It’s an indescribable feeling when something so long-anticipated, so magical and unique, suddenly is scheduled on the agenda for the day. Day 5 was that day: our visit to Machu Picchu.
The ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu (MP) is spectacularly located on a narrow ridgetop at 2430 m altitude. It’s a 8 kilometer hike from Agues Calientes to MP, from which 2 kilometer fatiguing steep. Although frequent buses drive between AC and MP, we wanted to do the effort MP is more than worth. At 3:00 in the morning, we (Jacob, Lucas and I – the rest of the girls took the bus) started the hike. We succeeded in our plan: we were first at MP! I imagined us having the site for a split second for our own, but in a blink of an eye the ruins were packed with tourists. No wonder; during high season (late May until early September) MP welcomes 2500 visitors a day.
We started with exploring the main sights, like the Royal Tomb, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of Three Windows. I still can’t imagine how historian Hiram Bingham must have felt when he ‘discovered’ (well, he was guided by locals) the ancient city early 20th century. Around lunch, we climbed Wayna Picchu Mountain. WPM is located at the Northern side of the lost city; it’s the mountain you see in the backdrop of MP. It was an exhausting 1,5-hour steep hike up, but the path and view were amazing. Not everyone likes it, but we found the different angle to view MP from interesting, as it highlights the unique location MP is located on.
At first, it was too much to take in to be honest. So much to see, to do, to discover at MP. Basically, I felt like overdoing myself with enjoying the moment. It was when the big crowds had disappeared late afternoon and Lucas and I were sitting with just the two of us and the view that I truly felt its magic. Machu Picchu is breathtaking, but don’t forget to allow yourself some room to breath.
Very curious to hear if Machu Picchu is on your bucketlist?