OK. It was a few months ago that I visited. But the experience is still very vivid.
First off, I read reviews of any place I am about to visit. So it is no different here.
I was reading several one and two star reviews. A lot of them complain that it is very expensive to visit MP; that tourists are made cash cows just to visit the place.
I do NOT disagree that it is very expensive to visit MP so I am not gonna give a one star review simply because of the cost. My review is about MP itself.
You arrive at Macchu Picchu Pueblo at the base of the mountain from your tourist train. Then you can either walk up or take the nice bus up. We took the bus up. At the entrance of MP, we hired a guide- despite the fact that I have read up on MP till my eyes fell off. A guide synthesizes information in a much compact manner. He asked questions to which I knew the answer cuz I read up on MP. Made the experience much more satisfying than blindly accepting everything on faith. Also allowed me to know if the guide was worth his pay. I asked him questions before I hired him. He knew his stuff.
We were led thru a small path flanked by two walls. At the end of the path the view opens up expansively and I saw the landscape dotted with nice intact stone buildings. Macchu Picchu! It took my breath away. My wife, so is not the avid historical person like me, was also blown away. Macchu Picchu definitely lived up to its billing! it should be on everyone's bucket list!
Most the building were intact. This was due to the fact that the Spaniards were not able to find this city. Some buildings and edifices were being restored or in the process of restoration. My guide told me these buildings were wonky due to land subsidence. You could see this in one of my pictures. You probably have read how the Incas carved the stone so well that you cannot put a piece of paper in between. If you see a wide gap between the stones this was because the land subsided pulling the stones apart.
When I was there, a lot of the routes were already one way. No backtracking. This was especially so with going up the Guardian's Hut. I almost got separated from my wife but I was able to sneak back to her.
Now I was there in May. I read that come July a guide was gonna be mandatory. I suggest anyone planning a visit to visit the Peru/Cusco/MP forum for updated information. Also, you are allowed to exit and reenter twice- to go to a bathroom, etc- but again check for updated information.
There is a left luggage area and a paid restroom and a canteen at the entrance of MP. Wish I could add pictures but TA has a limit on 95 mb of pictures.
Definitely go and visit this wonder. But be aware of the cost. If you don't like the cost, then avoid macchu picchu. It is the way it is set up. You can either accept it or leave it.
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