We woke up in Ollantaytambo and boarded a train on Peru Rail. The train goes from Ollantaytambo all of the way to the town of Aguas Calientes, but we got off the train at the KM 104 trailhead. We rode on the train for about an hour and they served us coca tea and little muffins, it was very nice.
We had left our luggage in the hotel in Ollyantambo and packed an overnight bag. Here we gave a porter our overnight bag and he walked it to our hotel in Aguas Calientes. The porter does not walk with you, but walks along the track. When you are done with the day your overnight bag is waiting for you at the hotel.
Our guide brought us lunches and we each put them in our day pack and we made our way to Wiñay Wayna. These are more very steep ruins that lead to Machu Picchu. We unexpectedly saw a baby llama. He was only 2 days old! There was a park ranger there, and he told us that they keep llamas at the ruins to help keep the grass short. It was very cute.
We had lunch soon after on the outside of an abandoned bar. There was a bar on the Inca trail! I am still amazed by this being here. You are in the middle of this ancient and now protected area, and somehow someone built a bar on the trail. It doesn’t operate anymore, as the foundation has started to crack and break apart. You get the feeling it is going to fall down to the Urubamba at any moment.
After lunch you make your way to the Sun Door. It is also called Intipunku. This is the money shot. You hike all of the way to these ruins, walk through the arch and stare down at Machu Picchu.
You descend into Machu Picchu, but by the time we got there we were exhausted and the day was over. We jumped on a bus to to Aguas Calientes and headed for our hotel. We stayed in Andina Luxury. This hotel was disappointing. I would not recommend the upcharge for it. We had originally wanted to stay at the nice hotel that is on the grounds of Machu Picchu, but there was no vacancy. We decided to stay at the “luxury” hotel in the town, and it was pretty boring. Don’t waste your money.
Our agency arranged for us to have a dinner with our guide that night. It was a nice gesture and a perfectly fine restaurant, but everyone was tired and just wanted to retire early. I would have preferred an empanada and a beer, but we were locked into a 3-course meal.