Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Walking along Inca Trail offers adventure, culture and history
There are more than 140 structures in the city, including temples, sanctuaries and residences. Buildings were constructed using cut granite stone and with no mortar, with the stones fitting so tightly a piece of paper could not be slid between the stones. Doors and windows are trapezoidal in shape with walls tilted inward and L-shaped stones used for corners, all to reduce seismic risk.
After we had ample time to tour the site, buses took us down to Calientes for the train ride back to Cusco — the same way the other tourists came up. But our group, as backpackers and now as friends, didn't just see Machu Picchu, we experienced Machu Picchu. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. As Hiram Bingham said 100 years ago, "It fairly took my breath away."
Older than 50, but feeling younger, Paul Sommer likes to combine adventure, culture and history on his vacations.