"Poking Around Macchu Picchu" Ruins Tip by intiqori

Ruins, Machu Picchu: 32 reviews and 47 photos

The ruins of Macchu Picchu must be visited in person in order to absorb the sheer magnitude and beauty of the place. The structures are every bit as spectacular as photos indicate, particularly in the quiet and peaceful dawn hours.

However, buses begin dropping tourists by the busload at the ruins, making the trek up and down the hill every 15 minutes or so. The ruins acquire a Disney-esque feel with this onslaught of people, and the newly designed entry way, consisting of a visitor center with jewelry shops and concession stands, only contributes to the theme park atmosphere.

However, it is still possible to traverse the ruins in quiet, meditative solitude. Several ?trails? are recommended in the map to the ruins, and I ?hiked? the blue, red, and yellow trails. The blue and red trails traverse the plaza and steep stone steps of the ruins, taking visitors to a tower, chambers, and sun dial overlooking the main plaza. They also cross the various granaries and meeting rooms in the massive complex and end in the steep amphitheater, the hallmark of the ruins. Sleepy llamas bask in the sunshine on the grass lawns of one part of the plaza, and the trapezoidal windows decorating each stone room and the steep amphitheater steps create excellent photo opportunities.

The yellow trail skirts the steep edges and steps of the complex and is hiked by very few. I traversed the trail, at one point sitting on a terrace overlooking one portion of the ruins which had fallen into decay, accompanied only by fluffy, wild chinchillas scampering happily among the steps. A portion of the trail leads to a series of steps going downhill to another entryway into the complex. I encountered no other people along this path. Several parts of the trail skirt dangerously along the edge of the ruins, and the hill surrounding the complex drops precipitously to the valley and river below.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 17, 2007
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