Machu Picchu

Today was going to be another highlight of our Peru trip: we’re going to visit Machu Picchu,  a 15th-century Inca site located at 2,430 metres altitude in the heart of the Andes. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. One we definitely didn’t want to miss!

Our taxi arrived very early to take us to the Poroy train station, just outside of Cusco. Here we took the Peru Rail train with destination Aguas Calientes. We had booked tickets for the Vistadome class which has a glass ceiling to watch the mountains, and the promised views were truly amazing! This train doesn’t run fast (about 40km/h) so we had time enough to enjoy the views but also to enjoy the breakfast that was served. A couple of hours later, we reached Aguas Calientes. Here we walked through an enormous tourist trap (lots of stands with souvenirs) to the bus station, where we bought tickets for the bus up the mountain. The road was narrow and went in a zigzag all the way up to the sire entrance, and after a ride of 20 minute we arrived!

Oliver negotiated with a tour guide about his rate, and finally we went. We entered Machu Picchu and with each step we heard ourselves going ‘WOW’ spontaneously as more of the site was visible. We were flabbergasted with the views, with the magical atmosphere, and with just being there. Amazing! Our guide Hector proved to be a good one as we walked a very interesting route through Machu Picchu, going to ways others don’t go. He told us many interesting stories and helped us making interesting pictures.

We saw the Sun Temple, the water mirrors for observing the sky, several buildings, and Hector knew stories about almost everything. After the tour we walked around ourselves, making numerous photos (at some point we stop ourselves as each angle is breathtaking!). Oliver walked up to the Inka Bridge, through which the last residents supposedly escaped. We walked around a bit more, and then decided to go back down to the town.

We had a quick bite in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes, got on the train and rode back. In Poroy station we met with our taxi driver again (who was as quick as the train), and late at night we were back in our apartment. So tired, but so satisfied with having seen one of the most amazing places ever. The absolute highlight of our trip and one of the best of lives!

 

 

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