Published January 02, 2013
Cusco, Peru – An American tourist died after falling into a ravine while hiking near the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, located in the southeastern Peruvian region of Cuzco.
According to RPP radio, Rachel Cecilia Gian, 26, fell near the town of Aguas Calientes in the lower part of the steep mountain on which the Inca ruins are situated.
Police told RPP that the woman's body was found Tuesday after a nearly five-hour search.
The accident happened near the area known as Inti Punco, known for its difficult topography. The woman was on the final leg of her journey and within a short distance from the historic site when she inexplicably fell into the ravine.
The Inca Trail is an alternative way to access Machu Picchu –the only other option being the train– and is used by thousands of tourists a year, especially foreigners. The walk, often guided by natives familiar with the harsh terrain, takes three to four days from the city of Cusco to the jungle where the fort is located atop a mountain. During the route travelers must go through a height of 4,200 meters above sea level.