Machu Picchu is a place of magic and mysticism, and those who have made the lengthy journey to visit it have experienced just that. Even while looking at photos of this sacred Incan site, it opens up inspiration and wonderment. Machu Picchu’s energy is that powerful and special. It is one of those locations on this planet that when you arrive the timing is just right in your life to visit, so do not be in a hurry because it comes down to universal timing.
When I had traveled to Machu Picchu the timing in my life was just right. A year prior I had become a Reiki Master, although I had already been working with energy, and been a lightworker for two decades. That was not my career though, as I had been working in software since 1996, it was just a part of who I was. Machu Picchu was a game changer for me, and unbeknownst on to me at that time, my visit had opened up something within me.
The magic of Machu Picchu is not anything new, and this location has been known as one of the top 10 spiritual destinations in the world. It is said that this is a place where all the chakras align, and is an energy vortex. As a person who does work with chakra energy, I can first hand say that Machu Picchu does trigger some inward sense of being even if that is not what you came for.
Whether you hike the Inca trail, which in itself pushes you to find your personal drive, and a sense of there is no turning back now; or traveling long distance from where you came from, and taking transportation to Machu Picchu, either way your path is the destination.
I had come to Machu Picchu with two friends, and my cousin during a two week trip of Peru. My friend remembers me saying that this trip was a game changer for me, it was when I decided to dedicate my life to exploring the world, and live a globe trotter lifestyle. I felt it deep within (soul level) and believed it, it was something that I knew. Then the magic happened, and the opportunities started to open up. I have been to fifty countries so far- Machu Picchu is magical.
Millions of people each year come to Peru to visit Machu Picchu, but there are only 2,500 tickets per day to enter this sacred site. It is one of the most significant places on Earth, and was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981. Then in 1983 Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To add on to its global importance, it was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
Current archaeologist suggest that Machu Picchu was built as estate for Pachacuti, the Inca emperor from 1438-1472. This sacred site is often called the “Lost City of the Incas”, and was built around 1450. It was abandoned about a century later, around the time the Spanish had conquered the Inca Empire.
It was not until 1911 when Hiram Bingham III, an explorer, American academic, and politician made public the existence of Machu Picchu. The same year, Bingham organized the 1911 Yale Peuvian Expedition to travel to unexplored Inca cities, with the focus of searching for the last capital of the Incas. On July 24, 1911 Bingham was led to Machu Picchu by Melchor Arteaga. The Inca site had been forgotten by everyone except for a small number of local indigenous farmers.
The journey to Machu Picchu is an adventure of its own. The closest main city is Cusco, which is 1.5 hours by plane or 20 hours by land from the capital, Lima. Once you are in Cusco, a train is then taken to the town of Aguas Calientes, which is the train station for Machu Picchu. You can also take the train from the towns of Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. There are different train companies that will take you- Hiram Bingham (luxury), Peru Rail, and Inca Rail.
My friends and I had booked tickets on Peru Rail, which was a comfortable ride to Aguas Calientes. The ride is over three hours, so expect to wake up early to board the train. I had booked us a private day tour that picked us up from the Marriott in Cusco, brought us to the train station, handled all our ticketing and entries, as well as giving us a private guide for the fours of us. There are several agencies that can handle it all for you, so there are no surprises. Remember there is limited entry, and by using an agency you will be guaranteed a train seat, and enterance into Machu Picchu.
Once we arrived in Aguas Calientes, it was a smooth transition. Our private guide was waiting for us when we got off the train, and walked us to the bus station where he handled our tickets.
The town of Aguas Calientes was amazing, and is what one would expect in this part of the world. There were small hotels, restaurants and great shopping for locally made crafts and souvenirs. Aguas Calientes actually did not exist until the railway was built, as it was the center for construction workers. It started to expand after 1931 when the train started bringing foreign visitors to the Machu Picchu ruins.
I will not lie, the bus ride up and down was quite harrowing. There is only one road up the mountain, which is narrow and is for both sides of traffic. The ride up is about 30 minutes and slow moving. It is the last stretch before reaching Machu Picchu.
Tip: Since we went through a private company, they handled all the tickets from the train, the bus and MP entry, so we did not have to wait in line. Often during high season (June through August), visitors will wait for hours in line to purchase a bus ticket. If you ask me, that is not worth it and a waste of time. Spend the extra money and go with a reputable day tour company that will handle everything, you will have a more pleasurable and convenient experience. If you do not like big groups, there are companies who will take you and your group privately- that is what we did.
Once we got to end of the winding road, and after a long train ride from Cusco we were now at Machu Picchu. The very site that lead us on a two week exploration of Peru. The sacred ruins of Machu Picchu was everything I was hoping it would be and more. It was breathtaking with green mountainous views, and an ancient spiritual vibe unlike no other.
The citadel of Machu Picchu was constructed in Inca tradition with large dry-stone walls that were hammered and smoothed down. The masonry technique used by the Incas was remarkable, as no mortar was used to hold the stones in place. There is much to explore including three main structures; the Inithuatana (ritual stone/ calendar clock), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Many of the buildings have been reconstructed and restored, to give perspective of how Machu Picchu originally appeared.
Machu Picchu is on many people’s bucket list, but not everybody makes the journey. It takes time, intention, and effort to get here from wherever you are on Earth. The venture to Machu Picchu is worth it; every step, every mile, every flight, and every train ride. The time will be just right when you find yourself in this mystical sacred site, it comes down to the timing of the universe.
Sometimes you find your path, sometimes it finds you …– Max Brooks
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