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babakid40 Machu Picchu - A travel report by Alisa
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Machu Picchu,  Peru - flag Peru -  Cusco
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babakid40's travel reports

Machu Picchu Peru

  11 votes
In March 2008 I made my first trip to South America. We visited the Amazon, Cuzco, the sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. It was a two-week trip. We packed a lot in but still barely scratched the surface.

I loved the entire country. I have traveled a great deal in Asia and Europe and never felt a strong pull to South America till my daughter came home one day announcing she was invited on a school trip to Venezuela. Well long story short she skipped that and we decided to travel together and see Peru. Visiting the Andes was my only draw to South America and even that only vaguely present over the years. So I counted myself fortunate to be on my way.

The Andes Mountains were by far the most spectacular mountains I have ever seen! And I have been camping in the Himalayas, now those are some awesome mountains, but the Andes had a character and a personality even the Himalayas don't have. It was one of not only staggering beauty, with its sculptured peaks and beautiful blue green coloring, but a mystical quality that leaves one hardly able to deny the presence of a higher power or God.

This was particularly true when we arrived around the bend and saw our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Nestled high atop a plateau between 2 triangularly shaped peaks, amidst a cloud forest, one finds the ruins of the ancient Inca civilization. What we see today is but a small portion of the city they created. All with no mortar or cranes. Just the sheer mind bending quality of how it was all created is enough to alter ones consciousness, but then add the dizzying surrounding scene and you are literally transported to another realm. This is where words will fail, but it is like being in the presence of a higher power. You almost can't leave. My daughter and I sat high above the ruins for over 2 hours. Quietly, no need to talk, no urge to leave and after 2+ hours we literally had to drag ourselves away. On the way back to the bus my daughter said, "Well if I had any doubt of God's existence it is gone". That sums it up.

If you can ever make it there it is worth adding to your list of places to see before you die

Favourite spots:
The town of Aqua Caliente which is where you base unless you can afford to stay in the insanely expensive Machu Picchu sanctuary hotel which is just at the entrance to the ruins. The town is a bit ramshackle but I loved it. Reminded me of Katmandu. Great restaurants, insanely beautiful scenery and best of all the hot springs. Bring a bathing suit.

Also Cuzco the town you fly into situated at 11500 feet is a gem unto itself. Built entirely into the sides of the mountains, it is a large bustling city despite its remote location. Wonderful restaurants, great hotels and very lively nightlife not to mention more ruins make this a great city to spend sometime in either before or after a visit to the sanctuary.

What's really great:
I loved the Amazon but for me it was a bit too humid and buggy. I'm still scratching mosquito bites nearly 3 weeks later. But it was worth seeing. To see monkeys and Blue and Red Macaws in the wild is a once in a lifetime experience.

Midori Hotel In Cuzco. Very clean large rooms and easy walking to everything. Also in the Amazon we stayed at the Cayman Lodge. Owned by french woman and run by the nicest Peruvians. The place is rustic but very clean and the food marvelous. The highlight for us was the Sol e Luna in the Sacred Valley, now that was pure decadent luxury!

Coccolini in Cuzco- wonderful italian/mediterranean food in a lovely atmosphere with fabulous service, not cheap by Peruvian standards. Also Jacks in Cuzco fro a great breakfast at a cheap price.

Other recommendations:
While in Cuzco walk to San Blas area. Wonderfully bohemian and full of local artists selling their wares.

Published on Monday April 7th, 2008

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Tue, Apr 15 2008 - 02:38 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

good report and nicely written , and if u have pic do add to it

Tue, Apr 08 2008 - 04:43 PM rating by eirekay

I love your description of how mind blowing the first glimpse of Machu Picchu is. Working in construction, I had some of the same thoughts regarding how incredible the structures are! you report has a terrific feel to. i hope you get the chance to add pictures later!

Tue, Apr 08 2008 - 02:43 AM rating by davidx

Very informative and some good personal touches - but all reports are improved by photos - did you realise you could upload photos you've already posted to the gallery?
I got as far as Cuzco station for an early booked train to Aguas Callientes but my heart machine then played up and I had to spend a night in a Cuzco clinic instead. Hence I envy you.

Tue, Apr 08 2008 - 02:42 AM rating by mistybleu

Hello Alisa,

A lovely report, that has brought back some wonderful memories of the area. But I have to disagree with you; surely the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas are prettier???

To be fair the argument could go on and on. But no doubt the captivating views of Macchu Picchu are priceless.

All the best

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