Only thing I'd like to say: STAMP YOUR PASSPORTS WITH THE MACHU PICCHU SEAL!
To climb up to the entrance of Manchu Picchu took 1 hour and a further 1 hour steep rocky climb to Wayna Picchu. Sunrise at Manchu Picchu wasn’t terribly fantastic and the light quickly turned to a dull grey sky, at least it didn’t rain up in these Andean mountains! There were 2 timings up to Wayna Picchu and I was recommended the 11am timing when the fog and cloud dissipated, but it gets really hot and I would sweat off all 1 liter of my water bottle. Reluctantly paid a whopping us$5 for a tiny bottle of water! The view overlooking Manchu Picchu was amazing and photographs hardly express my feelings of this amazing Inca complex.It is said that Manchu Picchu is a spiritual university for the Incas where selected scholars and priests who come study the various science of that time, astrology being one of them. Whatever it was, the whole place gave me a huge sense of how amazing and god smacking awesome to have built this great university complex right in the mountains.
Most people visit the sacred ruins during their time in Peru. It's an impressive location, breathtaking scenery and fascinating architecture. Try to get up to the ruins on the first bus or start walking the 1800 steps at around 4am to be one of the first let in to the park.
It was rainy season when I visited but on the second day my persistence was rewarded with a sunny afternoon. My favorite part of visiting Machu Picchu was hiking Machu Picchu Mountain for a bird's-eye view of the ruins. For the uninitiated – as I was until recently – Machu Picchu was 'rediscovered' by Hiram Bingham in 1911. At the time, the Machu Picchu area wasn’t unknown, but the ruins themselves remained undiscovered by the outside world until Bingham’s expedition. No one knows for certain what role the lost city played to the Incas but the generally accepted theory is that Machu Picchu was an agricultural outpost used to maximize the rare and valuable growing zone between the Amazon jungle and the high valleys of Cuzco. Regardless of its original purpose, it is impossible to understate just how impressive the site is as you approach it (rain or no rain). It was much larger than I realized and you could easily spend days exploring every nook and cranny. Obviously, I didn't have that much time (or intense desire for knowledge) so I opted for the scenic route. Though the rain had let up considerably from earlier in the day, it was still cold and dreary and hard to get great pictures with the clouds covering most of the top of Huayana Picchu. I spent a few hours wandering around and taking in the beauty of my surroundings before calling it quits and heading back into town.
A Vistadome Train will take you to and back from Machu Picchu. On the first day an organized 2 hour guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site includes visits to the Caretakers Hut, the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Tomb, the Three Windowed Temple, the main quarry and Intihuatana (the Solar Clock). On the second day there, you have until the afternoon to explore some of the sights that are not included on the standard tour. The tour package includes entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu, a moderately challenging trek, where from atop you are afforded spectacular views of the Machu Picchu citadel. After a train back to Ollantaytambo, you will be transferred to Cusco, for the last leg of the journey.