Destination Spotlight: Machu Picchu.
I’m pleased to bring you our first guest post from none other than by brother Matthew!
Students and teachers in search of adventure need to look no further than the mysterious peaks of Machu Picchu.
Long thought to be no more than a legend by scholars and experts for centuries, Machu Picchu makes for a remarkable educational tour opportunity. This historic city was rescued from the fog of myth by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911. Built atop a massive mountaintop by ancient Incans, only recently has the so-called “old peak” begun to divulge its secrets to visitors.
At an elevation of 7,970 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is an incredibly preserved religious site that holds the remains of several temples and living structures. Access is limited due to the sheer cliffs surrounding the area as well as its extreme elevation, but this also means that Machu Picchu remains untouched by modern times, a time capsule amidst the misty clouds and green mountain pastures. For decades, tours required helicopter flight, although now most modern day adventurers hike or drive up from the small train station at the site’s base.
Student tours to Machu Picchu often begin in nearby Cusco, which allows visitors to get used to the high altitude and lower oxygen levels found in the Andes while providing markets, museums, and other excursions to pass the time. After a few days of acclimation, teachers have a few options to consider before making their journey to Machu Picchu.
If hiking or biking the historic Inca Trail isn’t your speed, consider taking the train from Ollantaytambo. An adventure unto itself, you’ll climb through the Andes in cars that seem straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Locals use the route to transport people, goods, and even livestock. Upon your arrival, you’ll disembark at a station wreathed in clouds from your steam locomotive as massive shapes and strange smells envelope your senses.
No matter your choice of transportation, Machu Picchu is a wonder no-one should miss. Check out a sample tour itinerary that EA Tours offer to Peru here.