Wonder of the World #1 – Machu Picchu

We woke up at 4am. We then waited in line for an hour to get on the bus that would take us up to Machu Picchu. I have never seen so many people wait in a line at that hour of the day. But it was more than worth it.

We were lucky to be some of the first people to enter the park. There was another option to hike up to Machu Picchu but as we had another hike ahead of us, the bus was the best option. We spent the next hour wandering the ruins and listening to the tour guide, me catching every fourth word in Spanish.

We had an entrance ticket to Wayna Picchu at 10am. Also known as Huayna Picchu, only 400 total can climb each day, 200 in the morning and 200 in the afternoon. We had the 10am pass so as long as we started our climb before then, we were guaranteed entry.

I thought getting the ticket was the hard part but little did I know, I was gearing up for the hardest climb I had encountered yet. Oh, and did I mention I had a backpack with a computer in it? Yea, word of advice, use the lockers outside of Machu Picchu. Unfortunately I didn’t know about them until it was too late.


The beginning of the climb.. you have to go down to go up.

The next hour would be spent climbing steep stairs with people crossing up and down. It was hard. You stopped asking people how much longer because you truly did not want to know. I was out of shape, but I was even more impressed by some of the people doing the climb who were three times my age. What happens if someone had a heart attack or broke something during this climb? Must think happy thoughts….

Some people brought oxygen along the way. You also forget that you are quite a bit above sea level (7,972′) and simply breathing is a challenge in itself. We had some coca leaves which helped you to keep going when you wanted to quit.

All said and done, it was so so worth it. If you take all the time and money to get to Machu Picchu, make sure you plan well enough in advance to climb Huayna Picchu as well. I can’t say enough good things. All I can do is give you a taste of the victory you will feel when you reach the top.


It was exhilarating. It is clear why it is a wonder of the world and why it is on seemingly everyone’s bucket list. I would do it all again in a minute.


one last look…

What are you waiting for?

Cusco: A foodie paradise

After Lima, we headed to Cusco. You cannot talk about Cusco without talking about food. Now, food almost everywhere in Peru is delicious. I am not sure what it is, perhaps it is all the potatoes, but the food is just great.

In Cusco, we stayed at two different places. For the first part of the trip, we were at El Mariscal, Cusco. I would definitely recommend this hotel. It is walkable to most areas of the city, feels safe, and great price. We had already booked our tour for Macchu Picchu (which I will discuss in my next post), so we spent our time looking at other tours around Macchu Picchu and exploring Cusco.

Exploring local ruins.

Exploring local ruins.

We were in Cusco for around 8 days which was a good amount considering Macchu Picchu takes up a minimum of two days. Our first day in Cusco was spent adjusting. We then signed up for a local tour around to some of the sites in the area surrounding Cusco. If you think Macchu Picchu is all there is to do near Cusco, you are sorely mistaken.

We went on a tour of Sacsayhuaman with a local tour company. They also took us to a few other ruins around the area. It is amazing to see what people built thousands of years ago. This was a tour of an Inca fortress that is situated above Cusco. It is very large and you can spend some time walking around.


Walking around Sacsayhuaman, just outside of Cusco.

The other part of the day was spent touring some museums in the area and even seeing some buildings that date back to the Incas within the city. The buildings themselves are engineering marvels considering the amount of earthquakes they withstood. Some are built better than modern day buildings.


Taking in Plaza de Armas from the steps of the Cathedral.

Now for my favorite part of Cusco, the food! We made stops at quite a few restaurants as we are self-proclaimed foodies. The top 3 are as follows:

  1. Green Point – Go. Now. Do not think about it. Cheap Vegan eats that you cannot beat. Go for lunch and you will not be disappointed. Stop after a meal for dinner. You will not regret it!


    The amazing dessert at Green Point.

  1. Le Soliel- We splurged on this one while we were in Cusco. This is one of the top rated French restaurants in not only Cusco, but all of Peru. You will not be disappointed but it will cost you. We started with Escargo and then I went with the Duck l’Orange and my boyfriend had the rack of Lamb as main courses. All was delicious and prepared very well. We washed it down with a wonderful bottle of Malbec that the owner recommended. World-class experience.
  1. Papachos – Right out side of Plaza de Armas is this burger/wings/ sporty restaurant that you take the stairs straight up. You can sit on the balcony and watch the people in Plaza de Armas. The view comes with a price and two burgers and drinks ran us around $40 USD. Try the Alpaca burger or stop in for drinks when your favorite team is playing. You won’t be disappointed. Great, solid food, when you are missing some more typical American style food.