I have been wanting to visit Machu Picchu my entire life. I can die a happy woman, now.
After viewing oodles of photos and reading just as many reviews, it still didn't prepare me for the breathtaking amazement that is Machu Picchu.
Here's how we got there: We arrived in Cuzco in the early afternoon via Star Peru Airlines and booked a taxi at one of the kiosks inside the airport. DO NOT take your chances getting into one of the taxis just outside the door. Overpriced and some are shady. The fare from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo was 45 soles for two people = very inexpensive for an hour and a half drive through the beautiful Sacred Valley. The taxi dropped us in the Plaza de Armas in Ollantaytambo. We walked a short distance toward the ruins to our B&B called Hostal Sauce. Beautiful place. We stayed two nights there.
To get to MP, we took Peruvian Rail to Aguas Calientes (AC) early the second morning. That is the ONLY way to get to AC as there is no road between the two towns. The train ride was about an hour and 45 minutes. Upon arrival in AC, you must find the bus station which is down the hill from the station. Ask someone if you need assistance finding it. We simply followed people and noticed the bus line queue once we got into town. The buses leave frequently and they pack them FULL so don't carry a lot with you. The bus ride takes about 40 minutes and, I have to say, is quite incredible. The road up the mountain is narrow and winding but the views are breathtaking.
The walk from where the bus drops you off is uphill and gradually leads you into the ruins. As you approach, what you see is stunning. So quiet, so ancient, almost spiritual, so surreal. I had difficulty absorbing the fact that I WAS FINALLY HERE! My travel partner (my son) and I looked at each other...speechless.
We spent most of the day climbing and exploring, listening to others, breathing, reflecting, soaking it all in. Hiking poles helped me navigate some of the steeper stairs. Rest frequently and bring lots of water as exposure is high as is the altitude! Just take it slowly and enjoy it. There's no need to rush here.
Please know that the Peruvian government limits the number of visitors to 2,500 per day. The beauty of this place cannot be described sufficiently. GO while you still can!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.