Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Arrived by PeruRail to Aguas Calientes - the small town in the valley below Machu Picchu along the upper Urubamba River. Boarded a bus to get up to the ruins as there is no other option except to hike up.
The long and winding road known as the Hiram Bingham Highway to Machu Picchu. Only authorized vehicles allowed on here.One of few guard rails along the road. Slow and steady, I say.Yup, the road up to Machu Picchi is narrow and made up entirely of switchbacks. Not for the faint of heart. At one point on our return ride down, we met an oncoming bus and our bus had to stop and reverse partway up the hill (on the ‘outside lane’, I might add) to get to a spot wide enough for the two buses to pass (barely) one another.Quick photo out the window. Getting closer to reaching Machu Picchu. Urubamba River below and Aguas Calientes to the right and around the corner of the mountain on left-hand side. When the bus finally came to a stop high in the Andes at just under 8,000 feet above sea level, we piled out in anticipation of finally seeing the magnificent pre-Columbian 15th century inca site known as Machu Pikchu, Quechua meaning ‘Old Peaks’.Roni, our guide accompanied us through the ruins - starting at the south-east end, climbing up a steep narrow path, arriving at a plateau high above the ruins which allowed for amazing panoramic views. We slowly made our way along the west side towards the north end, then down through the center area and finally exiting through the lower agricultural zones.
Our first views of Machu Picchu. Guide Roni on far left.
Day 6 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour