Visiting Machu Picchu – A Dream Come True!!

Machu PicchuWhat is at the top of your Bucket List?

For me, it’s been Machu Picchu for several years now.

I’ve seen dozens of pictures, videos, blog posts, post cards, and documentaries. Every time, I saw one of my Travel Blogger friends take the Iconic Picture of themselves, I wondered if I would ever get there or would it just stay a dream? The thing about dreams is that they can stay as mere hopes or wishes unless you take dramatic and decisive action!

Having been to 72 countries on 6 continents, sometimes you get bored of seeing church after church or temple after temple or museum after museum or mountain after mountain. However, Machu Picchu is a unique site unlike any other on this planet! Being there in person was super super impactful on every level: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. In fact, I was in tears a number of times as I couldn’t hold in all the joy and happiness associated with the feeling of having a dream come true!
Peru Rail

There are 3 major ways to get to Machu Picchu:

1) Trekking – the classic way to get to Machu Picchu is to do the Inca Trail or several other trails. However, since we are traveling with toddlers and a baby, we decided to take Peru Rail. Maybe one day we will come back with our kids and all of us will do the Inca Trail together. “Right, Rianne, Ryan, and Renzo?”  😉

2) Train – there are 2 companies that go from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu Town (Peru Rail and Inca Rail). We opted for Peru Rail as it’s more established and they had a special when we booked. We were super happy with Peru Rail as the staff absolutely loved our kids!

3) Bus – taking a bus or mini-van or car still involves a 2 hour walk along the Train Tracks unless you take the Train from Hydro Electrica to Machu Picchu Town. It is impossible to take a vehicle directly from Cusco to Machu Picchu as there is no accessible road at this time

We took a tour of The Sacred Valley from Cusco on the first day stopping at a few stops (Inca Ruins) before sleeping overnight in the beautiful Inca town of Ollantaytambo. The next day, we took Peru Rail to Aqua Caliente (also known as “Machu Picchu Town“). The train ride was beautiful (Insider Tip: when you take this train, make sure you sit on the left hand side which is facing the gorgeous river and valley as the right hand side is facing a boring cliff most of the way).

We had a nice relaxing time at the Hot Springs in Aqua Caliente (after which the town was named)! You have to bring your own Towels but there is a free locker at the site where you can store your valuables while you take a relaxing dip in the Pools. There are 7 different pools with temperatures ranging from warm to super hot. The kids liked the hot ones the best as we went around sunset so it was cold outside the pools after it got dark.

The next morning, we woke up at sunrise to get one of the early morning Mercedes Green Buses to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Luckily, we got priority access as we were traveling with 3 young kids (5 year old Rianne, 3 year old Ryan, and 1 year old Ryan). It’s amazing that at only 5 years old and under, all of our kids have been to Machu Picchu (something that a lot of people wait their lives to see for themselves). Our kids are certainly blessed! The anticipation keeps building the closer you get to Machu Picchu (from Lima to Custco to Ollantaytambo to the Train Ride to Aqua Caliente to the final Bus Ride to the Ruins). It is hard enough for us to get to the ruins as modern-day travellers…imagine the effort it took for the Incas when they built it!

We got a 2 hour Walking Tour which explained the history and significance of Machu Picchu and then we spent 2 hours by ourselves exploring the ruins on our own. It was really emotive to be at the ruins and walking amongst one of the best kept archaeological sites in the world. I made several videos at Machu Picchu to promote my Digital Nomad Mastery Podcast, Virtual Summit, and Website so stay tuned for those as I release them over the next few weeks and months.

Make sure you get your official Machu Picchu Stamps in your Passports right at the Exit Gate. Rianne and Ryan made sure all 5 of our passports were stamped! It’s now one of our favourite stamps in our Passport (alongside our Equator Stamp received at the Equator in Ecuador and our Floating Islands Stamp received at Uros Island on Lake Titicaca). By the way, what’s your favourite Passport Stamp?

After a quick snack at the Machu Picchu Cafe, we were off back to Cusco but we opted to take the circular route back instead of returning the exact same way we came (I have a habit of not taking the same route back twice during our travels unless absolutely necessary). We took the bus to Machu Picchu Town, then a scenic train ride to Hydro Electrica and then a long 6 hour Mini Bus Ride back to Cusco. We made it back just in time to catch our Peru Hop Bus to Puno.

What an AMAZING experience!!

Have you been to Machu Picchu yet? Please leave us a comment below sharing about your experience visiting the Lost City of the Incas! 

A big THANK YOU to Machu Picchu Reservations and Peru Hop (we got discounts in return for marketing their companies on our blog and social media) for making this trip possible.

Machu Picchu Reservations