Wow! A stunning place to visit and i feel honoured to have visited the place!
Machu Picchu is an Inca site that is 2430m above sea level. As mentioned in my previous post, we spent the night before in the closest town so that we could get to the site nice and early in the morning
4.40am wakeup call and by 5.15 we’re all downstairs having a quick bit of scrambled egg and tea. Despite the early hour, everyone was in good spirits! We walked to pick up the coach, and joined an enormous queue of tourists! But it moved quickly, and once we were on the coach it was a 30 minute journey (very hairy bends!) up and round the mountains to get to the entrance to Machu Picchu. Only 2500 people are allowed a day. Even at this early hour it felt busy, but once you’re in and see the size of the site you don’t feel the people as everyone scatters into little circles with their guide to learn all about the place.
The early start is to see the sun rise over the site, watch the clouds dissipate and the ruins come into view, and to have less tourists running around ruining your photos!
Well it was VERY cloudy when we got up there and we could barely see any of the ruins! In fact, it was raining so we all donned our beautiful poncho’s and waited for the weather to improve!
Slowly but surely the ruins came into view, and it was really breathtaking. Far bigger than i thought actually! We were up there for almost 6 hours and didn’t cover it all by any stretch…
Interestingly, Machu Picchu was only ‘discovered’ by an American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, so we’ve only known about it for just over 100 years. Had the Spanish found it during the Spanish Conquest it most certainly would have been destroyed like many of the other ruins they found… so it’s lucky they didn’t! In fact it’s now a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World- a deserved title!
Over 70% of the ruins you see are the original ones, however as tourism increases, there’s a strong likelihood that certain areas will be closed off to protect the site. Currently you can walk around pretty much all of it, which is great. The site is split into differing areas – there’s the ‘town’ where people lived, the agricultural area and the religious area. We wandered around it all, but really the best place is ‘up top’ where you can get the panoramic views of the site!
The day was definitely a highlight of the trip to date…. and i urge you all to go and visit to see for yourself if you haven’t already!