The Machu Picchu country - Peru
During the few last days in Bolivia we crossed lake Titicaca, spent a night in Copacabana and rode towards the border of Peru – country of colorful people, llamas and alpacas and of course – the majestic Machu Picchu!
It wasn’t difficult for us to decide what to start our Peruvian experience from – we nodded to each other and turned towards Cusco, where the Machu Picchu adventure begins. After a small research it was soon clear – there are three ways to reach the Inca City:
1. By walking the Inca Trail (3-4 days hike). We cannot be called serious hiking enthusiasts, so we didn’t go for this option (even if we were serious hiking enthusiasts, we couldn’t do it since every year on February the trail is closed for maintenance)
2. By riding a train (a simple one for at least 140USD per person or a fancy one for 500USD…). As riding motorcycles and not the trains is our preference, we decided to save money and not go the easy way, so we chose the last available option:
3. Riding our own bikes for as long as there is a road and then walking the last 10 kilometers along the railway track (the same railway that is mentioned in option No.2)
So we left Cusco, heading towards Machu Picchu through the Sacred Valley. The road through Urubamba, Ollantaytombo, Santa Maria and towards Santa Teresa is one of the most spectacular ones we rode in South America!
As we arrived to Santa Teresa (basically the last village before the road ends) and found a safe and cozy guesthouse lobby for our motorcycles to spend 3 nights in, we took a minivan called “el colectivo” for 5 Peruvian soles to the end of the road and walked the scenic railway track until we reached the village called Aguas Calientes (it’s based between the mountains and its’ only access to the world is a railway track). It’s from there everyone enters Machu Picchu. But other than being a gate to the most visited tourist attraction in Peru, the village is dull – stuffed with touristic shops and restaurants, but that is all…
We entered Machu Picchu at 6 AM on Monday morning and were greeted by local llamas! They make the place so much funnier :) But of course, the place is incredible – small houses perfectly structured on the hills above the green terraces. Early in the morning the place was still “snoozing” under the while cloud and we could stand above it and watch the place uncover itself slowly as crows of people started gathering in. It is indeed an unforgettable experience to be there.
Just before the noon, we turned back and again took a walk along the railway track back to where the road starts and after a short bumpy ride in an old Toyota Corolla with half a million kilometers on the odometer, we were reunited with our motorcycles in Santa Teresa.