A friend of mine is heading up to Machu Picchu for the first time in the next few weeks, so I figured I’d do a series of articles about the whole Machu Picchu experience. Machu Picchu is one of the coolest places in the world, but there’s more to see than just the Inca ruins. From the restaurants and sights at Cusco, to the various towns and people of the Sacred Valley, to the Urubamba river, to the natural scenery, the Cusco area is just a magnificent part of the world.
The above image is a simple shot of the Urubamba river as it runs through the area around Aguas Calientes. This photo was probably taken in August, so the water was down a little bit, but at other times of the year this is a roaring deluge.
The strange thing about Aguas Calientes is that even though the place is constantly inudated with tourists, all you have to do to completely avoid them is take a half step off the beaten path from the Cusco airport to Machu Picchu. Seriously, about 95% of the people who come to Peru sprint with blinders on to the lost city and they don’t see ANYTHING ELSE. The fact that McDonald’s has found a beachead on the Plaza de Armas de Cusco and can actually make money despite the fact that the rent there must be a small fortune is a testament to how STUPID most tourists are.
Let me reiterate. DON’T COME TO PERU AND EAT AT McDONALD’S…ARE YOU FRICKIN’ NUTS!
So, when you come to Peru, plan for an extra day or so and just hang around Aguas Calientes and hike through the woods. It’s awesome there.
Here’s another great article to help you plan your journey!