Last month marked 100 years since Machu Picchu in Peru was “rediscovered” by the American explorer Hiram Bingham on 24th July, 1911. So it reminded me to tell you about our past trip to Machu Picchu.
No blisters and no sweaty clothes as we explored one of the best preserved ruins of the Inca civilization. We did not hike to Machu Picchu! So what? We acted like those lazy tourists… Ok, fine. Whatever!
Many people will tell you that the most exciting way to reach Machu Picchu is by trekking the famous hardcore Inca Trail or one of the other walking paths that lead to the lost City of the Incas.
If the sight of Machu Picchu at sunrise is certainly worth (almost) any pain, I am sorry to disappoint you by not picking the masochistic way to reach Machu Picchu.
Don’t get me wrong, we understand the feeling of being rewarded after surviving a hell of a trek.
But let’s face it: it’s nice sometimes to be rewarded with minimum effort, right?
Anyway, we chose to take the three-hour scenic train ride from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes. Thanks to the panoramic windows, we enjoyed a spectacular view as we travelled through stunning scenery and picturesque villages.
From Aguas Calientes, a 20-minute bus journey brought us up to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
There is something quite special about this sacred citadel hidden high in the sky even if the crowd of tourists often dot the area like multi-colored ants.
Perched on a mountain ridge in the Andes and surrounded by the imposing Urubamba Canyon, Machu Picchu was erected with stone blocks weighting more than 50 tons! How they were placed into position remains a mystery…
Another surprising fact about Machu Picchu: llamas.
Yep, expect to see plenty of llamas exploring the site in total freedom… Some llamas are even enjoying a romantic date in this very unique place.
For a magnificent view over Machu Picchu, make sure to head to this exact location like shown on the map below:
And that’s what you will see…
Voted one of the new Seven Wonder of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu was for us the highlight of our trip to Peru.
But what we did not know was that our visit to Machu Picchu would come with a complimentary fashion show. On our journey back to Cuzco, the train attendants turned the aisle into a catwalk wearing “Made in Peru” outfits that passengers could purchase. Ridiculously cheesy entertainment, you say?
We have read that, in the name of preservation, access to Machu Picchu is being limited to no more than 3,300 travellers daily. So lazy or not, make sure to secure your tickets as far in advance as possible.
For those of you who would have the time and the energy to do the full Inca Trail, check this video of Karl Pilkington to see the view that you’ll get after the last day of walking: