Sunday, 12 May 2013


Considered one of the seven wonders of the world, Machupicchu is probably the most famous tourist attraction in South America and no trip to Peru would be complete without a visit. After the Lares Trek, we took the tourist train to Machu Picchu Pueblo, the small tourist town at the foot of the mountain. It was then a case of staying overnight in the town ahead of a very early start to ensure we could get into the site when it opened at 06:00. As with other big tourist attractions, the main issue with Machupicchu is the sheer number of visitors each day, where approximately 3,500 people are allowed in per day. It also gets really hot as the day goes on and therefore it is best to get in nice and early before the big crowds.

For the first two hours or so we had a guided tour of the main parts of the site, which was good as there is no explanation of what things are within the site. Unfortunately as the Incas left no written records (they had no written language), what the site was actually used for is unknown, but they think it was a sacred home for high class women and girls. As with many ancient sites, such as Petra in Jordan and Persepolis in Iran, it is best not to get too caught up in why they were built, but rather appreciate the amazing architecture that has survived.

After the tour we had the opportunity to climb Waynapicchu, the sacred mountain overlooking the site. Not an easy climb, with large stone steps, but a great view from the top. The recommended ‘there and back’ time is approximately 2 hours, so I set myself the challenge of completing the accent and descent within an hour. 50 minutes later a very sweaty Anthony was back at the start point (I know it is not a race, but I could not resist being the first to summit and get back down again).

After Waynapicchu I possibly foolishly decided to check out the famous Sun Gate, which is located at the absolute opposite end of the site and again involves a lot of climbing. Not as spectacular view this time, but I did not want to miss this famous feature as I will not be coming back.

So is Machupicchu worth coming all this way for? Yes, but I am not sure I would agree that it is one of the ‘7 wonders of the world’ The most spectacular aspect is the setting, with high mountains all around you and the buildings built into the mountain itself. A unique experience, but not my highlight of Peru. After Cusco we are heading to Lake Titicaca and the Mysterious ruins of Sillustani. Then it is into Bolivia, the most undeveloped country in South America. 


Classic shot of Machupicchu, with Waynapicchu in the background

Inca building with interlocking stones (basically a giant lego set)

View from Waynapicchu


No comments:

Post a Comment