The day had finally come to to visit Machu Picchu the main reason we had made the long trek through Peru. This would also be our final day with the Lorenzo Expedition crew before we departed back to Cusco.
The start of the day for getting into Machu Picchu starts extremely early around the 4:30am mark. This is for quite a few reasons, one being you get to see an amazing sunset if the weather permits as you either hike the stairs or take the bus up. Secondly Machu Picchu isn’t a secret gem and if you want to get inside when it isn’t packed to the brim, you must be willing to get up before the sun.
We as a group had decided to take the bus up the mountain side since our legs where shot from hiking the last few days and we had plans to hike Machu Picchu Mountain. We didn’t have much information on Machu Picchu Mountain except that it was a breathtaking thrilling hike and one that would be punishing, more on this later.
There is no way to sugar coat that the morning of might and will probably suck. Unless you are used to being an early riser you will be struggling to stay awake and this was the first time while in Peru that we where freezing! We huddled up in line which for it being 4:30am was much longer than we thought. After what seemed like an eternity we boarded the second bus of the day up Machu Picchu!
Now I will say if you are scared of heights or get car sickness easily, this bus ride will not be your friend. There are hair pin turns and switchbacks the entire ride up the mountain, and when you are half awake they feel quite horrible.
Once you get to the top you start realizing just how many people actually make this journey every day to visit Machu Picchu. We where not quite ready for the crowd that awaited us at the top but we sure where happy we decided to board that second bus.
Once you enter the archeological site, we followed our guides for a very informative tour of the site including its most important temples such as the Temple of Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows.
This was not before we ecstatically rejoiced by being able to take some amazing photos with almost no one in the background! While getting up so early wasn’t fun and standing out in the cold didn’t make it better, being able to enjoy the backdrop of Machu Picchu with almost no one else was priceless.
After our guided tour of the site was over, we said farewell to our guides and started to find our way to the entrance of Machu Picchu Mountain. This to this day might be one of the harder hikes I have ever done and one of the sketchiest hikes I have ever done. That said I would recommend everyone to do it and buy their tickets ahead of time since they only allow 400 visitors a day. If you want a more detailed overview of Machu Picchu mountain, keep an eye out of an in-depth review coming soon.
Once we got back down from Machu Picchu Mountain we made our way to the restrooms, snack store and the long line for the bus back down the mountain. The only downside to how popular Machu Picchu has gotten is just how many lines there are unless you are out at the crack of dawn.
The ride back down the mountain is extremely relaxing especially after hours of hiking and being in the sun. When back in town we gathered our gear and bags from our hostel and headed for a quick bite to eat before catching the Peru Rail back to Cusco. The Peru Rail was shockingly nice and the best way to wind down after a long trek through the Peruvian jungle. If you want more information on the Peru Rail, keep an eye out for an in-depth review coming soon.
The train doesn’t actually take you back into Cusco but you can take a quick taxi from one of the certified drivers outside the train stations. The taxi ride didn’t take long around 30-45 minutes and dropped us right off at our hostel. The experience of getting a taxi on the other hand is rather intense, since the moment you walk out of the train station what seems like a mob of state license drivers yelling for you to ride with them.
Unfortunately we where exhausted after a few days of hiking and adventuring through Peru so we pretty much hit our Hostels’s happy hour and called it a night. We stayed our last night in Peru at the Milhouse Hostel in Cusco which we wish we had more time to enjoy. This time we did get a private room for the four of us which was a great idea. The thought of having to share restrooms, showers, etc. at this point was not what anyone wanted.
I could not recommend Lorenzo Expedition more than I already have, they where an extremely professional, fun and entertaining group that made sure everyone felt taken care off the entire trip. If you are in search of a guide company to do the Inca Trail I would push for you to go check them out!
Stay tuned for more information coming soon on the Inca Trail and our time in Peru!
Follow along the adventures on: