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Photo by Ryan Kost, Andes & Amazon Semester.


Hi friends and family,

We just arrived back in Cusco after 3 days in Machu Picchu.

We drove for 6 hours in a van to the place where we started our 3 hour hike to the campsite of Machu Picchu.  It was a beautiful hike with an amazing scenery. The landscape was way different than what we had seen until then. We walked on the train tracks through the jungle. So green, so humid and so many animals. Butterflies, caterpillars and a lot of mosquitoes.

Walking through the jungle next to a river and seeing some of the ruines of Machu Picchu up in the mountains felt magical.

After walking the last hour in the dark with our headlamps, we arrived at the campsite. Then we had dinner in Machu Picchu town and that felt very strange. In between these enormous green mountains appeared a city, with fancy restaurants and hotels. Some people felt like walking in Disneyland. A lot of tourists, souvenir shops and food places.

After sleeping in our tents next to river, we started our 1.5 hike up to Machu Picchu. We arrived around 9 am and a guide took us in to this breath taking place. A city so high in the mountains, build by the inca’s 600 years ago.

We spend 3 hours wandering around the old city. Learning about it and taking the scenery in.

After this wonderful experience we had a group conversation about this experience. Because the contrast between this touristy place (number 1 in South America) and what we had seen the week before (Q’EROS and eating potatoes for a week) was enormous. Seeing all these people in Machu Picchu taking hundreds of selfies made us feel weird and uncomfortable.

Why is it that people come to this place and what will we take away from it?

We reflected on this touristy environment and everything we had seen.

The morning after we walked back through the jungle for 3 hours and drove back to Cusco.

Today we are getting ready for our longbus rides to Bolivia, to start our 2 week home stay.

You will hear from us soon!!!