Machu Picchu Journals

Xploring Machu Picchu

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A January 2001 trip to Machu Picchu by the Xplorer

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site Photo, Cusco, Peru More Photos
Quote: Having reached Machu Picchu you will have reached one of the least visited 'major' archeological sites of this planet. The size and setting are the most fasciating values. Getting there is your largest challenge.

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site

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Attraction | "Xploring Machu Picchu"

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
There are not many places in the world where I can say that one of the most memorable moments or activities was to stare at what you were seeing. Standing opposite Machu Picchu from the "classic" angle and absorbing the mystery and intrigue of the city was the most spine-tingling activities. Located 8000 feet above sea level, the clouds rapidly wisp over the ruins creating an indescribable effect. A hike up Huayan Picchu, the large mountain behind the ruins, offers a different perspective. Be prepared to allocate 2 hours for the steep round-trip hike. A valuable nugget of information; if you are interested in doing the hike, the latest time you can embark is at 1pm, after that time you will not b...Read More

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site
Above The Urubamba Valley
Cusco Region, Peru

Visiting the Ruins

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Attraction

The Ruins Photo, Machu Picchu, Peru
Quote:
The only way to the entrance of the ruins is by bus from Aguas Calientes, you can't drive, but you can hike if you like. Once you get inside you will soon realize that there are a lot of steps in this place. Be prepared to work out your legs. If it’s misty or rainy, the steps may be slippery and muddy. The steps are also very uneven and most of the time they are tall steps. As you become an expert step climber while at the ruins, look out for steps that are carved out of the stone, these were done by the original Incan residents. The first vantage point will be the one that is commonly seen in all the pictures of Machu Picchu. The ruins with two pointy mountains behind. The ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2001

Inca Trail

Attraction

Quote:
If you like hiking, there is a lot for you to do in the Peruvian Andes. At the ruins of Machu Picchu you will find some excellent hiking opportunities even if you're only up on a day trip. The Inca Trail leads to the entrance of the Lost City. Enter the ruins and proceed all the way to the rear of the city. There you will find the entrance to the path that leads you to top of Huayan Picchu, the large pointy mountain overlooking the ruins from behind. The hike takes about 2 hours round trip, and be warned that the park officials will not let you begin your trip up after 1pm. There are many other options if you want to hike for a longer time. As everyone takes the train from Cusco to Aguas C...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2001

Inca Trail
Andes Mountains
Cusco, Peru

Aguas Calientes, just below Machu Picchu

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Story/Tip

Aguas Calientes Photo, Machu Picchu, Peru
Quote:
Aguas Calientes is the small town that services the ruins of Machu Picchu. It is a 30-minute bus ride up from the village to the entrance of the ruins. Almost everyone has to arrive to Aguas Calientes via train, so the entire town revolves around the tracks. There is a half-mile line of track that is crowded on either side with shops, cafes, restaurants, souvenir stands, and artisan crafts (see photo). There are several restaurants in town but not that many motels. Be warned that there are no fancy hotels here. The town probably wouldn't even be on a map if it weren’t for the fact that it's next to Machu Picchu. You will be able to find almost any type of artisan craft here. The locals know th...Read More

Love those Llamas

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Story/Tip

Llamas Photo, Machu Picchu, Peru
Quote:
The Andes have a monopoly on Llamas. Your trip to Machu Picchu will no doubt bring you face to face with an adorable llama. Standing about eyelevel, it is said they will spit at you if provoked, like a camel. If you are not interested in getting spit at, it should be no problem admiring them from a short distance. They are relatively calm animals and come in all different colors. The locals use llama hair to create many of their artisan crafts. Their fur is very soft. Most of the time the llamas will be minding their own business chewing on tasty grass. The llama represents the Andes Highlands and many of the artisan crafts will portray the llamas in one way or another. Many llamas are domest...Read More

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site

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Attraction | "Getting to Machu Picchu"

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Getting to Machu Picchu is an adventure in itself. Typically you will start your trip from Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes. There are roundtrip flights from Lima to Cusco several times a day, mostly in the mornings. Flights will vary but be approximately $150 roundtrip (as of 1/01). Once you arrive in Cusco be warned that many get altitude sickness right away. Cusco is 13,000 feet above sea level. From Cusco you will be able to take a train to Aguas Calientes, about a 3-hour ride, depending on which train you take. Depending on the weather and the season, you may have to take a bus half way to Ollantaytambo and a train the other half. The trip still takes about 3 hours. You also have the opt...Read More

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site
Above The Urubamba Valley
Cusco Region, Peru