The 10 Best Bargains in Adventure Travel (2009 Edition)

by , SmarterTravel Staff - September 14, 2009 See all photo galleries
Machu Picchu Central Plaza

Bargain trips should offer more than just the lowest price. They should be unique and offer travelers the chance to experience something they couldn't do alone. Whether it's a home visit in a Berber village, the chance to climb an active volcano, or a horseback ride through a cloud forest, an adventure trip becomes a real bargain when it offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Read on for 10 trips that deliver much more bang for your buck than comparable excursions from other providers.

Inn-to-Inn Trekking to Machu Picchu

Provider: Mountain Travel Sobek

Length: 7 Days

Price: $2,500

Mountain Travel Sobek new Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Express is a great bargain for those interested in hiking to one of the world's most popular adventure destinations. What makes this trip unique (and a bargain for the price) are the accommodations: All six nights are spent in comfortable lodges with hot tubs and Peruvian cuisine, compared to other vacations where travelers go camping in tents. But don't be fooled by the higher-end lodging—the trip is still rated strenuous because of the high-altitude treks.

And Machu Picchu isn't the only interesting sight on the way. Stops at the Inca ruins of Tarawasi, walks through coffee plantations and bamboo forests, and optional hikes to glacial lakes and hot springs guarantee every day brings something new to see. The trek also provides views of Salkantay, the highest mountain of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. On the final day, the group arrives in Machu Picchu early in the morning for a guided tour. Then, the rest of the day is spent exploring the city or hiking to Huayna Picchu for spectacular views of the ruins and surrounding mountains.

Trip Planning

For 2009, the remaining departure dates are September 18, 20, 22, 25, and 30; October 2, 10, 13, 16, 20, 23, 28, and 30; November 6, 13, 20, and 27; and December 4, 11, 18, 25, 27. Price includes six nights' accommodations, all meals, and entrance fees. Gratuity for the tour guide and airfare is not included.

(Photo: iStockphoto/DHuss)

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