ECO TOUR TO MACHU PICCHU

Departing from the airport of Lima city at 06:00 AM on a Lan Peru flight, I was beginning a new visit to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. In flight, I was trying to imagine about this new alternative of how to know and enjoy one of the most wonderful places of the earth.

Just to see, from the air, the Andes Mountains, their snowy peaks and lagoons, was only the first step to an eco-adventure.

After enjoy the excellent on-board service, we arrived on-time at 07:15 on airport of Cusco City, immediately get a taxi to transfer directly to Ollantaytambo (97 Km - 60 miles) from Cusco city, where I arrive at 08:50 AM, so I could aboard the train to Machu Picchu. I had taken special care in get a window left side seat, in order to have the best sightseeing of the landscapes during the journey.

The railroad goes parallel at right shore of Urubamba river, and to the other bank there is an extensive valley view, which turns in canyons at some zones; the geography change from Andean zone to the high jungle.

Make the travel with this itinerary, let me be sure to avoid the highlands sickness (soroche), this is because from the arrival to Cusco (3,399 m.a.s.l.) up to Machu Picchu Village (2,020 m.a.s.l) is all descend route, and so it permits an excellent adaptation to height.

During the train journey, I could see majestic Incas constructions, been the most emphasized the just restored Chachabamba andenería (great terraces)

At 10:30 AM we arrived at Kilometer 107, place known as "Parador de Choquesuysuy" where the train stops only briefly and passengers can get off the train; at that place we found our guide, the porters and all the necessary equipment for make the shortest version of "Inca Trail".

After crossing a hanging bridge and enter to the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, we made the register, and took the "Inca Trail", beginning the ascension to the mountains, all covered with abundant vegetation and splashed by legendary Incas' constructions. From this point, the birdwatchers, orchid, nature and adventure lovers get confuse in deep feelings about the integration and diversity of landscapes and events.

At my arrival and discovery of Wiñay Wayna, I only had to pay cult to the greatness reached by the Inca Culture. The place and landscape have an indescribable beauty. We continue, after a light lunch, to another high peak point, called "Intipunku", where we enjoyed an amazing and allure sightseeing of Machu Picchu Inca Citadel. Then, we descend and began the guided visit to the now considered one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World".

Machu Picchu Citadel
Machu Picchu Citadel © internet

At 5 PM, after a complete visit of Machu Picchu citadel, we got one of the minibuses in order to descend to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Village), a town that turns to be the arrival point of the train Cusco - Machu Picchu.

From this event began the second part of my trip, and personally I never wonder that there can be something else which would make me surprise, after the ecstasies of passed sensations.

But I was mistaken, because when entering to the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel was like alternating between living pictures. Only a few places in the world, which I had known, can be like this one. The hotel with contemporary constructions, integrated to the landscape and the nature, as an Andean village, inserted in leafy forests with a rich biodiversity, where special care have been taken for the vegetation distribution, specially the flowers which perfume the atmosphere, and the eucalyptuses fragrance at night.

After a quick register at the hotel, I was invited to drink a revitalize tea harvested in the own field of the hotel, after that, a relaxing rests in my beautiful room.

The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, is an ecological hotel designed in accordance with boutique hotel standards, is not only one of the best hotels in its class in Peru, but it has received important international distinctions, especially for ecological themes, emphasizing the followings:

  • National Geographic TRAVELERRecognition of the best Sustainable Tourism practices (mayo-junio 2002).
  • American Orchid Society (AOS): Conservation Award (1998) and awarded as the "largest orchid garden in the world open to the public" (mayo 2001).
  • Condé Nast Traveler: Hot List 1998 - Best Hotels of the World.

After the sunset, I went to the lobby to meet the hotel's biologist Ms. Carmen Soto, who is in charge to maintain the conservation projects, and so we began our first tour inside the forests of the hotel.

"Gray to the evening walk": This walk invites to meditation and spiritualism, after follow beautiful marked footpaths, we get inside the landscape and all the majesty environment of one of the most magical places of the world, where cosmic forces are concentrated.

During the walk, we stopped at Sacred Rock, with primitive drawings where ancient Peruvians offered rituals to "Pachamama" or Mother Earth; The "Rocotal" Observatory, with spectacular views of the mountains, the opulent landscape and a full stars sky.

At sunrise of second day, well rest, relaxed and with a totally revitalized soul, one more time I got the hotel lobby to meet Ms. Carmen Soto and begin a new tour. Previously informed, and only imagine that in all USA territory there are only 13 hummingbirds species, and in the 15 hectares hotel forest exists 16 species, in addition of other 141 birds species, 111 of butterflies, it was spectacular only to imagine how conservation projects and the excellent ecological treatment has allowed this great biodiversity concentration.

Another surprising theme was the orchids, the hotel has joined and preserves 372 native orchids species, which can be seen and contemplated. Before the walk, we received a lists of plants, orchids and birds species, which can be find, also binoculars and magnifying glasses, and so professional and expert guides.

Also we feel great satisfaction when we knew and see a special project for spectacled bear or Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the same that after been found under captivity, are readapted in order to be given back to its own habitat.

The tour "Nature walk" took us through ecological footpaths during one hour and a half, and allows integrating with nature and share divinity creations. Medicinal plants, bromeliads, fruits, aromatic herbs, birds, butterflies, petroglyphs and more, gave us the chance to commitment ourselves more with the best way of contribute with the nature conservation and give value to that persons or institutions which perform so admirable work. Also, there are tours only for birdwatchers and orchid theme.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel can also bring this tours to any tourist, is not exclusive for its guests.

After a delicious and revitalize buffet lunch at "Cafe InkaTerra", being 3:45 PM, I went to the train station at Machu Picchu Village, only 15 minutes walking from the hotel, for continue my trip to the America's archaeological capital, Cusco City.


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