What is Machu Picchu Like?
This was a question that I asked myself prior to visiting Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the World, located in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
In particular ~ I wondered what it would be like to travel there as a female. One of my girlfriends and I were scheduled to fly into Peru on Christmas Day of 2015, then acclimate for a few days in the mountainous town of Cusco (well above 10,000 feet!), then, once our lungs had adjusted to the altitude, make the long-dreamed-of journey to Machu Picchu.
I could tell you what Machu Picchu is like ~ or, even better, I could show you. That’s where this video comes in: in less than three minutes, it gives you a complete overview of the journey from Cusco, Peru to Machu Picchu, by way of the Andes Mountains. What would take me pages and pages of description to tell you ~ can instead easily be seen and digested with these three minutes of video. And this video is particularly geared towards female travel in Peru, as it shows the experience of two female travelers!
Here are some details of our trip first, to give you a general overview of our journey:
- Dates Traveled = December 2015-January 2016. We actually climbed Machu Picchu on December 30th, 2015, and were back in Cusco for New Year’s Eve (they wear yellow underpants & flock to the town center, FYI!).
- Who I Traveled With = My friend “Zsa Zsa” (a nickname, obviously ; ); aka two female travelers.
- Cost of Tour = $250, including entrance to Machu Picchu, accomodations, mountain biking, zip-lining, & all transport & train rides. Some food was included as well (not dinners).
- Route Taken to Machu Picchu = Inca Jungle Trek ~ 3 days, 2 nights. This is one of the quickest ways to get to Machu Picchu (much quicker than the famous Inca Trail, or the beautiful but lesser known Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu). The first day involved waking up at 6AM & being picked up by our tour guide in a van, then picking up the rest of our tour mates, and driving outside of Cusco into the Andes. Activities on the Inca Jungle Trek include: downhill mountain biking, white water rafting, zip-lining, hiking, optional hot springs, and a final train ride into Aguas Calientes ~ the gateway town to Machu Picchu.
- Accommodations on Inca Jungle Trek = Very basic hostels in Santa Maria and/or Santa Theresa.
- Hike Shown in Video = Machu Picchu Mountain. There is an extra cost to do this hike, & you must purchase tickets in advance, which gives you admission for a specific time-slot. The hike is quite steep & quite crowded ~ but worth it. You will climb high above Machu Picchu & get incomparable views. (Other hike at Machu Picchu = Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain seen behind Machu Picchu ruins in nearly all photos. Note: this hike sells out WAY in advance, & is for experienced hikers only who have good knees ~ it is VERY steep!)
- Why We Chose this Tour = Mainly because it took less time than either the Inca Trail or Salkantay (my friend only had 10 days in Peru). We also wanted more variety in our day-to-day activity than just hiking.
- Choose this Tour to Machu Picchu if… You don’t have much time in Peru and you like adventurous activities. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations or you wish to camp outside along the trail ~ this is not the ideal trek for you.
Now that you’ve got the general overview, enjoy the video!
And if I could give you only ONE tip for your trip to Peru and Machu Picchu, it would be: bring and wear sunscreen! You’ll be at altitudes of 9,000 feet & above, & I cannot emphasize how STRONG the sun is in Peru ~ you’re close to the equator (which runs through Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands), which makes the sun especially strong. Do NOT forget to bring sunscreen!
Click PLAY below to watch the epic journey to Machu Picchu…
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Have you been to Machu Picchu? What were your favorite parts of the trip ~ and your least favorite parts?! (Finding pubic hairs in our hostel shower was my personal least favorite moment of the trip! ; ) Let me know in the comments below ~ and if you’re planning a trip to Machu Picchu in the near future, I hope this post helps give you a general overview of what to expect. And I’m jealous ~ Peru is an amazing country!