I was to visit Machu Picchu for the first time, it’s an iconic tourist attraction in South America that everyone should see. It seems as if everyone around the world knows about Machu Picchu and the distinctive image of it is plastered everywhere. If you don’t believe me click here and you will see a slew of Google images that have the same exact image over, and over, and over.
It started on a cool day, I walked outside, past the kids playing soccer, and bought a few snickers bars that would cost me roughly $2 a piece. At Wal-Mart in the United States you can buy them for less than $75 cents.
I knew exactly what I was going to see but I didn’t realize how indescribable and mysterious Machu Picchu really is. It is nowhere near as overrated as I initially imagined and every time I would turn to witness it again I couldn’t help but say to myself:
Visiting Machu Picchu is incredible.
The sheer magnitude of what the Inca’s built at Machu Picchu will send your mind into a thinking frenzy. The train ride there is interesting, Cusco was more interesting than I thought it would be, and the city of Machu Picchu while small and simple, has a romantic charm to it.
I chose not to hike all the way to Machu Picchu because I am so short on time. If you read this blog on a regular basis you would know that I day trade emini futures and I didn’t have time to spend days walking in a trail to see Machu Picchu.
I didn’t even spend the hour to walk up the dirt road to see it, instead I opted for the bus ride that grace my laziness, I arrived in 20 min. I was very impressed with the efficiency in Peru from the second I arrived all the way down to visiting and seeing Machu Pacchu.
As I walked through the gates I was immediately greeted by the tour guide mafia, not to be confused with the taxi mafia, these are the guys who want to give you a tour throughout the entire Machu Picchu. They always open the pickup line with, hello my friend, which leads to my response, what’s up Pablo.
This cascades into a conversation of why a gringo speaks such good Spanish which leads me to respectively excusing myself.
Instead of agreeing with the tour guide mafia, I did what any travel would do I tagged along behind another group. When someone approaches me aggressively trying to sell me something, whether a tour or a taxi, I always feel like I’m getting hustled or taken advantage of.
That is not a good feeling which is why I immediately refuse or walk away
When you feel like you’re getting hustled you most likely are being hustled. I decided to take the long route since I wanted to see the Inca bridge and once I laid my eyes for first time on Machu Picchu I was speechless.
I had questions to which no one had the exact answer to. I asked many questions and most of the tour guides spoke in “we think this is like this because” or “we think it is because”. Why is the lawn so green? I quickly retracted that question as I knew that they watered it regularly to keep the tourists happy.
I meandered along capturing my memories of Peru with my typical Wandering Trader pointing picture and I eventually made my way to the Inca Bridge. The bridge was sealed off, for good reason, with what seemed like a few pieces of wood tied together. Oh Peru, there are you were!
I did what any traveler would do, I move the barrier aside and I promptly proclaimed myself king of the bridge after I crossed it. Now I am one of the only people to be able to say that I not only visited Machu Picchu, but I was one of the few people who actually crossed the Inca bridge.
The terrifying, I would never cross again, I know now why they have barriers Inca Bridge.
After a frightening experience crossing the bridge that I had no business doing I quickly crossed the bridge back, more carefully this time, and I headed back towards Machu Picchu to tour the complex. The walk back wasn’t as fun since I had the suspicion that I would get stop at a random corner because I crossed the homemade wooden barrier.
I entered the complex and started to explore with my video camera on record! I overheard a conversation and decided to listen in.. “who invented the first telephone”? asked the tour guide. He quickly interrupted by telling us it was the Incas!
We approached a small open aired corridor and he had a few people stare into squared crevices in the wall. I wasn’t sure what to think of it until I heard the other women who had her face in another crevice say I can hear you! Apparently the Inca’s invented the telephone, our historians didn’t get the message.
It’s one of many small things that makes Machu Picchu so interesting. One of the cool things that I was able to see where the llamas that were grazing in the field in the middle of the complex, like seeing Machu Picchu wasn’t enough right? I was able to get great shots of a baby alpaca following around its mother.
Machu Picchu is one of the most fascinating places that I have been to in South America. The only other times I have been left deep in thought were the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina, the sea turtles in French Guyana, the 2nd Jerusalem in Ethiopia, and when I was walking cheetahs in Zambia. I don’t want to give you a full list of the cool things that I have done but the point is:
Machu Picchu is beyond unbelievable.
Now that Peru is past its marred past its time for you to get to know Peru on a personal level. I am even considering some overseas investing opportunities there. Make sure to spend some time in Lima before prices keep rising, it is still a very affordable destination.