"Machu Picchu Waterfall"

Cusco / Aguas Calientes, Urubamba Province, Peru

About “Machu Picchu Waterfall”


Hiking Distance: tour
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2008-04-20
Date last visited: 2008-04-20

Waterfall Latitude: -13.18967
Waterfall Longitude: -72.53953

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The “Machu Picchu Waterfall” is the name I’m dubbing this rare waterfall by Incan ruins.

Technically, it was not in the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, but it was not often we were able to see waterfalls and ruins together.

Machu_Picchu_191_04202008 - This was the cleanest view of the Machu Picchu Waterfall that I could get
This was the cleanest view of the Machu Picchu Waterfall that I could get

So this one particularly caught my eye and gave me the perfect waterfalling excuse to talk about Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley as they were all part of our tour of the so-called “Gringo Trail”.

Unfortunately, since there was a lot of foliage while the Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu train moved fast and wouldn’t slow down for this waterfalls-and-ruins combo, I had a difficult time photographing it for the split second that I saw it.

The photo you see above was the best I could do to capture it despite the camera being in the rapid-shooting servo mode.

We noticed it a few minutes before we entered the town of Aguas Calientes (or a few minutes after on the return trip).

Aguas Calientes was the town where we then caught the bus to go up the mountain to Machu Picchu.

Machu_Picchu_053_04202008 - Machu Picchu backed by the peak Huayna Picchu (also mispelled Wayna Picchu) was the main purpose of taking the train to come here
Machu Picchu backed by the peak Huayna Picchu (also mispelled Wayna Picchu) was the main purpose of taking the train to come here

I wasn’t sure about whether those ruins were ancient or not as I couldn’t find much literature about this spot.

All I know was that this rare combo of ruins and waterfall ought to get more love than just the afterthought treatment we perceived on the train ride.

Of course the real reason why most people come through here (especially by train) was to partake in the day tour to Machu Picchu from Sacred Valley.

The main focus of such a tour was obviously the archaeological ruins, and I would say Machu Picchu was definitely as advertised in terms of the mystical feel about the place and its sheer beauty.

Despite the crowds, we thought it was definitely a major highlight of our Peru trip in April 2008.

Ollantaytambo_068_04192008 - The steep ruins of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley was also the town where we caught a train ride to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu
The steep ruins of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley was also the town where we caught a train ride to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu

Not to be outdone, we also enjoyed the ruins that we saw in the Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado) as well.

In particular, we were impressed with Ollantaytambo and its cliff-hugging ruins and active water channels.

We also noticed structures (possibly storage spots or granaries) perched high up on cliffs, which really boggled our minds as to how such a setup would be practical.

Then again, it just showed how little we knew about what people could figure out given their environments.

And it further reinforced our realization that the people who live here really were mountain people real familiar and comfortable with the high altitude and steep terrain.

Authorities

The Machu Picchu Waterfall resides in the Ucayali Department of Peru. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try to visit their website.

Ollantaytambo_002_jx_04192008 - Going up the steps of the ruins by Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo_045_04192008 - Looking down at the town of Ollantaytambo while perched high up on the ruins.  Notice the structures perched high up on the opposing cliffs
Ollantaytambo_107_04202008 - The train station at Ollantaytambo, where we continued onto Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
Machu_Picchu_001_jx_04202008 - A small waterfall that Julie noticed during the train ride to Aguas Calientes
Machu_Picchu_135_04202008 - Looking down at the impressive Incan ruins with Huayna Picchu backing the scene
Machu_Picchu_188_04202008 - Here's a cleaner view of just the ruins hiding that elusive waterfall behind it
Cusco_079_jx_04212008 - A plaza in the heart of Qorikancha in Cusco
Cusco_076_jx_04212008 - The Incans were definitely well-versed in geometry because their precision was evident throughout all the ruins we visited, such as this series of holes in Qorikancha

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While riding the train to Machu Picchu, look for this waterfall just before your reach a hydroelectric facility minutes before the pueblo of Machu Picchu (or Aguas Calientes).

You have to be real attentive to spot it on the left side (when approaching Aguas Calientes) or the right side (when leaving Aguas Calientes).

Our train ride took off from Ollantaytambo, which was said to be 173km from Cusco. Cusco was about a 90-minute flight from Lima.

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Tagged with: machu picchu, ruins, ollantaytambo, train, peru, waterfall, cusco, sacred valley, valle sagrado



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