Machu Picchu day tour
August 27th 2003
Excursion to Machu Picchu and transfer back
to Cusco by train. Machu Picchu is the famous Inca city, fantastic not only for the ruins, but also for the magical landscape all around, in the heart of the mountains. A day tour to Machu Picchu starting from Aguas Calientes early in the morning, lets to appreciate the site without of the crowd of people arriving later with the train from Cusco.
The day starts with a short bus ride from the nearby town of Aguas Calientes. Machu Picchu
, one of the best preserved example of Inca's city, is located on a top of a mountain, immersed in a beautiful scenery made of majestic mountains and deep canyons.
The southern gate
was the only access to the city, as, from any other side, she was already protected by steep mountain sides and other natural obstacles.
Photos of Machu Picchu. On the left, the houses of the guardians and the terraces for agricolture.
The terraces was sometime used also as ornaments or to consolidate the mountain's sides. It is belived that, after building the wall, the terrace was filled with fertile soil excavated and transported from the below valley.On the right, the complex of the industrials and intellectuals,
so called because some remains demonstrates that the more "learned" men lived here (intellectuals) and because of the presence of two mortars (industrialists).
More pictures of Machu Picchu. A zoomed view over the zone of the industrials and intellectuals
In the background, a view of the Intiwatana
, a site used for astronomical observation and, perhaps, for religious purposes. On the top of the hill there is a stone shaped like a nearby mountain's top, with its angles exactly aligned to the cardinal points.
A view from the Intiwatana
over the main stone quarry
and the terraces
The wonderful scenery around Machu Picchu
, with the Urubamba river running inside the valley and the road climbing the steep mountain's side.
Sometime the clouds are so low,
that they go under Machu Picchu. Part of the Urubamba river is faintly visible between a cloud and the mountain.
A view over the mountain's side, totally covered by terraces
Walking in Machu Picchu.
The city is big, and several hours may be required to see everything. Unfortunately Machu Picchu is currently sinking, by one centimeter per year, probably because of the pressure from tourism (1000 visitors daily on average).
Machu Picchu photos. The most beautiful pictures in Machu Picchu, are those taken through windows
. Often the windows are perfectly aligned one behind other, up to 5 like in the lower-right picture.
The Temple of the Sun.
Two windows are positioned to let the first sun ray on March 21st (spring equinox) and June 21st (summer solstice) to enter in the temple, illuminating its center. The angle formed by the two windows with the observation point, is 23.5 degrees, equal to the earth's axe inclination.
, still working although the modifications to bring drinkable water to Machu Picchu hotel, is made of a narrow duct carrying water to several fountains, covering about 25 meters of elevation difference from the highest to the lowest.
More Machu Picchu pictures. From the house of the sentinels,
there is a nice view over the entire site.
observes the ruins (left picture), then goes away searching for something to eat.
Me in Machu Picchu.
Follows now a selection of the best WidevieW pictures taken in and around Machu Picchu.
Panoramic photo of Machu Picchu
from the terraces below the upper cemetery.
Another panorama photo of Machu Picchu near the house of the sentinels
, which visible on the right.
Panoramic Machu Picchu photo taken from the terraces
below the house of the sentinels.
Panorama Machu Picchu photo over the terraces and the "industrial, intellectual" part of the city
. A lama walks between the ruins.
A 250 degrees Machu Picchu panorama picture taken from the stone quarry.
Parts of the stones are visible on the left and on the right of the panorama.
More panorama taken from the terraces
: the city can be seen on the left, while the houses of the guardians are on the right.
Unfortunately it is the time to say goodbye to Machu Picchu and head back to Cusco by a 5 hours train trip