbian South America. The Inca road system linked together some 25, 000 miles (40,000 kilometers) of roadways.
Traversing the Andes Mountain range, the Inca Trail offers travelers several different routes, each one passing through some of Peru’s unique ecosystems, ranging from cloud forests to alpine tundra.
Inca ruins along the way act as teasers for the final destination: the world-renowned ruins of Machu Picchu. Some of the routes take travelers as high as 4,200 meters above sea level – offering breathtaking views. Depending on the chosen route and stops made along the way, the trek can take anywhere from 2-5 days.
Other South American destinations named on CNN’s list included: a road trip from Turbo, Colombia to Buenos Aires, Argentina and a train ride from Esquel to Ingeniero Jacobacci, Patagonia, Argentina.