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Unveiling the Beauty of Machu Picchu – A Memorable Day in Peru’s Iconic Wonder

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I am a solo traveler with a passion for history and a love for breathtaking landscapes. This prompted a journey to Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel in the Peruvian Andes. The One Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was an exhilarating decision. Strapped for time but eager to check off the famous short Inca Trail, I opted for this adventure to walk in the footsteps of the Inca and witness the wonders of Machu Picchu, all in a single day.

Traveler Profile: Ashleigh, 35, USA

Location: Machu Picchu, Peru

Time of Year: June

Travel Goals: History, culture, exercise, and connecting with nature

Morning Excitement – Expedition Train Journey

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / jovani prochnov sartor

The day began early; the Peruvian dawn broke as my driver picked me up at 4 am. A short drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas led us to Ollantaytambo, where the Expedition Train awaited at 6:10 am. The train journey was a magical experience, tracing the Urubamba River with rugged mountains on one side and lush forests on the other.

The train took me to KM104 (elevation 2,100m/6,927ft), the starting point of the trek. Crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River, I met fellow trekkers, applied sunscreen, and stocked up on essentials. The first archaeological site was just outside the checkpoint and guided by an authentic and knowledgeable Peruvian guide. It gave me a glimpse into the rich history.

Fellow Traveler Tip: Hire a knowledgeable guide to fill you in on all the mysteries and stories hidden within Machu Picchu’s ancient walls.

Midday Marvel – Wiñay Wayna and Sun Gate

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gonzalo Buzonni

The moderate climb to Wiñay Wayna at 2,650m/8747 ft I was rewarded with breathtaking views and a well-deserved breather before lunch. The box lunch, a quinoa salad with various options, fueled the trek towards the Sun Gate at 2,730m/9,007ft. The panoramic view of Machu Picchu from the top is awe-inspiring, making the climb worth every step.

Afternoon Wonder – Machu Picchu Exploration

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anton_Ivanov

The descent to Machu Picchu through the Guardian Gate felt like I was in one of the iconic postcard photos. Arriving in the afternoon was advantageous, with fewer tourists and ample time for a comprehensive 2-hour guided tour. The engineering marvels of the Incas and the cultural legacy embedded in Machu Picchu left me in awe.

Evening Retreat – Aguas Calientes

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Leo McGilly

Coming up at 4 pm, a bus ride down the winding roads led me to the charming town of Aguas Calientes. Exploring local flea markets, strolling cobblestone streets, and enjoying a taste of Peru at Chullos Craft Beer & Home-Made Food was the perfect end to an eventful day.

Homeward Journey – Expedition Train to Ollantaytambo

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nowaczyk

At 6:20 pm, the Expedition Train transported me back to Ollantaytambo. From there, I found a driver to take me to Cusco. The estimated arrival time in Cusco was 10 pm, bringing me to the end of a day filled with adventure, history, and the marvels of Machu Picchu.

Top Takeaways

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Avim Wu

June in Machu Picchu demands layers since it can be quite chilly, and researching trekking routes enhances the experience. The tranquility of Machu Picchu in the afternoon is a unique privilege. Whether a one-day trek or a more extended adventure, the beauty lies in savoring every moment spent taking in breathtaking landscapes and ancient history.

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The post Unveiling the Beauty of Machu Picchu – A Memorable Day in Peru’s Iconic Wonder republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / MarinaTP.

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