When you finally get the chance to travel to one of your dream destinations, never delay, just do it! For us, Machu Picchu had been exactly that, a fantastic magical place that was high on our list of wanderlust. As amazing as it was, we found the journey to get there was an adventure in itself…that’s what this story is about. There is so much to Machu Picchu, that she needs her own story and photos to share…that will come later.
So, this past long Memorial Day weekend, we did exactly that.
The road to Machu Picchu is quite a little journey. It starts with a flight into Lima for an overnight stay in one of the vibrant Lima barrios. Next morning, an early wake up call to catch another flight to the amazing town of Cusco. At an elevation of 11,150 feet, this is where the real adventure begins….
The City of Cusco, situated along the Andes Mountains, is the gateway into the Sacred Valley which starts the journey to Machu Picchu. Once you arrive and get past the altitude sickness by partaking a cup of hot Coca tea, you can’t help but be in awe at the incredible beauty of the vistas, the wonderful ancient streets and breathtaking architecture and history of the place. Cusco is truly a site to see and one that will literally leave you breathless, altitude pun intended.
After a full day exploring and an early evening, we awoke to grab a fresh fruit smoothie breakfast at one of the local fruterias. Our guide met us and started us on our history lesson as we began the lengthy descent into the Sacred Valley….
As we started our descent, we were once again mesmerized by the amazing vistas of the beautiful valley that we were traversing and the distant snow capped peaks. There many, many stops along the way. How many and which ones I leave up to you and the little research you will need to do to decide. But, none will disappoint.
The ruins at Ollantaytambo are amazing. Climbing the many steps to reach the top is a task in itself, but the view is worth it. The incredible construction and amount of stones alone to build this place is astounding.
Another beautiful stop along the Valley is the amazing Pisac. The incredible giant cut steps and path above are wonderful. There are also remnants of an ancient Incan burial site that was ransacked by the Spanish. It really gives you some insight into what the indigenous people went through and how events have impacted their culture and history.
Probably the poignant aspect of our trip along the Sacred Valley, was coming to the understanding that this place, this wonderful place, wasn’t just another pretty picture, another Instagram moment.
It’s a place that is truly alive. It has history, deep cultural roots, provides for its indigenous people. It is a place that gives life to the local citizens, not just physically, but spiritually. It has real relationships to the stars, the moon, the sun and the future caretakers of this land.
So, if you’re searching for a trip that will not only astound you with it’s incredible visual sights, but also challenge you physically and grow you spiritually, then take the road through the Sacred Valley. You won’t be disappointed….