Machu Picchu : the Inca Empire
Machu Picchu, in Quechua language “The Small Mountain” is known for its splendor architecture of the hidden city of the Inca Empire. It is thought to be constructed in XV century during the Pachacuti empire, however, it was until 24th of July of 1911 that it was discovered by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu is situated among high peeks of Anda mountains covered with the vivid green flora. Such a marvellous localization was described to be a relaxation residence of the emperor, but also a political, religious and administrative centre. It also could have been a holy place where the Inca’s rituals took place. Few years ago some investigators came to some conclusions which indicate Machu Picchu could be el Paititi, the mystic Inca’s lost city.
While visiting Machu Picchu just imagine the life of the people, the amount of times they had to climb the stairs, imagine how were they able to settle a civilization on such steep and high Anda mountain. Above in the photo in the background you can see Huayna Picchu (The Tall Mountain), which can also be visited.
You will love it…
You will undoubtedly be enchanted with the surrounding Anda mountains. Everybody talks about Machu Picchu itself, but those majestic mountain peeks are worth mentioning as well! I could just sit there and stare and stare and stare… the view is so extremely relaxing. The next thing you’ll enjoy are the llamas. Such a nice creatures they are. The best adjective describing llamas would be ‘chilled’. If they would be a personification of any type of character this would be the type ‘I don’t care, I just enjoy my views’.
There’s one thing you have to be aware of, if you order Alpaca in restaurant in Aguas Calientes or in Cusco…it’s the white adorable one in the picture above. It was extremely delicious I have to admit, but after having seen it I didn’t eat it anymore.
Take the walking route
Despite the possibility of driving with a bus up to the Machu Picchu peek, I highly recommend doing it on foot. What kind of adventure is it if you discover Machu Picchu by a bus? It has got barely anything with the real one. I was so negatively surprised seeing dozens of buses driving up the Machu Picchu. It takes only around of 3 hours if you stop many times to take photos.
And this way you can observe the natural jungle flora, feel the climate surrouding you. I’ve heard a few opinions of people who say that they prefer to travel to less touristic places, Well, it’s done kind of turistic, but if you choose a walking route, if you explore Machu Picchu without any crowded group than you’ll going to have a unique experience. I can tell you, most of the people coming there aren’t true travelers, they’re coming with the bus, spending up to two hours taking pictures without getting to know about the culture and history of the place. So I recommend you to take the most out of it. It’s one of the World’s seven wonders, it’s a marvellous place to visit. If you only have a chance do it without any doubts!
How to get there
Depending on where you are coming from to Machu Picchu, it ‘s good to investigate a bit and be aware of the transportation options available to previously know how many days you would need to actually visit it with no rush. Since I did an internship in Chile during the period of three months I made some Chilean, Bolivian and Colombian friends who advised me the best possible ways to get there from Chile and not only. First of all, it’s worth knowing that Machu Picchu is situated near the city of Cusco and at the foot of the mountain there is a village called Aguas Calientes, so you will be willing to get since that’s the starting point to commence discovering one of the seven World’s wonders.
As you can observe in the picture, you need to plan well your trip to get there. If you’re planning to arrive to Perú from Europe, North America, or any other non-South American country, you’ll certainly arrive to Lima, which is the capital of Perú. In that case I recommend booking a flight Lima – Cusco (the local flights once you’re in Perú are relatively inexpensive). However, if you’re in some other South-American country and consider visiting Machu Picchu you should definetely make some research as it’s really expensive to fly between particular Latin countries, for instance between Chile and Perú (kind of paradoxical taking into consideration the fact those are the neighbouring countries). So what I did was: take a bus to Arica (the Chilean city nearest to the Peruvian boarder), via cheap taxi I got to Tacna (passing by both Chilean and Peruvian boarder crossing. If you cross the boarders in Latin America in another way than by airplane, you should definitely be cautious. My Chilean friends warned me against drug smugglers who tend to put drugs into your luggage and in case of such incident you would need a few days to straighten out the matter and would have you passport taken from you, hence if you dispose of only a few days for the journey than take just a backpack with you and be cautious at the boarder crossings. Then from Tacna I flew to Cusco (around 4 h), spent a day visiting it, and then went to Aguas Calientes with a bus (I recommend going to Aguas Calientes with some travel agency because there’s simply no other way to travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the travel agency’ll take you with the bus to Ollantaytambo from where you’ll take a Inca Trail train to Aguas Calientes). Once you’re there you already see those amazing peeks, one of them being the Machu Picchu.