Today was our highly anticipated visit to Machu Picchu.
Our day began bright and early (4am) to ride a bus, a train, and then another bus to take us to our final destination. We had gorgeous views of snow-capped mountains and streams as the train navigated through the mountains. Waking up long before the sun and taking various forms of travel was exhausting, but well worth it.
Machu Picchu is absolutely breathtaking. It is one of the Wonders of the World, and rightfully so. The ancient Incan ruins are prominently featured within the lush mountainsides of the jungle in the Andes Mountains. Machu Picchu was built in the 1440s by ancient Incans and its name translates into "Old Mountain," a title given by the locals. We had the opportunity to see Machu Picchu from a bird's-eye view and walk through the ruins, on the same ground the Incans once walked. Viewing the ruins at different angles and heights only intensified its ancient beauty. In addition to the lush vegetation, llamas also roamed the ruins. Llamas are larger and stronger than alpacas. Alpacas cannot handle the heat in the jungle area of the mountains.
After seeing Machu Picchu and taking more pictures than we will ever know what to do with, we shopped in the local market and ate lunch at a buffet in town. Although we could have stayed and admired Machu Picchu all day, we had to make our journey back to our hotel In Cusco to prepare for our visit to the Panticalle School tomorrow.
~ Caitlyn Sampson