The buses start heading to Machu Picchu at 5:30am so we got up bright and early at 4:30am to eat and then go wait in line for the bus. Once we arrived, we started exploring the grounds and made our way to the entrance for Wayna Picchu.
Exploring the grounds
At 7am we were allowed entrance to climb Wayna Picchu. Only 400 people are allowed in a day. There are two trails that you can take once you get in. Some random guy told us one of them was higher so we went that way. Turned out to only be about a 15minute hike up (and definitely not higher than the other hike), but no one else went that route so it was cool to be alone! It was a fun little route and even had a rope you had to use to help climb at one point!
Angelina using the rope to climb
View from the top of the first hike
After we finished the mini hike we went along the other route, which was wayyyyyyyyyy more difficult. Basically the whole way is climbing up stairs that just keep getting narrower. And you’re 7,000 feet above sea level, which does not help someone from the very flat Midwest with their hiking abilities. After about 45 minutes of straight uphill climbing we made it to the top!
Top of Wayna Picchu Mountain
Climbing down had a few challenges in itself. Had to squeeze through a tiny cave at one point!
After we finished our hike, our legs were basically jelly so we strolled through the ruins for a little bit and then decided to hike up to the Sun Gate. The hike was all uphill, but it was mostly a gradual incline rather than stairs so it was much easier to hike. By the time we got to the top the sky had cleared up and we got an amazing view of the ruins and surrounding mountains.
View from Sun Gate
We ended up sitting up by the Sun Gate for a little while to relax then made our way back down to catch a bus. Once back in Aguas Calientes, we got some food and waited for our train back to Cusco. Tomorrow we get picked up at 2:15am so we went to bed right away once we got back to Cusco!