What to say about Machu Picchu what hasn’t been said yet? It is amazing, it is beautiful, it is unique and it has A LOT OF stairs.
After doing our trail,we stayed one night in Agua Calientes and took the bus up the next morning to Machu Picchu, we arrived just in time to see the sun rise and slowly bath the ruins in light. Very amazing.
After watching the sun rise we had a very informative and nice tour of the place telling us everything about the temples, such as the sun and earth temple shown on the side and the life expectancy of Machu Picchu. As it is, there are only 100 more years in which Machu Picchu will be visitable, so hurry if you want to see it!!!This is not due to the decay of the ruins, but of the mountain, which is slowly breaking apart. The wall shown on the side was once a perfect, mortarless constructions in between two rocks. Today there are lots of holes and gaps in it as the rocks are moving apart.
Once the tour was over we had about 8h to explore the place on our own. Even though the ruins are huge (and that doesn’t include all the remains fo ruins which supposedly are still hidden by the forrest bordering Machu Picchu on all sides), they are not huge enough to spend 8h in them and constantly see new things. It is definitely possible to spend 8h just sitting by the guard house enjoying the view shown above.
I set out to conquer Machu Picchu, the mountain, to get a nice view from above. Machu Picchu, originally, is the name of the mountain you never see in the post card pictures. The original name of the city itself is lost and therefore the ruins are usually refered to by the name of the mountain, which incidentially means “old mountain” in Quechua.
Machu Picchu is another of those Inka traps promising incredible views and beautiful sights and once you’re on your way you realise you’re in for 2 hours of what is optimistically called “stairs”. While there may be a lot of doubt on the way if going up was really the right choice, once you do get to the top all those doubts are washed away.
You are greeted by the Andean flag, which is proudly shown through most of the southern Andes in Peru by people affirming their Inka heritage. From said flag you have a stunning view in all directions. You can see anything from the glacier covered Salkantay to the incredibly green (and steep) sides of the closer mountains to the complete view of the Machu Picchu ruins as it is one of the higher points around the area. It is well worth the walk up!
Towards the end of the day people slowly leave the ruins and you get the chance to visit some of the most visited sights (almost) by yourself. The sun set is not as spectacular as the sun rise, however it is still nice to watch as you are the only one to be around. The approaching thunder storm only made for more dramatic views.