Photoblog: Symbol of Peru – Macchu Picchu

Posted on October 1, 2009 by

A symbol of Peru, there is something about Macchu Picchu that makes everyone so drawn to it. A sense of mystery, a secret location in the midst of steep mountains, or its Inca origins – it remains an enigmatic magnet that attracts many to Peru each year.

Macchu Picchu

Travelling overland from Bolivia to Peru, the landscape changed drastically and so did the air. Green pastures surround us at Macchu Picchu, contrasting with the bright multi-hued traditional costumes of the locals. Llamas graze the land, swaying their brown bosoms in the historical ruins.

Llamas and their bosoms

How to get to Macchu Picchu

To get to Macchu Picchu, we chose to book a private bus trip (US$80 including 1 night’s stay) in Cuzco. There are no roads that lead to the nearest city, Aguascalientes, where most travelers are based at. The bus actually brings you through winding and unpaved mountain roads, leaving you at Hidroelectrico to catch the train to Aguascalientes. The bus trip itself was quite a funny adventure, with many passengers throwing up as we hit the winding roads.

Train at Aguascalientes

Alternatively, the more popular option is to catch a train direct to Aguascalientes from Ollantaytambo, just 2 hours from Cuzco. It’s quite an attractive little town where few backpackers also choose to spend the night at. From here, it’s a costly but short train ride to Aguascalientes.

Ollantaytambo

Our adventures

Waking up at 3a.m. like every other traveler, we were racing up to the peak to see the ruins by 4.30a.m. The entrance to Macchu Picchu opens at 5a.m., but everyone is eager to get the first peek. It was a mad dash as everyone raced through the ruins to get into the Wayna Picchu line. Many talk about the panoramic view atop Wayna Picchu, the taller mountain standing next to Macchu Picchu. Only a certain number of tickets are given out for the 10am climb, so many backpackers race to grab the tickets. Absurd as it sounds, it was almost like the Amazing Race, except you didn’t get to win $1million.

Sunrise at Macchu Picchu

Panoramic

What amazes me about Macchu Picchu is its location on the peak of a mountain. Walking through the ruins involves lots of climbing steep slopes. The entire area sprawls across the mountaintop, but the area can be rather narrow. From the edges, take a look down and you can see the foot of the mountain in the far distance. A fall would definitely be fatal.

Steep slopes of Macchu Picchu The guardhouse

Las tres puertas

Steep sides of macchu picchu

We found llamas wandering around the foot of the ruins,  and it was quite an experience mingling with them and just getting to see these animals upclose and personal.

vivicua curious cvicuna                 A curious vicuna posing for a picture.

Llama upclose

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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

11 Responses to “Photoblog: Symbol of Peru – Macchu Picchu”

  1. JoAnna October 1, 2009 1:55 pm #

    There is another way to get to Machu Picchu … on foot. We took the 4-day hike in on the Inca Trail in April and it was amazing! After all that work, it rained and was foggy once we got to the site, but it was worth it 100%.

  2. Linda and Ian November 3, 2009 5:01 pm #

    Because of a national strike, we went into Machu Picchu a day earlier than planned. The day of the strike there were no trains so we practically had the site to ourselves. Tickets to climb Waynas Picchu were easily available, and the site was almost deserted. It was awe-inspiring, mysterious, and unforgetable!

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