Cusco and Machu Picchu -Day 300 (21,732 miles)

We arrived in Cusco to plan our trip to Machu Picchu, for travellers who fly in a stop here is usual to allow for acclimatisation to the altitude.  Cusco is at 3400m so higher than MP which is 2430m and the other areas in the Sacred Valley passed through enroute.  We’ve been travelling at altitude on and off for months now but altitude sickness can catch you out at anytime so we didn’t take if for granted that we’d be OK.

Our campsite was a couple of Km and a few hundred metres above the city, beautiful views but a hard slog on the way back home that’s when it’s obvious the altitude does make a difference.

Downhill into Cusco, the easy bit.

Every Sunday in Cusco is a Flag Day parade.  I have no idea how big the Peruvian army is but there was a lot of them here on this Sunday.  Also we could hear the music in the square go on until the early hours of Monday morning from our campsite 2kms away.  How on earth do these people get up for work on a Monday!

We had made the decision long ago that we wouldn’t be attempting a multi day hike to Machu Pichhu.  It was going to be the easy way in for us, we just had to decide whether that would be the taking minibuses and a train for the whole journey or driving part of the way followed by an overnight camp and a short train journey.  The drive was only about 80km each way but could take between 5 & 7 hours due to the twisty, hilly terrain.

We went for the cheaper option to drive most of the way along with the lovely bunch below who we met at our campsite.

Our fellow travellers in our little convoy Kahan, Mel, Dante and………….

Simon and Tanya.


Interesting old village but here comes the rain.

Spectacular views in the Sacred Valley.  The journey did take us the best part of 7 hours but there were lots of photo and food stops along the way.

This is how we arrived in Agua Calientes (also known as Machu Pichhu Pueblo) from our campsite in Hydra Electrica.  You can walk the 11km along the train track but the 14km walked round and about Machu Picchu was enough for us.

So, we made it to one of those places we had both dreamed of visiting since childhood.  It’s very special, not just the structures but the surrounding landscape as well.


The Urubamba river.

If you could just look this way?

This man was removing moss from between the stones with these hand tools.  Slooooow work.

The downside of visiting this time of year is it’s still the end of the rainy season, we were lucky and had a dry and warm day but not much blue sky.  The upside was there would have been many more tourists had it been a few weeks later. 

Back in Cusco we joined a tourist bus and visited a local village, this was the Witch Doctor.  We have no idea what he said (he spoke Cuecha) or whether he put a spell on us but he had an interesting face anyway.?

Adios amigos.

6 thoughts on “Cusco and Machu Picchu -Day 300 (21,732 miles)”

  1. LLamas!

    The Sacred Valley is one of the best motorcycle roads in all of south america. It must be torture driving it in the van. The drive from Cusco to Aquas was one of the most memorable days my SA trip. First you had the beautiful pavement for the first 3/4 kms, then the remainder was a shit gravel road wide enough for one car with people constantly trying to pass each other.

  2. Hi to you both,
    Well that was the next best thing to visiting myself thankyou, a magical place, love the colourful clothes they wear.
    Do you really want to come back ?, after all this!!!
    Love Jackie

  3. Spectacular photos as ever. MP looks like it has been tidied up over the last 25 years. Brings back memories! R xx

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