I finally made it to Machu Picchu, and it’s incredible to see with your own eyes. No photos can ever do it justice. The mist slowly lifted off the mountain tops, and the ruins came into the sunlight, with llama’s frolicking through the terraces. It was a moment I will never forget.
After hiking for 3 days in the rain, high altitude passes, through other Inca ruins and after a very early morning rise, we completed the 44km journey up the ‘Classic Inca Trail’ hike to Machu Picchu. When we first arrived at the sun gate, there was no glorious sight to behold – it was completely covered in mist and cloud from the heavy rain. It was a little disappointing but we continued on to the park entrance to have a coffee while waiting for the rest of the group.
While we waited a wonderful thing happened – after days of cloud and rain – it all stopped and the sun came out. Watching the mist rise off the ruins was like being in an Indiana Jones movie and as all the local llamas came scampering out from their hiding spots, I had to give my head a shake to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca city, about 2,430 m above sea-level in the ‘Sacred Valley’ close to the city of Cuzco. The ruins make up a huge archaeological site, with about 200 structures and take several hours to explore.
We wandered the ruins for hours, as it’s so much more expansive than I imagined. The ruins are beautifully intact and the landscape surrounding is well kept and lush with grass and flowers – it truly is a place of wonder.
I’d definitely recommend going with a guide who can give you incredible stories and history behind the Machu Picchu complex – it absolutely enhances the experience.
There is an additional peak called, Huayna Picchu above the citadel that early morning hikers can add onto their Machu Picchu tip. I opted out of the extra portion due to pure exhaustion, but I’m glad I had more time in the main ruins. I must have taken several hundred photos of the ruined city, as every direction I looked was another amazing sight to behold.
I would absolutely recommend visiting Machu Picchu, and if possible doing the Inca Trail hike to get here – its adds to the experience. Either way, this truly is a stunning world wonder that you have to see with your own eyes.