This is the big one folks, South America’s most famous tourist attraction. Even though we shelled out the big bucks to see this ‘Wonder of the World’, all of the money and stress was totally worth it when we got there. Located in a remote, jungle-filled, mountainous area, Machu Picchu is one of the most sacred sites for the Incas. Rediscovered in 1911, it was thought to be the Lost City of the Incas. At its height, it likely housed 800 people, many of whom were high priests and astronomers.
We (and 2000 of our closest friends) arrived at Machu Picchu just as the sun was coming up in order to get the best views. And boy, it didn’t disappoint. The city is just below Wayna Picchu, a large mountain you see in all the pictures, which provides an amazing backdrop for this impressive city. The ruins were much bigger than expected, and largely well-preserved. You could feel the peacefulness and holiness of this site just by being there. Despite all the tourists, you can get these perfect moments of silence and tranquility, with only the sounds of the river below and variety of bird calls. It was a calming and peaceful effect.
In order to learn more about the history of Machu Picchu, we took a guided tour of the site which lasted for 2 hours. We learned so much about the ingenuity of the Incas was well as their religious beliefs. The Incas worshiped Mother Earth and the Sun. Thus, they were excellent astronomers and built their Temple of the Sun to perfectly reflect the equinoxes and solstices. All the stones used in Machu Picchu were carved from Machu Picchu mountain, so as to not disturb Mother Earth by relocating materials.
Throughout the day, I had to mentally shake myself to remind myself it was all real. It felt very surreal being there, and every step you took or corner you turned, you got an even more beautiful view of this site. It was truly impressive and certainly a highlight of the trip thus far