Trekking With Masochists on the Mapiri Trail in Bolivia
Trekking guides actually warn that the Mapiri Trail is for masochists only. Starting in the frigid-yet-majestic Andes, this long abandoned and overgrown “trail” descends all the way into the Amazon Basin. Over the 6-day trek you (or more likely, your guide) will machete your way through five distinct ecosystems—home to dozens of exotic orchid species, elusive and endangered spectacled bears, and ancient ruins yet to be explored. But an easy downhill walk this is not. Hazards include: knee-deep mud sucking at your boots, millions of bees swarming your sweat-covered body, confused leaf-cutter ants devouring your tent, and brown, nutty-tasting puddles as your only water source.