As the current situation does not allow us to travel, I have dug in my external disk and traveled at least through sorting my old pictures. After 4 years, I get back to Peru and will take you to Machu Picchu today. This was not only one of the top travel experiences but also my dream that came true. Ever since I started to be interested in the Inca culture, I´ve always thought to myself this place must be magical and wanted to go there.
When in July 1911, the largely forgotten Inca city was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham, he probably hadn’t thought he’d discover something that would later become another wonder of the world. He had actually been looking for the “Lost City of the Incas” where the Inca escaped after the Spanish conquistadors approached Cusco. The coincidence and local farmers lead him to artificial terraces that were part of the overgrown ruins of Machu Picchu. He had a spectacular view on the whole majestic complex and considered it therefore as the Lost City he’d been searching for. But actually, the place he had been searching for was not Machu Picchu but another town called Vilcabamba. This misconception was rectified later by another Andean explorer, Vince Lee.
Machu Picchu is the national pride of Peru and there is no surprise. It was once one of the most important religious, cultural, and political centers of the Inca empire. But nobody knows what was its purpose or how it was exactly built. Or why it was abandoned. There are only some theories and assumptions but no underlaid answers to these questions. Machu Picchu is surrounded in a veil of secrets and maybe this is what makes this place so fascinating. Nowadays, people from all over the world come here to admire its scenic beauty and the extraordinary Inca architecture which used to cut stones to perfectly fit together without using mortar. Even during the seismic activity that laid down Lima, they are still stuck together! The only danger for Machu Picchu is now the crowds of tourists it receives.
I will never forget that morning we entered the site, it was around 6-7 a.m. (right after opening), we headed up from the main entrance and arrived at a place which offers the classic scenic view of the remains of terraces, buildings, and sanctuaries being overlooked by the sacred mountain Huayna Picchu. There were still very few visitors and lamas were all around, eating grass and staring at us. Climbing up the Huayna Picchu overlooking the site from the perspective of a condor, was a marvelous experience as well as strolling through the ruins. That day, after the sunrise, we had direct sunshine when climbing up as well as afternoon rain which made us leave still an hour or so before the closing time. It was amazing to see the site located in 2,430 m above the sea level in different weather conditions, giving it even more mysterious touch…
Now I got back to that day and place again in my memories when going through the pictures, and I hope you will enjoy them! I also added some from our trip through the jungle of Aguas Calientes, the Machu Picchu Pueblo, the starting point for the visit of Machu Picchu.
And if you are about to visit Machu Picchu one day, check out some practical information I put together after our visit.