Have you ever thought of visiting Machu Picchu? Did you know it is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World?
I love the place and that is why I have visited Machu Picchu 3 times!! Is that a bit excessive?? I don’t normally visit a place more than once but this place has certainly captured my heart and I can’t wait to visit for a fourth time in January 2017.
For those people who know nothing about it, Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco region of Peru, on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres above sea level. It was built by the Inca’s around 1450 and abandoned a 100 years later at the time of the Spanish conquest. It was lost for many years, until Hiram Bingham “discovered” it in 1911. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the world in 2007.
In 2005 I was trying to decide what trip to do next and I had decided on Mexico but when I was looking through a brochure I saw a picture of Machu Picchu and within seconds my destination had changed to Peru.
My first visit there I did the Inca Trail it was a hard 3 day hike, but the views were amazing and reaching Machu Picchu and seeing my first glance of it was the most amazing experience.
That evening I spent in Aguas Calientes the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu and went to the hot springs and returned the next day to explore, what a beautiful day, barely any clouds in the sky. The evening before there had been a landslide and no trains were able to come from Cusco meaning that only tourists who were already at Aguas Calientes would be seeing Machu Picchu that day. I was lucky to be able to walk around with about 100 tourists that day, a very magical experience having the place practically to myself.
My second visit was in 2012, 2 months after I had left the UK to start travelling. This time I did the Inka Jungle to get there, its biking, hiking, white water rafting and zip lining, I had so much fun. This time I also booked to do Huayna Picchu the mountain in the background of most Machu Picchu pictures, they have limited the numbers of people going up there to 2 sessions a day and 200 people in each session, making it a lot safer and not many queues getting up and down. The views from there down to Machu Picchu are amazing. I had gone up there at 7am and didn’t get down till 11am, I sat and had an early lunch just looking at the amazing views. It was great to explore and despite this time there being probably maximum capacity of 2,500 visitors it didn’t seem that busy. I was there from when it opened at 6am until they forced me to leave at 5pm, blowing their whistles and pointing me to the exit!!
It was still as amazing and beautiful the second time and I still felt that I hadn’t explored it all.
The third time I visited was in 2014, this time I did my dream hike, an 8 day hike to Choquequirao (another Inca ruin) and finishing at Machu Picchu, it’s the hardest hike in the region but with some amazing views. When I arrived at Machu Picchu at 6am, the mist was in, you could hardly see in front of you, but I knew how amazing it was and could see the views in my head despite the mist. I had once again booked to go up Huayna Picchu but on the later session and by then the clouds had lifted and I got to see the amazing views. Again it seemed just as magical and beautiful as the other times I had visited.
It’s truly a magical place and somewhere I have left my heart, I don’t know how many times I will go back again, but I am not sure I will ever tire of sitting there and seeing that view. Just writing this, makes me so excited for my fourth visit in a few months.
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Find out about Why I started travelling here, Miami Beach here, Key West here, Everglades here, Bolton Abbey here, Naples here, Koh Tao here, Yangon – Myanmar here, Ischica – Italy here, Koyasan – Japan here
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