Machu Picchu at sunrise

Old Mar 25th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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Machu Picchu at sunrise

We are staying at Aguas Caliente. If we take the first bus at 6am in the morning to Machu Picchu, will we be able to catch the sunrise? If we need to hike to Machu Picchu earlier to get there before 6am, how long would it take and is the trail relatively easy to walk and is it safe?
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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I suppose it depends on the time of year, but when I took the first bus up last September, the sun was already up. The bus would have to have left at five. And by the way, regardless of when the first bus is scheduled to go, it won't depart until the bus is full.

As for the trail - this is a very steep climb, like, straight up steep, with lots of brush. This is not a casual stroll, and likely to be dangerous in the dark. If you were to walk the road I have no idea how long that would take. The bus takes twenty minutes.
A note on trails in general. Peru is not Yellowstone. The trail up Juana Picchu, though well maintained, is not fool proof. Inca trail stones can be slippery, and one could easily fall a great distance.
If you're determined to see the sun rise, I suggest you take the trail during the day to get used to it.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for this information. I also want to be there at sunrise but my travel partner wants to stay at Santuary Lodge. I don't want to go all that distance and not see the sunrise over MP. The site for Pueblo Hotel does say : " Railroad Line Machu picchu Km 110 ? Aguas Calientes " I assume the trail would ge shorter.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 11:05 AM
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The other thing I should mention is the sunrise itself. I got there just shortly after dawn, however, it was not like the sun-burst-on-the-horizon kind of thing that one might see in the Rockies. It was rather like sun-up in San Francisco. Machu Pichu and surrounding Andes were blanketed in morning fog/mist which brighten and cleared as the sun got higher. The burn off lasted about half an hour before the sun's rays finally made it through.
I missed nothing by being there just shortly after the technical time of sunrise.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 04:01 PM
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I was there last June 21 (winter solstace). We stayed in AC too. At that time of year, the bus arrives before sunrise no problemo. Dawn on the winter solstace is pretty cool. There were some Quetchca (sp?) people there praying to Inti, the Sungod. It would be a killer hike up the steep bus road. Better wear Hunter Orange, or you will get creamed. In the summer the sun would rise earlier, so you might concider staying at the Machu Piccu Hotel right there at the top of the mountain. It is real expensive, but you could sleep in 45min later and still beat the AC tourists. The hike up Juana Picchu is worthwile too. Have fun, Peru is beautiful.
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