Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas
Though difficult to access considering its location, this place is magic: at more than 2400 m, up on the Machu Picchu Mountain, surrounded by a circle of other mountains, with stunning views, it is a living piece of culture and history. As it is well hidden, this UNESCO Heritage site was missed by the Spanish conquistadores and was only recently discovered (1911) by an American archeologist.
Apparently, Machu Picchu was considered as a resort for the elite Incas, built around 1430 AD, but abandoned 100 years later at the time of the Spanish conquest – Incas started to die due to diseases brought by the Spanish. It has classical Inca architecture with polished dry-stone walls, terraces and all kind of buildings needed in a small city: temples for worship (like the Temple of the Sun), houses for living, schools, meeting places, granaries and so on. Nowadays it is inhabited just by wild alpacas and of course thousands of visiting tourists.
We chose the “complicated” path to reach this wonderful place: we took a bus from Cuzco to Hidroelectrica (no, not the hydroelectric power plant in Romania, just a small town in Peru), we walked for more than 3 hours on a train track up to Aguas Calientes village and we slept there. Of course there are easier direct routes but we did not regret at all: we had the chance to make a cool hike that offered nice views of Machu Picchu from its bottom. We would certainly do it again! The next day we woke up at 4 in the morning and took a bus up to get the sunrise from the top.
And the top? Amazing! Different from any other things we’ve seen so far, a place full of energy and color, in the middle of nowhere, close to the sky, it’s a place where the mightiness of the nature has met the purest form of ingenuity and hard-work that man can provide.