Hello Machu Picchu Fans. When I was about to book my trip to Machu Picchu last year, I had a lot of questions and tried to google all the information I needed. I thought I will help you and summarise the major ones and share some practical tips I found very helpful:
How to get there:
There are a few options available.
1. If you are keen on trekking and want the whole experience of slowly reaching Machu Picchu and accessing the magic place through the sungate, then do the 4-day Inca trail to Machu Picchu. You will be camping in the magnificant nature.
2. If you are not keen on camping but still want to hike, there is the option of a one-day machu picchu hike. Please refer to my previous post: one day Inca trail hike.
3. Another option is to catch the train from either Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Agua Calientes. The link for the Peru rail: Peru-rail. The train was very comfortable, they serve drinks and snacks. The roof of the train is made of glass, which let’s you enjoy the great scenery. The train ride from Ollantaytambo was approximately 3 hours.
Happiness is a journey and not a destination but why is that?
Don’t we all get confused and think we need to reach certain goals in life in order to be happy; meaning we need to meet our soul mate and life partner, buy our dream house or land our dream job in order to reach the destination ‘happiness’? I am sorry to say but the answer is NO.
Happiness is not achieved by getting everything you want. Happiness is your state of mind. It is a feeling of joy and contentment. We all have to overcome some obstacles in life in order to reach our goals. Remember these are the life lessons we have to learn to become a better you.
The photo below was taken in Costa Rica. It was a beautiful slightly foggy day and the sea was very calm. All you could see was this fisher boat on its way to work. It reminded me that we sometimes just have to stop, look around, open our eyes and enjoy each single second in our lives. How wonderful is our mother nature we live in. Can you see and feel it now?
Happiness is a journey and not a destination
(quote by Souza)
Be grateful and enjoy every moment you have in your life with your loved ones as you never know when it is too late. Live in the here and now.
Here are some more insights of what to expect followed by a quick survival guide.
Expect the sunrise to be slightly different
In my opinion the best times to see a place is either at sunrise or sunset. Places turn into this beautiful golden colour. For photographers definitely a must. So it was absolutely clear to me to get up very early to see the sunrise at 5:30am. However, our group decided to be there slightly after the sunrise which confused me but I trusted our tour guide. In the end it was perfect. What we have to remember that Machu Picchu is mostly covered in fog and clouds in the early mornings and you won’t see any sunrise. We could see the beautiful scenery of clouds coming in and moving out, so Machu Picchu played ‘hiding’ with us. A magical theatre to watch: A panorama shot taken early in the morning.
Nowadays everybody talks about positive thinking but what are the benefits of it and what does it really mean. How do you think positively? Can you just press the button and there you go? Well, it is not that simple.
A positive mindset focusses on the bright side in life. People who are positive, seem to have more energy and attract a lot of other positive people around them; they are optimistic. On the other hand there are negative thinking or pessimistic people. They are mostly perceived as being toxic and people stay away from them. Have you ever been in a situation where you had a great and happy day until you catch up with your ‘negative’ friend. After that you go home feeling depressed?
Having a positive mindset is very powerful and has a great impact on our health:
It reduces stress. We all know that stress makes us sick, so being positive improves our health. We are dealing with stress situation in a more effective way. We are staying focussed and positive about an outcome which helps us in dealing with it in a calm manner.
When being positive our voice becomes more powerful and our body language shows the way we feel.
Positive people get more physical activity, such as exercising or dancing, they follow a healthier diet, don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess. Some health benefits could be connected to them:
people with a positive mind live longer
they are unlikely to suffer from depression
they show lower levels of distress
having greater resistance to the common cold
better psychological and physical well-being
reduced risk of getting cardiovascular disease
coping better during hardships and stressful times
Positive minds are attracting positive things in life. It seems that everything is just flowing without greater effort.
What actually does it mean to be positive, what exactly do we have to do:
It starts with our self-talk. How many times do we realise that we stop believing in ourselves and started the doubt talk…”oh I am sure I won’t be able to achieve that…they don’t want me…’I am not good enough….etc”. I am sure we all do sometimes. That’s were we need to step in. Believe in yourself. You can do and achieve everything you put your mindset to. In order to start the positive self talk, use positive words such as I can do it; I will do it, there is an opportunity and get rid of ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘cannot’ etc.
Believing in everything happens for a reason: Sometimes things happen in our life which makes us feel unsettled and upset. Once you start believing in ‘everything happens for a reason’ you will see it from a positive point of view. You might not find out immediately what the reason was but in the end you will. Don’t get too upset and instead look at the bride side. Maybe it was not meant to be. For example in case you lost your job due to redundancies in your firm it could have been a good thing for you. Maybe you didn’t like that job anyways and you would have stayed there forever being unhappy because you are afraid of changes. Sometimes we need that push from the outside in order to follow our real purpose in life and finding happiness.
Having a sense of humour helps. Instead of getting mad at certain situations, it is good to laugh about it. That way we create positivity and it might not be as bad anymore. Sure we all have been in situations where you wait at the airport and the plane is getting delayed for hours. It might be annoying at that stage but once you have a laugh about it you feel better. When I was in South America I experienced it quite frequently. However, we started joking about it, laughed and felt good. Have a cup of coffee and chill out.
Exercising increases the level of endorphins in your body which leaves you with a happy feeling.
Listen to your favourite music and sing (if you are like me and you cannot sing then only sing where nobody can hear you:))
Surround yourself with positive people. Stay away from negative, toxic friends.
Positive minds attract good things. Nevertheless you still might have to encounter unpleasant situations in your life but the way how you deal with it makes the difference. With a positive approach you see the good in everything, you learn your lessons in life, improve and move on.
Remember after rain is always sunshine and where there is a dark side there is always a bright side. You just need to open your eyes.
Machu Picchu is arguably the most magical place in the world. Everyone knows it, has been there or it is still on your bucket list to visit. But why?
Machu Picchu is the lost city of the Incas located in the High Andes of Peru in the Urubamba Valley approximately 6 hours drive from Cusco and 2,453m above sea level. Luckily the spanish conquerer have never found that magic place. The Machu Picchu ruin had capacity for around 1000 residents and is known as the most sacred Inca site. It was forgotten after the collapse of the Inca empire and rediscovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham.
Sometimes we are facing not so pleasant challenges in life which makes it hard for us to be happy. If you don’t like the life you are living at the moment, then change it. However, there can be circumstances in which we cannot change a particular situation in our life but there is one thing we can do. We can change our attitude. Once your mindset is positive; life becomes so much easier. You start seeing obstacles as chances rather than negative road blocks in your life. So choose to be happy and you will be.
You want to do the Inca trail but you are not keen on camping? No problem at all.
There is an option to do a one-day hike to Machu Picchu. That was perfect for me. The hike goes for roughly 6 hours and is approximately 12 km long. Bear in mind it can be pretty steep at times. It is amazing to experience the excitement of hiking to the magic place Machu Picchu. After an exhausting day, the bus will take you to Agua Calientes, where you can relax, have some Pisco Sour and one of the delicious Peruvian dishes, sleep well and get up early in the morning to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu. Don’t worry, now you can take the bus up there.
The tour started on the train from Ollantaytambo to Agua Calientes. The train is very comfortable, they serve some snacks and something to drink. My recommendation is to use the bathroom before you leave the train for your hike. You will get off at km 104 where the fun begins.
Check in on the entrance at the Inca trail and start embracing the beautiful scenery and some smaller Inca sites on the way.
You arrived and visited Cusco, you are acclimatised to the altitude and now you are ready for Machu Picchu? Wait, don’t rush. Take your time and embrace the drive through the Sacred Valley and here is why:
1. The Rio Urubamba Valley, also known as Sacred Valley, is a beautiful and peaceful land of the Andes.