On the Bubble
I've been contemplating the most outrageous of ideas: Skipping Machu Picchu.
I'm back on solid food—recovered (more or less) from what I still think was a case of food poisoning from some bad meat. A day or so of downtime has given me opportunity to evaluate my desire to see what is arguably one of the most sought after tourist destinations on the continent.
Machu Picchu—the Lost City of the Inca—is ridiculously expensive to visit. It isn't so much the high entrance fee into the site, but the cost associated with the transit to get there. Most kids that aren't taking the challenging, guided, multi-day Inca trail hike are taking a pricey train from Cuzco.
Aguas Calientes is the shanty town a few kilometers below Machu Picchu. Aside from the trail, Aguas Calientes provides the only access to the site. It also just so happens that Aguas Calientes is only accessible by foot or train.
I've talked with locals, tourists, and hotel managers about how to most cost effectively reach Machu Picchu—doing so for less than US$100 will take some doing.
The difference between Machu Picchu and those sites listed above is that I'd be passing for pure financial reasons. I'm interested, but am I that interested?
I do know that Machu Picchu is on the list of endangered world wonders, threatened by an impending landslide (and of course thousands of daily tourists). Shall I fork out a Benjamin to see it before it disappears?