Hiking Destination: Machu Picchu in Peru
Blaze your way to the fabled “lost citadel” of Machu Picchu in Peru, by hiking through the trail used by the Incas from as far back as the 15th century. The trailblazing experience is shrouded with spirituality, as hikers come across sacred valleys surrounded with mysterious history
.Machu Picchu – The Crown Jewel of Peru
Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city perched high in the Andes Mountains between two towering peaks . Now listed as one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”, the ancient city was unknown to the outside world for centuries. Hiram Bingham, an archaeologist, rediscovered the abandoned city in 1911. He marveled at the stone walls, edifices, and caves found in the citadel, revealing intricate Inca carvings, enigmatic altars, and about 600 well-engineered terraces.
Present day visitors wending their way to the central plaza of Machu Picchu will have close glimpses of revered sites such as those of the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Moon, Temple of the Condor, and Temple of the Three Windows.
An actual venture into Machu Picchu’s ancient grounds make visitors wonder why a city so marvelously built had been abandoned.
What to Bring When Trailblazing Your Way to Machu Picchu
Planning for a Machu Picchu hiking adventure starts with booking a flight to Lima, and from there transferring by way of plane or train to Cusco. After which, book for an overnight stay at Cusco, or at Urubamba, or at Ollantaytambo. Guided tours usually bring hikers to the first Inca Trail Check at around 7:00 a.m. on Day 2, where you will have to show your passport before entering the Inca Trail.
Consult with your tour guides, regarding the particular types of clothing not allowed when traveling via the trail. Don’t forget to include a jacket or rain gear in your backpack, as rains are likely to occur. Moreover, know the dimension of the backpack you can bring inside Machu Picchu, as the oversize types are not allowed.
It will take 3 days of hiking before reaching Machu Picchu, so make sure you have a hat and enough sunscreen on hand. During the period, you will be making ascents and descents through valleys. The trek will have you passing through communities, doing some sight-seeing, to end daily with an overnight stay at designated campsites.
That goes without saying that you will have to bring sleeping bags or tents, mosquito repellents, as well as food to cook with your camping cookware. It is important to bring an ample amount of cash not only for buying souvenirs, but also to spend on bathrooms.
While hiking along the Inca Trail, you may chance upon some of the furry animals called chinchillas. In case you are interested in bringing one home, check with the local authorities in the area if they will allow you to do so. Just be sure you can prove you know how to take care of them, and of their needs, particularly about the right type of cages for chinchillas. Keep in mind that although it is legal to keep them as pets, the gentle creatures are already listed as Endangered Species in the IUCN Red List.
On Day 4, you will have reached the Sun Gate between 7-8 am, and from there descend a flight of stairs to reach the final checkpoint. Exploring the city on your own can be arranged with tour guides, since you will only be having a 2-hour guided tour.