Machu Picchu

The classic Inca city, built on top of a mountain, swallowed by the jungle, lost for centuries, rediscovered and slowly being rebuilt. We stayed in Aguas Calientes which meant we could be on site at the crack of dawn. We were up on the mountain at 8am.

Just as an aside, water is provided by a spring which runs along channelled stones before going through a bundle of fountains and temples and spilling off the mountain. There is a modern resort on top of the mountain which gets its water from the same spring. They had lost their water supply because of a landslide several days earlier. The four hundred year old Inca supply was still working fine.

And the entire place was enveloped in cloud. Visibility was literally a couple of feet, you could not see a thing. I loved it. There was something more magical about having the place emerge from the cloud was amazing. Small glimpses here and there, then over the course of the morning the cloud cleared, slowly allowing it all to be seen.

Another advantage of getting there early is no one else was there. Our guide kept telling us how he had never seen the place so empty. In the first half hour we only saw two other people, they had been there since 6am and we only saw them for a few minutes when they appeared from the mist before disappearing again.

There is the main ruins which everyone sees, then there are the places off the beaten track. The two peaks it sits between, but you have to register to climb those, plus they cost money now and the day we were there, you would not have been seeing much. However, the Inca Bridge was a great walk, not recommended if you're afraid of heights.

Allow lots of time for a visit and don't be afraid to explore. I loved the way it just clings to the cliffs and even with the place crawling with tourists, it's not hard to find somewhere with no one else in sight, which I can recommend.


img_2012-03-01.204937.jpg
First glimpse of Machu Picchu looming out of the mist
8:49pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 174kb


img_2012-03-01.205236.jpg
I use to lag behind everyone
8:52pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 479kb


img_2012-03-01.210003.jpg
My favourite group pic with Machu Picchu in the backgr... oh, wait...
9:00pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 253kb


img_2012-03-01.210231.jpg
lichen in the trees
9:02pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 295kb


img_2012-03-01.210309.jpg
Everyone walking into the mist at Machu Picchu
9:03pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 291kb


img_2012-03-01.210821.jpg
Lots of rock walls everywhere
9:08pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 347kb


img_2012-03-01.210836.jpg
Heather in the mist in Machu Picchu
9:08pm 1st March 2012
602x900 218kb


img_2012-03-01.210945.jpg
Drains on the terraces
9:09pm 1st March 2012
602x900 295kb


img_2012-03-01.211041.jpg
Terraces in the mist
9:10pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 266kb


img_2012-03-01.211439.jpg
What you think is a natural cliff turns out to be cut blocks
9:14pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 319kb


img_2012-03-01.211509.jpg
Spider web and morning dew
9:15pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 227kb


img_2012-03-01.211726.jpg
Terraces and the end of the Inca trail
9:17pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 196kb


img_2012-03-01.211922.jpg
Stairways that disappear
9:19pm 1st March 2012
602x900 237kb


img_2012-03-01.212105.jpg
More dew
9:21pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 371kb


img_2012-03-01.212214.jpg
This is looking up the Inca Trail towards the Sun Gate
9:22pm 1st March 2012
602x900 215kb


img_2012-03-01.212431.jpg
The Hut of the Caretaker
9:24pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 259kb


img_2012-03-01.212541.jpg
Funerary Rock
9:25pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 627kb


img_2012-03-01.212558.jpg
We thought this was a temple gate. Its not, its a tiny rock room
9:25pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 168kb


img_2012-03-01.212851.jpg
Heather and Jana after everyone else had disappeared
9:28pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 332kb


img_2012-03-01.213123.jpg
I loved the way it disappeared into the mist
9:31pm 1st March 2012
602x900 127kb


img_2012-03-01.213356.jpg
More terraces
9:33pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 240kb


img_2012-03-01.213510.jpg
The tiny hut we thought was a temple
9:35pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 321kb


img_2012-03-01.213532.jpg
Looking back at the Hut of the Caretaker
9:35pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 177kb


img_2012-03-01.213831.jpg
Path up to the Inca Bridge
9:38pm 1st March 2012
602x900 448kb


img_2012-03-01.214320.jpg
More of the path
9:43pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 499kb


img_2012-03-01.214833.jpg
Path to the Inca Bridge
9:48pm 1st March 2012
602x900 204kb


img_2012-03-01.215013.jpg
It has quite a drop on one side
9:50pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 417kb


img_2012-03-01.215036.jpg
Yes, quite the drop
9:50pm 1st March 2012
602x900 215kb


img_2012-03-01.215455.jpg
The Inca Bridge, they don't let you cross it
9:54pm 1st March 2012
602x900 221kb


img_2012-03-01.215526.jpg
Looking down at the Urubamba River
9:55pm 1st March 2012
602x900 132kb


img_2012-03-01.215556.jpg
Close up of the Inca Bridge
9:55pm 1st March 2012
602x900 203kb


img_2012-03-01.215635.jpg
What was this pose? At the Inca Bridge at Machu Picchu
9:56pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 385kb


img_2012-03-01.215700.jpg
Heather at the Inca Bridge, Machu Picchu
9:57pm 1st March 2012
675x900 204kb


img_2012-03-01.215745.jpg
Heather and Jana walking back from the Inca Bridge
9:57pm 1st March 2012
602x900 280kb


img_2012-03-01.215829.jpg
Another of the Inca Bridge
9:58pm 1st March 2012
602x900 199kb


img_2012-03-01.220117.jpg
Jana and Heather walking back from the bridge
10:01pm 1st March 2012
602x900 336kb


img_2012-03-01.220117.jpg
Jana and Heather walking back from the bridge
10:01pm 1st March 2012
602x900 336kb


img_2012-03-01.220917.jpg
Jana at Machu Picchu
10:09pm 1st March 2012
602x900 282kb


img_2012-03-01.221206.jpg
The mist is beginning to clear
10:12pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 203kb


img_2012-03-01.221213.jpg
Now we can start to see more
10:12pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 249kb


img_2012-03-01.221318.jpg
The gang milling about at Machu Picchu
10:13pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 296kb


img_2012-03-01.221321.jpg
But its still got a lot of cloud about
10:13pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 248kb


img_2012-03-01.221423.jpg
Looking back towards the entrance
10:14pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 628kb


img_2012-03-01.221456.jpg
More of the gang milling about at Machu Picchu
10:14pm 1st March 2012
602x900 224kb


img_2012-03-01.221609.jpg
Looking towards the Industrial sector
10:16pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 296kb


img_2012-03-01.222117.jpg
Another drainage ditch, I did like these didn't I?
10:21pm 1st March 2012
602x900 326kb


img_2012-03-01.222123.jpg
Passing the time in Machu Picchu
10:21pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 432kb


img_2012-03-01.222609.jpg
Heading down to pick up our guide
10:26pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 595kb


img_2012-03-01.222757.jpg
Still walking down for the guide
10:27pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 469kb


img_2012-03-01.222848.jpg
The first buildings you see as you enter
10:28pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 401kb


img_2012-03-01.222901.jpg
One of the paths up to the Hut of the Caretaker
10:29pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 413kb


img_2012-03-01.223538.jpg
Jansen with his passport stamped
10:35pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 260kb


img_2012-03-01.224831.jpg
Looking down at the river
10:48pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 357kb


img_2012-03-01.224939.jpg
These are the first glimpses of the site from the entrance
10:49pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 326kb


img_2012-03-01.225217.jpg
A little bit of moss
10:52pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 324kb


img_2012-03-01.225237.jpg
A lot of moss
10:52pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 314kb


img_2012-03-01.225255.jpg
Jana exploring Machu Picchu
10:52pm 1st March 2012
602x900 295kb


img_2012-03-01.225312.jpg
Drains and steps
10:53pm 1st March 2012
602x900 244kb


img_2012-03-01.225337.jpg
Looking towards the industrial and residential sectors
10:53pm 1st March 2012
1200x848 289kb


img_2012-03-01.225508.jpg
Looking across the terraces
10:55pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 373kb


img_2012-03-01.225513.jpg
Looking up the terraces at the Hut of the Caretaker
10:55pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 417kb


img_2012-03-01.225517.jpg
Industrial and residential sectors
10:55pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 396kb


img_2012-03-01.225553.jpg
The classic shot of me at Machu Picchu
10:55pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 295kb


img_2012-03-01.225606.jpg
What is up with my poses?
10:56pm 1st March 2012
675x900 183kb


img_2012-03-01.225655.jpg
The terraces and the steps they put in
10:56pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 471kb


img_2012-03-01.230915.jpg
Old staircases either side of the drain
11:09pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 482kb


img_2012-03-01.230951.jpg
Almost the classic shot, with the carved channel in the foreground stones
11:09pm 1st March 2012
602x900 237kb


img_2012-03-01.231327.jpg
Looking back towards the entrance
11:13pm 1st March 2012
602x900 196kb


img_2012-03-01.231508.jpg
Window in the Temple of the Sun
11:15pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 386kb


img_2012-03-01.231627.jpg
Stonework of the Temple of the Sun and Royal Tomb
11:16pm 1st March 2012
602x900 240kb


img_2012-03-01.231953.jpg
Impressive doorway near the Royal Palace
11:19pm 1st March 2012
602x900 300kb


img_2012-03-01.232300.jpg
A snail
11:23pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 698kb


img_2012-03-01.232346.jpg
One of the fountains, which still works
11:23pm 1st March 2012
602x900 334kb


img_2012-03-01.232358.jpg
Looking back out across the valley
11:23pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 680kb


img_2012-03-01.232426.jpg
Here you can see the channelled creek
11:24pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 534kb


img_2012-03-01.232456.jpg
Walking up to the Sacred Plaza
11:24pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 312kb


img_2012-03-01.232505.jpg
The buildings were not big
11:25pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 562kb


img_2012-03-01.232512.jpg
Tina taking a photo... what a surprise
11:25pm 1st March 2012
602x900 197kb


img_2012-03-01.232556.jpg
Looking down at the Temple of the Sun
11:25pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 450kb


img_2012-03-01.233413.jpg
Taking photos at the quarry at Machu Picchu
11:34pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 464kb


img_2012-03-01.233435.jpg
Looking contemplative
11:34pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 269kb


img_2012-03-01.233627.jpg
The edge of the quarry area and the steep drop
11:36pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 659kb


img_2012-03-01.233700.jpg
Looking up towards the main temples
11:37pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 402kb


img_2012-03-01.234111.jpg
The quarry and Winay Wanya (the mountain)
11:41pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 414kb


img_2012-03-01.234432.jpg
Principal Temple - one of the few places where I noticed the stonework flagging
11:44pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 358kb


img_2012-03-01.234835.jpg
Temple of the Three Windows
11:48pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 353kb


img_2012-03-01.234920.jpg
A steep drop down to the river
11:49pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 580kb


img_2012-03-01.235330.jpg
Looking back over the temples and quarry towards Winay Wanya
11:53pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 441kb


img_2012-03-01.235415.jpg
And towards the entrance
11:54pm 1st March 2012
602x900 235kb


img_2012-03-01.235606.jpg
Another of the classic tourist shots
11:56pm 1st March 2012
1200x900 224kb


img_2012-03-01.235759.jpg
Looking across the plaza to the Residential and Industrial sectors
11:57pm 1st March 2012
1200x803 324kb


img_2012-03-02.000038.jpg
I loved the way they used every space and incorporated in the natural stone
12:00am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 545kb


img_2012-03-02.000107.jpg
Everyone admiring the Intihuatana
12:01am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 410kb


img_2012-03-02.000203.jpg
Looking across the plaza
12:02am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 402kb


img_2012-03-02.000227.jpg
Quite the view down the valley
12:02am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 446kb


img_2012-03-02.000251.jpg
Impressive rockwalls and aerobatic alpacas
12:02am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 728kb


img_2012-03-02.000437.jpg
All of us at Machu Picchu
12:04am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 300kb


img_2012-03-02.000633.jpg
Walking down to the plaza
12:06am 2nd March 2012
602x900 242kb


img_2012-03-02.001111.jpg
The Three Doorways building from the plaza
12:11am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 652kb


img_2012-03-02.001637.jpg
Pachamama Stone (aka The sacred rock) is is shaped to the same profile as the mountain behind it
12:16am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 623kb


img_2012-03-02.001811.jpg
The hard way of cutting steps
12:18am 2nd March 2012
602x900 296kb


img_2012-03-02.002057.jpg
It has a maze of paths
12:20am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 501kb


img_2012-03-02.002444.jpg
Me!
12:24am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 180kb


img_2012-03-02.002638.jpg
Can you tell we liked the view?
12:26am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 313kb


img_2012-03-02.002727.jpg
It was a steep drop
12:27am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 403kb


img_2012-03-02.002913.jpg
Thats the trainstation waaaay down there and a hint of the road up
12:29am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 293kb


img_2012-03-02.003036.jpg
If I look nervous its because there is a big drop to my left
12:30am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 347kb


img_2012-03-02.003058.jpg
The photographers getting themselves ready
12:30am 2nd March 2012
602x900 193kb


img_2012-03-02.003230.jpg
Netsumi in her usual pose
12:32am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 462kb


img_2012-03-02.003301.jpg
Everywhere are small rooms and things
12:33am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 501kb


img_2012-03-02.003336.jpg
I can't remember the name of this rock, I think it was altar of the puma for some reason?
12:33am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 439kb


img_2012-03-02.003403.jpg
I loved the attention to detail
12:34am 2nd March 2012
602x900 367kb


img_2012-03-02.003428.jpg
The perfect place to explore
12:34am 2nd March 2012
602x900 244kb


img_2012-03-02.003501.jpg
Looking back over the site
12:35am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 365kb


img_2012-03-02.003609.jpg
Another moth lurking in the shadows
12:36am 2nd March 2012
1188x900 294kb


img_2012-03-02.003645.jpg
Buildings in the Industrial zone
12:36am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 329kb


img_2012-03-02.003706.jpg
A classic doorway
12:37am 2nd March 2012
602x900 273kb


img_2012-03-02.003754.jpg
They believe this was used for astronomical observations
12:37am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 705kb


img_2012-03-02.003938.jpg
The agricultural terraces looking back towards the entrance
12:39am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 433kb


img_2012-03-02.004005.jpg
Yeap, that's as close to the edge as I'm going
12:40am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 371kb


img_2012-03-02.004140.jpg
Temple of the Condor
12:41am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 791kb


img_2012-03-02.004238.jpg
Looking back up from Temple of the Condor to Temple of the Three Windows
12:42am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 430kb


img_2012-03-02.004302.jpg
Hand carved steps into solid granite
12:43am 2nd March 2012
602x900 289kb


img_2012-03-02.004348.jpg
Detail of the ends of the buildings, showing how they use to lash the roof on
12:43am 2nd March 2012
602x900 238kb


img_2012-03-02.004530.jpg
Looking up towards the Temple of the Sun
12:45am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 705kb


img_2012-03-02.005205.jpg
Windows in the Temples
12:52am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 664kb


img_2012-03-02.005356.jpg
Looking over the Prison Group and the Mortars
12:53am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 459kb


img_2012-03-02.005535.jpg
Detail of a wall
12:55am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 572kb


img_2012-03-02.005856.jpg
Looking at the temple area and Wayna Picchu
12:58am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 334kb


img_2012-03-02.010051.jpg
Doorway, the niches on either side are probably for a locking mechanism
1:00am 2nd March 2012
602x900 303kb


img_2012-03-02.010346.jpg
Looking up at the Hut of the Caretaker
1:03am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 355kb


img_2012-03-02.010818.jpg
The classic Machu Picchu shots
1:08am 2nd March 2012
1200x900 273kb


img_2012-03-02.010901.jpg
The classic shot of the site
1:09am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 293kb


img_2012-03-02.011151.jpg
Funerary Rock without the cloud
1:11am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 495kb


img_2012-03-02.011955.jpg
Heading back down towards the entrance
1:19am 2nd March 2012
1200x803 416kb


<-- Go back Images and content © Ryan McConigley, 2012
Not to be used without permission, for profit, etc.
Last modified: May 27 2012 04:08:44.
Contact: web *at* madphin.com