Machu Picchu, Peru
Hire A Guide At Machu Picchu. There Are No Signs At Any Of The Ruins.
After walking through the gates of Machu Picchu on an early January morning, the sun barely peeking its rays through the clouds, I rushed up the path as my long-anticipated journey to see this impressive feat of architecture was now only minutes away. When I emerged from the trail the awe-inspiring, spiritual site knocked on my heart. A blanket of warmth wrapped around me as I stood speechless. I cried. I was not ready for this wave of emotion. I took a moment to compose myself then scanned the steep hillside and the Urubamba River below – photos do not capture the essence of Machu Picchu.
I walked around this 500-year-old site with a personal tour guide learning about the Inca’s achievements and the challenges they endured. What captivated me the most was how the Inca’s built this impressive compound of urban, religious and agricultural structures. I learned that the Inca’s lacked necessary tools and equipment, therefore building this intricate network of buildings, plazas, terraces and water canals is an architectural marvel. How they shaped stone bricks to perfectly lay within one another like a puzzle, without the use of mortar was astounding to learn. My guide informed me that wheels or animals were most likely not used because of the steep terrain, so it’s uncertain how these large stones could have been moved. Since the Inca’s had no written language, determining how they built this site and for what purpose will always remain a mystery.
Prior to my departure, I sat on the edge of a terrace with my feet dangling above the grass. I glanced at the ancient ruins below and took this moment to take in the awesomeness of this architectural masterpiece. This ‘Lost City’ of the Incas left me with a renewed energy. A magical imprint that still guides me along today.
- What: Machu Picchu
- Where: Urubamba Valley, Peru
- When: Jan, Feb, March – rainy & mudslides. April, May, Sept, Oct – pleasant temperature. June, July, August – great weather
- Admission: Approx. $70-90. Price varies. Book In advance as there are limited spaces per day. This does not include train price.
- Tour Guide: 1-2 people $50, 3+ $25 per person. Guides can be hired outside the entrance and all have University degrees in Tourism. A tour last around 2.5 hours. Do not barter as the prices are set by the Tourism board.
*I went in late January. The weather was warm during the day, cool at night. There was a mudslide on the road leading up to Machu Picchu. I had to walk some it and hop on multiple buses. Nothing bad, but beware when traveling during the rainy season.*