Machu Picchu is a place we’ll never forget and an experience we’ll never take for granted. As one of the New Seven Wonders of The World we were highly anticipating our visit and it definitely exceeded our expectations.
There are many options for visiting Machu Picchu, from a one day return tour from Cusco to a week of hiking the Inca trail. We decided to spend a few days exploring the surrounding jungle and learn more about the Inca and Peruvian history so we booked the 4 day adventure jungle trek.
The trek included:
– A 3 hour, ~60km, down hill bike ride on the first day which started at the top of a misty and chilly mountain and ended in the hot and humid jungle by midday
– White water rafting surrounded by amazing scenery in the afternoon
– A day of hiking, some of it fairly intensive as a lot of the hike was uphill in the heat of the day, it’s a beautiful walk and we got to explore part of the Inca trail. We tried fresh fruit that the locals sold along the way and much needed natural fruit icy poles
– The day of hiking (roughly 6/7 hours not including stops) finished at the hot springs which was a perfect way to relax and rinse off as the sun was setting
– Zip lining on the last day over lush canyons followed by a very rickety bridge walk which (in my opinion) was a thousand times more frightening than the zip lining.
The final day was reserved for Machu Picchu which started bright and early in the morning (I believe our alarms were set for 3.30am) with an hour walk up to the Machu Picchu checkpoint. You can choose to walk up to the checkpoint from the town which takes between 1-2 hours or catch a bus. We decided to walk, it was fairly tough after a few days of walking (especially so early in the morning) but well worth it.
Once we got to Machu Picchu we had a 2 hour tour with our guide and then a few hours to explore on our own. We were incredibly lucky with the weather as the day before it had been very wet and cold. Luckily we got a nice sunny day and once the mist cleared around Machu Picchu by mid morning the whole site looked incredible.
We walked up to the top of Machu Picchu mountain which took just under 2 hours and is a moderate to hard walk as it’s all uphill. This is another optional activity but again well worth it. The view from the top is beautiful and made us appreciate the surroundings and the magic of the place.
The site gets fairly crowded but we were lucky we went in the low season when it’s only half as crowded as usual. The site is so well looked after and there are plenty of officials walking around to make sure tourists are respecting the area.
We left Machu Picchu by 2pm after nearly 8 hours of exploring the area. It was such a surreal day that we were exhausted when it all ended. Hopefully the site stays as well preserved as it is today so we can visit again in the future.