Stamp yourself! Machu Picchu entrance costs S/128 ($48 US) and is valid for the entire day. At the entrance is a Machu Picchu self-stamp station for one’s passport. This is the first passport stamp I’ve ever run into that serves no real purpose other than “Hey, stamp!”
After leisurely buffet breakfast while the fog figured out someplace else to go (“Get off the llamas’ lawn!”), I set out for the Sun Gate (Intipunku), where those who’ve completed the 5-hour hike ( from the 104 km marker) or the 4-day hike (from the 82 km marker) get their first look at Machu Picchu (as seen in this video at 1:06.) Look who I ran into, Mike and Elizabeth from yesterday! (From England-near-Stonehenge):
16/61 Trick I told Elizabeth about my c-c-cold room in Cusco at Blanco Cristo and how my travel alarm clock had displayed “58°F” the entire time. She said to herself, “Now 61°F is 16°C so…” OMG. 16 = 61; what a great starting point. No need to try and remember that crazy formula I forgot soon after that one quiz in 6th grade. Thanks, Elizabeth!
Machu Picchu In All Of Its Splendor The fog came and went / came and went during my hike up the trail as I approached the magnificent Sun Gate overlooking the Machu Picchu citadel with spectacular views of the valley below:
Here are my other pics of my hike up to the Sun Gate, including a lone llama and bright flower:
2,500 MAX Machu Picchu allows a maximum of 2,500 visitors a day. Of those, 500 may come from via the Inca Trail, through the Sun Gate. Reading some of the “average” reviews of MP on TripAdvisor, some actually seem surprised at the number of tourists. Really, people?! Maybe pre-2007 before it was voted one of the New7Wonders of the World. I found Machu Picchu least crowded when one might expect: before 10:30am and after 4pm. Here are some pics I took of tourists for no reason: