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“The Inca Stone Castle in the Clouds”

Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu Private Guided Tour from Aguas Calientes
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Machu Picchu Entrance with Lunch at Tinkuy Buffet Restaurant
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Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 24 February 2013

What can I really say?!?! It's like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, only this was created by humans - it simply puts you in awe. The setting couldn't be more amazing, a city in the sky. There are so many picturesque angles and moments. Despite being visited by many people you will still be able to get great pictures because it is so spread out.

TIPS: the bus ride up costs 20 Soles ($8 US) per person (that is roundtrip), you'll purchase those in the city where the train drops you off (not hard to find the line of buses). You can additionally purchase tickets into Machu Picchu in the same city, ask locals for the location. you'll pay approx 125 Soles ($50 US) per person. Bus run very regularly and takes only 15-20 min to get to Machu Picchu (it's a crazy ride up, not crazy driving, just an insane climb with "views" to the bottom - I'll leave it at that - don't let that discourage you, at all). Have LOTS of room on your SD card in your camera b/c you are about to feel like a National Geographic Photographer (NO JOKE - see my pics). Oh, and the altitude at Machu Picchu is lower (9,000 ft) than in the city of Cuzco (10,000 ft), so although it looks high, and it still is, it's easier to breathe in Machu Picchu.

By the way, take it easy your first day in Cuzco - that altitude is brutal coming from Lima, which is practically sea level. Just shop the squares in the city. If you do a tour of the ruins on your first day in Cuzco, as I did, it is going to take you to 13,000 ft, and it doesn't look like it either but that pounding in you chest, which is your heart about to explode on your last ruins stop at 13,000 ft, will DEFINITELY remind you. If your hotel offers oxygen, take it!!! So, first day, relax, take it easy.

Back to Machu Picchu tips: allow yourself minimally 3 hours to stroll around. Take a picnic lunch with you, there are so many places sit on the grass and simply relax taking in the site. There are tour guides at the site, but I didn't take one so I couldn't tell you much about it; however, I saw many of them with books of pictures and references to educate their customers - some are better than others though.

Bottom Line: GO!!!!!

5  Thank Tat3r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,238 - 6,242 of 16,710 reviews

Reviewed 18 February 2013

Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the world, but the State Department now says the Peruvian Shining Path wants to kidnap American tourists. Here's my blog on ConsumerMojo.com: http://wp.me/p2XIOE-BF

1  Thank Nick T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

The ascent to Machu Pichhu begins as you board the bus for the twenty minute ride up the
steep mountain side. As our little bus gamely struggles up the mountain side affording heart stopping glimpses of sheer drops and tangled foliage as the tiny road zigzags precariously beneath us. When we arrive at Machu Pichhu it is crowded with people, many of them locals on a family day out but within ten minutes of starting our climb we are almost alone and the crowd dissipates into the vast expanses of the site. We see people in the distance beneath us as we climb higher, they look tiny, like brightly coloured ants. At the highest point of the site we stop to share fruit and nuts with our guide and admire the amazingly preserved buildings and terraces and breath taking jungle and mountain views as clouds drift by the peaks. What an amazing feat it must have been building this huge, beautiful temple in such an inhospitable place, a mountain summit. Behind us on the high mountain passes are the old Inca trails which people used to use to access this place and where Hiram Bingham crossed to first see Machu Pichhu. The site is bounded on three sides by really steep mountain sides terraced to grow crops and disappearing into the dense jungle. It does not take much imagination to conjure up images of the Inca royalty living in splendour with their servants beside them in this impregnable citadel. The buildings are of perfect simplicity, such a contrast to the gaudy town cathedrals. The stones are the colour of honey and the buildings feel in harmony with nature they have slightly sloping walls in order to cope with earthquakes. Some walls are smooth and perfectly hewn, these were built in times of peace and plenty, others are more roughly hewn, more hurried work for times when war was the focus not building.

A real find In Cusco just hours before leaving was the Machu Pichhu museum off the main square. Here there were amazing objects including those returned to Peru by Yale University in 2011. The original Hiram Bingham photos helped us to realize the amazing restoration work done on the Machu Pichhu site whilst an outstanding computer based programme of the site allowed time for at leisure to re-visit, study and reflect on our amazing South American adventure.

6  Thank DrAnnaSG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2013

What can I possibly say that you have not read elsewhere a hundred times? If you go to Peru and don't visit Machu Picchu you are missing one of the best historical sites in the world - definitely Top 10! The views from it are spectacular too. If you can, do walk up Huayna Picchu, the mountain that overlooks MP - it is not that hard (my partner & I were 52/60 and not fit) as it provides fantastic views from even higher and of MP too of course. I still have not got over my trip here and just wish I had taken another 1000 photos!

Thank pd7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013

We were very lucky on our vist to the historic site. It rained hard both ways on the train.
We took a bus up around 8 AM (hired a private guide for the 6 of us) Sunshine all day long.
In the rainy season Mother Nature was truly on our side.
After the long climb up we were treated to the sight of a baby Llama that was born less than 1 hour prior to our arrival.
All I can say is that the bus ride views and those at MP are truly amazing. If you are visiting Peru don't miss MP.

Our group ranged in age from 60 to 77. We all made the climb up and down. It was hard.
If you have bad knees like I did and bring a light weight aluminum walking stick.

4  Thank herbalsoaplady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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