After 6 energetic days of trekking 60km over undulating mountain passes, camping with no showers and violation by mosquito bites, we were ready for the spectacular finale of the city of Machu Picchu. The weather was perfect and the majority of tourists had not yet arrived by bus from the nearby town of Aguas Calientes. Bring it on!
There's no denying that this is one of todays 'Wonders of the World'. The Inca's chosen location high in the remote Andean mountains was perfect and became instrumental in it retaining its secret lost city status from the west until 1911. The magnitude of the city and the attention to detail on the buildings is awe inspiring and much praise goes to those who have restored the site back to its near-original state (when historian Hiram Bingham discovered it, many of the buildings were reduced to crumbled ruins and vegetation was growing unchecked).
Machu Picchu is a must-see place, no doubt, but to make it a special experience we would strongly recommend approaching it via the Salcantay Trail and / or Inca Trail treks. In contrast, riding by train / bus, walking 100m past the burger stand and gazing at it within earshot of a disinterested school party is not really paying it the respect it truly deserves.
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By Darrell Grundy - visited on 6 November 2005