There’s No Pouting at Machu Picchu

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Day 320: Cusco, Peru

Unlike most of the bridezilla-like travelers to visit Machu Picchu I really did not have a lot of expectations.

Although Aleah had an adventure hiking solo to Machu Picchu, Neverending Voyage, who I highly respect, said it was one of the most overrated places they had visited.

Instead of shopping around I snagged a $200 door-to-door all-inclusive deal from the hostel and headed out with Chuck, a radio host from England.

He really wanted to take the train and it turned out to be a great time. As I looked out the train window at the pouring rain I knew I had made the right decision not to hike.

One of the things we both wanted to do was climb Waynapicchu, only 400 people are allowed on this mountain at the site.

This means you have to be at the bus station at 4am to get in a long line for the 5:30am bus.

As always there was a catch.

Our tour guide hadn’t bought our ticket yet. But the hostel owner assured us that we should go wait in line and she would run to get the tickets and meet us in line at 5:30 so we wouldn’t miss out on Waynapicchu.

We woke up at 3:30am, got in line at 4am, waited an hour and a half in the rain and the line started to move.

But we didn’t have tickets.

As we inched closer I could feel my anxiety rising, I couldn’t see the hostel owner anywhere.

You may think this is the moment where she shows up at the last minute and we catch the bus.

This is not that moment.

We reached the head of the line and I explained we still didn’t have entrance tickets so they pulled us off to the side.

I watched 8 buses of 40 people leave the bus station. I knew at the same time so many others would have hiked there.

The dream of Waynapicchu was over.

At 6am our hostel owner came running, profusely apologizing in Spanish and I smiled, thanked her and took the tickets.

After all it wasn’t her fault, the guide was supposed to have purchased them in advance.

There was no longer a line and we got on the next bus. I had already been up for 3 hours for no reason and was fuming, in my head I was crafting my complaint to the hostel tour guide.

I don’t know why I was so angry, I didn’t really care about Waynapicchu, I had seen views from the other peaks and they were just as good.

But I was tired and wet so in my head I had composed the most eloquent complaint, but then I realized I had two choices:

– I could spend the day disappointed that I didn’t climb Waynapicchu OR

– I could just enjoy the day and climb one of the other mountains that the guide said was just as great

Choosing the latter, I released the anger and arrived just excited to see something interesting for the day.

Machu Picchu entrance

As we entered I took a chance and asked the girl if it was still possible and a man to the side waved me over and stamped both our tickets.

We had stamps for Waynapicchu for 7am.

And at the moment where I felt incredibly lucky, I also felt foolish for being so angry. Even if I hadn’t made it, would it have been that big of a deal?

It was a tough climb to the top but completely manageable.

I’m not much of a hiker, in fact I’m pretty lazy when it comes to the outdoorsy stuff but the rain had cleared and the weather was great.

We took our time climbing the 90 degree steps to the top although I had acclimated to the altitude my face was pretty much red the entire way.

At top of Machu Picchu

And after an hour we finally reached the top. Had some snacks and took all of the obligatory photos.

On our way down the clouds started gathering in mass making for some great photos but also obscuring the site below.

Once we reached the bottom it started raining, and as we had been up nearly 7 hours we went for coffee before our tour hoping it was just a morning shower and would clear up for the tour.

It didn’t.

Machu Picchu in the rain

It was cold and rainy for the rest of the day.

Machu Picchu turned into a site with a rainbow of $1 poncho covered tourists. But rather than sulk about the weather let it ruin my day we went on the tour and continued to have a great day.

But by then I had already learned I choose whether I have a great day or not.

I had a great day.

Author’s Note: Don’t forget to follow Chuck on Twitter or Instagram. He is fascinating on both and I recommend following him.

Join the Conversation

  1. Wow, you have reach a new high in being open to “shit happens”! Love the last picture of you on the mountain.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Mom, it does hide all my grey hair.

  2. “Machu Picchu was a rainbow of $1 poncho covered tourists.” Love it. And hey – at least you’ll get some more unique photos than the standard empty MP photo evvvvveryone has!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Good point and I won’t forget the effort of trying to take them.

  3. I’m glad you chose not to be a bridezilla-like backpacker. But I went through the same anxiety because of “shit happening” during the Machu tour. Judging from the smile on your face you still had a great time. Good! =)

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Just a bit of bridezilla and then realized I was being ridiculous.

  4. Great attitude to have about just enjoying it no matter how it goes!

    I did the 4 day hike and it rained at least part of each day (although it was also sunny for part of each day, so not totally miserable and still fairly warm). It was so cloudy the morning we arrived at Machu Picchu, we couldn’t even see anything from the Sun Gate. And although we got to enjoy a bit of sunshine later in the morning, we were eventually caught in a torrential downpour. But we made the best of it by heading back down to Aguas Calientes and doing a bar crawl through the town! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Chuck and I had our own unofficial pub crawl afterward in Aguas Calientes, although it was raining so much it consisted of one bar.

  5. Camels & Chocolate says:

    What great pictures of you! Love the one of you crouched down behind the rock. And the poncho in front of the site is classic, too!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      How about my scrunched up face trying to pretend it’s not raining in my eyes – ha!

  6. Justin Hamlin says:

    And what a cute $1 poncho you donned!

    Life is a series of those decisions. I always tell my wife that getting angry, uoset, etc, is just a waste of time and energy,time and energy that would be better spent while being happy.

    9/10 times I win that one.

    Glad to see you made the most of your day. The pictures are still great and the memory will last a lifetime.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Actually my poncho was $1.99 because I bought it in Canada and have not needed to wear a rain cover yet.

      For people building a packing list for an RTW, this is proof you don’t need a rain coat πŸ™‚

  7. Glad you chose to have a great day! It looks fabulous but then again I would have been annoyed too after being up at 3:30am! I’m glad it turned out fun in the end!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It was really the longest day ever. Drank two very expensive coffees.

  8. Looks like it all worked out for you! Was there a crazy fashion show on the train trip back to Cusco? We had overly enthusiastic models working the train trying to sell alpaca garments.
    Even though it brings in the crowds, Machu Picchu does not disappoint

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      No crazy fashion show although I had no money after buying 9 soles coffee anyway.

  9. South America ME says:

    What a great experience you shared with us. Not just the typical photos of the site itself but the whole ordeal of getting there that most are interested in.
    The train looked more modern that what I expected.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah there are two trains, I think we actually took the cheaper train while Bourdain took an old one with a dining car.

      They did feed us though!

  10. Ken Kaminesky says:

    Awesome!! You made it. Congrats πŸ™‚

  11. Michael Hodson says:

    I was lucky and caught a mostly sunny day, but dealt with a couple hours of rain also. Incredible place regardless of weather — agree with ya 100%

  12. So happy you enjoyed the day regardless of the weather! I’m sure the views were incredible regardless πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I thought the clouds were pretty cool. Not the typical photos but then again I’m not typical.

  13. Jonathan Evans says:

    Reminds me of when I did Machu Picchu with a group of 8. Got there nice & early and the guide kept telling us not to worry about Wayna Picchu, we’d get up in the second lot. By the time we got there of course, there were only 2 spots left.

    I decided there and then that what would be, would be and went off exploring the rest of the site. 3 of the group however began arguing and bickering about whose fault it was, how the guide ripped us off and on and on. They really didn’t stop. They actually managed to climb up in the end but even so, on the train back and on the bus, they were still arguing about what had happened.

    I didn’t let it bother me and had am amazing day, but it’s incredible how bogged down people get in the details and forget how lucky they are…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah for me I thought about how I wanted to remember the day – bitter and angry or just to enjoy it.

      I hate people who bitch when things go wrong, what a waste of money.

  14. Christy - Ordinary Traveler says:

    I love the first photo of you in the poncho. I’ve had to learn the lesson about letting things like this go a few times. Travel is always testing us, isn’t it?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know not the most flattering photo of me but it makes me laugh.

  15. I love your positive attitude! makes for a very fun read.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s always easier to be positive when things work out in the end.

      Also by the way I also think Cleveland rocks! I went there a few weeks before my trip and LOVED my time there.

  16. The pictures are beautiful! I give you lots of credit for still managing to enjoy your day there. I know it would have been challenging for me to not be cranky all day!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I had thought about it but it seemed so ridiculous to be mad. I was still going to see the site and I didn’t really care about WaynaPicchu but was still pulling a tantrum when things didn’t go 100% my way.

      For the record, in Latin America, nothing ever goes to plan πŸ™‚

      1. That is so very true, the faster you learn it, the lesser you’ll get disapointed (although I have to admit I often still get frustrated)

        I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the ruins. How was the view from the train?

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          That’s the funny thing, we left and returns during the night so I didn’t see anything! But I heard it’s beautiful.

  17. I feel ya on the frustration. I find that when I depend on someone else and things go askew, I tend to be much more frustrated. I find myself wondering if I had just done it all on my own would things have worked out differently? Still, over all of that, it’s absolutely true that you can choose how you feel about something — anything. Good for you for taking the positive option!

    And thanks so much for the info, too. I’m wondering if maybe I can actually scratch Machu Picchu off my list for a while. Your pictures help me feel a little better about that thought. πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know the weird thing was that I had just written the post about how Machu Picchu makes people ridiculously crazy and then I turned into one of them!

      Oh well, lesson learned, things always work out in the end.

      1. Maybe it’s one of the secret powers of ancient peoples, reaching through time. WoooOOoooOooo!

  18. The title of this post just made me laugh hysterically before I even read the story.

    I’d like to think that I would’ve done the same as you. I probably would’ve. But I think I would’ve moaned and groaned for significantly longer than you did before snapping out of it πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Perhaps if I had been with friends I had known longer or a boyfriend but I had only known Chuck a few days and didn’t want to unleash my whining so soon.

      1. chuck middleton says:

        Lol. You could have kicked and screamed..but it was still a great experiance…. even if it was a long day.

  19. Chris @CAroundTheWorld says:

    I love this post. So much of travel is learning to love what comes and not worrying about “the perfect moment”….as those always come when you least expect it!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It wasn’t perfect at all and yet in the end it was. No blue skies but a great day with a good friend.

  20. Glen Abbott says:

    Congrats on making it to Machu Picchu! Great story.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Glen, a bit of drama but well worth it.

  21. Fun! You got to climb Waynapicchu. Kinda wish I did. I didn’t find out about it in time and then on top of that, I’m a bit scared of heights. I get scared climbing pyramids. So that probably wouldn’t have been good. haha Glad you made the best of it!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know what after doing it I can honestly say it isn’t that big of a deal.

      Sure I’m glad I did it but you didn’t miss out on much.

  22. Nick Laborde says:

    Your exactly right, your day is your responsibility. I forget that some times but at the end of the day, if you choose to be miserable, it is your choice.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Being negative takes up so much energy that it usually wears me out and I give up.

  23. Great attitude. it can be really hard to force yourself not to dwell on something and let it ruin your day. I’m glad you finally got to do what you wanted and had a great time, regardless of all the obstacles.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well after the perfect complaint I had nothing left to focus on, plus the view was still amazing.

  24. Nice photos!!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Sista!

  25. Sounds like a fun, eventful day, all in all πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      In the end it definitely was

  26. I call that one heck of an adventure. You have a great attitude…and you are so right – we can be miserable or try to make the best of the situation.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh believe me, I was miserable for a while.

  27. Cornelius Aesop says:

    Well it seems like it was worth it in the end. I didn’t even make it to Machu Pichu when I was in Peru and only got as far south as Paracas. But I might move there in a year so what’s the rush.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You have lots of time to do all of it. So does that mean you’ve decided to move here for sure?

      1. Cornelius Aesop says:

        Well who knows but my fiancΓ© is from Lima, Peru so I figure I’ll be heading there for a while one way or another. It’s better than the Midwestern states of the US…to chilly

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          Well it’s a nice home base to explore the rest of South America and the food is amazing.

  28. This is one of those places I so want to visit! I am going there at end of 2011/beginning of 2012, hopefully, in my Chile + Peru backpacking trip. No, I don’t think I’ll hike that much though, I am lazy and clumsy and everything… Any suggestion for the easiest hikes is more than welcome :p

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I had no idea you were coming, hopefully I’ll still be here and we can meet up!

  29. I’m impressed with your attitude. I would have been the biggest cranky-pants if I had to do that. Wake up at 3:30? Stand around in the rain? Climb up a mountain (after waking up at 3:30)? Uh, yeah, I’m sure I would have been ripping a few people apart with my teeth.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Sally I have a hard time believing you would be anything but hilarious in any situation

  30. Wow! Great luck and wicked views, even if a little rain and cloud got in the way. Perfect attitude too, you just have to always remember “shit happens for a reason” and now you have a story to tell πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah the one good thing was that it wasn’t crowded at all, which was really nice.

  31. Nice pic at the top!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Aww thanks Judy πŸ™‚

  32. Wandering Trader's Travels says:

    It sounds great that everything turned out to be great on your trip! Despite all the negatives that happened, you didn’t let them get in the way. Thinking too much of the negatives would have only made your day worse AND YOU DIDN’T! *applause*

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Okay well they temporarily got in my way, but I hate a sandwich on the bus, and then they went away!

      1. Wandering Trader's Travels says:

        LOL. The things that food can do to our mood πŸ˜€

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          Oh I am a stress eater for sure, as soon as something goes wrong I want a sandwich.

  33. Love the photos.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks so much, they did turn out nicely after all.

  34. You nailed it, Ayngelina. We all hope for the best, but reality is that we end up getting what we get. And sometimes it’s shit. Once you accept it, and deal with it whichever way you do, it’s like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders and things become so much more enjoyable. It happened to me in Tokyo and most recently in Venice last December.

    I get disappointed/frustrated at times when travelling because I’m constantly searching for the “perfect shot” and sometimes my best laid plans don’t work out. So I deal. But it’s tough sometimes.

    Travelling seems to be one part planning, one part managing your emotions, and just a sprinkle of luck sometimes!

    Glad your trek to Machu Piccu turned out in the end! I’m so jealous! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah sometimes I think we want the photo more than the experience. I didn’t get the stereotypical llama overlooking Machu Picchu site but still had a fantastic time.

  35. Christy @ Technosyncratic says:

    I’m guilty of sometimes getting more frustrated than I should at things that are completely out of my control. Changing my expectations and just going with the flow is something I’m still working on… but I’ll get there!

    Glad you didn’t let these mishaps ruin your hike – looks like it was fun! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      That’s the thing, it wasn’t about WaynaPicchu at all, it was just a tantrum about things not going my way. I really thought I had that under wraps since traveling but it reared it’s ugly head with a bit of fatigue.

  36. is it visiting Machu picchu during this time of year a great idea?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      If you’re traveling long term I would say no big deal the rain is fine. If this is your holiday I would wait for sunnier weather as the rain may be more disappointing.

  37. Glad you finally got a chance to get up there. I was tired of you talking about it! JK! πŸ™‚

    If I was you, I would have been upset too. Unfortunately, I have realized that I get upset when plans don’t go the way I expect. On the flip side, you learned that things can work out even if they don’t go as planned. It’s one of the lessons I am working on incorporating into my own travels.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yep three posts about one wonder of the world was enough for me too. I was happy for it to go live and people to stop asking how it was!

  38. Way to move beyond your anger! I would have had the same reaction, though I don’t know if I could have been the “bigger man” in a situation like that. Glad you managed to get to Waynapicchu. I know you’re not much of an outdoorsy type, but if you do ever fancy another hike and unique view of Machu Picchu, try Putukusi!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I wasn’t the bigger person for their sake but my own. I didn’t want to remember Machu Picchu being a negative experience, also getting into WaynaPicchu certainly helped make it positive overall.

  39. I’ve never been to Peru, but I could so relate to your emotions here! Thanks for being so honest.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Mara, in the end I think I’ve learned a lesson for any site. Just relax and don’t expect a perfect experience.

  40. Way to turn that frown upside down πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ha, thanks Claire!

  41. I think one of the benchmarks for measuring a successful trip is how open you are to the possibility that absolutely everything can go wrong. Your attitude toward the situation truly determines whether or not you will derive any satisfaction from that experience. It seems that you went with the flow, which (I think) made the trip all the more interesting. Thanks for sharing those great photos too.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ultimately here things always go wrong, you have to just accept it and hope for the best. It was a good lesson to learn.

  42. This is a perfect example of how travel makes us better, more patient people. πŸ™‚ Awesome day!

  43. Jen Gresham says:

    Great story! We skipped Waynapicchu when we went (maybe it should be called “Whined-atchyou-picchu?). We did get a healthy rain shower that cleared all the other tourists away, so I had the pleasure of seeing Machu Picchu virtually empty. It did not disappoint. Glad your day didn’t either!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ha! It is definitely an over hyped hike that you can skip.

      If I were going during the sunny weather I’d just sleep it and head there late morning when all the exhausted tourists left from being up at 3am!

  44. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    I had a REALLY bad experience right before we took the train to MP and the whole way there I was pouting and in a foul mood. As soon as I got to WP though my mood completely changed. I’m shocked that NEV would say it was overrated. I wanted to be pinched the entire time I was there, because I felt like I was in a dream it was so incredible!!! I’m glad that you didn’t let the morning ruin your experience.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So I thought it was pretty awesome but not life changing. If I had paid hoardes of money to go I would have been disappointed – maybe I’m becoming jaded!

  45. David Krug says:

    Simply looks like an amazing experience. Even the train looks like a good time.

    I’m jealous!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love trains, all trains, even subways so it was perfect for me.

  46. Really great post Ayngelina. It’s so lovely to hear that kind of attitude, I’m a true believer in the only way to be really happy (especially when travelling) is to go with the flow…and weather wise (speaking as a photographer)sometimes the best shots are in the crappiest weather. I remember a few years ago standing at the Grand Canyon waiting for that red glow that hits the canyon walls at sunset and I could see a huge storm cloud rolling in from the North rim. I started moaning to my partner Dave that I wasn’t going to get that beautiful light and as the big grey cloud came in it started to rain. All of a sudden a huge rainbow appeared out of the canyon and strecthed all the way up to the could….it was a fantastic shot! I was diappointed becasue I thought my expectations wouldn’t be met…instead i got something much better. πŸ™‚

  47. ann wellwood says:

    Loved the photos!!!You look calm and cool in the pictures. I think being negative is a big waste of time. The positive spin you put on this very damp, rainy day made me smile…..Good Work Kid!!!!

  48. Good for you for not letting it ruin your day. John and I get pretty cranky with disorganization but have learned to let it roll off our backs when it happens and look for another solution.

  49. chuck middleton says:

    Great pic I’m the train….put it on fb.
    As for the story. It’s just as it happened.
    Glad to have been part of it..and the cafe stop in the afternoon was good too.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You were a fantastic traveling partner and great photographer πŸ™‚

  50. Loved this post and that you did Macchu Picchu your own way. It also warms my heart that your mom was the first one that commented πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Kim, she’s definitely my biggest supporter.

  51. Man you look miserable in that first photo. I’m sorry it ended up so cold and you missed wayna picchu. I promise not to go on and on about how wonderful my trek and visit was.
    On to the next adventure.
    Jason

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh no I did see Wayna Picchu, it was nice and dry and then it started raining and when chuck took this picture I was trying to pretend it wasn’t raining in my face.

  52. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

    Ummm you look pretty happy in your photos! I don’t believe this story. You lie! I want upside down smile pictures to prove you were angry!
    PS rockin that poncho..

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I don’t take photos when I’m angry, it shows my crows feet!

  53. Stephanie says:

    One of the few things I was willing to say up front that I wanted out of my year-long travels through Latin America was patience. I have never been a patient person. Being in a part of the world where nothing happens on time or as you were told it would has certainly made me more patient. And I believe you nailed the reason for that….

    We all choose to have a good day or not. And if you are not patient or if you get upset when something does not go according to the plan, you will NOT have a good day.

    Yes, I have become more patient, but it is still always a challenge to make the right choice when faced with challenging circumstances.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah I had to let my sense of control go and learn some patience because something always goes wrong.

  54. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures says:

    So, did you think Machu Picchu was the most overrated place you’d ever visited?

    1. Don’t know about Angelina, but I for one, thought it was HIGHLY over rated. Glad that I can tell everyone that I went. But it wasn’t all that great. Colca Canyon was much better. Just my opinion.

      1. Ayngelina Author says:

        I think people just have such expectations, it’s probably like the Pyramids. People expect it to be life changing and I just don’t think that happens. At least it didn’t for me.

  55. joshywashington says:

    I love the parade of the paper thin flimsy ponchos! classic!

  56. Nice! Honestly,I think we can almost always turn a bad attitude around by simply reminding ourselves that we have it so much better than so many other people. Think about all the people who will never get to see Machu Picchu. I’m glad you were able to.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Gray I completely agree with you, I felt like an overprivileged jerk for being at Machu Picchu and being grumpy.

  57. David Schneider says:

    Entertaining story! When we went to Machu Picchu it was great weather and no bummers. We were with some friends who have been all over the world including the Great Wall of China, and they declared Machu Picchu the best they had seen in all their travels! Just don’t go in the months December – March, the rainy season. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yep thatΒ΄s good advice. Although I did avoid the hoardes of people, there is always an upside.

  58. I’m glad you didn’t let that ruin your day, hun. πŸ™‚ A good lesson there for all of us to learn. In spite of the weather, you still look good and like you’re having fun.

  59. I visited MP back in 2002, when the old train was still there and everything wasn’t as tour-friednly as it is today. I was able to take pics with few people and enjoyed the train ride which needed 3 attempts before it could actually continue.It is one of my best memories of all my travels and one I think will never be as good again from what I hear/read.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh I do envy you for this!

  60. I really have to take your advice – sometimes I have something set in my head while I’m travelling, I know exactly how I want it to play out and then when it doesn’t I get royally pissed off. I will have to think like you from now on – I have a choice how to behave! Either grumble and grizzle on or deal with it! Thanks!

  61. Hey Ayngelina, I just wanted to leave a short note and let you know how jealous I am of your travels. Also I’m really happy you’re safe. You go girl!

    xo Elma

  62. Jorge Martinez says:

    Hey Ayngelina,
    It looks like you had a great time despite the uncontrollable situations that often come up.

    Personally, I enjoyed reading the part where you chose to see on the positive side. Many times, people wil ruin entire trips simply because everything wasn’t perfect. They need to roll with the punches as they say.

    Continue to enjoy your trip through South America. Be safe.

    -Jorge Martinez

  63. Looks like a very long and tiring climb but the awesome view and ancient wonder was really worth it. πŸ™‚

  64. What an experience Ayngelina, thanks for sharing it and I cannot wait to finally go myself this May. When you’ve been in Peru, did you have the chance to visit the Rainbow Mountain? I’m a bit worried as I hear so much bad but also good about it but the altitude looks like a fun-killer. I found an article on Tripadvisor where they present an alternative trek but I’m not sure. That’s why I’d like to know what you think of it Ayngelina? Further, when you’ve been in Cusco itself, what do you recommend to visit next to the San Pedro market?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I didn’t have a chance to visit Rainbow Mountain, in fact I spent most of my time in Peru in the Northern Part. However, here are my best tips for you. 1) Come early and spend a few days in Cusco to get accustomed to the altitude. It can be really intense for some people, they will feel nausous, letharic and want to sleep all the time. It happened to me in the North in Cajamarca. You need a few days to get over it.
      2) Purchase your tours in Peru, they are MUCH cheaper and you can get recommendations from other travelers on the ground. If you’re staying at a hostel or hotel there will be a tour operator there and they have tour companies all over Cusco. In fact it’s a great way to get accustomed to the altitude as it’s higher than Machu Picchu, you can just spend your days getting to know the city and looking for a tour.

      I’m not sure how long you have in Cusco and Peru total but there are some side trips depending on what you like to do:
      1) Pisac Market on Sundays – better prices than Cusco, less touristy and also there are ruins there
      2) Moray inca ruins
      3) Sacsaywaman ruins
      4) Ollantaytambo

      I also heard you can do ayahuasca somewhere just outside Cusco, but I’m too afraid to do it.

      I was once the South America expert for About.com and just tried to find articles I wrote for them about Cusco but it looks like they removed a lot of it when they changed to TripSavvy.com which is a shame because I shared so much that I don’t have on this site.

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