Machu Picchu. It’s possibly one of the most iconic sites — and sights — in the world. Even the most seasoned travelers, ambling along the Inca Trail, find themselves jaws-dropped in awe of this place as it emerges below. A Peru walking vacation takes more than just one day to explore and appreciate the magic of this place — plan accordingly!
There are two ways to get to the famous ruins — hiking the legendary Inca Trail or riding in on the Inca Rail train. Either option pays off in breathtaking views. If you opt for hiking, take into consideration that you must have an advance reservation as regulations only permit 500 people per day to maintain the fragile environment. No need to worry, when you travel with Classic Journeys, all of the arrangements are made for you. Also, be prepared for a five- to six-hour hike with sometimes-strenuous sections of trail. If you opt to take the train to the historic site, you’ll spot a succession of Incan ruins along the way as well as the river dropping into dramatic rapids.
At the ancient ruins, you’ll roam the maze of chambers and plazas. Many have speculated as to the purpose of Machu Picchu — a university, the home of an Inca ruler — but you may come up with your own theory. The round Temple of the Sun is captivating, and thinking about the ingenuity of the design, which captures the first rays of the sun on both the winter and summer solstices, is mind-boggling.
Despite the rapture of this place, there is more to Peru than just Machu Picchu. Visit another Temple of the Sun, in Cusco, as well as the Plaza de Armas with its Baroque Cathedral. Galleries, studios and small shops filled with artisan goods line cobblestone streets. A walk through the countryside outside of Cusco offers the opportunity to explore more Inca ruins. Your Classic Journeys guide arranges a stop along the way to the Sacred Valley to learn the ancient weaving techniques used to create Andean clothing.
Walking excursions in Pisac, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo and Urubamba afford opportunities for you to mingle with locals, visit a market, enjoy traditional Peruvian foods and immerse yourself in the culture of this fascinating destination.
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