Machu Picchu in Pictures

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Morning mist at the ruins of Machu Picchu

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a photoessay on our visit to Machu Picchu. For those of you who want a wordier post (and some critical commentary on visiting), here’s the essay.

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Mountains obscured by mist and clouds, as viewed from the trail to the Sun Gate
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A worker removes dirt from between the stones on the trail to the Sun Gate
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Passing clouds obscure the ruins as seen from the terraces to the northwest of the main gate (former cemetary and guard quarters)
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Machu Picchu as seen from the terraces to the northwest of the main gate
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Terraces and buildings that have been reconstructed and given new thatched roofs
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A worker poses beside a wall where he has removed dirt from between the stones. If you encounter the workers, I would treat them with respect and thank them. They work hard to maintain Machu Picchu.
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A man poses for a selfie on the terraces of Machu Picchu
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A full view of the ruins from near the main entrance.Huayna Picchu (upper right) is obscured by clouds.
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Tourists pose questionably while an employee works on a nearby wall
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A woman is excited after getting her picture at the Sacred Plaza in the ruins
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Nature’s lawnmowers: llamas and alpacas are used to keep grass in check on the ruin’s terraces. They also serve as an informal petting zoo for the curious.
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A tour group waits at one of the many “bottlenecks” along the Machu Picchu ruins path. The whole path is arranged to be unidirectional and marked with signs to prevent total chaos. At some extremely narrow or famous points, tour groups get bunched up and chaos ensues anyway.
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Workers measure the impact of thousands of human feet on the ruins by measuring the height of the dirt path. This is in the Eastern Urban Sector of the ruins.
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A path leading off a cliff in the northern part of the ruins.
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A view of the Urubamba River from the terraces in the north of Machu Picchu. The thin line above the split in the river is the rail track we crossed on the hike here.
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The archetypal view of Machu Picchu.
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Narrow corridors between the buildings is a characteristic hallmark of the Eastern Urban Sector at the ruins. This area could have housed hundreds or even a thousand people during the height of the Incan Empire.
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