A ritualistic site, complete with natural spring baths
Well, time for a little Machu Picchu! But first, lets not forget....the city of Cusco (Machu Picchu´s jumping off point) has lots to see as well. Actually, the whole "sacred valley" is LOADED with ruins. So cool to see and think of the people who lived there and built it all. And even cooler to go and sit in those same spots and touch those old, magnificent walls. Again: Wow!
Cusco itself is SUPER touristy. One of the bars on the main plaza actually sells a Tshirt that simply says "No Gracias", which is hilarious because vendors literally decend on you from all sides. You wind up saying ´No Gracias´ about a million times on your way to that bar.
Near the city we visited some ruins, headed up to Aguas Calientes (or Machu Picchu city) by bus/train combo and spent the night there. The area around Machu Picchu is all jungly and exotic! At 4am, we got up and departed for the hike (not the Inca Trail) up to Machu Picchu entrance. It´s a straight shot up the mountain and it took about an hour. But, it was a beautiful morning and we were among the first 100-200
Suspected to be a fort, this looks over the countryside
people in the door. It was gorgeous!
In addition, we hiked up the mountain behind the city (a SERIOUS and steep hike). You could spend days there, to be honest, investigating all the nooks and cranies of the old city. It was magical!
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