Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lost City of the Incas


Machu Picchu in Peru has become one of the symbols of Peru, the place is in UNSECO World Heritage List and belongs to the group of the seven new wonders of the world (New 7 Wonders of the World

Machu Picchu was discovered, or is more correct to say that " re-discovered " for public in 1911, by professor of Yale University - Hiram Bingham, although the locals knew the location of the city already before. Hiram Bingham was looking for the legendary Inca city Vilcabamba, and had initially considered Machu Picchu to be Vilcabamba (Vilcabamba, Espiritu Pampa, or the Inca Empire was the last stronghold of the Spanish conquerors, which was captured in 1572, burned down and the location of the town was forgotten).
Machu Picchu was built in the reign of Pachacuti (approx. 1450), then it was abandoned for unknown reasons long before the Spaniards came. And the purpose of Machu Picchu being built on top of a hill is still quite unknown.
Agua Calientese central square. Pachacuti.

Practical information to the visitor of MP. Since July 2011, the daily number of visitors is limited, up to 2,500 visitors are allowed to go up, and the number of available places can be checked out on the website there it should also be possible to buy tickets. Tickets can be bought from Cusco and from the official tourist information that is located in the central square of Agua Calientes (passport is required as the visitor`s name is on the ticket). Tickets are available at various prices, depending on whether you are planning to climb the adjoining hills as well.

1. The ordinary ticket of Machu Picchu, Sol 128 (35 EUR) the ticket does not include the visit of the adjacent mountains Wayna Picchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain.

2. Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (Huayna Picchu, or - this mountain which in the first picture is in the middle) – price - 152 Sol (41 EUR), Per day only 400 tickets are sold, so a reservation should be useful.

3. Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain – the price 142 Sol (38 EUR), also only 400 tickets are sold.The mountain is 3082 meters high and the ascent takes about 2 hours or more. Machu Picchu Mountain is the highest mountain from the top of which the view is completely unique.

So " Welcome !" says the greeting at the foot of the hill at 7:02 in the morning, in the height of 2040 m above sea level. Climbing as high as possible is waiting ahead.

Before the bridge the tickests are checked and passports as well. The bridge on the left is for cars and pedestrians` bridge is on the right side. The vast majority of tourists prefer to get up by bus.

The first rays of the sun.

Farther - Wayna Picchu.


The ticket and passport are being checked again. Large backpacks are not allowed. The bags will not be searched but it has been informed that to the area of MP – nothing to drink or eat is allowed to take with.

First buildings.

Farther up the mountainside one can see the upcoming road - " Hiram Bingham Highway ", 8 kilometers long.

Here you can take the classic MP images, and quite enough photographers are using the opportunity.

The Inca Trail can be seen on the mountainside. To climb the MP Mountain one must follow a few hundred yards along the historic trail.

The sign shows the way. Getting acquinted with the town will come later and now the first issue is Machupicchu Mountain as in the afternoon one cannot get on the track here any more. Another hundred meters. The ticket and the passport will be checked to be sure that both have the same name.

A couple of hundred meters and then there is a gate and another house with the next ticket control. All the up-climbers will be registrated here - both – their time of coming and leaving are written down. So that when somebody is missing at the end of the day they will be looked for.

The road goes ever uphill, meanwhile, there are stairs, in the beginning there is forest around but then the landscape changes more open. From the height of 2707 meters the sight is much more powerful.

A pair of binoculars would have been useful, but forgot to take them from the bus. I tried to take pictures of Wayna Picchu, but the quality is not as it should.

Some of the sides of the mountain are almost perpendicular.

More higher...

The stairs take up, you climb, and have a rest in the meantime, and climb again, and no end in sight.

Meanwhile, there is a narrower place, here the stairway is between two cliffs.

Another one of the many stairs. In the meantime, you feel that there is something very wrong - it seems that the mountain itself is growing ever taller. But the views are powerful in spite of the clouds that are rising to the sky.


And one more staircase.

At the peak, there are left only the last ten meters.


Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu mountain are just in front. While climbing you wonder whether the view from the top is really worth all this climbing then – this question is not to be asked any more. The view is many times more powerful than could be imagined.

Hidroelectrica is on the other side.

On the way back it starts to rain. Down - climbing goes faster, and due to the rain, the camera goes into the pocket because otherwise there would have beem more pictures of stairs.

After some time the rain stops.

Back down. Some llamas walking on these mountainside terraces.

Lama is a profitable animal in many respects - gives wool, is eatable, eats the grass shorter, carries packages, and the manure is suitable for burning. And poses for tourists. And is friendly.

In the town the sectors of various purposes are clearly distinguishable – there are religious temples, living areas, warehouses.

terrassid on põllumaaks.


The further away mountain is called Cerro Putukusi. I didn`t climb it though there were supposed to be a track or to be more precise - ladders.


Observatoorium. Nendesse ümmargustesse "kaussidesse" kallati vett. et siis tähtede peegeldusi vaadelda.

Temple of Three Windows.


“Intihuatana Stone”

Sacred Stone – 6 meters wide and 3 meters in height " sacred rock " has been made into the shape of the mountain of Apu Yanatini hill that is seen on the background. In this moment it started to rain again.

From here the path leads to Wayna Picchu.


Temple of the Sun.

The Temple of the Sun more closely, however,getting inside was not permitted.

Caretaker 's Hut, a restored roof. Farther on - Machu Picchu Mountain, the top is of course in the clouds..


On the second half of the day the sun comes out from behind the clouds again. And it cannot be said that the town is full of tourists, as the city is still large enough. In some places, there are groups of about twenty visitors who listen to the guide explanations, and in some places during fifteen minutes you meet nobody.



Inca Bridge is accessible by a narrow path, and in the beginning of the path there is a guard., and here you'll have to register- your name and age and the time of your arrival and later the time of your departure.

Inca Bridge.

The bridge can be viewed from a distance, and for visitor safety they are not allowed to go there.

On the other side the Inca Road continues along the slope of the mountain.

Until it disappears behind the mountain.


On the way back from the Bridge one can enjoy the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and the very, very special city with mystical aura. The sun has come out for a moment, in the background the mountains are in the clouds, around you is silence.

"Lost City of the Incas " and " City in the Clouds " are very precise terms. But one cannot stay here forever, remaining overnight in the city is not allowed. It is time to take the stairs down the mountain.


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