So you think you can just hike Machu Picchu
Well, I am sure you can, but let’s be clear, this is not your average hike. Not really sure if this is a hike, I like to call it a mountain climb, I mean after all Machu Picchu means “old mountain”. Let me just off by saying that Machu Picchu is amazing. With that being said, it really needs to be something that you want to accomplish i.e; on your bucket list or you and your friends have always wanted to do this or it could just be a personal and spiritual experience you wanted. Whatever the reason, remember a few key things:
- You are not in Kansas anymore Toto. The altitude is not a joking matter for some people.
- If hiking is not your game, please try to get in some kind of shape before attempting this feat.
- Being a bit overweight does not help (that would be me)!
- Your lungs take you to a whole new level of communication, for example, breathing becomes a primary focus and a constant reminder that we are not Llamas.
- Hike a guide! It kind of is a no brainer on that point.
Enjoy the video below
This is going to be a two-part post on Machu Picchu. The second part will focus a bit on Huayna Picchu which means young mountain was the most difficult part of this journey that I took and the end of the Machu Picchu experience.
I recommend taking the early morning tour of Machu Picchu. I know four-thirty in the morning is early, but the whole town is on board with these practices. The hostels and hotels have breakfast ready for the first trip to Machu Picchu. The buses come in a very organized fashion and “your guide” should you choose to get one helps get your group on board and explains while in line what to expect.
When you arrive, there are a lot of other people as well including the people that took the Inca Trail. There is only one restroom! Use it! It is the contraindication of travel. Dehydration and the need to pee at the worst time and you can’t find a bathroom! Leaving in the early morning hike at least is not as hot to start out with so the need to tinkle.
Again, the guide makes all the difference. They are very proud people, the Peruvians, the Incans. Proud of their heritage and they should be. Machu Picchu and all the other amazing things in Peru are something to be proud of.
I dressed for the occasion. Layers. Lightweight longjohns, hiking pants. I wore my wool socks with my hiking boots and slathered on the sunscreen and insect repellent I tried a new kind made by sawyer made with 20% picaridin. It worked great, never felt a bug, but then it was “winter” in Peru so not sure how many bugs are up there.
Heading up for the iconic view and pictures. A regret is that we never made it to the Sungate. So much to do in one day, but I do suggest that if you don’t make the hike to Huayna Picchu, then indeed you should to the Sungate. Others have said its a great one hour hike.
We actually go to see some llamas grazing and enjoying their day! All of my group tried to get a picture with the llama and most of them did! They were really gentle, I followed this one around and it really did not care if I was there or not! Alpacas are definitely smaller and fuzzier. Llamas kind of look like soft and pretty camels!
At any rate, we stopped for just a bit with them because our guide Jesus really wanted us to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and we needed to hurry up!
The sunrise was well, spectacular! I must say Jesus (this was our guide’s name) was right, the view is just breathtaking and I was so happy that I got to be witness to this incredible sight.
After all, the really cool pictures that we all took, we headed towards Huayna Picchu. Jesus gave us great information about Machu Picchu, so again a guide is recommended. It amazed me to know that this place of beauty was untouched for so many, many years and it is my hope is that it remains a place of wonder and beauty for generations to come, that its beauty and wonder remain as it is.
As always comment or corrections are appreciated!
See you next at Huayna Picchu