Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes Travel Blog

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the train over
The government of Peru just raised the entrance price for those wishing to visit the great ruins of Machu Picchu, but it is definitely worth every penny. Yes, it seems ridiculous that you must pay 40 US dollars to hike up a mountain, while a four-course meal can be bargained down to just a dollar or two. March is near the end of the rainy season, and since we had packed for a South American summer in Uruguay, we were very unprepared for wet. Short story, we were wet for about a week. And cold, too. However, I presume the Andes mountain tops are much more beautiful half shrowded in fog than in blazing sunlight. At least it makes for a better photo-op.

I stood surrounded by ruins and plants. It seemed so strange to be standing upon ground that centuries ago was a busy town with people that had plans, hopes, and dreams.
Hike on a mountain by Machu Picchu...the Stairway to Heaven from Hell
What's left are piles of stones. Half-listening to the tour guides rattle on in English, Spanish, and French to dozens of tourists in jeans brought me back to the present.

Don't bother booking a hostel online, especially if you go during the offseason (October thru March) because once you get off the train, you will instantly be mauled by dozens of hostel owners eager for your business. I tried sites like hostelworld.com and hostelbookers.com, but none were as cheap as what you can find while you're there. Be prepared, lodging in the village of Aguas Calientes will be more expensive than probably anywhere else in Peru.

With all the extra costs of the entry to Machu Picchu and a forty dollar hostel, it was nice to find some other things cheap. Aguas Calientes is apty named--"Warm waters" in Spanish, due to the natural hot springs that lay in the town. There's nothing better that soaking in a mineral tub after being cold and soaked from head to toe, chatting with other travelers while sipping on mojitos.

All in all, it was a very good two days!
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the train over
the train over
Hike on a mountain by Machu Picchu…
Hike on a mountain by Machu Picch…
bird in flight by the ruins--wish …
bird in flight by the ruins--wish…
Aguas Calientes
photo by: Vikram