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I admit, Machu Picchu has always been on my bucket list of dream adventures. So after hiking the Inca trail for five days, overcoming altitude sickness, and battling a head cold, I was still excited enough I didn’t sleep well the night before we we were scheduled to arrive by foot into the famed Inca site. It didn’t help with sleep that we had to wake up at three in the morning so we could be on the trail by 4:00 am.
On day 6 of our epic adventure, we donned our headlamps and set out on our final section of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
As daylight approached and we made our way toward the infamous Sun Gate, we were excited to take in the views.
Instead of awesome views, we were greeted with morning fog. Ironic since we had enjoyed crisp views the previous five days, even on day 1 when we hiked at high elevations to Salkantay.
Upon arrival to the infamous Sun Gate, we were greeted with the crowds we had followed on the trail but no view of Machu Picchu through the fog. Honestly, I didn’t feel disappointed I wasn’t getting the post card perfect photo. I was too busy taking in the experience.
We still got to experience the famed city of Machu Pichhu, even if we had to share our photos with the thousands of other tourists vying for the same experience. I also got to enter the city with my family instead of them being far ahead on the trail. The swelling in my face and hands had started to subside too making the descent down the Inca stairs into Machu Picchu so much more rewarding.
Everything about Machu Picchu is awe inspiring and the ancient Inca city more than deserves to be on the list of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World.
We may not have gotten that post card perfect picture but we got the trip of lifetime. I also gained confidence knowing I can do hard things, even when I don’t feel like it. And we got the chance to take llama selfies. What can be better than that? If Machu Picchu isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. For those not up to a backpacking trip, it is possible to take a train into Aguas Calientes and take a bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu. There are also plenty of places to stay in Aguas Calientes to really soak up the experience. The hardest part about planning a trip to Machu Picchu is getting the permit so make sure to plan ahead of time. Our tour group at Auqui Peru is a great place to start with trip planning. We had a wonderful experience with them with five star food.