For a while, you fumble for words,
trying vainly to assemble a narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame,
where you've been and what happened.
In the end, you're just happy you were there
- with your eyes open - and lived to see it.
- Anthony Bourdain
HOW TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU?
1. The Hard Way - if you love the mountains, to trek, walk and climb the outdoors, this is the way for you - its called the Inca Trail. You can do different kinds of trekking that takes 4 days (Classic Inca Trail) or the "easier" trek for 1 or 2 days (Short Inca Trail) or if you want to take your time and do it longer, you can do it for 5 days. It usually starts from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes. For more information, visit this website. People say that you see more archaeological sites this way. When we visited Cuzco, there are a lot of tour operators that advertises Inca Trail, so you can pick and choose which type do you want - online or when you get there.
2. The Easy Way - if you don't have enough time, and wants to see Machu Picchu at a leisurely pace, you are welcome to do this. We chose this easy route. So how did we do it? First, we booked Vistadome train tickets thru Peru Rail online from our starting point which was Urubamba. Make sure to book in advance because trains gets full during high season. There are three types of trains: Vistadome, Expedition, or Belmond Hiram Bingham train if you are feeling luxurious. There are trains from Cuzco, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. The train takes 4 hours from Cuzco, almost 3 hours from Urubamba and almost 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to go to Aguas Calientes (the town that sits at the foot of Machu Picchu). The train's last stop is Aguas Calientes and from there, you can buy your shuttle bus ticket to go up and down Machu Picchu. There is only one road that they use to shuttle people up the top and the journey usually takes around 30 minutes. Shuttle bus ticketing booth are only available at Cuzco and Aguas Calientes, for more information where the ticketing booth are - click here. From the train station, it just a 5-10 minute walking distance to where you can buy the shuttle bus ticket. The bus will take you to the entrance where you can buy your entrance tickets. The bus departs when they are full and usually the interval is every 15 minutes during the peak hours of the morning. You can also walk/climb up and down and it takes 1 hour to walk up.
This is one of those moments, the larger than life moment that you cannot seem to describe properly. One thins is for sure - this is a travel memory that will last forever. Yes, truly Machu Picchu is not just beautiful - it's sublime.