Concierge.com's insider take:
The four stone eco-lodges that serve as tambos (crash pads, more or less, in Quechua) allow you to hike the Camino del Apu Ausangate in unprecedented comfort (blazing fireplaces, hot showers, and soaring great-room windows). Before the 2008 arrival of the lodges, this remote retreat had been the sole province of tent-packing trekkers. The scenery is the definition of otherworldly: At points, lunar landscapes give way to red-, yellow-, and green-striped isosceles mountains. But the real alternate universe is that of the locals: isolated, traditionally clad llama and alpaca herders who essentially, and remarkably sweetly, serve as your Sherpas. Note: This is a physically demanding trip. For details, read the answer to the first FAQ ("How difficult is the trekking?") on the Andean Lodges Web site. The lodges can get cold at night, so pack your warmest thermals for bedtime.—Abbie Kozolchyk
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