As we gear up for the 30th annual Toronto AIDs Walk on Sunday, September 16, we wanted to share our friend Michael Coulombe’s inspiring story of conquering The Inca Trail.
In 1995 the software consultant from Massachusetts was diagnosed with HIV and thought at most, he had one good year left. In 2017, twenty-three years after being diagnosed, the industrious traveller surmounted the Peruvian Andes on our Peru: The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu gay tour.
First, an active adventure, sleeping under the stars on a trek through the Andes towards Machu Picchu. Second, a cultural tour with a splash of luxury and stops in Lima, Cusco, The Amazon and, yes, Machu Picchu.
Cusco isn’t just the beating heart of Peru, it’s also the undisputed cultural coronary of South America. For centuries, the city acted as the capital of the Incan empire before the Spanish arrived and claimed it as their own.
Today, Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage site attracting just short of two million visitors annually, many of whom are en route to world famous Machu Picchu. While most people only use Cusco as a jumping point to reach the famed ruins, we recommend allowing two days to navigate the cobblestone streets and illogical alleyways of this historic city.
Alejandrina, or Ale (pronounced Alley) guided our second-ever tour in 2009 and has been with us ever since. In fact, this mother-of-two may be why Peru is our number-one destination. Everybody raves about her passion for her country.
We rang Ale in Cusco so she could introduce herself to you.
From killer Kilimanjaro to exhausting Everest, Out Adventures has been guiding gay men up the world’s most notorious treks and trails since its inception. It’s our belief that despite the sore muscles, the altitude sickness and the occasional blister or bruise, the rewards of surmounting Earth’s highest summits is an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Below you’ll find three of our most popular upcoming hikes. If you want an example of a 12-week training program to prepare for such an industrious venture, skip over to our Preparing to Tackle Kilimanjaro post.
Both our Peruvian Inca Trail Gay Tour, and Gay Lodge-to-Lodge Trek, are no walk in the park (even if they are both literally walks in a park). To really enjoy these escapades, preparation is key, especially if you’re not acclimated to high altitude hiking.
If you’re planning to hike The Inca Trail with us, things can quickly get heavier than a celebrity breakup if you don’t pack smart. Keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb, because anything beyond that is likely to be left behind in Lima. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you pick up along the way.