The last day of hiking to Machu Picchu started pretty miserably, unfortunately. We were woken up at 3:30am by the porters in the pitch black to a torrential downpour. I’m not kidding, the rain drops were the size of snowballs and there were literal rivers forming around the campsite. Because it was raining so hard we had to move even quicker to pack up and get out of our tents so the porters could clean up and take them down. This wasn’t the easiest thing to do at 3:30am while everything was wet.
3:30am is the standard wake up call for the final day of the trek. Some treks even woke up earlier!
Even though it was raining, everyone still had a positive attitude and was ready to kickstart the final day!
After breakfast we started hiking and I was so grateful I bought a poncho! If you hike the Inca Trail please buy one and bring a rain jacket! Even my pants and hiking boots soaked through and it felt like I was walking in puddles.
(Here i am looking like a BLIMP at the Sungate – not the cute photo of me I had imagined before going to Machu Picchu haha)
We walked a few minutes down the check point and waited under the roof of the checkpoint until they opened it at 5:30am. We had to wait for someone to check the trail and make sure it would be safe to go up in the rain and then we could all go up in order of who arrived to the checkpoint first.
The path was somewhat thin on the way up so we had to go single file most of the way. We hiked straight uphill for an hour and a half in the rain. Needless to say, I was so ready to get to the sungate!
Finally, we arrived to the Monkey Steps which were straight up (almost like a wall) and we had to climb up with our hands. I was so ready to get over those that I practically climb/ran up them! We arrived at the SunGate and couldn’t see Machu Picchu at first because it was rainy and cloudy. Luckily the clouds parted for a second and we got to see Machu Picchu in the background. It was amazing to see from that high up and to know we had finally made it!
To get to Machu Picchu we still had to hike about 45 minutes downhill. It drizzled most of the way down, but stopped raining right before we arrived and the clouds parted! It was PERFECT timing and I was so happy!
Right when we arrived to Machu Picchu we all got a little overwhelmed. This was mainly because there were already TONS of tourists there in their makeup and clean clothing taking pictures all over the place. Okay…maybe I was a little jealous they all were looking good in the photos 🙂
Machu Picchu was still amazing though! It was a major change from hiking peacefully in the mountains, but it was magnificent!. We went to get our passports stamped and checked in and then got a 2 hour tour from Ernesto. All of us were zombies at that point and hiking up the steps of the ruins was really difficult for everyone. I think we were just ready to be done at that point.
After the tour we took some photos and hung out for 30 mins. The different temples of Machu Picchu really were amazing and I now know why people travel miles and miles to come see it!
I still think the trek was better than the final destination, but Machu Picchu is still as stunning as ever!
After we were done looking around we took the bus down to Aguas Calientes to get lunch and massages before we took the train back to Cusco!
I seriously cannot believe I actually did this trek. I think I blacked out half of it because it feels like it went by so fast, but I do remember that it was incredible! I feel stronger both mentally and physically and am so happy I got this have this experience. I highly recommend it! 🙂