The Inca Trail so far has been an incredible and wonderful experience (see other blog posts below). On day 4, we woke up very early this morning!! After a quick breakfast and a quick stop at the washrooms, we were off on our last leg of the trek to Machu Picchu! During the hike up to the Intipunku archaeological site (also known as the Gateway of the Sun – Inti means “sun” in Quechua, the original Inca language) we were able to take a break and watch the sun rise over the mountains. The pinks, oranges and yellows were like nothing I’d seen before. Once we reached Intipunku, the weather was perfect to get tons of great photos of Machu Picchu from above. But our journey didn’t stop here: once we were done taking photos we began the last 30 minutes of the hike to Machu Picchu. The group decided we would like to see the Inca Bridge since we had opted out of climbing Huayna Picchu. The bridge was about a 10 minute walk through jungle-like landscapes on the very edge of the mountain. The bridge was built by the Incas and then later, one section destroyed to deter the conquistadors from following them.
After a few more photo ops, we started our guided tour of Machu Picchu. To be honest, I thought Machu Picchu would be really nice to look at but the typical Incan archaeological site – I was definitely wrong! It was incredible how much our guide Puma from Dos Manos Travel Agency knew much about Machu Picchu! I could have spent the whole day walking around the site and listening to Puma tell us the theories of who would have lived where and what each section would have been used for. Once the tour was over the group split up, with some of us choosing to stay and wander the site some more and the rest of us heading down to Aguas Calientes to eat and relax in the hot springs.
Back in Cusco, after 4 great days together, we all said goodbye and promised to share our photos over facebook. Overall, my experience on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with Dos Manos Travel Agency was great and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!!
Photo 1: Group shot over looking Machu Picchu at Intipunku
Photo 2: The classic Machu Picchu shot