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!!!!!
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