Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peru: Machu Picchu

You can read about the first part of our trek here.

Day 5
We woke early and took the bus up to Machu Picchu arriving around 6:15 am, in plenty of time to see the sunrise. We hiked to a good spot with an overlooking view of the ruins and listened to Roberto give us some additional history about Machu Picchu.

Jason got a great shot of the moon before it disappeared.

As the sun is starting to rise - 

Machu Picchu!!

 Here is a group shot of the pumas!

If you look closely to the right of my head you will notice a small tan patch clearing. That's where we were yesterday viewing Machu Picchu from the first set of ruins we visited on Day 4 of our trek. Yep, we came across that valley quite a good distance!

After the sunrise we toured the ruins, hearing more history, and making our way slowly towards the mountain next to the ruins called Huayna Picchu.

We're going to dominate you Huayna Picchu!!

Our entire group opted to climb Huayna Picchu and our reservation was for the 10:00 am time slot. Only 400 people per day are allowed to hike the mountain (200 at 7:00 am and 200 at 10:00 am).

The view from the top was amazing, but the hike was very steep! Some portions have a handrail that was added after too many people fell to their death on the hike. Real comforting right? There were also very steep steps at the top, but we made it up and enjoyed the view before hiking back down.

The view from part way up through a clearing -

We made it!

The winding tan to the left of Machu Picchu is the road we took up from Aguas Calientes.

My super cool jumping picture! Well, minus the creep guy watching me in the bottom right hand corner... We might need to photoshop this one...

We walked through the rest of Machu Picchu before catching a bus back to our hotel. Our group left in the afternoon to catch the train and then a bus back to Cusco. We arrived very late and crashed at our hotel as soon as we arrived!

It's amazing how the Incas fit together all the pieces of stone perfectly! 

Here are juxtaposing views from both Machu Picchu and then Huayna Picchu -

You can read about the rest of our trip to Peru in our original blog post here.

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