Machu Picchu is a popular Incan ruins in Peru and we should be prepared if we plan to visit it. Before visiting the ruin, we should acclimatize ourselves in a nearby city, Cusco, which is located 11,000 feet above sea level. While staying in the area for a few days, we could sample some of the local dishes, such as ceviche, or raw fish marinated in lime juice. If we are not familiar with the area, it is a good idea to sign up for a group tour that can be consisted of up to 12 people. A mini bus will pick us up for the tour. However, the group can be much larger when locals join as porter and cooks. If we choose the right group tour service, the service can be great, especially when they serve us morning tea when we wake up in our tent. The group could even carry 20lbs LPG tank, since it will require three meals a day. It is also good to know that there are many people who live along the trail. Women and children could sell snacks and bottled water along the trail, so we can replenish our supply if we want to. Dead Woman’s Pass is the highest point of the trail.
At this point, the scenery would start to change from the lush rain forest to an environment with rocks and sparse vegetation. The temperature will also be much cooler. It is also an opportunity for us to capture spectacular sunrise and sunset, if the weather is clear. On day three of our trip on the trail, we should start to spot some ancient ruins, along the seemingly endless patches of orchids and other flowers. As we are getting closer to Machu Picchu, there will be more tourists and things could start to get steadily more crowded. If possible, we should try to get pictures of Machu Picchu early in the morning when there are very few people there. Hiking up Huayna Picchu should be one of the highlights of the trip. It is essentially a wonderful rugged and steep trail that will guide us up to the peak. The view will be quite fabulous. After visiting the ruin and enjoying the area we will be directed to catch the minibus into Aquas Calientes. The trail is essentially a loop and we could continue on around the mountain if we have the time and the weather is clear.
We could also have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs and then use the train to return to Cusco. Overall, the trip to Machu Picchu can be quite interesting, if we choose the months where rain is unlikely to occur and it is warmer. We should arrive to the site and back to Cusco with no problems. Machu Picchu itself is an unbelievable archaeological attraction and pictures won’t do justice. Alternatively, we could go from Cusco to the sister city of Machu Picchu, the Choquequirao and then to Machu Picchu itself. This is a less travelled trail and also less crowded.