A long day. Or two to be honest. I left Valparaíso in Chile on the morning and arrived Cusco, Peru, about 36 hours later.
Finally. After a short flight, collective taxi through the border from Chile to Peru at night time, spending few hours in a bus terminal to wait for the first morning bus, quick lunch in Arequipa and another long bus ride, I was there, in Cusco.
Cusco was a meeting point to see my friend. After two months of departing home, it was great to see a familiar face. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you can miss something before it’s right there. So many things keep you occupied during traveling, so many new amazing places, people, and experiences.
Cusco itself was beautiful with its historical center. The weather ain’t the best though. During December is rainy season but hey look at the bright side, that means also fewer tourists. But don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty. Cusco is about 3800 meters from sea level so it is wise to take your time for getting used to the altitude. If you ignore the symptoms of the sickness it can cost you your life in the worst case.
The main attraction wasn’t obviously Cusco itself but the city serves as a passageway to Machu Picchu. Early in the morning, we had a minibus to pick us up from the hostel and took us all the way to Olleyntambo train station. You can take the train all the way from Cusco as well but it is more expensive.
But to reach Aguas Calientes, a little town what lies next to the mountain of Machu Picchu, it is necessary to take a train. It is the only way of getting there. Unless you walk all the way along the train tracks. Some people do, but I don’t know how safe it is or not.
The town itself is touristy. It is named after the hot springs that lie just outside of the village. The springs are a perfect place for relaxation. The mosquitos were vicious but the hot water seems to help for the bites as well. After a long bath and a dinner, it was time to go to bed early. It is advised to be at the bus stop at 5 a.m. unless you want to wait for the bus for over an hour. The lines get long.
Getting up in the morning was a little struggle but the fresh air helped. You can also walk up the mountain but we didn’t feel too sporty first thing in the morning. The bus took us up in 15 minutes on a serpentine road on the mountain.
Machu Picchu was spectacular. It is standing high on a mountain and has a view down to the valleys on both sides. It is definitely worth it to have a guided tour to understand the history of the Incas and the city.
Because the place itself left me quite speechless I will let the pictures do the talking. Machu Picchu isn’t the cheapest destination to go, but for me, it has been on my bucket list for ages.
History, nature, ancient architecture and stunning views combined,
MP is a place to see.