Machu Picchu is a famous landmark engulfed in mystery. It was an estate built of dry stone by the Inca Natives of Peru for the Inca emperor around 1450.
The intrigue for Machu Picchu is not only for it’s puzzling mystery and it’s skillfully built architecture that is today intact (ruins like you see in the picture above) but it’s the fascination of where this city is perched—literally…and why.
Sitting on the crest of the mountain Machu Picchu, approximately 2,430 meters above sea level, this ancient city was hidden from the outside world until 1911 and no surprise to us, has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World!
Recently we did an unforgettable Galapagos Cruise and decided to add on this wonderful extension to Machu Picchu- we think that you just cannot do a Galapagos cruise or other South America Cruise and not see the famous Machu Picchu site.
Note: Machu Picchu in our opinion should be an extension with all the details worked out for you. Trying to do it on your own can be done but there are MANY moving parts and much guess work that will give you a headache, trust us!
So, if you’d like to go to Machu Picchu we suggest adding it with the cruise line and let the professionals, who plan this daily, take care of the logistics for you. You will enjoy the trip WAY better this way.
Now, here is something important you need to know BEFORE planning a trip to Machu Picchu.
The elevation is almost 8,000 feet above sea level (your starting point to get there is Cuzco which is over 11,000 feet above Sea level) and altitude sickness is something you need to be aware of. It is preventable using cocoa tea and candies and treatable with a little oxygen but being in moderately good health helps. We didn’t have any trouble, but please speak to your doctor if you are concerned about the affects it may have on your health…
…that said, hundreds of people head to Machu Picchu on a daily basis so don’t let that deter you!
Machu Picchu is a famous and historic Inca sanctuary that has LOTS of archaeological remains made up of 250 million year old rocks high up in the Andes mountains of Peru- see the picture above again.
What was once a city for the Incas, still remains and sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below.
To reach Machu Picchu you have two choices…
…do the 4 day hike on the Inca trail or take a train like this one…
Above is the “Vista Dome” car we took on Peru Rail but there are different levels of train service you can choose from.
During the 3 hour train ride from Cuzco (where you will start from) to “Aguas Calientes” (the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu) we were treated to lots of great scenery along the way like this picture below:
Once we got to the top of the mountain and entered Machu Picchu for the first time—we stood there speechless. Wow!
Our surroundings were more incredible then all the photos we saw prior to coming. Speaking of, these pictures will give you a taste – but that’s it. You truly do need to BE THERE!!
There are several hikes around Machu Picchu you can do such as “Huayna Picchu” or to the “Sun Gate” or to the “Inca Bridge” – see the picture we got of the Inca bridge once we walked in.
And check out the amazing views of the valley below as we hiked that trail, we were incredibly high up!
FYI, if you are looking to do a short, less strenuous hike, the Inca Bridge trail is fairly flat and is the shortest at approximately 30 minutes round-trip.
Well, there is a glimpse of our time in Machu Picchu. Between the scenic train ride and our time in the mountains, it was truly a unique adventure we won’t forget anytime soon!
Whichever cruise you are planning to take in South America be sure to add on this extension to Machu Picchu, you won’t regret it.
If you want to see more pictures and videos of our Galapagos Cruise & time in Machu Picchu you can check them out here.
We Appreciate You!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!