Machu Picchu (Again)

It’s week 6 of my bucket list…well, not my bucket list because I’ve already done all of these but rather, things you should add to your bucket list.

In no particular order, my top 10 suggestions for your travel bucket list are:

  • Kayaking and swimming in the bioluminescent bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico
  • Seeing the millions of monarch butterflies in Michoacan, Mexico
  • Desert safari off-roading, camel riding, and dinner show in Dubai, UAE
  • The Grand Canyon in the USA
  • Superman zip-lining in the cloud forests of Costa Rica
  • Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Ruins of the city of Ephesus in Turkey
  • Helmet diving in the Caribbean
  • Crossing the Andes
  • Sailing from Colombia to Panama through the Sand Blas islands

This week I’ll talk about Machu Picchu.

This post was originally published here.

You absolutely cannot go to Peru without visiting Machu Picchu. In fact, most people that go to Peru for vacation make the trip specifically for Machu Picchu.

When I visited I did so on a tour that also took me to a number of other archaeological sites, provided city tours, and took me to Lake Titicaca and its floating islands. For the Machu Picchu portion of the trip I arrived in Cusco the day before, where I did some touring and exploring but then headed to bed early in order to make it to the train station early the morning of my visit to Machu Picchu. The train from Cusco – where you will most likely fly into – to Aguascalientes – the tiny city closest to Machu Picchu takes about 3.5 hours each way, so you’ll want to head out early. When you arrive on the train you’ll then hop on a shuttle bus to take you up a winding maintain roadway to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

The videos I took absolutely do not capture what you’ll see when you visit in person, but it’s worth checking out anyway – just try to imagine the thin air and amazing views.

Inka Express Bus Trip from Cusco to Puno, Peru

When I visited Peru, I booked a tour that included visits to both Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Instead of flying from Cusco (the jumping off point to visit Machu Picchu) to Puno (the jumping off point to visit Lake Titicaca) I opted for the Inka Express bus to take me on the journey, which included stops at a number of historic, archaeological, and religious sites.

Stops included Andahuaylillas, Raqchi, Sicuani, La Raya, and Pukara. While none of these will get mentioned on any list I have of most spectacular sites to see in Latin America, I was glad that I chose the bus trip and got to visit these areas instead of sleeping through a plane ride. There were some great views of the mountains behind ruins and one stop even included a mummified human body (check out the video). Plus, we got to make friends with some llama and alpaca and the lunch that was included was also fairly tasty as far as tour group buffets go.

Check out the video to see the sites and the mummified body!

Cusco, Peru and the Surrounding Ruins

When you visit Machu Picchu in Peru (which I will show you next week) you’ll more than likely first stop off in the city of Cusco. Arriving from Lima, the old architecture and prettiness of the city’s downtown is refreshing. You can check out some of the churches, plazas, and ruins in the city itself and also venture out to some of the surrounding ruins set in the mountains.

Check out the video below to see what Cusco has to offer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take any shots inside the churches, but I would recommend visiting, and doing so with a tour guide, to learn about how the indigenous people mixed their religion with Catholicism.