I’m in the same place a decade later, sitting on the terraces of Machu Picchu. The scenery has the same awe-inspiring feel. And once again for the 2nd time I am left wondering ‘how did the Incas do that?’ as I gaze upon the stone architecture. There is a constant din of noise filling the background; a baby cries, a guard’s whistle blows, rules are yelled in Spanish. It’s the progress of tourism in the last 10 years. A decade brings many changes; changes in me and changes in Machu Picchu.
The UNESCO World Heritage site has thousands more visitors and a number of new restrictions. It’s open much earlier so that more people can have access to the site. The tree in the middle of the ruins is definitely taller. Tourists follow llamas around trying to get the perfect Instagram shot. All of the terraces used to be open to wander but now there is just ¼ of one terrace open to the public. It’s where I sit as I contemplate these thoughts. It’s where I sat 10 years ago and contemplated the thoughts of leaving my job to travel around the world.
This time I have my niece in tow she vacillates from being in awe of the ancient site and then simply wanting to go back to town and have french fries. Last time I had a point and shoot camera, but this time I have proper equipment and I am eager to take pictures. However, it is a challenge to shoot around 2500 visitors. Our guide talks but I don’t really hear anything he’s saying. I’m too busy plotting the next photo and watching the light spread across the ancient site.
Visit Peru’s Mountains, Machu Picchu, & Amazon
Megan and I took the Intrepid Inca Trail and Amazon Trip. Read about the full Inca Trail and Amazon itinerary and learn more about the alternative Quarry Trail here.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Intrepid Travel as part of the Niece Project, however all opinions expressed here are my own.