Machu Picchu... what a place! I was lucky enough to go to this ancient village and it's so difficult to put into words how it felt to be there. It's not just the amazement of how it was built in the 14th century with little to no tools. There is also so much history about why it was built by Incas and the mysteries surrounding it, as so much is unknown and still being discovered. It was built at the time of the Spanish conquest and the most common theory is, that it was used as a secretive area to try and live under the rein of Emperor Pachacuti.
However Machu Picchu today, is still not finished. This is because during the 15th century the Incas fled, it's still unknown why. It is thought that the Spanish didn't know about Machu Picchu, hence why it was then left undiscovered on an international level till 1911. Theories vary from attacks by indigenous tribes, to animals and of course a mystery isn't a mystery without someone claiming alien activity.
If you are lucky enough to go, you will see that it is still being restored and excavated. However, this is done whilst still maintaining the heritage the Incas left. Excavation in Machu Picchu has been going on for many years now, new information is still being found all the time, adding to what we know and can deduce. It's so interesting as history is still being discovered.
I went from Cusco to Aguas Calientes on a pre booked mini bus. I then stayed in a hostel for one night and woke up at 4am the next morning. Instead of going on a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, I decided to walk the 8 km. I really enjoyed this part especially, on the way back as you could see the beauty of your surroundings and really take them in. The walk isn't too hard, you'll all be able to do it, don't worry.
Although this was amazing, I would have preferred to do the full trek to Machu Picchu from Cuzco. But unfortunately because I was so busy this wasn't possible. So I really advice the walk if you're in my position but definitely research doing treks as well if you have more time. Just be aware you have to book one well in advance because of the popularity. Here are some to take a look at:
My final bit of advice is don't under estimate Machu Picchu! I know this sounds obvious but it's beautiful, breath taking and massive. You will need a long time to take it all in and walk around it. I arrived at 6am and had 5 hours to look around, I thought this would be enough time... it 100% wasn't. If you stay all day you'll have time to walk around all of it and wait for the fog to fully lift. Making the perfect opportunity for those amazing Machu Picchu photographs.
Do you have any questions about Machu Picchu? Or any other tips? Please comment them below