Machu Picchu, voted in 2007 to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll, and for good reason. Your first glimpse of this amazing complex will be truly awe inspiring, the first thought I had back in 2006 was ‘This place is massive’, pictures just fail to do it justice. While you can see virtually the entire complex from several vantage points, don’t plan on being able to walk the whole site in one day. The tour guides do a good job of hitting the high points but after our tour finished we wandered around and found many more interesting locations.
One of the next things you may notice is the complexity, in which the site is laid out, from the quarry to the water distribution channels, it is apparent that this was a well-planned complex. There are a few theories as to the purpose or use of Machu Picchu, some think it was a permanently occupied site while others suggest it was only a vacation home for the Inca and his family, no matter which opinion you subscribe to there was defiantly a master plan in the works.
The final thing you will notice is the stone fitting; most of the site is constructed with rough stone work, with the exception of the important buildings. The tour guides always hit the important buildings like the temple of the sun, temple of the moon and the Incas residence to name a few. In these building you will see some of the finest examples of stone masonry, I have herd on several documentaries on the Incan culture that even with today’s technology it would be difficult to duplicate some of these structures.
When planning a trip to Machu Picchu I would recommend two things. First thing is to plan ahead, since Machu Picchu’s addition to the new seven wonders; it has become a popular place to visit and in 2011 entrance was limited to 2,500 people a day, so it tends to book up quickly. Even more so is the trail to Huayna Picchu, which I believe is currently limited to 400 people a day.
My second suggestion is to research the available options before booking your tour. There are a variety of options to choose from, both time based and budget based. You could take a one day trip or spend over a week if you have the time. Budget wise you can spend from around $190.00 (depending on time of year) to, well the sky is pretty much the limit here.
Now each day when the trains to Machu Picchu pass by Huarocondo, I am reminded of that first trip back in 2006 and look forward to my next trip. I would be happy to send anyone that is interested more information upon request, thanks for reading and may all your travels be fulfilling.