Monday, May 21, 2012

Machu Picchu! Peru Part 5c: Cuzco, the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu; April 8-14, 2012

First Glimpse from the Sungate
On April 13, after 3 long days of hiking we were finally on our last leg into Machu Picchu! We endured a 3:45am wake up call and after a quick breakfast hit the trail so we could get in line at the final check point.  At first light at 5:30 am, they opened the checkpoint, collected our tickets and sent us out onto the last 6 km of the Inca trail. amazing! 

 After about 1 ¼ hours of hiking, including checking out some nice views of the surrounding mountains and climbing the Monkey Stairs, we arrived at the sun gate and our first view of Machu Picchu.  The morning had started out rainy and socked in, but lucky for us it was starting to clear up by the time we reached the sun gate and we enjoyed a spectacular first glimpse of the lost city. It as

Sun Temple

After taking a few photos and enjoying the feeling of accomplishment to have finally arrived, we began our 45 min descent into Machu Picchu. We stopped along the way to take some photos at the classic postcard photo location for some awesome shots and then relaxed for a few minutes back in civilization with a coffee shop and running water.  After a short rest we went on a tour of Machu Picchu where we learned about some of the history and explored the highlights of the ruins. After half a day of exploring we took a bus down into town to enjoy a leisurely lunch and then board the train back to Cusco.  The train was a lot of fun too. We had amazing views of ruins and the surrounding peaks from the train.

Once we arrived back in Cusco we had a light dinner and enjoyed a much-deserved shower before heading to bed for a long sleep-in!

The next day we had a final day to relax and explore Cusco, but unfortunately, Mike and I were both really sick with what we think was food poisoning so we spent the day resting up for the next, final leg of our adventure.

Train back to Cusco

Monkey Stairs

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