Day 14 - Cusco - Machu Picchu

Day 14 - Cusco - Aguas Calientes

Another 5:30 pickup for transportation to  the train to Machu Picchu. The trip is about 60km to Ollantaytambo train station and a very windy road in places, especially descending into the valley.

The driver was pretty crazy, especially on some of the overtaking moves. We arrived at the station at the scheduled 7:20 departure  time and fortunately the ticket collector managed to get us on before it departed late. Patrick had missed his morning train by minutes with the same company (Tierrasvivas.com) in Jan 2015, so it seems it's common practice. Other then that their tours are good.

The train trip is about 1.5hrs and follows the river. It's scenic as the train hugs the cliffs above the river going further into the valley.

Upon arrival, we were met and taken to our hotel, before getting an English speaking guide and heading off on a walk to the waterfall. The flowers, tropical plants and butterflies were in abundance and we took about 1:45 to walk the 7.4 km. The walk back was a bit slower as our legs tired. There were all varieties of trekkers from serious 4 day Inca Trail walkers to those in thongs.

After a late lunch, we researched the climbing at an overpriced coffee shop and then rested and prepared for tomorrow. Dinner (also included in package) was in the same restaurant.

This town ( Aguas Calientes) is acknowledged in most reviews as overpriced and not a place to spend time and I agree.

Tomorrow we climb Machu Picchu.

 The scenery from the train when heading toward Machu Picchu. 

The scenery from the train when heading toward Machu Picchu. 

 Walking to the waterfall involved a lot of time listening for frequent trains

Walking to the waterfall involved a lot of time listening for frequent trains

 We made it to the waterfall

We made it to the waterfall

 The waterfall track included a lot of rainforest

The waterfall track included a lot of rainforest

 This mountain is behind Machu Picchu 

This mountain is behind Machu Picchu 

 The tourist town of Aguas Calientes- train terminal

The tourist town of Aguas Calientes- train terminal