Activities and Events at Machu Picchu
Day 12
Person's Diary

Perched on a narrow ridge that drops away on both sides, what most photos of the place don't show you is the raging rivers at the base of those cliffs, or the towering peaks that rise up on the other side and surround the site. The atmosphere of the place is simply stupendous. The ruins are larger than they look, with terraces, temples, astronomical observatories, and irrigation. Many of the buildings are constructed from huge, accurately carved granite blocks, that fit together like a puzzle, so precise that you couldn't insert a hair between. The ingenuity of the carving is extraordinary, let alone the skills of the builders to maneuver them there. As we left the site by a bus that descends down a winding track, a young boy dressed as an Inca shouted "Gooood-Bye!" and began to race the bus by following a steep footpath that descends more directly. At every hairpin he was there to shout "Gooood-Bye!", until inevitably, at the bottom he boarded the bus, for loud applause and some Peruvian Sols. Tacky maybe, but the local people have lost none of their ancient ingenuity.

SouthWind quote

Rising early, those that wish might return to the ruins to catch the early morning light as the sun rises over Intipunku, or the Gateway of the Sun. Afterwards, there are several optional activities available in and around Machu Picchu for the group members to enjoy. At 8,860' Huayna Picchu, or Young Peak, looms over the citadel, and for those wanting a little more adventure, an optional one-hour climb along a very steep, stair-cased trail ending at the terraces and ruins on top provides an excellent, bird's-eye view of Machu Picchu's ruins! Or a 1 hour hike downhill through the forest ends at the partially excavated Temple of the Moon site which is quite unique. Since the day is unstructured, those that prefer may simply choose their favorite spot and meditate or contemplate on this archaeological wonder before we catch the bus and last tourist train for the 3 hour ride back to Cusco. We'll return to the familiar Picoaga Hotel (or similar) for the night. Dinner is on your own this evening. (CB,L)

Huayna Picchu

View of MP from Huayna Picchu

Sitting on top of Huayna Picchu

Ollantaytambo River


Gate of the Sun

View of MP from Gate of the Sun

Employees starting their day



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