Machu Picchu – A Virtual Tour Part 2 of 2

Machu Picchu – A Virtual Tour Part 1

Machu Picchu – Getting There – Photo’s -Travel Tips

After a four hour journey, your train has arrived at Machu Picchu Pueblo, or Aguas Calientes as it is normally called. Now, you have a few options. You can make your way through the market full of tourist trinkets, cross the Vilcanota River by a foot bridge, and head directly for the buses that take you switch backing twenty-minutes up to the front gate of Machu Picchu.

The Raging Urabamba River during the Rainy Season.

Or, after crossing the bridge you can check in to your hotel (recommended), repack your bags with a little food and water and then head up. The signs say “no food or drink should be brought into the sanctuary.” Bags are seldom checked, and the only food available if you didn’t purchase the option with Peru Rail, are $5.00 hotdogs at the entrance to Machu Picchu.
Where to stay: Let’s start at the top. The Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is located right outside the gate to Machu Picchu. It costs around $900 US Dollars per night. Only one or two rooms offer a partial view of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. So there is no real advantage, except you could be first in line when the gate opens and lay claim that you were the first tourist to enter Machu Picchu that day. There are many different hotels and a few hostels with varying prices in Machu Picchu Pueblo. I have stayed at Gringo Bills twice, and it’s a mid-price range, very nice, and is continually improving with renovations. I looked at Angie’s Hostel right next door to Gringo Bills, and it runs about $35 per night and is certainly acceptable for the low end. These hotels are located on the opposite side of Plaza Manco Copac, the Main Square, as is the Ministerio de Cultura, where you would purchase your Entry Ticket to Machu Picchu if you don’t already have one.
The reason I recommend staying overnight at Machu Picchu, is because I’ve been there three times, and still haven’t done it all, or seen it all YET. Think about it, all you’ve went through, just to get here. By the time you arrive by train, take the bus up, have a guided tour for three hours, then maybe two or three hours to tour on your own, it’s time to head back down so you can catch your train back to Cuzco. Really, it’s much better and more relaxing if you have more time. Machu Picchu is so Awe Inspiring. It’s great to sit down for a while and take it all in. If you can afford to stay longer, and go back up the next day for several hours, then catch your train back in the afternoon/evening it’s worth it. Besides, the town isn’t called Aguas Calientes (Hot Water) for nothing. After lots of walking up and down stairs, you can sit in the hot springs and rest your sore muscles.

There will be many Official Tour Guides hovering around the front gate hoping you will hire them.  Guides are now mandatory for tourists to hire.  They can be helpful in providing detailed information about Machu Picchu or MAPI for short.  Many guides though, while well intended, have not perfected their English, and they are sometimes hard to understand.  So I will recommend a friend who has experience guiding  at MAPI for over a decade, and her English is very good. You can contact Fatima, at: illacori@gmail.com for private tours only, and they last about 3 hours.  There are two systems for the guides: Private Tours, and Pools of tourists with no more than 20 tourists per guide, this applies to Private Tours as well.  The going rate for a private tour is $75.00 per group up to 20 people.  Lucky you, this Virtual Tour doesn’t cost you anything!  These pictures were taken in February, 2013 during the rainy season.  Beautiful when it’s raining, and even better when it’s not.

This was my third visit to Machu Picchu, and first time there with my new 24.6 megapixel DSLR camera.  I took many photo’s, from many different angles, but still only captured a fraction of the site.  It took a long time to upload all these.  I hope you enjoyed them, and please feel free to Pinterest, or share them if you like, with a link back to this page.

For the photographer: I used 50mm, 100mm, and 80-200mm.  For wide angles I used my little Sony Cybershot.  Whether you use a DSLR or your I-phone, it’s best to have a wide angle attachment, and for sunny days, a polarized filter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: