Along the Urubamba to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 11 of 22 › view all entries
Macchu Picchu day! We rode the train from Cusco to Macchu Picchu. The train journey began with a series of zig-zag switchbacks as the train climbed straight up out of the Cusco valley. To accomplish this, the train first ran one way, then reversed direction to run the other way as it continued to climb on each pass. Once out of of the valley, the train continuned on to Aguas Calientes. The journey was about 3 1/2 hours, running through the Santa Ana Valley and along Urubamba River while passing villages and farms. At Aguas Calientes, a bus took us the rest of the way to Macchu Picchu.
Macchu Picchu is unforgettable. The sight of the ruins running right up the side of the mountain. UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the seven Modern Wonders. The high point of any trip that includes it. Once you see Macchu Picchu, it will always number among your most memorable travel experiences.
The view of Huayna Picchu peak overlooking the ruins is classic! It's the first thing you see as the fact that you are really there begins to sink in. I smile every time I see a TravBuddy member with that view. Then there is the rest of the site to explore. Machu Picchu is a whole city on a mountaintop and there is much to see here! Ceremonial areas, residential areas, workshops, narrow walled streets, terraced farming stretch out along the site.
Returning to Aguas Calientes, one could look back up the mountain and not see Machu Picchu. It was well hidden indeed! The railway line here was built as regional transporation before the 1911 discovery of the ruins, not as a way to get to the ruins. But, Machu Picchu visitors had become the best customers. At the station, locals spread out an array of goods to buy--blankets, ponchos, hats, toy llamas and more.