Machu Picchu: City in the Clouds

Peru Inca Trail

It seems like you can’t flip a page in a travel section or magazine, without seeing Machu Picchu.

And for good reason. An almost mythological place with a story that could be lifted from an Indiana Jones screenplay this Lost City of the Inca appeals to everyone who reads about it, young or old.

Like the pyramids, it’s almost impossible to comprehend the human effort required to construct such a showpiece, not so much because of the complexity of the structure itself, but because of the inaccessibility of the location. Perhaps only by climbing the Inca Trail yourself, can you begin to understand the enormity of the task, and the original builder’s vision: an ethereal city in the clouds, carved from and surrounded by the mountains on which it perches.

TIP: Hiking the Inca Trail is an experience that you shouldn’t miss, but this is no time to be a hero. If you’re not a hiker at home, a 4-day camping/climbing adventure at high altitude is not the place to start. But if you are in reasonable shape, there is a shorter, 6-hour climb that starts in the river valley that starts about 10 kilometers out (at ‘Kilometer 104’) and gains you access to the city through the original Sun Gate above the site itself. But you will need a guide and a permit, so plan ahead. 

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