At 03.50 we heard a car honking repeatedly outside our hostel door, and just a few minutes later we were in a van together with a handful of other people heading for “Ollantanboo” where we would catch the train up to Machu Picchu, the lost Inca City that has become the biggest tourist attraction in Peru.
The roads were foggy, and while driving full speed through hills and turns we could just see a few meters ahead of us for most of the hour and a half it took to drive there. Well at the station it was still pitch dark, but the Peruvians were already up and eager to sell us souveniers the meters we had to walk to get onboard the train that was waiting for us at the station.
The two hour train ride between “Otalayamboo” and “Aguas Calientes” is one of the most beutiful trian rides I have ever taken, running slowly through tunnels, in between mountain forests and along rivers. I might have been a bit biased by the beutiful and comfortable train compartments though, with glass roofs, calm pan flute music and a free serving of snacks and drinks.
Once at Otalayamboo around eight o’clock, there were some people waiting for us with a sign that gave us our bus tickets for the 25 minute ride up to Machu Pichu, where our guide was waiting for us, eager to start. Once through the entrance he shot off with great facts about the Inca Empire and took lots of photos of us in the places he meant was best and least crowded.
After two hours of what had been one of our most interesting guided tours, it was time to explore Machu Picchu by ourself for as long as we wanted (it closes 5.30) and we found out that most people leave around 2- 3pm, so after that there were much fewer people getting in the way for our pictures compared to the morning where there were long lines for taking pictures at the most popular spots. Before getting back on the train at 18.30 we managed to climb up to the Solar Gate at Mount Machu Picchu, walk over to the Inca Bridge and of course take enough pictures of the ruins and the llamas for a lifetime.
Around 10.30pm we were back at the hostel after a full day at the ruins and another few hours each way between Cuzco and Machu Picchu. We felt that we had gotten our moneys worth from the day trip booked through Kilroy (link), as it probably would have cost a lot getting our own taxi the 1h40m to and from our hostel in Cuzco and Otalayamboo, where the train departed from, plus the private guide that met us once we arrived at Machu Picchu. Our tickets that was given to us at the beginning of the tour also showed the additional included costs per person:
– 106US for train tickets round trip in tourist class from Ontalayamboo and Aguas Calientes
– 19US for bus ticket round trip from Aguas Calientes to Macchu Picchu
– 42US for entrance to Machu Picchu
I was also impressed about the genuinety of the archelological park of Machu Picchu, and even though it has the rhumors of being one of the most touristy “been there, done that place” we learned a great lot and were just stunned from the natural and archeological beautiness of the place. I can now understand why some people think that this should be on everyones bucketlist.