Last year in December I visited Machu Picchu one of the new Wonders of the World. Of course, it’s wellknown that Machu Picchu (Old Mountain) is the lost city in Peruvian Andes. But nobody knows its real name, who built the city and why people left Machu Picchu.
It’s a real adventure to get there. I’ll write about the way to Machu Picchu which doesn’t need any sports training for those who likes comfort but isn’t ready to pay much.
Let’s start with the time of travelling. December is Peruvian summer and the begining of rain period. So you have a risk of bad weather. By another hand there aren’t a lot of tourists that time. Therefore it’ll be not much diference between expectation and reality.
You can get to Machu Picchu only by train because no roads leads there. The starting point is Cusco. Cusco’s situated 3350 m above sea level. Many people feel mountain sickness at this altitude. If you can, you should stay in Cusco for couple of days to get used to it. Me and my friends found another way. We built our route so that we increased height gradually.
THE WAY TO MACHU PICCHU
Some people go tracking to Machu Picchu. They must be strong and hardy. We went by train. But we decided to save money and started not from Cusco. Our company caught the train in Ollantaytambo. From Cusco to Ollantaytambo you can get by bus “collectivo”. It’s cheap. The views along the road were very beautiful. We started at 3p.m. from Cusco and at 7p.m. our train leaves from Ollantaytambo. If you have time, you may explore Ollantaytambo. It’s worth seen.
Trains are different. the cheapest one is for Peruvians. Foreigners aren’t allowed. We chose the less expensive train for foreigners. It’s comfortable, choose it without doubt. Of course, you can take the luxury train 350$ one way.
The way is very picturesque. You’ll see fast Urumamba river. But it’s from one side, from another side you can see only the rocks.
At night our train arrived to Machu-Picchu (another name Aguas Caliente).
If you booked a hotel, the agent from it will meet you at the station. We were met by the agent from Panorama B&B. The hotel was nice. I can truly reccomend it. When we arrived it was raining heavily. And it was the whole night long.
Next morning we got up early. Machu Picchu opens at 5a.m. Rain had stopped. The morning fog was rolling on the mountains.
We went to the bus stop. Bus ticket costs 12$ one way directly to Machu Picchu. Me and my friends took return tickets also because we had to go to Ollantaytambo that day and didn’t want to delay at the mountains and miss the train. Full buses go every 5 min from the staion.
AMAZING MACHU PICCHU
At the entrance we showed our tickets to Machu Picchu which were bought by internet 43$. It’s better to do beforehead or in the town Machu Picchu because if you climb the mountain without ticket, you’ll not enter it.
Our tickets allowed us to visit also Huayna Picchu (New Mountain) – the big mountain you can see at all photos of Machu Picchu. No water, no food, no toilets are available at the territory. If you want it, you must go out. It’s because the authorities try to leave the city intact, don’t want to accumulate rubbish and take care of environment. But you can take a little water and food with you (better hide these at the gate).
Firstly, we visited Mach Picchu because there were less tourists early in the morning. They come in the afternoon from the Cusco train. All houses in Machu Picchu were built without mortar. Never the less they have stayed for ages
At the entrance we took the detailed map and explored Machu Picchu without a guide. I think it’s much better than going with a group.
What can I say. Everybody heard delights of this place. Everything is true! It’s cosmic!
Secondly, we went to the entrance to Huayna Picchu. Only 400 people a day can climb it. Two groups of 200 people. We met young people with good physical shape. Some had special equipment. When you pass through the check point you write down your name, country and age. This information will help to find people (or, in bad cases, their bodies) and report to the embassy of the country.
We were not far from the begining when saw the sign “turn left 40 min/ turn right 2 hours.” We chose 40 min. Don’t hurry. The route is sometimes dangerous without steps and a narrow path near a bluff.
My friends stopped after a while. But I decided to go up. Then I found a big smooth rock with a rope tired to its top. I had to take the rope and climb the rock. I tried but couldn’t do it and returned to my friends, we made photos and went down.
After getting down we found out that the other way leads to the Moon’s Temple. In spite of the fact we hadn’t seen it we got a lot of impressions on Huayna Picchu.
Till 3p.m. we walked through the lost city. We found cute lamas which live in the city and made photos with them.
Leaving Machu Picchu you can put a mark in your passport that you were at Machu Picchu. Of cource we did it and went down. We had some time before the train to Ollantaytambo and spent it at the local restaurant where tried Peruvian huge maize and chicha (a drink from black maaize).
Machu Picchu is “mustsee”. Not for nothing its the Wonder of the World.