Have you been to Machu Picchu? If not, move it high up on your travel bucket list! As you know I am a super big fan of Peru anyway (I studied there for a semester) so I will likely love a lot more about Peru than the ‘normal’ tourist. BUT I am sure there is nobody who doesn’t like Machu Picchu and, on top of that, it is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel located around 2,400m up in the Andes Mountains, circa 50 miles away from Cusco, the Inca capital. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century and is famous for its sophisticated dry-stone walls. The site consists of palaces, temples, houses and terraces that are believed to have served as a ceremonial site or a military stronghold. Machu Picchu’s exact former use is still a mystery.
Not only the impressive engineering skills that were necessary to build Machu Picchu (2,400m up in the Andes plus the Inca had no iron, steel, or wheels) but also the dramatic setting of the site is breath taking. Especially when it is a foggy and not many tourists are there (yet), Machu Picchu looks incredibly mysterious and magical.
The best way to visit Machu Picchu is either super early in the morning when the majority of tourists are just leaving Cusco to travel to Machu Picchu. You can do this by doing the Inca Trail or by staying the night in Aguas Calientes and taking the first bus up (or hiking up). Well, or, like in this case, hope for bad weather so that all the tourists make their way to the restaurant to wait for the sun to come back. Hence, bad weather and rain makes Machu Picchu more magical than sun plus thousands of tourists. I have been to Machu Picchu twice. The first time I spent the night in Aguas Calientes and the second day we squeezed under one of the ‘door casings’ to hide from the rain (worked quite well!).
And just before we were leaving, the sun made another short appearance :)
So, what are you waiting for? Book your flight flight to Peru and visit Machu Picchu :) Plan at least 3 extra days for Cusco as it is an incredibly beautiful town and the Inca capital which means that there are loads of smaller Inca sites to explore apart from the major one. And if you are up for doing the Inca trail, make sure you book well in advance as there is a high demand and tours are booked out quickly. Have fun!