PHOTO DIARY OF MACHU PICCHU
There are a few ways to reach the ancient wonder Machu Picchu and we chose to luxe it up on the Belmond Hiram Bingham train. Alternative experiences include the panoramic Vistadome train which departs half an hour before the Hiram Bingham, the understated Andean inspired Expedition train and the classic Inca trail that has also been tailored for some luxury options. On our return Hiram Bingham journey we sat across from a São Paulo couple who just completed the luxury Inca trail and they said whilst on an intense trek it was heaven to have hot water and sleep in comfort to rejuvenate each evening.
Belmond seemed to time the private bus arrival to the Citadel to perfection. Outside the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, visitors who either watched the sunrise or wandered the ruins in the morning, waited for the public buses back down to Aguas Calientes. There can be up to 2,500 people exploring the Citadel in one day and other than footprints, there are no facilities once inside to impose on the natural Andean site. A Russian couple were the only other guests in our tiny Belmond group which allowed us to take the two and a half hour tour around Machu Picchu in peace. Walking along with our sweet and accommodating private guide Angela, the time in the Citadel was maximised as she could navigate the landmarks telling us complementing stories around the mysteries of the ruins.
IN SUMMARY | What you need to know….
– LOCATION – Peru, South America
– TO DO – Our Machu Picchu private guide tour included wandering through the Main Gate, Quarry (large rocks), Temple of the Three Windows, Main Temple, Intihuatana hill (rock construction that looks like a sundial), Sacred Rock, Temple of the Condor and Temple of the Sun
– BOOK – Belmond Hiram Bingham and PeruRail
Poroy Station, Cusco Peru
– STAY – Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Machu Picchu, Peru
Plaza de Armas Hotel or book via Expedia
Double Queen Room included complimentary airport arrival transfer, buffet breakfast, turndown service and wifi
Av. Portal Mantas 114, Cusco Peru
– FLY – Qantas Premium Economy from Sydney (SYD) to Santiago (SCL) approx 13 hrs 40 mins and LAN from SCL to Lima (LIM) approx 3 hrs 55 mins and LIM to Cusco (CUZ) approx 1 hr 20 mins
– TRANSFERS – Local Taxi approx 30.00 Sol each way
Taxi from Plaza de Armas Cusco to Poroy Station approx 20 mins
Photos by Mel McLeod ©