The hidden city
Our Sacred Valley day trip was so organised that after we visited Ollantaytambo we took the train to Aguas Calientes to spend one night there before we visited Machu Picchu. The train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes was quite relaxed, it reminds us a bit like the train ride with the Glacier Express in Switzerland. The waggons are equipped with panoramic windows, comfortable seats and you get a snack and a drink. The train journey took about 2 hrs. The landscape changes from dry mountain slopes with grasses and cactus to wet green rainforest mountains. When we arrived in Aguas Calientes it was already dark, we were picked up by a hotel staff and brought to the hotel. The city lies in a valley close to Machu Picchu. All trips to Machu Picchu start from this point.
The next morning we had to wake up at 4:30 AM because the first bus running to Machu Picchu is at 5:30 AM, some people already stand at the bus station at 4 AM. We were at 5 AM at the bus station and as predicted there was already a 50m long queue of people. Punctual at 5:30 AM the first bus started to operate and the next one follows within minutes. The organisation was quite good, after 30 minutes bus driving we arrived in Machu Picchu, unfortunately it was raining and foggy. We had to take the bus very early in the morning because we booked a hiking to Waynapicchu. Per day they only allow 200 people at 7 AM and 200 people at 10 AM to walk this trail. We didn´t get the place at 10 AM so we had to take the one at 7 AM. The hiking was really exhausting, it was so hard to walk up to the top of this mountain at this elevation, but it was also a great feeling when you finally arrived there. Unfortunately it was very foggy when we get to the top of Waynapicchu, we couldn´t see anything below us, no single building of Machu Picchu was visible. We didn´t stay too long at Waynapicchu and walked back to Machu Picchu after a short break. During the course of the day the weather was getting better and the sun was shining above the ruin city of Machu Picchu.
The view over the old ruin city of Machu Picchu was really breath-taking, the landscape around just beautiful. We really enjoyed our trip to Machu Picchu, we stayed there for half a day before we took the bus to get back to Aguas Calientes.
From Aguas Calientes we took the train again to get back to Ollantaytambo. When we arrived in Ollantaytambo we were picked up by someone from the tour operator and took a bus to get back to Cusco. The bus ride took us another 2 hrs.
We stayed in Cusco for another three nights to just relax, visited some museums in the city and made some planning for our further world trip journey. Well, we are now already at the end of our Peru visit. Our next destination will be Quito in Ecuador. We will as usual keep you up to date from our next trip. Enjoy the Machu Picchu pictures and see you later.