At first, I have to say that while going to Machu Picchu I wasn’t that excited. I thought it would be next excursion, just to see some world-famous ruins and that’s it. And I was so much wrong!Indeed I didn’t expect how I felt and what I saw. It’s not only Machu Picchu that makes the atmosphere. If it were only the ruins probably I wouldn’t be that surprised. But I was all about the place, weather, mountains, river, train…To get to Machu firstly you have to go to Cusco and surprisingly for me it was still 6 hours from Cusco by mini bus through crazy road in the jungle and then 2 hour-amazing- walk to get to Aguas Calientes (the village from where you climb to Machu Picchu).
So we started in Cusco at 7.30 am to start our journey. It’s very easy to get from Cusco to to Machu Picchu by mini-bus. You go to a travel agency (thousands of them in Cusco) and you buy a ticket to the place called Hidroelectrica (return ticket about 60 soles).
The way from Cusco to Hidro…
Then you get off at Hidro-electrica and you start walking about 2 hours to Aguas Calientes. You can either walk or you can take a train from Ollantaytambo (village near Cusco in the Saint Valley) directly to Aguas Calientes. Shortly. we did’t take this famous train as it costs about 100$ return ticket just for 1,5h! I think it is the most expensive train in the world. I find it so injust! For Peruvian people the train costs nothing, simply the price of a normal ticket… and for GRINGOS the price is 1000% higher! I was really upset of this injustice 😦 But everything else was TOP! 😀
We finally arrived to Aguas Calientes and … I was just amazed by this little town. I thought it would be a really touristic town, and it was because there are thousands of restaurants for tourists but somehow I didn’t have impression that there are lots of tourists… and this village is so well placed. All around you there are mountains from Avatar, little river crossing all the village, the atmosphere of being up at the 2000 meters above the sea level, you feel cold at night but you are in the jungle! AMAZING! And we were so lucky because we had unsuspected fog behind us mostly all the time. On the one hand I was so afraid that we will see nothing because of this fog but then…the atmosphere, the views while climbing up were just awesome. Have a look 🙂 I really do not lie on you!
So we climbed 1800 steps to get to Machu Picchu. This task is not that easy as you go all the time up very steep and you have stairs…but it was not the end of walking up. When we got to desired point we couldn’t see nearly anything because of fog…
So we decided to climb the mountain Machu Picchu which is about 3000 meters above the sea level. So we climbed this at 7 am and we were at the top at 8am. And what we saw was just breath-taking…
We waited till 11am but nothing changed so we decided to climb down and fortunately what we could see was this:!
SO what about this Machu Picchu? As you all know, it was an ancient city of Incas. Built in the 15th century. Till now it is not exactly known which purposes had this city but it is said that for the holidays it was a rest place for the lord of Incas. It was also a ceremonial and agricultural centre. It was destroyed about 1537. A very interesting question is how these people built this city on a top of the mountain with these huge stones that they were using. Fortunately Spanish conquistadors didn’t discover the city. It was Hiram Bingham who discover it in 1911.
Machu Picchu ancient city is surrounded by two sacred mountains Huayna Picchu (the one you can see at the photo below partly in the fog) and the second one is from the other side called Machu Picchu mountain. If you want to climb Huayna Picchu you have to book the tickets in advance (even one year before). However, Machu Picchu mountain you do not have to book. The ticket to Machu Picchu costs about 40$ for adults and 20$ for students :0 with the entrance to climb Machu Picchu mountain is only 10 soles more.