Updated: Jun 24, 2019
On our summer break we decided to travel to the amazing wonder of Machu Picchu. We decided to start our trip by flying to the capital of Peru, Lima. We flew from São Paulo, Brazil to Lima, Peru. The flight was around five hours long but the view of the Andes Mountains made it worth it.
After the long flight we arrived at a crazy airport. The airport was packed with people but once we made it past the crowd we were able to get to our flight to Cusco. Cusco, is one of the highest cities of Peru at 11,152 feet and therefore we bought some coca tea leaves candies for the altitude, the leaves are medicinal and not addictive. Coca leaves are legal in the Andes and help combat altitude sickness. The coca leaves can be found in many ways such as tea or candies.
We took a taxi from Cusco to a small town called Ollantaytambo. The small town is only a two hour drive from Cusco, on the Sacred Valley at a lower altitude, 9,160 feet. Once we arrived in the town we headed to our hotel, El Albergue. The hotel we were staying in was very nice and we were located right in front of the train tracks. It was very cool seeing train pass. We went sightseeing in the town and we got to visit the market, the plaza, the ruins and Pinkuylluna, which is an archaeological site in the mountain. While there we got to see the locals selling cute souvenirs and dressed in traditional outfits. It is a beautiful little town.
In the morning we took the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo or also known as Aguas Calientes. The train ride was so amazing! During the two hour train ride we passed by Rio Urubamba. The Rio Urubamba is a river that runs through Peru and runs very close by Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Once we arrived we stayed in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. While we were there we explored the town and we celebrated a birthday at a restaurant called “Indio Feliz”. The food there was to die for! Peruvian food is great, my personal favorite were the potato chips they made. Something I found very cool was the train tracks that divided the town and the river running along side it.
The following day we headed to our long awaited destination of Machu Picchu at 7,972 feet. We had to wake up early in the morning and we stood in line for the buses that would take us to the lost Inca city known as Machu Picchu.
This peruvian city was built by the Incas during the 15th century and is definitely one of the world's beautiful wonders. It is very incredible that the Incas were able to build this whole city with stones on a mountain with no heavy equipment to do so. It was truly impressive to be there. While walking around the broken stones that were once a functional city, we encountered a bunch of alpacas. They were so cute!
Additionally, we took a trail called the Inti Punku trail or also known as the sun gate. The trail takes about 2 hours and the best time to go is during the sunrise or sunset. While on the trail we decided to take breaks and the coca leaves saved our friend’s life because the hike was very difficult due to the high elevation. Once one reaches the top of the trail, the view is completely worth it. When we arrived on top there was even a local man playing Andean music with a wooden flute. We got to enjoy the view and listen to euphonious music.
After spending a couple of days in Machu Picchu we took the train back to the city of Cusco. Once back in Cusco we decided to visit other Inca archaeological sites in the city. First we went to see Puca Pucara which has military ruins of Peru and a fort. Puca Pucara means “Red Fort.”
Another archeological site in Cusco is Q’enko. Q’enko is a site where the ceremonies were held. The natural rock formation was used as a cult ceremony to honor the moon and the sun. There are many ruins from the Inca civilizations and museums to visit in Peru, but the towns and cities are also beautiful. In the evening in Cusco we went to the main plaza in town and had a delicious dinner and enjoyed live music and dancing on the streets. Cusco was sadly our last destination on the trip. My family and I had an amazing time in Peru and enjoyed all the sites. My favorite destination was Machu Picchu, because it was incredible to see how the magical Inca city is still there!
written by Isabella