Impressions of Machu Picchu
Peru Cuisine Tour!
We took some photos and then Juan took us on a thorough tour of the ruins. Luckily we were all pretty active so we did not leave anything out. Unfortunately, we did not pre-purchase tickets to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, so we were unable to hike up either mountain surrounding the ruins. After a couple hours touring the various buildings and terraces, learning about how they think they built the city, and where all the workers lived and traveled from to build Machu Picchu, Monika and I decided we wanted to try to hike up to the Sungate, up the Inca Trail. The Sungate is the first place you come to on the traditional Inca Trail hike where you can see the ruins. It is about a mile or so from the ruins, and offers spectacular views. We took off quickly, but only had about 45 minutes until the ruins closed. We wanted to try though! We hiked as fast as we could, practically running up the trail, but the farther we got from the ruins, the more we realized that we were not going to make it in time. The Sungate really is more rewarding if you have been hiking for days and are finally able to see the ruins. We did, however, get some great views from the trail, and it was great to see how difficult the trail can actually be. Not only are you hiking at high elevation, climbing up and down the Andes, but you also are walking on old Inca trails, which were often built with pretty high steps, over and over.
Overall, I thought the ruins were pretty phenomenal. I am always impressed with the thought of building ruins like that, especially hundreds of years ago. The Incas were incredibly advanced and were able to build cities where we wouldn't even imagine, even with our modern technology! Being a lover of the outdoors, the thing that impressed me the most were the surrounding landscape. I knew it would be beautiful, but standing high up at the ruins, you are surrounded by steep, jungle-covered mountains that reach high above the valleys below. I am not sure I'll be back to Machu Picchu, but I could spend a lot more time in the mountains of Peru!