Machu Picchu is already more amazing that one can imagine. Have a nice surprise meeting the friendly non-spitting llamas!
Machu Picchu is an inca citadel standing at 2.560 meters above sea level, at the Urubamba valley, the sacred valley of the Incas. Maybe because it is in such a remote place, the conquerors never found it and destroyed it.
Officially, it was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, hidden under the vegetation. The citadel is well preserved and you can see the different areas – urban, agricultural and religious. Since it one of the seven wonders, it’s easy to find information about it. I want to tell you about something else – the last habitants of Machu Picchu, the tourist-friendly llamas.
When I went to Machu Picchu, I was in Peru for a week and I still haven’t met any llama. I wasn’t excepting this to happen at such a famous monument… And then suddenly a llama’s head appeared from an inca window! Although they are from the same family as camels, the way they walk and jump in very steep places remind me of goats. The second llama I saw was coming down the hill running (a baby one looking for her momma) and almost hit a tourist. Definitely, they are at home and you are the “gringo”.
I don’t like to bother animals, so I didn’t behave like most of the tourists. They hug the llamas, kiss them in the mouth, all for the pictures. I just sat and watch, waiting for the first llama to spit at a “gringo” (with my lomo in my hand, of course!). And you know what? The man that is working there told me that llamas do not spit! Or these ones don’t. I never thought they were so friendly!
You can also find the “vizcachas”, the hare of the Andes. They like altitude and quiet, they are not easy to find but they are veeeery cute! The first time you set your eyes in Machu Picchu is always unforgettable but I think the feeling you have when you do it after spending 4 days hiking the Inca Trail (also known as “Gringo” Trail) must be unique (I didn’t have the pleasure). Nevertheless, the place is breathtaking!
Don’t forget to stamp your passport before you leave!