"Your Guide to the Inca Empire"
About Peru History

My Travel to Peru and Machu Picchu

by Melissa

Machu Picchu Travel Part I

Machu Picchu Travel Part I

I spent the holidays in Peru hiking the Inca Trail. What an incredible life experience, although one of the hardest things I've ever done. The trip started off great, after I was upgraded to first class for no apparent reason from NYC. Little did I know how much I

would need that luxury given what was to come...

Abby and I spent the first day in Lima walking around a district called
Miraflores, which is surprisingly like Santa Monica, since it sits on the ocean with a shopping center reminiscent of the 3rd Street Promenade.

It is also surrounded by Playa Redondo, San Pedro and San Francisco. We met up with our tour group that evening, where I received 2 pieces of exciting news:

1) We were going to get an extra shower on the third day of the hike
(I thought we had to wait for four days) and

2) Half of the group smoked, which means I had a shot of not being the worst hiker in the group.

Everyone was excited as well as nervous and we all got to know each other over Pisco Sours, the local traditional drink. There were 4 Americans, 4 Brits, 2 New Zealanders, 1 Canadian and 1 Australian.
We then traveled to Cusco, which is only a 1 hour flight, but a seven hour drive (we flew) and is 11,000 ft above sea level.

We drank a ton of Mati(Tea) de Coca, which is recommended to combat the effects of altitude sickness. We chilled all day in Cusco and took it easy to adjust to the altitude. On my 33rd Birthday (Christmas Eve), we traveled to Ollantaytambo, which is the beginning of the Inca Trail, starting at KM 82.

We did some light hiking, went to a local market, saw some ruins and spent the night in a local lodge. The group was already close and surprised me a birthday cake after a terrible Christmas Dinner.

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this is good
by: Hilton

If you ask me both of these places are so good for holiday purposes. It will be a shear joy to go to such places that is sure to excite you are keep your breathless and in the end will manage in leaving good memories for a life time.

by: Orlando

Machu Picchu is in my wish list from the moment I had seen the beauty of the place from a movie, which I think was the first one to shoot in the interiors of Machu Picchu. This single place is more than enough to make Peru a traveler’s destination.

My Travel to Machu Picchu Part III
by: Melissa

Day 3 - On the third day, I woke up with every muscle sore and one eye swollen shut for no apparent reason (and all of a sudden I knew what it was like to be Patrick Barnds).

Margarita, our tour guide, always led the group and offered us tons of history about our beautiful surroundings. Sonja was the guide responsible for carrying the oxygen tank and bringing up the rear of the group.

Sonja and I spent a lot of quality time together on Day 3! But soon, the reward came....and oh it sweet! The majority of the hike was over by early afternoon and we set up camp in Winaywayna right next to a hostel with a bar!

You haven't seen anything until you've seen a bunch of weary and smelly hikers dancing til 2am with Peruvian porters to YMCA, Mambo #5 and Peruvian Salsa.

Additionally, it is tradition for the hiking groups to serenade the porters, and vice versa. Well, we were fried at this point, and couldn't think of all the words to any songs.

So, after two hours of struggling, we finally decided to do the Hokey Pokey! Imagine 30 of us in a circle, right next to Machu Picchu, doing the Hokey Pokey in English, as our guide translated it into Quechua, the local language.

We had a blast! Until our 3:50 am wake up call the following morning.

Day 4 - Margarita turned out to be quite competitive and had, apparently, always led the first group to see Machu Picchu before sunrise. She took off like a bat out of hell at 5:00am on Sunday and we followed suit, going up and down slippery, wet rocks in the pitch dark.

Thank goodness for our walking sticks! We were convinced at that point that the whole trip had
been "Wax On, Wax Off" for three days and it was all for the final run on the last morning.

As if the hiking wasn't hard enough, she kept telling us we were at the last 50 steps, and hundreds of steps later, we finally figured out she was lying.

By then, we had our first view of Machu Picchu at Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, just as the sun was rising and it was beautiful. We had a truly gorgeous day - even the guides were amazed and said this sort of day comes along once in a blue moon.

My Travel to Machu Picchu Part II
by: Melissa

- Christmas Day - Day 1: The day from hell. It doesn't matter how in shape you are - you either adjust to the altitude or you don't. Picture hiking up and down a ski resort in Colorado for 4 days, only the base starts at the highest point. Wake up call was before 5 am and we hiked uphill until 5pm, covering 9.3 miles and reaching 12,500 ft.

This was also the coldest day, but that was the least of my worries...my entire body was in pain, but thank goodness for our porters. These guys ran ahead of us for the entire hike with shorts and sandals on, carrying our tents, sleeping bags, food and propane gas tanks.

We had three hot meals per day (dinner was three courses) and tea time every afternoon - and after 4 days, they are paid $10 each!

- Day 2 - wake up call was before 6am and we proceeded to hike Warmiwañusca (Dead Woman's Pass), which is the hardest and highest part of the hike, reaching 14,000 ft. It was all downhill from there...literally. Lest you think going downhill is any easier than uphill, it is not!

After claiming victory for about 5 minutes, we walked down 2000 stairs, all hand carved by the Incas. My knees, which had been my only body part not in pain the day before, were killing me...but I had finally adjusted to the altitude and was able to eat our fabulous dinner.

Unfortunately, just as I was recovering, Abby sunk into a pre-hypothermia shivering episode, which only lasted until the next morning.

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About Peru History, "Your Guide to the Inca Empire"

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