Before we climb this mountain together we have to clarify its name. Its correct pronunciation is Machu Picchu. This is Quechua and means “old mountain”. But most tourists say Machu Pichu which actually means “old penis”.
In order to be among the first ones, we got up at 4 am to pass the bridge at 5 am and hike up to reach the gate to the Inca village before it opened at 6 am. The other option would have been to pay $12 for the bus at 5.30 am to drive up there. But the hike through the high coastal rain forest was beautiful, even though a bit steep.
We entered shortly after 6 am and went up to the guard house to get that postcard picture. But unfortunately there was so much mist that there was no point in taking pictures. And as the mist seemed to stay for a while, we continued to explore the Inca village. Thanks to low season there weren’t too many people and the place felt truly magical. The mist made it even more mystical and we enjoyed our visit a lot.
When the weather cleared up a bit, we wanted to return to take the famous picture with the village and later with the Llamas. But we were advised that it was a one-way track. So, we finished the round course and wanted to start it again, but were denied re-entrance. Nobody had told us anything about that in advance and we feared to leave Machu Picchu without our desired photos. We had quite an intense discussion to negotiate another 55 minutes. Luckily, we could take all our desired photos, including the Llama pics, but a bitter aftertaste stayed.
After our hike back, we went to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes to relax and took the train and bus back to Cusco the next day.