Back in 2012, before moving to Korea, we had a family trip to Machu Picchu and Cusco. Very impressive but not an easy place to get to (maybe that is why no one knew about it from the Western world until mid-1800’s). The trip in 2012 entailed a flight to Lima, transfer and second flight to Cusco, a minibus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo then the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Caliente and then shuttle bus to Machu Picchu. We were lucky that I had a colleague from work based on Cusco and made arrangements for us to see the sites in Cusco. One element of Cusco is that it is at about 11,000 ft elevation so a little exhausting just walking around, but a lot of interesting ruins.
After a couple of days in Cusco, off the Machu Picchu. Up at O dark thirty for the train and figured out the first 4 hours of the train was on a mini-bus through the mountains (it is actually downhill to Machu Picchu from Cusco) to the town of Ollantaytambo where we hopped on a historical train to the town at the base on Machu Picchu called Aguas Caliente. Overall, the logistics for Machu Picchu are extenstive – between getting the train tickets well in advance, tickets for entry to Machu Picchu well in advance, plus an extra hiking permit to Wayna Picchu.
After getting to Aguas Calientes, we spent a day at Machu Picchu and another day hiking up to Wayna Picchu. Really impressive when you consider that all of the stone came from many miles away and carried up about 1,000 ft of elevation change. Then to get to Wayna Picchu was another 1,000 ft of elevation change….Incas were very motivated.
Most of our pictures are from the hike up Wayna Picchu – pretty much a straight up climb with cables to help you get up the hill.
Once at the top – spectacular views of the Scared Valley.
After making it down – it was back to Cusco and to Lima. Only had 1 day in Lima but very nice and wish we would have had more time.