Machu Picchu (Updated March 2019)
My friend and I started our journey via train quite early in the morning (6 a.m.) on an almost 3 hrs. trip to the small town of Aguas Calientes. I do have to admit that the journey itself is awe-inspiring as you go through a valley surrounded by tall, impressive in magnitude, rolling hills.
On the train you receive complimentary coffee or tea, juice or water, and a biscuit ... so sit back, enjoy the views and take a well-deserved nap after waking up so early to catch the train!
Once you reach Aguas Calientes, you'll make your way through the local market and then cross a small bridge over to the town where most likely your tour guide will be waiting for you to get your passports in order to retrieve your timed tickets to enter Machu Picchu.
Once at the town plaza, you'll be greeted by this statue:
With so many monuments and ruins to visit, Machu Picchu is indeed part of the crown jewels of Perú.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is also referred to as the Lost city of the Incas and a visit to this site is a must in your trip through the Andes.
This lost city can be reached by either getting there by doing a 3 days hike through the Inca Trail or simply take the train to Aguas Calientes, stroll through the market and then take a bus that will zig zag you straight to the entrance to the park. I took the latter!
Do remember to keep your passport handy, as at the exit (lower level) to the park, you can get it stamped with the Machu Picchu logo - a free souvenir stamp for your passport!
Once inside ... be prepared to take in ALL of this breath-taking scenery, literally! ... and plan to also take time to visit Huayna Picchu and the Inca bridge.
For more info and to explore more about this site go here.
... and if you're hungry!
Please note that although the eating options vary in the small town of Aguas Calientes, they can be quite limited but don't miss out on:
... and if cuy is your thing ... here you go!
An interesting (read gamy) meal after a day hike through Machu Picchu is the infamous cuy better known to us as a guinea pig.
As seen on this photo, many households (even the Uros) raise guinea pigs ... just to find them later at local restaurants baked or barbecued on a spit and served whole (as below) with potatoes. There is definitely not that much meat on it but it is definitely a meal worth trying out.
Ate cuy, checked!
Another option for lean meat is alpaca. You can eat it in so many different ways: Roasted, au gratin, fried and so on. The healthiest choice out there!
These are 10 other choices by National Geographic!