Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Machu Picchu! A most wonderful place to visit!!!!

Machu Picchu- one of the wonders of the ancient world- is such an amazing place!  Everyone should visit here!!!  In our travels in South America, we seldom ran into other Americans- except for Machu Picchu!  americans were everywhere- this wonderful ruin has really caught our eye!

I have already gone over how to get here, how to buy tickets, now, just enjoy this place!  Spend at least 2 days here- one to crawl around and get to know it, a second to just spend time on the details!  Please don't be one of those tourists who come for 4 hours from Cuzco- give this World Heritage Site the due it deserves- trust me!  You will love it even more!  If we had not given it a second day, we never would have been up closeand personal with an Alpaca:-)

One note- the walk to the Sun Gate takes a couple hours and is totally worth it.  If you only have one day (not the two I recommend) walk to the Sun Gate and skip climbing Huaynapicchu.  The views are spectacular!!!!

The Walk to the Sun Gate- the entry point to Machu Picchu for people hiking the Inca Trail- is about a 1 1/2 mile hike from the entry of Machu Picchu- the views are spectacular, the climb fairly easy.  But count on it taking at least an hour each way.

Rich doing Yoga on the hillside

Machu Picchu!!!!  We all know Machu Picchu!  It is even better in person!!!!

They had an intricate irrigation system both to drain the water from rain and to store water for crops and drinking

The main plaza

Terracing down the mountain was incredible!  This is how they farmed

Alpaca's were everywhere!

The views: spectacular!

A few trees here and there!

Huainipichu/ Waynapichicchu/ Huaynapicchu- whatever it is called, it is AWESOME!!!

In every photo of Machu Picchu: magazine, travel brochure, book, you see a mountain at the back of the photo.  That mountain is Huaynapicchu!  Or Hauinipichu or Waynapicchu- however it is spelled:-).  The website tickets spell is Huaynapicchu, the signs at Machu Picchu spell it Waynapicchu, and the town and Facebook spell it Hauinipichu.

For an extra fee with your Machu Picchu ticket, you can climb this mountain!  The extra fee is about $25, and you have two time periods to get to the gate: 7-8 am or 9-10 am.  After these time periods the gate is closed.  There are only 200 people allowed, per day, to climb it, so buying your ticket in advance is quite important (  You should also buy your tickets to Machu Picchu in advance as they only allow 2500 people per day.  There are ticket offices in Cuzco and Aquas Calientes- but there were lots of people frustrated that the tickets were soldout.

Back to this cool mountain:-).  so you get to climb it!  It is steep- very steep!- and many parts have the tiny little stairs next to the cliff, so one wrong step and you plummet!  Many of the areas of stairs have either rope or cable for you to hold onto and pull yourself up.  The other areas you crab-crawl up.  And there are areas that are somewhat easy to walk up.  But just do it!  The climb is amazing and the view is incomperable!  Plus there are ruins, and terraces at the top, along with staging areas you can stop, sit and enjoy the view.  From atop there, the view of thesurrounding  mountains is just incredible!!

Also, just know you will get dirty- you are climbing up narrow stairs with granite wall encrusted in slimy plants on one side and a cliff on the other:-).  Huaynapicchu is at 8,000 feet- be sure to get your photo at the sign!

The sign that gives the altitude- it is in meters, so just multiply by 3 (a meter is about 1 yard)

Orchids everywhere!

some of the stairs

View of Machu Picchu from the climb

The terraces- the steps are VERY steep, but just do it!

Rich climbing up the steps to the terraces

Doorway of an old stone structure

Terraces from another view of the top

Rich doing Yoga at the edge of the cliff