10 February 2011
Peru's Home of the Gods
Most travellers to Peru have a particular goal in mind: the Inca site of Machu Picchu. This legendary citadel hides on its cloud-shrouded mountaintop, 50 miles north of Cuzco.
There are several ways to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu, starting with the muddy Inca Trail beloved of those who want to make the pilgrimage on foot over a challenging four days. Then there are a variety of train services, rising in luxury until you reach the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge - the only hotel that sits alongside the citadel in its lofty isolation.
Recovering with afternoon tea, gazing at the ruins, it seemed remarkable that Spain's conquistadors, with their destructive fire, never found this Inca outpost. As the sun departed, and night added to the mystery of the stones, we felt almost palpably grateful that they didn't.
By Chris Leadbeater, a UK-based travel writer for major publications
What were your magic moments at Machu Picchu?