Global Cuisines and Cultures: Peru Trip 5

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Machu Picchu

We had previously been told that the train ride to the Machu Picchu “base town” of Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu Pueblo, was a beautiful one—and it did not disappoint. We were given full service by the train stewards, meaning drinks, snacks, and a great conversation about the surrounding area and a bit of background history regarding Machu Picchu. Going through the mountains and the jungle and passing various hikers on the Inca Trail, the train ride into town was one that we won’t forget for a while.

Train ride to Machu Picchu through the Andes Mountains

The train ride to Machu Picchu sends us through the Andes

After arriving at the closest town to Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, we made our way to the buses that would take us up to the mountain. The town was touristy; as we walked down the slope to wait in line for the bus, we passed hotels, restaurants selling Mexican food and pasta, porters transporting hikers’ bags, and plenty of stalls selling trinkets, bags, and textiles. This strange town was a cool spot to be in, and it only heightened our expectation for Machu Picchu itself.

One winding and breathtaking ride through the mountains later, we were standing at the entrance gates. After showing our passport and admission ticket, we walked about five minutes before the whole valley just seemed to open up before us and we were left with a view of the remains of the mysterious Inca civilization.

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Aguas Calientes is the base town closest to Machu Picchu

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The valley opens up before us, giving us a grand view of one of the “Wonders of the World.”

Our guide, Jeremy, gave us a great guided tour, and then a few of us took a hike up to the Sun Gate. This gave us a spectacular aerial view of the ruins as well as the entire valley.

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Jeremy gives us a fabulous guided tour of the history of the mountain and its people

We caught the bus down back to Aguas Calientes, and then took the train to Cusco. All in all, the trip to Machu Picchu was incredible, and it was amazing experiencing it with the class!

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By Dan Salisbury

Dan Salisbury
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