Machu Picchu, Peru, Travel
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Visiting Machu Picchu: My Experience

It was still dark outside when I woke up to get ready for my Machu Picchu adventure. I took my backpack and gear I had planned the previous night, and head over to the hotel’s main lobby for breakfast. The tour guide was waiting for me at the hotel lobby at 4:30 AM sharp. The night before, the tour guide explained the importance of being on time the day of your Machu Picchu visit. Remember: everyone wants to get in line as early as possible to ride the bus to the main site. If you miss your time slot to ride the bus, you are screwed.

Words are not enough how excited I was to finally see Machu Picchu. The sun rays were starting to lighten up the sky when I arrived to the top. After a pleasant bus ride, the guide gathered the group and start the archeological site visit of the lost city of the Incas.

 

I first entered Machu Picchu archeological site at around 7:30 AM. At this time, the fog was out of control. It was impossible to appreciate the magnificent ruins. “No need to worry! Around 11 AM the fog will clear” the guide said. It was obvious that everyone in my group was worried about the weather conditions! It would be terrible if we made it all the way here and not be able to take in what Machu Picchu has to offer.

 

We walked through the ruins for two hours. The guide explained how Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Also, he explained the Inca’s lifestyle five hundred years ago.

Here’s a quick summary of Machu Picchu main highlights and some interesting facts to know about the Incas:

Agricultural Site – This section was uniquely dedicated for growing agriculture purposes. The main purpose was to grow food for the city’s main population.

Machu Picchu’ Main Temple – Located at the highest position of the city, to the northfrom the set of buildings forming around a House designated as yard called "Sacred Plaza", the main temple or temple Mayor of Machu Picchu stands at this location as one of the two buildings with greater spiritual meaning to the Citadel. (Via enjoy-machu-picchu.org) Click here to Learn more.

Machu Picchu Sacred Square – This complex has three main significant sections: the three window temple, the main temple and the Inca’s Priest rooms section. All used for religious ceremonies and spiritual rituals.

The Priest’s Rooms – Here the Inca priests will gather to perform various religious rituals and to prepare for spiritual ceremonies.

Three Window Temple – Did you know: every Inca architectural design symbolizes the relationship between the spiritual world and the visible and functional world we live in.

That being said, each window in this temple represents a religious or spiritual level: the world at the top (Hanan Pacha), the world we live in (Kay Pacha) and the world that exists below us (Uju Pacha).

The Guards House – Located at the top of the city, this guard house main function was to control the main entrance to the entire Machu Picchu complex. The guard will supervise all the whole city and agriculture from here.

The Sacred Rock – Its energetic properties is what makes this rock sacred. Many believe that if you touch the sacred rock of the Incas, your body will be re-charged with positive energy.

 

“INTIHUATANA” – Meaning: “where the sun hits” in Quechua, the Incas native language. It served as a sun clock. The Incas used this to calculate time with exact precision using the sun shadows.

The Condor Temple – Can you see a bird’s resemblance in the rock pictured below? The Incas polished this rock with a Condor’s shape. We can see the abstract design of the bird’s head, body and white coat.

Machu Picchu’ Streets – Here you can appreciate various architectonical styles the Incas used in the city’s construction. From irregular rocks to finely polished rocks.


 

It was 10 a.m. already and the fog wouldn’t clear. In my opinion, the weather conditions were getting worse. Once the tour ended, the guide suggested to visit the cafeteria located at the main entrance to wait for the weather to get better.

Two cappuccinos later, the sun was out and the skies started to finally clear. At this time, I decided to go back into the site and hike to the top to overlook the entire town of Machu Picchu. The guide gave me some location tips to take amazing photos!

The fog was still making its presence when I reached to the top. For this reason, I decided to sit and wait as long as needed for it to clear to its completion. I waited and waited and waited (and made some friends while waiting!)

Two hours later, the sun was out and the sky was completely cleared. Machu Picchu was finally visible! It was a bright and sunny day perfect to explore the area! A great amount of pictures later, I decided to continue my adventure and hike the Inca’s bridge.

The Inca’s bridge is a 15-minute hike that overlooks a scenic view of the mountains. It was a sight for sore eyes! I still had some time to spare before going back to Aguas Calientes, so I decided to hike the Sun’s Gate.

 

The Sun’s Gate is a one hour hike up the mountain. This is the last kilometers in the famous Inca Trail. I felt at one with nature! The views of Machu Picchu were out of this world. The higher you climb, the better you can appreciate the view of the town. I felt accomplish after hiking this mountain. My Machu Picchu mission was completed and it was time to go back to Aguas Calientes to catch my train to Cusco.

This was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Not only because I finally visited this place that I was anxious to go to for years, but because I was by myself and I could experience Machu Picchu just the way I envisioned it. I felt like my heart skipped a beat when I realized that I was actually fulfilling a dream destination at last. I was happily overwhelmed with multiple emotions at the same time!

 

Definitely, a trip for the books.

 

Until next trip,

 

 

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About The Author

MARIELLA MOLESTINA NOBOA

The art of saying "Yes!" can take you far away. Many people pass on opportunities for many reasons, one of them being fear. Through my life I've encounter many people that forget to live the present for something that might not even happen in the future. If you are constantly waiting for the right time to finally do something, like fulfill your life dream, you are going to spend most of your life waiting.

My name is Mariella and I created this blog as a source of inspiration for others to believe they can live the life they always pictured. The secret? Believe you can and take action. The world awaits!


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18 Comments

  1. Looks like you had an excellent experience here Mariella. One hour hike sounds tiring, but I’m sure it was worth it from looking at your photos! I love all the photos of the Condor Temple and the Guard’s house. Machu Picchu will always be one of those places so special for many reasons.

  2. Machu Picchu has been on my bucket-list for ages and the more I read about it the more I want to go. I completely understand about not want to miss your time slot for the bus ride and I am so glad to hear that the fog had cleared when you were up there so you could take some beautiful pictures.

  3. Now you see, you obviously did get re-energised by touching the sacred rock. I’m so glad the weather turned out to be great for you. Machu Picchu is still very much on my own wish list and I’m very grateful for such a thorough guide – at least I could live vicariously by reading your story.

    • Mariella says

      Thank you,Fiona! 🙂 I really did get re-energised by touching the sacred rock haha

  4. Your photos are breathtaking! What an amazing experience. This is a huge bucket list destination for me, so for now I will live vicariously through your photos!

    • Mariella says

      Thank you, Maggie! Definitely fit Machu Picchu into your future travel plans 🙂

  5. I am actually planning my trip for next year now. However I am looking to hike the 4 day trail. If I were going with my kids I would opt for this version. It is a huge bucket list item and I am glad you got to experience it the way you wanted to do it. Also glad the weather finally cleared and that you even had time for hiking some. Amazing experience. Cant wait to go.

    • Mariella says

      Thank you, Joella! You are going to have a blast, Machu Picchu is such a wonderful place, your family will love it 🙂

  6. It’s interesting to read about the early morning start and journey up to Machu Picchu, not many people consider this. It’s also interesting to read that if the fog doesn’t rise then you won’t see the temples. I’ve never read that before, I would be so upset if I didn’t get to see it because of the fog. The finished article though, your pictures after the fog rises are stunning and well worth the trip and early morning!

    • Mariella says

      Thank you, James! I was really nervous about the fog – I didn’t travel all the way to Machu Picchu to not see the ruins? haha I was prepared to stay an extra day in Aquas Calientes If I didn’t get to see it. Luckily I did 🙂

  7. What a lovely day you have had at the Machi Picchu. I so loved reading all the details about the different areas in the ruins. The city looks so well planned back then. The concept of 3 windows in places of worship is really amazing. Great jo with the pictures.

  8. I’ve always wanted to go to Machu Picchu, but scared about the hike. Seems like waking up early is a must to see the ruins without the crowds. Thank you for pointing out not missing the bus!

    • Mariella says

      Hi Cat – don’t be! I was out of shape when I visited Machu Picchu and hiked the mountain. It wasn’t hard but it was tired. Just make sure to bring plenty of water to hydrate and you’ll be fine 🙂

  9. I have read so many posts on how to get to Machu Pichu but none with the details of relics there. I so loved reading about that. The three windows thing was quite an interesting read. And the sun dial is so similar to the ancient time devices found in India. I really hope that someday I get to go here myself.

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