Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime hike that everyone should do. The bulk of the ruins are easy walks that can be done with toddlers or parents, and there hikes for the more adventuresome as well.  There are a million blgoposts detailing the history of Machu Picchu. Go read them. I’m going to describe our amazing day here .

We woke up before dawn to take the train to Agues Calientes, a truck stop town, and the only entry to Machu Picchu if you’re not hiking the Inca Trail.

Waiting for the train to take us to Machu, Picchu, Peru

Once there, we bought bus tickets to climb the mountain, then waited in line for over an hour to actually do it. Luckily, we had no dreams of watching the sun rise over the park.

Waiting in line for bus at Aguas Calientes, Peru

The entry to the park itself felt like that of an amusement park. Lots of excitement. Lots of nerves. A few entitled assholes who just couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that Bertrand and I were trying to stay in line together.

Path up the Mountain, Machu Picchu, Peru

Finally, we made it in and immediately set off for the Sun Gate. What a beautiful (and long) walk! There are some ruins at the halfway point and I was bitterly disappointed to discover that they were only the halfway point.

Machu Picchu, Peru

The long walk, however, was worth it. Amazing views. Amazing hiking. And a good spot to sit and grab a bite to eat.

View from the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu, Peru

Sun Gate, Machu Picchu, Peru

After the Sun Gate, Bertrand wanted to see the Inca Bridge. Another terrifying walk along sheer cliff faces later, we could see the bridge, but not walk across it ourselves.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Inca Bridge, Machu Picchu, Peru

After those two hikes, my ankles and knees were killing me (note to self: minimalist trail running shoes != hiking boots), so we walked out of the park to pay for a ridicuously expensive (but delicious) lunch. Turns out, we’d packed about half as much food as we should have. After downing a lot of water and food, we re-entered and explored the main site.
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru
Not sure who’s more uncomfortable here, me or the Alpaca.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Had we opted to climb one of Machu Picchu’s two mountains, we might have needed a second day to explore; however, one full day was perfect considering the two morning hikes we undertook.


Visiting Machu Picchu, Peru

17 thoughts on “Machu Picchu

  1. Great photos and nice views! I loved Machu Picchu! We slept in Aguas Calientes and woke up at 4.45am to start the hike up to MP. We got there at the very beginning and enjoyed wandering around with the sunrise and before the tourist groups arrived. It was great :) Did you do Huayna Picchu too? We couldn’t get a permit…

    1. We did not. We couldn’t get a permit. However, the day ended up being just about perfectly timed without one. I can’t imagine adding on an additional couple hours of hiking on, although people manage to do it!

  2. I would love to visit Machu Picchu sometime. It looks like you had a great visit. Your pictures are beautiful! I had no idea the lines were that long. I guess it’s on a lot of bucket lists!

  3. Stunning photos! Unfortunately, I couldn’t see Machu Picchu when I was in Peru because it was too risky with my asthma – the high altitude’s not for everyone. Looks like a beautiful place.

  4. My visit to Machu Picchu truly was magical. I cried when I got there, I was so overwhelmed by how magical it was. I loved everything about Peru and can’t wait to get back.

    Looks like you had a truly great visit!

  5. This certainly looks like a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it’s something that I have always wanted to do! I also was not aware of the line, so great to know this!

  6. I love Machu Picchu it is my favourite place in the world!! I have visited 3 times and will be back there in january for a 4th visit!! I have done various hikes to get there, Inca Trail, Inca Jungle, Choquequirao to Machu Picchu and it still takes my breath away and makes me smile when I get there. I have done Huayna Picchu twice but haven’t tried Machu Picchu mountain yet, maybe that will be for my trip in January. It’s an amazing place and am glad you enjoyed your time there :-)

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