How we experienced Machu Picchu

We slept like a log the night before.. We got back to our room by 8:30pm. I started to blog about our tour around the Sacred Valley, but I stopped. I was just pooped. We’ve been up since 2am on Thursday, and had flown from Lima to Cusco, and embarked on a tour of the Sacred Valley.

Mr. Francisco, your car is waiting for you

We woke up at 6:30am, showered, and prepared for our day. It was a sunny bright morning, a great way to start our day. Luis called and informed me that our car service would bring us to the train station around 7:30am. We made it quickly to the dining room, and had toast, fried eggs, orange juice and coffee. We left Hotel Del Pilar around 7:40. Our train was set to depart at 8:29am. It took us a little over 20 minutes to get to the station, and we made it just in time.

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Always have your passport ready

Pretty much everywhere we went on this trip, our passport was required. We showed our train tickets and they also asked to see our passport. Done. We got settled and sat on Car B, seats 13/14. We met and introduced ourselves to Gustavo and Rodrigo from Guadalajara.

Perurail

It was a slow ride to Aquas Calientes. The ride took about 1.5 hours, very scenic. We sat on the right hand side, but would suggest sitting on the left hand side. The flowing river was on that side.

There was a beverage service that was included with the ticket price. I noticed that since we worked with a tour company, our tickets were priced at $55 roundtrip/person. Our friends from Guadalajara were charged $65 each. Included with this 1.5 hours ride was beverage service and cookies.

Aguas Calientes Estación

We arrived in Aguas Calientes Train Station around 10am. We had someone waiting for us right outside the station.We were taken to a nearby cafe. Nancy and I each had a backpack. While waiting at the cafe, she noticed that there were lockers available for use. We opted to leave the heavy items, and only used one backpack. Shortly after, we walked down the bus stop, and boarded the next bus.

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The bumpy ride to Machu Picchu

Yep. It was bumpy. There were lots of winding roads before reaching the entrance to Machu Picchu. It took about 25 mins or so to get up there. I decided to close my eyes. I would’ve gotten a major headache had I opted to view what was outside.We finally made it to the gate by 11am. Our tour guide, Wilfredo, was outside waiting. There was another lady with us, her name was Maria (from Washington State).

Machu Picchu – The Lost City of the Incas

Entering MP required showing our ticket voucher and passport. Yep, almost every major place we went to required our passports. Once we got past the MP entrance gates,

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Wilfredo told us that it would take another 15-20 minutes to actually see MP. It was another hike up.

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Lots of steps, and one could easily have shortness of breath. But we took our time, took little breaks. After one final rest and turn, Wilfredo reminded us to take it all in as we were about to see MP. He took the time to give us every bit of history possible. Showed us pictures of how MP looked in the early 1900s. Finally, it was time.

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After over four months since I booked our trip to Peru, there it was. Right before our very eyes was Machu Picchu. Breathtaking. Magnificent. Every bit amazing. Awe-inspiring. Machu Picchu. My eyes couldn’t believe it. It was larger than life. The pictures I’ve seen so many times do not do justice. You just don’t get the full perspective unless you make it to MP yourself.

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What made it even more fascinating for me was hearing the history – how the Incas began building this city in the 1450s, and for 80 years, they built this place. What machinery? None! Just their hands and their man-made tools.

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Building it was one thing, but building it 2,430 m above sea level (nearly 8,000 ft) was a major feat on its own.

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We were able to explore and go through different parts of ruins, the homes, the sundial, the gathering rooms. We walk and stepped exactly where the Incas stepped. It was a humbling experience.

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We took endless pictures, and spent over two hours at MP. Part of our package included a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge which was just right outside.

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We got to the lodge around 1:45pm, and had a light lunch. They had a very good selection of entrees, salad, and desserts. But we didn’t go crazy, just enough for us to make sure that we had food in our stomach.

Babe, can we go back to Machu Picchu?

After lunch, we had a couple of hours to spare. By 2:30pm, we decided to try and go back in to MP. We weren’t sure if they would let us in since our pass was strictly for the morning access. But, as always, I asked and was told that we could go in. We were back up in MP slightly after 3pm. This time, it was less crowded. The crowd had died down. It was not as busy. The area where we took pictures earlier had little to no crowd.

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Happy hour

Yes, it was a happy hour. Why? Llamas came. Not just one or two. There were probably six or seven llamas. They were all just right there with us. Walking, grazing, and without a care in the world.

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We were able to come up so close to the llamas and took pictures right next to them. What an experience, truly something we will never forget.

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Time to head back to Cusco

We boarded our shuttle bus from MP to Aquas Calientes. We caught the 5:30pm Perurail Vistadome.

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We sat in front of a couple from Brazil, Fernando and Vanessa. I had to excuse myself because I took quite a few pictures and told them that it was for my blog. That opened up a good can of worms for DaddyTravels. The 1.5 hour train ride was filled with good ol’ stories as to how we travel the world for nearly free. I wasn’t sure what points program to share with them since they’re from a different country. Once I find out, I hope to share it with them in the future.

Bus ride to Cusco

The journey did not stop at Aquas Calientes. We boarded a bus around 7:30pm, and it took a little over two hours for us to get back to Cusco. Once we arrived at the bus station in Cusco, our tour guide from the day before, Magnolia, was already waiting for us with the shuttle ride. We were back in our hotel, Hotel Abittare, within five minutes. What a day!

We could not have asked for an even more perfect day. There was not a single drop of rain. It was not that sunny, not hot. It was every bit textbook perfect. You know when it rained? It started to rain, lightning and thunder once we boarded the bus. Thank you, Machu Picchu for this amazing opportunity to witness this marvelous lost city.

2 Comments

  1. Love your talent in story telling. I felt I was there. MP a forgotten city, but still standing for all to love. Thanks Jason

    1. It was a marvel. Simply breathtaking and truly amazed at workmanship. They had no modern tools. It was all by hand and whatever tool they created.

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