I have now written many articles on my trip to Peru and I am sure it seems very strange that I have not yet spoken of the symbolic place of this country, of that place sought after by all passionate travelers. Well, the time has come for me to tell you about my experience of my magical encounter with Machu Picchu!
I state that it was not long before I talked about it because I was disappointed, which is completely impossible, but simply because I told my trip in chronological order and, the visit to Machu Picchu was one of the things I did in the last days of my stay in Peru.
Before telling you about my experience, I think it is very useful that it gives you all the information you need to visit what is considered one of the most beautiful and important sites in the world . The most important thing to know is that if you go in high season, you need to buy the ticket well in advance because the daily entrances are limited and, as you can imagine, the requests are many.
For the purchase, the only authorized site is Andean Path Travel. Here you can make the first important choice, whether to buy the simple entrance or the one that also includes the climb to Huayna Picchu. I made the second choice and I am certainly biased, but the simple fact that I was enthusiastic about it authorizes me to suggest it to everyone.
Huayna Picchu is the famous mountain that can be seen in all the photos of Machu Picchu , that sloping peak that dominates the Inca citadel. Many photograph it but few choose to challenge it to get a completely new view of Machu Picchu, also because, although it is only 300 meters in altitude, the climb is very demanding and requires a minimum of training.
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You can choose two different times for the climb , 7 or 10 in the morning. Also based on my experience, I suggest the climb in the second round because, very often, the clouds in the early morning are very low and risk obstructing the view, while with the removal of the rising sun, the chances of lightening are greater . It is also much better to face the difficult descent without meeting those who are going up!
I started from the theme of the ticket because it is one of the first to be missed if you decide to go here, but how do you get to Machu Picchu? We had left, in my last article, Ollantaytambo which is the place from which you take the train to Aguas Calientes , the starting point for the visit to Machu Picchu. We took the one at 16.36 which, in two hours, brought us to our destination. An alternative to reach Aguas Calientes is to organize transportation from Cusco with a minivan.
All the agencies in Cusco offer this service which leaves at 8.30 and which allows you to reach the desired destination in about 6 hours. In Aguas Calientes we stayed at the Hostal Continental, a very comfortable accommodation for the prohibitive alarm needed to get in line in the morning to take one of the many shuttles that reach Machu Picchu in half an hour. The shuttle ticket can be purchased once you arrive in Aguas Calientes from the authorized dealer. To go up to Machu Picchu there is actually an alternative to the shuttle, that is to do it on foot! It takes about 40 minutes and the road is very steep but, if the effort doesn’t scare you, it can be a valid alternative!
Returning to the shuttle, the first ones leave at 5 and already at 3 in the morning you will find people in line to make sure you get on the first ones at the start. I admit that we too got in line long before 5 but, going back, I probably would not do it anymore because the shuttles are many and go up and down continuously so, in my opinion, going to the departure station at 5 can be fine and still allows you to get to the site very early.
Now that I have given all the useful information, the most difficult task is waiting for me, namely to tell you about the emotion that you feel in finding yourself in a similar place, a place that has been dreaming for years, on whose images you have lost a lot often and whose beauty is practically impossible to describe in words. In reality, the magical encounter was not immediate but it took a few hours to wait since, once we arrived, we found ourselves immersed in thick clouds which barely allowed us to see the path to follow. I am not ashamed to say that I felt enormous discomfort and an immense fear that the clouds would not allow me to enjoy the place.
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Fortunately, as I am told that it often happens, around 9.30 the clouds began to thin out and slowly began to reveal first the ruins and then the mountains all around, composing that perfect picture that enchants the eyes. The vision is intoxicating and there are many panoramic points from which you can enjoy such beauty. Obviously, all this, making its way among the thousands of people who, it is necessary to make a reason for it, are present there like you to crown one of their dreams.
The nice thing is that when you are faced with such a myth, the desire to travel increases. Increases the desire to try again that emotion and to feel the adrenaline that, fortunately, many places in the world offer. And I, also thanks to Machu Picchu, will continue to pursue that emotion.