Visiting Machu Picchu

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Visiting Machu Picchu

Ever wondered whether Machu Picchu is worth a visit, read here about why I have visited 3 times!!

Visiting Machu Picchu

Clare @ ilive4travel

In 2005 I was trying to decide where to go on holiday when I saw a picture very similar to this of Machu Picchu, I instantly fell in love and decided that this was a place I had to visit.  I borrowed the money from my dad (don't remind him I never paid him back!!) and booked my tour to Peru.  I flew to Lima, had a few days there before flying on to Cusco and meeting up with my group to do the Inca Trail before ending up at Machu Picchu.

Sun Gate, Machu Picchu

clare @ ilive4travel

This was my first view of Machu Picchu when we arrived at the Sun Gate after 3 days hiking, we arrived at 4pm and had an hour to explore Machu Picchu before going down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night.  For me to was very emotional I had survived the toughest hike I had ever done at that point, learnt that Peruvian flat is actually not flat and had the time of my life, despite the amount of rain we had had the first few days.

The next day on our visit to Machu Picchu we awoke to the news that there had been a bad landslide between there and Cusco, it had taken out the railway line and our guide was unsure of whether we could get back to Cusco or not.  We were late setting off but eventually we got back up to Machu Picchu to explore, its an amazing place to be, especially when there are only a few hundred tourists, as none of the day visitors could get there, so peaceful and magical.  The whole surroundings, been perched on top of a mountain, with the valleys around just makes it such a beautiful place.

Visiting Machu Picchu

clare @ ilive4travel

We eventually managed to get booked on a train at 9pm that evening that could only get part way, before being picked up in a cattle truck and driven out of the valley to where we could meet our coach back to Cusco.  It was an amazing trip and one I have never forgotten.

In 2012 I returned to Peru after quitting work to go travelling.  I had fallen in love with the country when I had been there previously and wanted to see if I felt the same!! I did, I stayed in Peru for 3 months out of the 5 months I had in South America.  Once again I visited Machu Picchu, this time opting to do the Inca Jungle trek to get there.

Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu

clare @ ilive4travel

This time I opted to get the bus from Aguas Calientes and be there at 6am when it opened.  I spent the day exploring and this time climbed Huayna Picchu to get a great view of Machu Picchu.  I was in the first group that went up at 7am but probably didn't leave till 10am, I just sat there, had a little something to eat in a quiet spot and looked at that amazing view.  Once I was down I hiked back up to the Sun Gate and also went to see the Inca bridge which I had missed on my previous visit.  At 5pm they were blowing there whistle at me to leave as I tried to do one last circuit of the plaza!!  It was amazing to be there again and I was sad to leave.

My 3rd visit was in 2014 when I was back in Peru to do my dream hike (well actually it was the hardest hike I have ever done, I had a mental breakdown on day 3, my feet were completely ruined, I could barely walk for weeks after but I think I would do it again!!  I am crazy!!), the 8 day hike to Machu Picchu via Choquequiaro.  When I was there in 2012 it was a hike that was only available as a private hike but 2 years later it had become slightly popular and it was being offered on select dates.

Choquequirao Peru

clare @ ilive4travel

On my previous visit to Peru I had hiked to Choquequiaro as a 4 day hike, so I was mentally prepared for day 2, the hardest day.  Yet again it was magical to be back there, there are very few tourists and there are no roads in or out at the moment, though they are trying to change that, which for me will completely spoil the area.  We then hiked on and spent day 8 in Machu Picchu.  This time when we arrived at 6am we could see nothing, we were in the clouds and could see maybe 20ft in front of us, but nothing more.  For me though, I knew the view and I was still stood there looking at it with a big grin on my face.  Once again, I had decided to climb Huayna Picchu, I loved it up there, so peaceful as its restricted to 400 tourists a day.  This time I had a more leisurely walk around, sitting, people watching and going back to my favourite places.  Again I was chased out of there at 5pm when it shut.

Machu Picchu Peru

clare @ ilive4travel

Machu Picchu is a truly magical place, and somewhere that has captured my heart.  I haven't heard anyone say a bad word about it, and it does take your breath away when you see it.  If you go for the day, get a train back at 8 or 9pm that gives you time to stay until it shuts and get dinner in town before heading back.  It is a place that you have to visit if you go to Peru, and for me a place I would love the rest of my family to visit so they can see why I never shut up about it.

If you have any questions about visiting Machu Picchu or even Peru, drop me an email at clare@ilive4travel.com and I will answer, I love talking about this area of the world so will be happy to help.

If you would like to read any of my blogs then visit my website www.ilive4travel.com or follow me on facebook, twitter or instagram.