Monday, January 6, 2014

Machu Picchu - Wow, just wow.

Since this is a "points and miles" blog and not a "travelogue" blog, I won't subject you, dear reader, to too much detail about Mr. and Mrs. Poinsninja's visit to Machu Picchu.  However, I want to encourage you, as earnestly as I know how, to go yourself.  Machu Picchu is one of those places that truly lives up to the hype, and it has earned its place a one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.  I mean, just look at it:
Now, that is a magnificent sight.  And there's only one thing that could make it more visually appealing.  What's that you ask?  Why, what other than the Pointsninja?
Yes, that's better.

Seriously, Machu Picchu, difficult to get to as it is, is well worth the visit.  Mrs. Pointsninja really wanted to go after seeing it featured on "Ancient Aliens."  We weren't disappointed on that score:
And, of course, there is was also actual science going on.  As you may recall, I mentioned that The Science Channel was filming a show while we were on the mountain.  Here's their expert talking about something that I can only assume doesn't involve aliens:

As you would expect, we took many pictures, but I'll spare you them... for the most part:

I'd also like to encourage you to include Huayna Picchu in your visit.  Huayna Picchu is the mountain that you saw poised behind the Machu Picchu site in my earlier photos.  Huayna is a separate ticket from the regular Machu Picchu ticket and is reached through a gated path on the far side of the site.  Visitors are limited to 400 per day.

Huayna Picchu rises 1,180 feet above Machu Picchu and offers what are unquestionably the best views of the site.

Of course, it's a bit difficult to get to:

Once you reach the summit and take some truly remarkable pictures, you'll be faced with a choice.  Head back down the mountain by the path you just took, or descend the back side of the mountain to the Temple of the Moon.  The path down takes you 1,280 feet down towards the river and even going down can be challenging:

But, hey, how many times are you going to visit Machu Picchu?  The trek down to the Temple is grueling (and the walk back up is worse) but it really gives you an appreciation for the scope of the entire site.  Does it look like I thought it was worth it?  Well, no, but I do now!

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