Machu Picchu in Pictures

Stone ruins of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu and other mountains behind
Machu Picchu, with Huayna Picchu just behind

Machu Picchu is on almost everyone’s bucket list, right? It actually wasn’t that high on mine, but my friend wanted to go, so I moved it up the list and off we went! I ended up really enjoying it, of course, and we got to see it at two extremes – sunny and bright, and foggy with rain.

Grassy mountains with stone terraces in foreground

I think what I didn’t expect was just how pretty it is there! Looking out from Machu Picchu to the surrounding mountains was absolutely gorgeous.

Stone terrace ancient ruins on a hillside with a mountain behind

Our first day there was bright and sunny. We had traveled from the Sacred Valley that morning and arrived around lunch. Did you know there’s a hotel at the top of the mountain by the entrance to Machu Picchu? We were spending the night there, so we were able to stay at Machu Picchu later than everyone else since they still had to travel back down the mountain. It was great to wander around after most of the crowds had disappeared.

Steep stone terraces over a deep valley

I still can’t believe how steep some of the terraces were. In the picture above, these steps dropped off straight into the (very deep) valley below. It definitely gave me a bit of vertigo. How did they live there, let alone build it?

Stone terraces looking down at Machu Picchu shrouded in fog
Can you spot Machu Picchu?

The weather on day two was a complete 180 from the previous day. We woke up to clouds, rain, and a lot of fog. I hiked up to the sun gate, and at the top the clouds parted only briefly to allow a glimpse of Machu Picchu. Unfortunately, the rain made for a very slippery hike as well, since most of it is on well-worn stones.

Stone terraces looking down at Machu Picchu shrouded in fog

I made my way back down the trail and eventually could see the ruins again. Despite the rain, it was actually great to see it in a different atmosphere than the day before. The fog lent it a completely different feel.

Machu Picchu in front of Huayna Picchu shrouded in fog

My Camera Equipment

The photos were taken with my Pentax K-3 and either the 18-135mm lens or the 15mm f/4 Limited lens. The 18-135mm lens is weather resistant, which I love for travel. I’ve used it in the rain with no problem, and it covers a large range of focal lengths.