Dan, our Operations Manager (and my husband), has just returned from hosting our Huayhuash Trek in Peru. Listening to all his fabulous tales took me back to our family trip to Peru in 2015 as we researched the destination. Read my account of Machu Picchu and add it to your bucket list along with our Huayhuash Trek.
Machu Picchu needs no introduction or any justification on why it is one of the World's Seven Wonders. However, knowing 2,500 people visit the site each day had the traveller in me secretly thinking I might be a little under-whelmed. The volume of tourists in the town of Machu Picchu coupled with every restaurant and bar offering ‘four for one’ drink specials did nothing to keep my worries in check.
Thankfully the magic of Machu Picchu in terms of both ruins and situation well and truly outweigh the fact that you are sharing the experience with 2,499 other people. The towering peaks surrounding the ruins and the inaccessibility allows you to imagine why the Spanish never discovered the city and therefore it still remains perfectly intact.
Luis, our guide, had a real passion for anthropology and his eyes just twinkled as he spoke about temples, building methods and theories on the life of the Inca. He was also 'cool' so our children really enjoyed hanging out with him and learning magic tricks and playing a tune on whatever was available.
Dan and I took advantage of having a guide to mind the children and scrambled up Wayna Picchu (Young Peak). The jaunt up the mountain was a highlight as only 400 people can go up there each day so it feels like an authentic and exclusive experience. The track was reasonably rugged, but the views from the Citadel are impressive and make the climb well and truly worth the effort.
We also headed on another jaunt to see an Inca Bridge, tucked in behind the actual city, that was part of the trail linking Machu Picchu with its neighbouring Inca settlements. One of which will certainly be on my list if I get the opportunity to return as it is only accessible by foot and takes four days to get there. Luis also pointed out an Inca wall that has been discovered on another of the nearby mountains. The long and slow process of uncovering the wall has begun and what it leads to or hides will be incredibly interesting to see. The cloud forest is so dense that discoveries of new hidden cities is a very real possibility.
As if to prove people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, we partook in the ultimate cheesy tourist act and kissed a llama!
Liam was a little disappointed that his first kiss was with a llama but we assured him the location was stunning so worth the downgrade in kissing partner.
Meanwhile I just went for the lips not touching approach - I'm quite fussy on who I lock lips with!