Two-Day-Adventure to Machu Picchu

40 km on foot and more than 3.000 stairs within 24 h – exhausting but a great experience.

This was the actual reason why we travelled to Peru – to see one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. There are many possibilities to visit Machu Picchu combined with a jungle tour or a several-day-trek. As we were a bit limited in time but still wanted to hike there we decided on doing a two-day-tour.

Early in the morning we were picked up in our hostel and drove to a town called Aguas Calientes, where we started the hike. During the drive we could enjoy the landscape and we passed little villages where farmers lived in very basic housing. Sometimes we feared for our lives when we were driving the narrowest possible roads right next to a steep edge, but gladly we made it alive.

When I heard about Machu Picchu before I always thought that it was located in or near Cusco but it’s actually a seven hour drive away. Cusco is just the closest developed city so all the tours start there.

From Agues Calientes we walked 20 km along the rails to a small town also called Machu Picchu where we spent the night. It’s possible to take a train instead of walking, but we were eager to walk it all.

After 20 km of walking we arrived to the hostel where we stayed the night. The next morning we got up at 4:00 am to start the hike to Machu Picchu.

First we had to walk half an hour to an entry gate where our tickets were checked. The gate opened at 5:00 am and all at once a crowd of tourists started the hike. It was raining the night before so the humidity was extreme but luckily the rain had stopped. On the hike you walk curves all the way up and the whole hike consists of just steps – approximately 1.700 in total. I was sweating like crazy due to the humidity. After a while we were already hoping to see the top behind every curve that was next. Once we finally reached it after one hour we made a small break before starting a guided tour though Machu Picchu.

Llamas living in Machu Picchu

During the tour we learned a lot about the history of the Quechua and their king, who they call Inca in their language. Sometimes it was hard to pay attention due to our lack of sleep, the exhausting hike and the fact that even during the tour we had to walk so many more steps. Nevertheless, it was very interesting. After the guided tour we had some more time to take pictures and explore the site on our own.

Then we had to descend the 1.700 stairs again and walk back the 20 km to Aguas Calientes. After about half of the way back we got really tired. Our shoulders hurt from the backpack, our feet were tired anyways and the humidity made everything worse. We didn’t stop though and step by step we made it back.

My friends got attacked by mosquitos all the way. For some reason they left me alone and not even one bit me while the others had bites all over their bodies.

When we finally arrived to Aguas Calientes my feet were as tired as never before and I was just happy to sit down and relax. We were picked up by the bus again and drove the seven hours back to Cusco.


Within 24 hours we walked a distance of 40 km and more than 3.000 stairs in the humid warm air. Machu Picchu was a great experience and I’m really glad that we decided to hike there and not take the bus or train. It made the experience and the memories much more intense. Even though the hike was exhausting we still had fun doing it.

Recommendations

  • Buy your ticket in Cusco. Don’t book it in advance. Online it will say that you have to reserve it in advance but that’s not true. They just want to make you pay more.
  • Bring insect repellant. My friends were bitten by mosquitos all the time.
  • If you do the two-day-tour and hike there bring as few things in your backpack as you can. It will get heavy.
  • Next to the entrance you can get a Machu Picchu stamp in your passport.

Continue reading: Rainbow Mountains – The most exhausting Hike of my Life

Have you been to Machu Picchu? If yes, let me know in the comments how you got there and if you’d recommend it.

4 thoughts on “Two-Day-Adventure to Machu Picchu

Add yours

  1. Supertolle Eindrücke!! 🙂 Und Hut ab, die ganze Strecke zu wandern. Ich würde da eher den Zug nehmen. 😉 Machu Picchu steht auf meiner Bucketlist auch ganz oben.

    Wann warst du dort? Ich habe gelesen, dass der Zugang auf eine gewisse Anzahl Touristen pro Tag beschränkt werden musste und man daher unbedingt vorher online vorbuchen soll!?

    Liebe Grüße
    Iris von Ich Reise Immer So
    http://www.ichreiseimmerso.de

    Like

    1. Danke! Ist auch verständlich, dass viele lieber den Zug nehmen. 🙂
      Ich war im Dezember 2017 dort. Ja es stimmt, dass der Zugang beschränkt ist, aber es ist kein Problem ein Ticket zu bekommen. Das Gerücht dass man online buchen muss hat sich irgendwie durchgesetzt. Ich würde auf jeden Fall davon abraten weil es meistens viel teurer ist. Im Internet steht oft, dass es keine Tickets mehr gibt aber stimmt das nicht. In Cusco gibt es unzählige Agenturen die Touren zu Machu Picchu anbieten. Am besten ein paar Tage vorher direkt dort buchen. Dann kann man sich auch beraten lassen, welche verschiedenen Touren es gibt und den Preis noch verhandeln. 🙂

      Like

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