Most people who choose to camp out in APNP (Arthur's Pass National Park) do it in the campgrounds that are found directly across from the DoC (Department of Consvervation) information center. While it is probably the most convenient options in terms of accessibility and camping facilities - it is not free and sometimes can be very crowded. if you opt for a quieter place to campout, and you have a car with you can stay at the Klondyke Corner campsite, about 8 kilometers south of Arthur's Pass village on the SH73 road. Although basic and pretty much 'bare-bones' in terms of camping facilities, it's a decent alternative to the big campground in the village itself.
From here the Inca Trail starts to descend spirally and steeply, passing a staircase of around 1,500 steps. The flora here is thicker, more like a jungle, and you can see lots of butterflies and birds.
It's about 5 Km from Puyupatamarca to the last camp site of the trail in Winay Wayna, passing through the second Inca tunnel in the route. After the tunnel you can see Aguas Calientes, sometimes referred to as Machupicchu Town - as It's the closest access point to the historical site.
The name Wiñay Wayna ("forever young") refers both to the hostel–restaurant–camp site and the Inca ruins in the area.
The terraces of Wiñay Wayna. Photo by Gpetrov
Wayllabamba ("Place of Good Pasture"), a small village near the trail, is the local camping site for many of the trekkers. There are about 130 families leaving in Wayllabamba, with houses along this portion of the trail. At Wayllabamba the trail turns west and begins ascending along a stream on the river bank of Cusichaca.
A map of The Inca Trail in Wayllabamba. Photo by Steve Pastor
There's another market (The black market) where you can buy gas, pots, pans, knives, toilet paper, sleeping bags, mattresses, etc. We spent two gas tanks for a single meal. Buy around 50 tanks. You can always sell it back to the Mongolians.
We chose the camping option and I highly recommend it. It is one of the best experiences you'll ever have, sleeping under the sky, hearing the animals at night. The tent Sebastian supplied was always the best tent in all camping areas we arrived to. The lack of shower from now and again (maybe every other night) weren't that bad. We spent a single night in a lodge.
Katmai National Park, also known as KatmaiLand or land of bears, is like a trip within the trip, and it’s a once in a life time experience. There are not enough words to describe the wonder. We spent 2 nights in a camping tent at Brooks Falls camp and one night in a lodge – which was like an army quarters and wasn't worth the price they charge. We were sorry we didn't spent the last night in the tent as well.
Just beside the shrine you will also find Yoyogi Koen. Yoyogi Park is one of my favorite parks in Tokyo. On Sundays you will find there many teenagers and families coming for a relaxing picnic as well as great performances of very talented people - from musicians to hip-hop dancers to rockabilly gangs.
We spent 3 nights at the park at Teklanika (Tek) River Campground, and saw a wide verity of wild animals, like blonde bears, brown bears, foxes, wolves, wild goats, mooses… and most importantly, we saw Mount McKinley, with all its glory!
Elafonisi is a small island connected to Crete by a shallow reef, and you can cross it when the sea is calm. The water is clear, turquoise, and the beaches are with pink coral sand.
Elafonisi is protected by an EU environmental program, as it should be, since the place is a real paradise. I talked to an American couple there, and they said that they have been to the Caribbean and Hawaii and Elafonisi is a worthy advisory. We spent all day just lying on the sand, getting in and out of the water and just relaxing.