Edit Blog Post
Published: August 31st 2018
So apparently there's this amazing lost citadel of Machu Picchu tucked away in the mountains of Peru that people kept talking about, so we reluctantly thought we would go and visit. Turned out to be pretty spectacular!
Cuzco is the place to base yourself to visit MP. We got here by a 17 hr overnight bus ride from Huacachina (Ica). We spent the first day acclimatising and wondering around the town, seeing the sights including the Plaza and market and eating a lunch (big bowl of soup followed by a dish of rice, chips and chicken) for £1.25!
Cuzco had a nice feel about it. It sits in a valley at 3300 masl, where houses climb up the hills and it reminded me of Medellin in that sense.
The following day we took a collectivo to Ollantaytambo which lies in the sacred valley. Ollan is a small but nice village where the houses are all built by rock and there is plenty of accommodation and restaurants around to base yourself for a day trip or night. We visited the Pinkulluna ruins which overlook the village and surrounding mountains and had some lunch.
It was a great little day trip
to Ollan. Most people visit the Ollan ruins but its part of a tourist ticket which gives access to 14 other sites around the sacred valley which we didn't want to spend the money for.
On the Sunday, we spent the day getting to Aguas Calientes which is the town where people base themselves to go to MP. There are different ways of getting there; by train (sometimes very expensive but relatively quick), by Trek (Inca Trail etc for 5 days and quite expensive, as well as being booked out months in advance) and there is the other way, the backpacker and cheaper way. For £20 return you take a 6 hour mini bus to a place called Hydroelectric and then walk 2-3 hours along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes.
This takes the whole day but is a lot cheaper than the other options and the scenery is quite nice the whole way there.
Unfortunately for me on this day I had some form of food poisoning and it couldn't have been a worser route to Aguas Calientes being very windy followed by very bumpy and dusty. This was then followed by walking 2.5 hrs (luckily it was
flat). With having only eaten a few biscuits and a spoon full of rice since dinner the previous night, it was not the best experience I've had (I only threw up 3 times) but eventually made it!
Aguas Calientes is small but full of restaurants, accommodation and tourists, all ready to get up at 4 in the morning. Most line up for the bus to the entrance and the rest will walk around 1.5 hrs up the steep hill. We chose the latter. Eventually we got to the top and enjoyed our first views of MP in the cloud. We took that opportunity to visit the citadel and then found a spot to watch the cloud slowly dissapate to reaveal the amazing site. It was an experience that we'll remember for sometime!
There are plenty of places to have that iconic photo and although there were lots of people, it didn't seem overcrowded.
MP was incredible! You see that classic photo so often and you dream about visiting one day and then all of a sudden you find yourself there, admiring the view!
We headed back to Cuzco via the way we came on the same day but this
time I was feeling a lot better!
Our final day in Cuzco was another little day trip to Pisac. Pisac is again a small village and has some ruins nearby to see but we spent a few hours having some lunch there and walking through the craft market in town.
Again it was a nice day trip out and a nice way to finish our time in the most famous area of Peru.
Without a doubt, Machu Picchu is worth a visit and the area around is quite nice too. There was a sense of accomplishment after so many years of wanting to visit and finally having the opportunity to. This is what inspires me to do my blogs, so that we can always look back and remember these great opportunities we've had and to hopefully inspire others too!
Tot: 2.872s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 8; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0537s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb