Of course, everyone who goes to Peru must visit Mach Picchu. For some background information about this United Nations World Heritage site please see UNESCO's World Heritage Review Report. The small tourist stop of Aguas Calientes serves as the launching pad for your visit to Machu Picchu. While there, we stayed at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Next to the Sol y Luna in the Sacred Valley, it was the best place. Take a look at this website for some pictures. We were only scheduled for two nights, but if we did it again we would stay here at least three.
On our first day, it was sunny and very warm. We had a guided tour of the main areas. Here's a series of photos from the first day; please click on the image to view it full screen.
On Day Two, it rained. No, it poured. The weather was so bad that they closed the airport in Cuzco. Actually though, we got some better pictures on the second day. We climbed to the Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock around 8 or 9 AM and took photos for about 30 minutes as the clouds moved through. And there were far fewer people there (except the cafeteria was jammed with very wet backpackers.)
Click HERE to see a series of photos of Machu Picchu in the clouds.
Being older than we used to be, we opted for the bus trip up and down the mountain. On both days going down, a boy, about 7 or 8 or 9 and dressed in Indian garb, would run down the mountain following the Inca trail across the hairpin turns and switch backs and shout "Hello or Hola" as he waved at the bus at each turn. This is a very steep drive down the mountain and lasts about 20-30 min. At the bottom he followed the bus, running across the bridge, and got on the bus and greeted the passengers. Anybody with heart contributed to his purse. We figured out each bus must have its own boy.
Machu Picchu was definitely a high point of our trip. (The actual high point was on the road between Cuzco and Puno. See the Altiplano page.)
Top of Page