After four days of hiking the Inca Trail, we arrived at our destination: Machu Picchu! We had an early morning hike to the sungate, where we got our first glimpse of the ruins.
The final section of the trail was from Huinay Huayna to Intipunku. We woke up at 5 AM and waited for the gate to open. The majority of the hike was easy except for a small portion of stairs where you’re on hands and knees. We liked calling that portion the monkey stairs. We didn’t take many photos on the last day, just because we were in a rush to get done. Once we arrived to the area that was overlooking Machu Picchu, we could take a breather. We were so happy to be finally looking upon our finish line!
It was a great spot for photos and time lapses while we waited for the sun to come over the horizon. Afterwards we trekked for another hour to enter the actual ruins. Upon arrival, we quickly realized how many people were there! There are approximately 2000 people visiting everyday. Most of them had come by train or bus. We were grateful that through hiking the Inca Trail, we had an intimate look at many of the other ruins without the crowds.
Total Hike in 4 Days: 26.69 miles (42.95 km) in 23 hours
Machu Picchu Elevation: 7,972 ft (2,430 m)
DAY 4 OF THE INCA TRAIL: WIÑAY HUAYNA – MACHU PICCHU
Distance: 2.48 miles / 4km
Estimated time: 2 hours
Maximum altitude: 8,923 feet / 2,720m
What you see: Intipunku (“the Sun Gate”), Machu Picchu
At Machu Picchu we were able to have a bathroom break, purchase a very expensive beverage, take the tour, and then do some exploring of our own. We thought the hiking portion was done, but we were mistaken. It was another hour and a half of going up and down stairs throughout Machu Picchu. Good thing we were conditioned for the exercise!
The view from the Sun gate (Intipunku):
We spotted a rufous-collared sparrow.
Lots of foot traffic
Apparently the flower to the right is like LSD times a hundred. Willy, our tour guide, was telling us how people who took it would go temporarily blind.
Our group. Go Team Info Cusco!
So this is what cocaine comes from….
The stones are Machu Picchu are so precisely cut that even a credit card can’t fit between them.
A natural seat and a comfortable one too!
Can you see a face?
We were lucky to see a local rodent called the Viscachas, which mysteriously arrived in South America around 45 million yrs ago while the continent was isolated. With the rainbow behind it, it looks like the peruvian nyan-cat!
Rock formation representing the landscape behind it.
Thank you Peru for all the good times and beautiful mountains!
Where shall we go next?
Is Machu Picchu on your bucket list?