Updated: Nov 12
Trekking to the Mystical Heights of Machu Picchu 🏔️🏔️
Pinche piedrita en my bota... me la quite pero me retrase un poco muchachos (trekking up the Inca trail was exhausting exhilarating and not easy) - but well worth it and nicely rewarded when we catch our first glimpse of that enigmatic mountain!
Machu Pichu is back!
(Third time's the charm - like they say, the best trip here ever)
Like the mountains of the moon: sparkling, like sand in the vastness of a dune… The crown of the Incas, high up in the mountains blessing everybody downhill throughout the Qechua (Inca were the rulers) Empire.
Machu Picchu, the enigmatic citadel hidden amidst the clouds up in the 'Andes mountains' should be in everyone's bucket list !
☝🏻 (Y aveces para que NO se apendejen con la geografía muchachos - "Donde queda Acapulco" - sepan que se pueden ver YouTube videos 🤣 para refrescamiento geográfico!):
Machu is a place that has always beckoned to those with a spirit of adventure. This travelogue is a testament to my own journey to this ancient wonder, filled with awe-inspiring experiences and vivid descriptions of the trek to reach this elusive destination.
Day 1: The Journey Begins
Our expedition commenced in Cusco, a city that once served as the capital of the Inca Empire. It's a place where history and culture meld seamlessly into the present. The morning sun cast a golden hue over the cobblestone streets as we gathered our gear and supplies for the upcoming trek.
A bumpy ride on a van took us to the starting point of the Inca Trail, the sacred path that leads to Machu Picchu. The anticipation in the air was palpable as we set foot on this historic route. Our guide, Juan, a descendant of the Inca people, began to weave a story of the Incan civilization that would accompany us throughout the journey.
Day 2: The Challenge Unfolds
The trek was not for the faint-hearted. The steep ascents and descents were relentless, but the panoramic views of the lush, green valleys, enigmatic cloud forests, and glimpses of ancient ruins along the way were more than enough to keep us motivated. The trail seemed to breathe life into the Incan myths, with each step revealing a new layer of the past.
On this day, we reached the highest point of the trail, Dead Woman's Pass, named after the shape of the mountain that resembles a woman lying on her back. The accomplishment of conquering this altitude was met with a profound sense of triumph.
Day 3: The Beauty of the Andes
Our third day of trekking brought us to an exquisite world of wild orchids and pristine waterfalls. The landscape transitioned from dense forests to rolling hills, and we encountered local Quechua communities where time seemed to stand still.
In the afternoon, we approached the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, known as the "Town Above the Clouds." As we gazed out from the terraced fields, it was as if we had stepped into a realm suspended between earth and sky.
Day 4: The Final Stretch
On the fourth day, we descended into the magical landscape of Winay Wayna, an ancient agricultural site that clung to the mountainside. The terraced fields and cascading fountains hinted at the remarkable engineering and agricultural achievements of the Incas.
As the day drew to a close, we reached the Sun Gate, Inti Punku, a stone portal that granted us our first breathtaking view of Machu Picchu below. The grandeur of the lost city, shrouded in mist, left us in silent awe. Tomorrow, we would descend into the heart of this enigmatic wonder.
Day 5: The Revelation
At dawn, we made our descent into Machu Picchu itself. The sight of the citadel, embraced by the lush emerald mountains and enveloped in morning mist, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Juan guided us through the labyrinthine stone pathways, explaining the intricate urban planning and the spiritual significance of this ancient city.
The highlight of our visit was the Temple of the Sun, where the precision of Incan stonework became evident. The carefully cut stones, assembled without the use of mortar, seemed to defy the laws of gravity. We marveled at the Intihuatana stone, an ancient ritual stone, and the Sacred Plaza, where priests once conducted their ceremonies.
Day 6: A Farewell to Machu Picchu
As we bade farewell to Machu Picchu, we couldn't help but feel a deep sense of connection to this place. We had not only witnessed the architectural marvels and historical significance but also felt the spiritual aura that lingered in the air.
The return journey along the Inca Trail felt like retracing the steps of a vanished civilization. We crossed the Urubamba River, marveled at the agricultural terraces of Patallacta, and camped in the ruins of Llactapata, from where we had another spectacular view of Machu Picchu in the distance.
Day 7: The Homecoming
Our expedition reached its end as we returned to Cusco, carrying the memories and echoes of Machu Picchu with us. The journey had been physically demanding, but it had also been a profound exploration of history and nature. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming, knowing we had uncovered a piece of the ancient puzzle of the Incas.
Machu Picchu is not just a place; it's an experience that transcends time and space. It's a testament to human ingenuity, a spiritual sanctuary, and a captivating enigma that continues to draw travelers from across the globe. My own adventure was a testament to the enduring allure of this mystical place, a trek that carved an indelible mark in the annals of my own life's adventures.
Machu Picchu, often referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas," is an archaeological gem nestled in the Peruvian Andes, offering a window into the rich history of the Inca civilization. This UNESCO World Heritage site was constructed during the 15th century and is a testament to the architectural and engineering prowess of the Incas.
The exact purpose of Machu Picchu remains a subject of debate among historians, but it is widely believed to have served as a royal estate or retreat for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. The complex consists of well-planned stone structures, including temples, terraces, and residential buildings. Its location, at an elevation of around 7,970 feet, provides breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Abandoned and forgotten for centuries, Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham. Its remote location, nestled in dense vegetation, had shielded it from Spanish conquistadors and modern development.
The construction techniques employed at Machu Picchu are remarkable, with precisely cut stones that fit together without the use of mortar. This architectural marvel, combined with the site's historical significance, makes Machu Picchu an unparalleled destination for archaeologists, historians, and travelers seeking to connect with the ancient world.
Today, Machu Picchu stands as a testament to the ingenuity and achievements of the Inca civilization and continues to captivate the world with its enigmatic beauty and historical allure.