Using Aguas Calentes (see Aguas Calientes) as a base camp for two days on the Machu Picchu mountain, we prepared for Day 1 at the Citadel. Following is a brief pictorial of the highlights at the Citadel on our first day at the famous ruins.
After a good night's sleep and an enjoyable breakfast of eggs, meats, cheeses, and fruits, our trio collected our box lunches provided by the hotel and headed to the bus station. Although we did not get on the earliest bus heading to the Machu Picchu citadel departing at 0530, we did catch the 0630 bus and arrived at the Visitor's Center by 0700.
Since we held tickets to climb Huayna Picchu at 10:00, three hours were left for ruins exploration before we needed to queue up near the Sacred Rock.
To orient the photos to the layout of the citadel, below is Moon's map of Machu Picchu. On our exploration of the site, we used this map as guide to find our way around the ruins.
After passing through the turnstiles, a short walk led to the main Visitor's Entrance. Rather than follow that path into the ruins, we made a hard left up the hill along a winding trail. That trail led to the terraces overlooking the Caretaker's Hut.
|First glimpse of ruins|
|Caretaker's Hut looking to Huayna Picchu|
|Caretaker's Hut from terrace below|
|First look at the Machu Picchu Citadel|
before it is enveloped in sunshine
|Machu Picchu Citadel|
|Citadel clinging to the saddle between two mountains|
|Main Gate entrance from Inca Trail|
|Descending down towards the Main Square|
|Sacred Square. Notice two different styles of stone work.|
|Caretaker's Hut in background seen from Main Square|
with quarry in foreground.
|Intihuatana under ever vigilant watch.|
First ever abstract art work?
|Main Square with huts near Sacred Rock|
at base of Huayna Picchu
|View of Machu Picchu from the ascent of Huayna Picchu|
|More climbing with Store House|
at top of photo
|View of valley far below|
|View of Machu Picchu from above on Huayna Picchu|
|The tunnel looms ahead.|
|Photo Op of climbers emerging from tunnel|
|Still more climbing to do|
|Time for a breather from my perch|
|Placard just below the summit|
|View of the Store House from above|
|Descending is as challenging as the ascent.|
|Descending backwards on all fours!|
|Back at the Main Square|
for a quick bite of lunch and a rest
|Walking along foot path|
with Temple of Sun (rounded building) in background.