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I’ve Been Pronouncing Machu Picchu Wrong

I won’t go too in depth, but I learned there’s a slight “ct” sound in “Picchu,” like you would say “picture.” You can Google what “Mach-oo Pee-Choo” actually means…

I had been talking to travelers about this wonder of the world countless times on the phone. My cubicle walls were covered in maps of the Sacred Valley and hiking charts. I had spent hours going over details of other people’s trip, but nothing could truly prepare me for the awe I felt once that majestic citadel was in full view. 

My dream was to hike the Inca trail and let the anticipation build over the course of 4 days, but for a free work trip, I happily accepted the train. I loved watching the scenery pass and see the vegetation slowly get more dense and green. I do wish the train announcements had come a little earlier to give me time to prep my camera for better shots of Mount Veronica or waterfalls as we passed them. By the time we were on the winding bus ride that lead us to actual ruins, I was getting antsy.

On the bus to Machu Picchu! Are we there yet? Are we there yet...
On the bus to Machu Picchu! Are we there yet? Are we there yet... (Karen DiGangi)

Our guide led us through the entrance and to the first viewpoint of Machu Picchu. There is was. All the pictures from my office had not done this sight before me proper justice. No film could possible capture what I felt. I usually only cry when I see sad dogs and when the printer won’t work, but standing on this hill, fortunate enough to experience this wonder in the flesh, I stood there speechless as tears ran down my face. 

When looking at all the destinations in the world to visit, people turn away from Machu Picchu because “everyone is going to Peru” and it’s not the hidden gem it once was. But there’s a reason people have been flocking to Machu Picchu. You just have to go see it for yourself. And remember, “Mach-oo Peect-choo.” 

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