Peru: Machu Picchu

By , December 20, 2010 4:00 am
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

After a 4-hour train ride from Cuzco, we arrived in a small village called Aguas Calientes. Besides being the gateway to Machu Picchu, there is not much else going on in this little place.

As we walked around, we were always approached by locals who tried to entice us to eat or drink at their restaurants with promotions. Prices are so ridiculously set for tourists that we got specials like 4 drinks for the price of 1 or half off for food. Just remember to look at your final bill and the additional service charge written is not required.

A few pisco sour drinks later, we had to call it an early night for our ascend to Machu Picchu at dawn.

Me&Frenchie On The Train To Aguas Calientes

Me&Frenchie On The Train To Aguas Calientes

Having to wake up at 3am for anything is never nice and being welcomed by the rain, makes it even harder to get up. However, we got out of the hotel as planned and began our hike. About twenty minutes later, we arrived at a locked gate to learn that it doesn’t open until 4:45am.

By the time the gate opened, there was about twenty of us waiting in the pouring rain. It was uphill the entire way. Surprisingly, we reached the gates of Machu Picchu in an hour or so.

As we made our grand entrance with soaking wet clothes and grey cloudy skies above us, it all didn’t matter anymore when we were standing in front of the famous Inca ruins. We have seen so many pictures of this one spot, but in person, it was priceless.

First Sight Of Cloudy Machu Picchu

First Sight Of Cloudy Machu Picchu

The point of waking up so early is that they only allow a maximum of 400 people a day to have access to Wayna Picchu. This is a strenuous uphill hike that is supposed to give the best view of the valley. When we reached the top, the views were stunning even though the weather didn’t get any better. The only problem was we couldn’t really see through the thick fog that was covering up the ruins.

Ash & MuiMui Showing Beautiful Machu Picchu From The Large Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Ash & MuiMui Showing Beautiful Machu Picchu From The Large Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Waiting For The Clouds To Burn Off

Waiting For The Clouds To Burn Off

I was optimistic that the weather was going to change so we hung out on the top of the mountain for some time and to dry off our clothes. At 10 am exactly, the sun started to come out and we could see a little bit of the ruins as some of the fog moved away. At this point, we were all very happy that we were going to have some decent photos. About 30 more minutes, Mother Nature did her magic and the fog was all gone. It was just amazing to be staring down at this ancient Inca village and all of its grandeur. As we stared on for another hour, I tried to understand why this ancient city is so much more popular than the others as it is not the largest. I guess because of its unique location on top of a mountain and being surrounded by large peaks and its terrace landscape, it made it more gratifying to the eye.

Yay! We can see some of Machu Picchu

Yay! We can see some of Machu Picchu

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

We then made our way to the smaller and closer Wayna Picchu. When the view couldn’t get any better, we had a dead on view of the ruins.

Machu Picchu From The Small Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Machu Picchu From The Small Peak Of Wayna Picchu

We left the tour of the ruins for last.  As we walked around, it seemed like the lamas were set there on purpose to entertain the tourists.

Inside Machu Picchu

Inside Machu Picchu

MuiMui Taking A Classic Photo Pose

MuiMui Taking A Classic Photo Pose

Despite the rain, the tourists, the early wake up, we were very impressed by the sight of Machu Picchu and had an awesome day.

Famous View Of Machu Picchu

Famous View Of Machu Picchu

MuiMui In A Sea Of Trees

MuiMui In A Sea Of Trees

Me & Frenchie Waiting For The Fog To Burn Off Completely

Me & Frenchie Waiting For The Fog To Burn Off Completely

Ash, MuiMui, And Boris

Ash, MuiMui, And Boris

Ruins At Machu Picchu

Ruins At Machu Picchu

City Of Machu Picchu

City Of Machu Picchu

Pretty Flowers At Aguas Calientes

Pretty Flowers At Aguas Calientes

What We Paid: Peruvian
Soles
USD Euro
– Roundtrip Train From Cuzco To Aquas Caliente
(Backpackers class; 4-hours one-way)
270 96 73
– Private Double Room with private bathroom 40 14.20 10.80
– Entrance To Machu Picchu 126 44.80 34
– Bus From Machu Picchu To Aguas Calientes (one-way) 20.50 7.30 5.55
– Lunch In Aguas Calientes 12 4.25 3.25
– Dinner in Aguas Calientes 10 3.50 2.65

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

11 Responses to “Peru: Machu Picchu”

  1. Ash says:

    I look like a “coloured” version of the hunch-back from Notre Dame
    with my stupid poncho and backpack lol I’m gonna have to buy proper
    rain gear next time!

  2. muimui says:

    I like that picture of us in “the midst”. At least you were dry
    with your blue poncho vs my old jacket. I ended up buying a new
    rain jacket in New Zealand and what a difference (and $300)!

  3. diana t. says:

    awesome pictures. Good job at motivating so early in the morning in
    the pouring rain!

  4. Anthony says:

    Epoustouflant ! J’attendais ce billet ! Je veux y aller ! Le Perou
    , une étape obligatoire en amerique du sud !

  5. muimui says:

    Thanks Diana and Anthony. Too bad more Americans don’t travel to
    South America. With it’s close proximity to the US, flights are
    cheap through LA and Miami. Once you arrive, only need about $15-25
    per day. I really love traveling in South America. As touristy as
    Peru is, there is so much to see (and eat). Anthony, I hope you
    make it out there one day or at least we will see you again in
    Indonesia?

  6. mke says:

    WOW!! these pictures are amazing! keep up the good work.

  7. muimui says:

    Thanks Mark. I wish I can take credit, but most of the pics were
    taken by Boris. He got new lens in NZ so wait for those pics 😉

  8. matt says:

    c est quoi ces nuages?! tu aurais ou les enlever et mettre du
    soleil! elles sont super les photos !! pas trop de monde sur le
    site?

  9. Boris says:

    Non ,pas trop de monde à cause de (grace à) la pluie.

  10. Jb says:

    Vos photos et articles me font rêver !! Je trouve ça super de
    partager vos voyages qui donnent tellement envie!! Cela me donne
    vraiment de belles idées et vos explications seront trés
    appréciables pour de futurs voyages…. :)

  11. Boris says:

    Merci JB! Si jamais vous avez des questions pour un voyage futur,
    n’hésitez pas à m’envoyer un ptit email. J’espere que vous allez
    bien.

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