Top of the World at Machu Picchu

By Erin Hancock

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Machu Picchu is known the world over for its’ spectacular location in the mountains of southern Peru, as well as its’ intricate structure – a whole town of stone, that makes the most of the landscape.

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So to visit when there’s the least amount of tourists and the best views, get there early! See our chipper (ok, a little put-on) faces at 3:30am.

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We did the 1 hour hike straight up the mountainside from the little town of Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. By half way up (shown above), we had a lot of colour in our faces!

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We made it! There are 3-5 day hiking options to get to the magnificent destination, but we opted for bus and train from Cuzco and then just the morning hike. No regrets.

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Lots of tourists have this shot (perhaps one of the most epic selfies), but that didn’t stop us.

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In my opinion, Machu Picchu is not an overrated tourist destination. It’s beautiful, the tours are informative and the air is fresh (and after traveling by bus in dusty towns with tons of engine exhaust, that was appreciated). Catch a little of what I learned in the video below.

 

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Take your time to take it all in. Additional hikes are available – be sure to book ahead of time as there is a daily limit to protect the area (for that amazing view from way above Machu Picchu). We walked all around, did a tour, peered over and out for what felt like a long amount of time….and we were still back down the mountain by 9am 🙂

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After hiking back down the hill to Aguas Calientes, treat yourself to a dip in the hot spring pools.

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Grab a cheap (and yummy) bite to eat on the way back down from the hot springs on Avenida Hermanos Ayar ($3-5 USD for a 2-3 course meal with a drink). Then tour the great markets in town and enjoy a cold drink – beer or pisco are both readily available.

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You might find a gem like I did at the market! A hat and ear muffs….couldn’t hear a thing!

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