Blogs from Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu November 5th 2020

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail opened again on November 2, after being closed since the State of Emergency and Covid-19 quarantine were announced in Peru on March 15th. I had the amazing good fortune to be able to hike the Inca Trail on November 4th and visit Machu Picchu on November 5th with a group of friends. All but one had never visited Machu Picchu before, though all of them have sat through more than seven months of isolation, quarantine and lockdown in Cusco. I was so happy to be able to join them for their first time at this amazing UNESCO World Heritage site, especially since it was free! The Peruvian government opened both the Inca Trail from KM104 and Machu Picchu for free the first two weeks of November, with a very limited ... read more
Social distancing on the Inca Trail
Sustainable tourism with a mask
Social distancing at archeological sites

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu August 25th 2019

Today was one of those days I'll remember for the rest of of my life. The day started at 4.45am so we could be at Machu Picchu when it opened at 6am. I didn't feel the least bit tired all day: so much adrenaline from such an amazing day. I'm really glad we came on a guided tour because Claudio knew exactly how to make the most of this remarkable site. Machu Picchu was built around 1450, primarily as a religious centre by Pachacuti, the Alexander the Great of the Incas. It was functional for less than a century because in 1539 the Spanish invaded and destroyed the Inca Empire. They never found Machu Picchu but they brought smallpox which runners from Cusco carried to Machu Picchu. The population was decimated and the site was abandoned. ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu June 8th 2019

k8th June – Machu Picchu If yesterday was an early start, today we awoke at ‘stupid o’clock’!! Our original pick up time was stupid enough at 05:45 but yesterday evening everyone had a note left in their room advising us that the pic up time had changed…to the even stupider time of 5am!! The breakfast salon didn’t open until 05:00 so we were provided with somewhat stale buns and slices of cheese together with a flask of muña. As we all waited in the foyer for our driver and guide, I learned that some tourists had booked an overnight stay in Machu Picchu that should have started on Thursday, the day of the strike. This had to be cancelled and as the authorities only allow a finite number of tourists on to the site each day ... read more
Virgen del Carmen Church, Aguas Calientes
The majestic condor, guardian of the upper world
The road from Aguas Calientes to Macu Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 28th 2019

Our final 5 days in Peru were spent in the heart of the formerly glorious Inca Nation. At its height, when the Spanish arrived in 1523, it stretched from Chile and Argentina to Colombia. It is mind boggling that fewer than 200 Conquistadors destroyed a powerful empire of 15 million! We marvelled at their building skills, without iron, the wheel or animals that could do the hard work, in really demanding terrain. Their scientists developed strains of potato, corn and grains suited to climates from rain forest to desert. Yet they had no written language to record their accomplishments. The Spanish managed to reduce their number to less than one million through disease, wars and the Inquisition. The Inca was the king. The common people were “of the Inca” his to command. Panoramas (5 seconds between ... read more
Puccara Bulls
Palacio del Inka
Palacio del Inka

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 6th 2019

Im letzten Eintrag hatte ich ja bereits beschrieben, wie mir kein ruhiger Schlaf vergönnt war. Und nun stand ich schon um 4 Uhr in meinem Zimmer in Cusco und habe auf mein Taxi gewartet, welches für 6 Uhr bestellt war. Und der dazugehörige Bus sollte um 7:50 losfahren, doch es wurde einem geraten schon eine halbe Stunde früher zu erscheinen. Um zwanzig nach sechs stand ich im Wartesaal. Naja, die Vorfreude war groß. Und um 7:15 saß ich im Bus, der bald darauf losfuhr. Das war allerdings kein Fehler, sondern ganz einfach gute Organisation von Seiten der Veranstalter, die sich nämlich darüber im klaren waren, dass die Menge an Menschen die in einen Zug passen nicht mit einem Bus zu vergleichen ist und man also auch schon fahren kann sobald eben jener Bus voll ist. Jetzt ... read more
Der erste Aussichtspunkt
Die Sonne bahnt sich ihren Weg
Der Pfad auf Waynapicchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu March 5th 2019

Today we are going to Machu Picchu. We have to get up at 5 am for a second consecutive day, added onto a 17 hour overnight coach journey and I would be flagging, apart from the fact that the drop in altitude has rejuvenated me. Machu Picchu isn’t cheap; train £268, hotel £73, entry £75 and bus to the entrance £37. That’s £453 for a 4 hour visit. And that doesn’t take into account the cloning of our credit card whilst purchasing the tickets. We get to the bus queue by 5.30. It’s very busy but well organised with a constant stream of buses, so we are on our way within 10 minutes, driving the 5 mile uphill zigzag to the entrance, trying to avoid pedestrians too tight to pay $24 to be driven up a ... read more
Machu Picchu at dawn
Alpacas at Machu Picchu
Alpacas at Machu Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu October 14th 2018

With a later than usual departure we were finally able to rest a little before having breakfast at the rooftop of Hotel Polo Cucso. The breakfast here was again pretty skimpy with cheese, cold-cuts, yogurts and lots of breads. I finally asked if I could have eggs for breakfast. Apparently that was an option all along but there had been no mention of it. I put in my order and received a plate of scrambled eggs but still no avocado to be seen. I asked the head server and he promised to find me some by the time I returned from Machu Picchu. After breakfast we went back to the room to pack. I collected our dirty laundry to drop at the front desk. I had asked the night before if there was a cheaper option ... read more
Orellana Pumqchupan fountain near our hotel in Cusco
Strawberry corn beer tasting somewhere in Yanahuara Village
Boarding the Peru Rail in Ollantaytambo

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu October 14th 2018

Getting up at 4 AM is not my idea of fun but with the prospect of finally seeing Machu Picchu, I was up, dressed, packed and ready for breakfast in a heartbeat. Dave however began grumbling that there was water on the floor in the bathroom. Then as he grabbed his hat from the closet he found it was wet! Not a good find when you are half asleep. I thought we would be one of the first to arrive for breakfast but it turned out we were nearly last. In my haste I didn’t realize that our alarm was late so in reality I had gotten ready to go in ten minutes! Planning the night before really paid off. There were plenty of protein options, teas, fruit and goldenberry and elderberry jams for toast at ... read more
Bus on the narrow stone "path" up to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Sunrise
Thatch roofed granary above Machu Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu October 6th 2018

It was a pandemonium when we reached the bus station in the morning in Aguas Calientes. I thought 6 am would be early enough for a twenty minute bus ride to Machu Picchu to get a glimpse of the sunrise. Well, I was wrong. The line-up to board the bus was snaking along the street. Not to mention the bus ticket counter. Thank God that we already purchased advanced bus tickets so we didn’t have to struggle another line up in the counter. Every 10-15 minutes buses were leaving, totally loaded. Already many have left for Machu Picchu in the earlier buses. Still tourists were pouring in. Anyway, we managed to board the bus. But luck is an unpredictable element that always does not favour you. It had rained last night and the sky was semi ... read more
Machu Pichu in the early morning
Suman was ecstatic!
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South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu September 29th 2018

Undoubtedly, Machu Picchu has been in my bucket list for ages! Finally when the dream came true, I had tough time holding my excitement. During any conversation, I was itching how to start this topic into the conversation. I know it’s silly, but that’s me! Anyway, yesterday was our day trip to the Sacred Valley. After the bus dropped us close to the Armada de plaza in the evening at the end of the trip, we walked down to the hotel, grabbed a nice dinner and hit the bed. And I was so excited, I couldn't sleep. ******* No, we were not hiking along the Inca Trail; it takes three days of tough journey and we were not in a mood of doing so; not this time. We heard about the fairy tale train ride from ... read more
Vista Rail to Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu




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