Machu Picchu in photos

Sarah Duff Machu Picchu

Photos of famous sights can be misleading. The Pyramids of Giza look like they’re in the middle of the desert, surrounded by empty horizons of sand, while they’re actually on the edge of the dirty, chaotic city, a Pizza Hut and KFC just across the road. Stonehenge looks like it’s in an English bucolic paradise, but it’s right next to the highway. You expect to be impressed with the Mona Lisa, one of the world’s most famous artworks, but you don’t realise that the painting comes with a jostling crowd of tourists.

Machu Picchu, on the other hand, is more spectacular than photos can ever portray. The ruins themselves are beautiful, but what is more astounding is their setting. Surrounded by an amphitheatre of steep, forested peaks dipping dramatically down hundreds of metres to gushing rivers below, Machu Picchu is spread out on lush grassy terraces (which are kept neat by resident llamas). In the mornings, thick swathes of clouds envelop the site, covering everything for a few minutes, before sweeping away. While no one knows exactly what Machu Picchu was, it’s easy to see why the Incas chose this place to build it.

View from Wayna Picchu Hiking Wayna Picchu Sarah Duff Machu Picchu Sarah Duff Machu Picchu Sarah Duff Machu Picchu Sarah Duff Machu Picchu





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11 Responses to Machu Picchu in photos

  1. Sarah January 24, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Oh Sarah! Loving your trip from far SO much. (Cannot show these to Craig until we’ve saved up enough to go!)

    • Sarah Duff January 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks Sarah! Hope you get to go to Machu Picchu soon 🙂

  2. Leanne February 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    I had no idea about those things with the Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Great pictures. Was it hard climbing up there? Whenever I google tips on getting there, there are all these things saying, “bring altitude sicking meds.” I’ve been at 12,000 feet before without a problem. Did you or anyone else have these issues?

    • Sarah Duff February 2, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Leanne,

      It’s not hard to get up to Machu Picchu – you can take a $10 bus from the town (or walk up hundreds of steps if you feel like you need a work out!) and then there are a few steps to climb when you get to the ruins. The Huayna Picchu hike – to the top of a peak overlooking the ruins – was not that strenuous. I had been in Bolivia for a few weeks at a high altitude, so I had adjusted before going to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu isn’t actually that high though – Cusco, where most people start their trip, is about 1000 metres higher than Machu Picchu. Some people take altitude sickness medication for Machu Picchu, but I would think that for most people it wouldn’t be necessary.

  3. Leanne February 3, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Alright, thank you. I’ve been reading and hearing all these things about how hard it is to breathe up there and everything. Maybe those people are always at sea level all the time? That work out sounds fun (I certainly could use it). Thanks for the reassurance. I think I’ll be healthy and fine. 🙂

  4. Peggy March 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    I just read a hub from another HubPage writer who wrote about 5 different travel blogs that she likes to follow and yours was one of them. She also mentioned your fabulous photos. Judging from this first one that I opened, I can see what she means. Your photos of Machu Picchu are some of the best that I have ever viewed!

    • Sarah Duff March 12, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      Thank you Peggy! 🙂

  5. Rianne September 18, 2015 at 4:48 am #

    Hey Sarah! I’m just wondering if you did a multi-day trek from Cusco to reach Machu Picchu or not, and if so which one you chose? I’m trying to decide which trek to go on!

    • Sarah Duff September 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Rianne, I didn’t do a trek – unfortunately we didn’t have enough time and we planned the trip a bit last minute. If you can book far enough in advance the Inca Trail should be amazing but it is busy. I met people who did the Salcantay Route and loved it.


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