On day 5 of our Adventures By Disney trip to Peru we get to visit Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is greata 15th-century Inca site located about 8,000 feet above sea level. It is located in the on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley in which we had been staying for the first few days of our trip. It is arguably the most famous site of the Inca Empire.
Breakfast was in the hotel and then we met at 7:15 to take a bus to Ollantaytambo Train Station to board the train to Machu Picchu. We had a beautiful ride on the way to Machu Picchu as the coach itself had huge windows on the sides and top of the car that enabled you to see all of the scenery as you go by. The train tracks closely hugged the riverbank that we had rafted down in the Sacred Valley and the mountains soared toward the heavens.
The train actually moves fairly slow by today’s train standards, and it took us just about 90 minutes to get Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. The closer we got to our destination the more lush and dense the landscaping became. Very jungle-like!
We then boarded buses that took us up to Machu Picchu. The road has 17 switchbacks to get us to the entrance. Before going into the park, we had a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.
Once we were in Machu Picchu our guide Diego, took us for a climb to an overlook where we got the famous shot of Machu Picchu. Then we climbed higher and higher to overlook the site. We learned that this site was a sacred site that housed 300 people when the king was not there and up to 1000 when the king was at Machu Picchu.
Like other sites we toured, we learned that there were several structures built to alert the residents to the summer and winter solstice. We also learned that the Incas worshiped mother earth. We saw the Sun Temple where stones were laid on top of natural mountain rock with the stones representing heaven, the natural rock represented mother earth and, below the natural rock, was a cave representing the underworld.
There were also other temples, dwellings and a whole bunch of terraces. It was quite a site.
The mountain overlooking the city is Machu Picchu is Machu Picchu (old mountain) and the smaller mountain near the city is called Huayna Picchu (young mountain). That day we climbed the equivalent of 175 flights of steps.
Once we were done for the day we took a bus back down the mountain to the train station, boarded the train and went back to the Sol y Luna hotel for dinner in the hotel restaurant.
If you are looking for an incredible way to experience many famous places that the world has to offer, taking an Adventures by Disney Trip is the way to do it. Contact The Magic for Less Travel for a quote.