09/12/2012 07:16 am ET Updated Nov 12, 2012

5 Inca Treks Beyond Machu Picchu (PHOTOS)

The Classic Inca Trail -- all snowy peaks, subtropical forests and ancient ruins -- is one of South America's hottest tickets. But only 500 people are allowed on the four-day trek to Machu Picchu each day, so if you don't get a ticket months in advance, you might be stuck drinking pisco sours and watching badly dubbed Baywatch back at your Cuzco hotel.

Luckily, the neighborhood is filled with lesser-known, yet no less amazing, treks. I've hiked all five of these -- click through to see why they're my top picks.

-- Abbie Kozolchyk, Condé Nast Traveler

5 Breathtaking Treks that Rival Machu Picchu