I hiked up the steep trail to Machu Picchu early in the morning. The sun was just starting to rise and the day to warm up. Cusco is pretty high in altitude and cold, Machu Picchu is lower and it has a subtropical warm weather, so it takes a minute to adjust to the sudden change.
As I advanced the sun rose as if synchronized with my ascent. The weather was perfect, the view of the mountains around me was magnificent and the energy of this magical place overpowered my tiredness.
Surprisingly I was on of two people hiking up at this time. The hundreds of tourists that were also going to Machu Picchu that morning were taking the bus service. This is really ironic because Machu Picchu is located on an amazing natural place that needs to be protected if we want it around and beautiful for the years to come, yet most pollution comes from these buses than make constant runs, up and down during the day, so people can enjoy it more comfortably.
This is just one of they ways in which Machu Picchu is being greatly affected by the hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit every year. Due to the negative effect of tourism, the Peruvian government is considering either closing it or limiting the entrance in the near future in order to preserve it, said one of the guides at the site.
It was very rewarding to walk up for an hour and a half and suddenly find this amazing place hidden within the mountains. It was actually the best reward anyone could ask for. It makes the experience much more interesting, almost like a pilgrimage to one of the most amazing places in the world. So, in my opinion, is much more worth it to walk up and earn the right to indulge in such beauty, than being bused up and down like a good tourist and bad citizen of the world.