A Magical Journey Through Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, the Sacred City
Machu Picchu is located in Perú – it is actually one of the richest countries in terms of biodiversity. It is located on the west side of South America, next to the Pacific Ocean. The Aimara or Quechua word for the name of the country is ”Piruw.” Similar to what happens in Bolivia, Spanish is the most spoken language here, along with some native languages.
Machu Picchu means ”Old Mountain” and it is also known as the Sacred City or the Lost City due to the fact that the place remained unknown for a long time. Even though it was built before the XV century it was “rediscovered” in 1902. Machu Picchu was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and it was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
Some Interesting Machu Picchu Facts
Located in the Andes Mountain chain, 2.430 meters above sea level, it is without doubt that most of the incredible architectonic work was made by the Incas. There are many curious facts about the structure and the way in which it was built. For instance, still to this day, it is not know if the Incas carved the stones in situ or if they carried them up from town. Taking into consideration that the approximate weight of those stones is 50 tons it is more likely to believe that they carved them, but there is no certainty. Another interesting enigma that also remains unanswered is the reason why the Incas decided to abandon the Sacred City – interestingly, no one seems to have a definitive answer.
Feeling the Machu Picchu Vibe
Starting the trip in Cusco is always a good idea for many reasons but I’ll give you two. Firstly, these visits can help you to get accustomed to climbing and will help you start to get used to heights while you visit the surroundings. Machu Picchu is one of the ruins you can find in the Sacred Incas Valley but there are others. Each ruin is certainly worth visiting. Secondly, the incredible views you get to see along with way are breathtaking. Undoubtedly you will start experiencing the special vibe of the place and you might even be able to connect with the energy present there while preparing yourself to finally visit the main attraction.
*94,4% of these tourists go to Machu Picchu after visiting Cusco.
One of my favorite places is Pisac or P’isaq in Quechua, one of the most important archaeological sites. I visited this place before going to Machu Picchu and as I arrived late I was able to walk only half of the trail. There were few tourists so I could enjoy the silence while appreciating the breathtaking view. All those elements created a perfect scene.
Join me for a Long Walk in Machu Picchu
Aguascalientes, or Machu Picchu Puebl,o are the names of the city where you usually arrive the night before visiting Machu Picchu. However, people who go by train arrive on that same day early in the morning. I recommend arriving one day earlier and leaving one day after visiting the Inca citadel. Aguascalientes is a small town surrounded by very high mountains. There, you will find lots of restaurants that serve traditional Peruvian dishes, along with bars where you can listen to live music. Not to be missed!
The following day, my friend and I woke up at 5 am excited to start the day. I personally love walking and being surrounded by nature so we decided to go on foot. Once outside, (still dark) we went to the first entrance of the National Park and while almost everyone caught buses to go up to the entrance, we started climbing the stairs made of rock. It took us fifty-two minutes to reach the top. We were very enthusiastic, chewing coca leaves and enjoying the views. In the next video you will be able to see a little bit of what I am talking about.
Once in the main entrance, we went in and the sun started to come out at the same time. Perfect timing!
Visit the Machu Picchu Mountain Trail
We took a short time to rest because we had a ticket to climb the Machu Picchu Mountain – that meant 1,600 more steps. If you choose to do this, you’ll need to buy a ticket in advance. As I mentioned Machu Picchu is located at 2.430 meters(?ft) above sea level, but the Machu Picchu Mountain is at 3.082 meters (ft). That meant that we needed another hour and a half to climb it. Don’t let my face in the video disappoint you. I was actually over the moon!
I am not going to show you the pictures we took when we were on top of the Machu Picchu Mountain – you can’t envy me at all. The sky was all covered by clouds and we couldn’t see the Sacred City from the top. ¡Yey!
This expression in English translates to, ”Hello. How are you?” At that time I was exhausted, and as you cannot eat inside Machu Picchu, we were starving. However, the best part came next when we were again in the main level and the sky finally cleared out. We could then enjoy a pleasant view, were accompanied by a llama companion, and were able to hear the deafening silence behind the tourist voices.
Once we had settled down on the grass, the experience had changed. Up to now we were worried about being on time for the climbing, not wanting to miss out on the best views, and focusing on taking the best pictures. However, at that moment, our minds cleared out along with the clearing sky – we could stay quiet and really be present, admiring what we had in front of our eyes.
Goodbye, Machu Picchu – I hope to return soon!
I think that by sharing some of the history of this amzing place and sharing some of the facts will be valuable to you should you choose to visit Machu Picchu. But more importantly, at least in my humble opinion, I secretly wish to meet you there! In the meantime, maybe in the near future, you can organize your own trip to experience these amazing ruins and this magical place through your very own eyes and with your own senses .
Written by Virginia González