Dec. 19/12 – Wow!! Machu Picchu does deserve the distinction of being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It’s extraordinary. I was amazed by the story our English guide told us about the 500+ years of history behind this “lost city.” I am fascinated by the architecture of this place. It’s unbelievable that the Inca could have built something like this in such an inaccessible place. It is very hard to explain how it was possible to have constructed such an architectural landmark back so many years ago. I have so much more appreciation now for history and for the men that came before us. No words can actually describe the feeling you get when you are up there. Oh, by the way, apparently, everything we hear today are just hypotheses of what could have actually happened in this place back then and to the 1000 people that lived here.
Machu Picchu covers about 80,000 acres (32,500 hectares) with terraced fields on the edges. These were once used as planting fields where people grew basic crops like maize and potatoes.
Going up the mountain is a moderate climb on cobblestone trails & steps. Getting to the top is a thrill as one sees a breathtaking site, especially from the Sun Gate. Pictures do it no justice. It is one of those “you have to see it to believe it” places.
We took a 4 hour train ride from Cusco to the town called Aquas Calientes to sleep for the night so that we could get up early to see the sunrise in Machu Picchu. Then, it was a 20-min bus ride up to Machu Picchu. Thank God we chose to ride instead of walking up the winding hilly dirty road. The altitude was 2430 meter (7972 feet) which is twice as high as our Grouse Grind. After the ride up was a 20-minute walk. When we got to the top, we were completely out of breath. Imagine climbing uphill for an hour! Oh and we absolutely had no regrets for having backed out of the 4-day Inca trekking trip after we saw so many people finishing off looking very exhausted and some even looking half dead. LOL
We are happy to be putting another check mark off the list as we reached our fifth destination among the 7 Wonders of the World. Only 2 more to go!!. And these are: Chichen Itza In Mexico & Petra in Jordan.
We got back to the hostel by 11am then we headed to the hot spring which was just 5 minutes away. It was very relaxing. We then had lunch and I went for a 90-minute Inca massage which was a combination of hot stones, Thai and Swedish massage.
What an awesome day!! We are now waiting to catch the 7pm train back to Cusco then to take the 75-minute flight to Lima tomorrow morning.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I was surprisingly pleased with the Tourism Industry in Cusco, Peru. Perhaps it’s due to the city relying on tourism but every tour I had joined or heard of from other backpackers so far had positive comments. Very organized, friendly and professional. Impressive, especially when I never expected such a service in South America!
Originally posted on Amy’s travel blog: TravelwithAmy.ca