The Best Birthday I’ve had so far!

I spent my 29th birthday on top of Machu Picchu which was exactly what I wanted. 

The entrance fee was PEN 142 (around US $42) which includes the entrance to Machu Picchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain. 

  

I decided to take a bus from Aguas Calientes which costs PEN 78 (US $24) roundtrip. The first bus leaves at 5:30AM. I left my hostel with my dorm mate at 4:30AM. My hostel is just couple minutes walk to the bus station but when we got there the line was already long. We go on the second bus and it left at 5:25AM. The ride was around 20 minutes and it was a beautiful, beautiful ride. 

  
We arrived at 5:50AM so we had to wait until they let us in at 6AM. At the gate you have to show your passport along with your ticket. 

  
I walked around with my dorm mate from France and we took beautiful pictures before it got really crowded.   

    
    
    
 
We were hiking different mountains so we separated our ways 15 minutes before 7AM. I went to the entrance of Machu Picchu Mountain and waited 5 minutes to open. Taken from the main gate to Machu Picchu, here’s what I was going for and man it’s high. 

  
We started at exactly 7AM. I was walking with Mr. and Mrs. McMillan from Georgia, USA. They are cool couple celebrating their 20th Anniversary in Peru. We took turns taking our pictures. We stopped on almost of the stops! LOL!!! The stairs are tiring. From normal to small to huge steps! 

We had fun walking our way up. We were all determined that we’d reach the top no matter what because that’s where they’ll sing happy birthday to me. 

Here are some of the pictures taken along the way.

   
    
    
    
 After 2 1/2 hours, we finally reached the top and we screamed for being so happy and then they sang happy birthday to me. 

Here are some of the pictures taken on top of Machu Picchu Mountain. 
   
   
Going back down was just as hard which took us 1 1/2 hour. Our legs were like noodles and going down seemed like forever. 

We decided to have lunch and the couple invited me to join their tour because they will get a guide and they enjoy having me around. They said I won’t have to pay anything for that is their birthday treat to me. 🙂 

After the big lunch, Mr. McMillan found Marco Guevarra as our private guide which cost US $60. The others will charge you US $150 for private tour. 

  
   
   
We had an awesome two hours tour in Machu Picchu Pueblo. Knowing the history is amazing. I wish there’s a video I could watch because I just can’t imagine the life of people who used to live there many years ago. 

And I finally got Machu Picchu stamp on my passport! 

  
We then headed our way back around 3:30PM and boy we were beat! 

The day before my Machu Picchu adventure, it was raining all day and all night in Aguas Calientes. On my birthday, the weather was perfect just like what I prayed for. 

I had my birthday dinner at Indio Feliz. I then called it a day. 

  
This was so far the best birthday I’ve ever had. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am Ryshel and I am now 29 years old. ❤️❤️❤️

  

Cusco to Aguas Calientes

https://iamryshel.com/2015/10/26/my-dream-peru/

I was going to buy my ticket in Lima airport but they only accept credit card there. As soon as I arrived in my hostel in Cusco, I went to Peru Rail office to purchase my ticket and the representatve Isabel was very nice when assisting me. I got the Vistadome class which cost US $184 roundtrip. 

This is the current timetable they have. 
 

I opted for the one that leaves at 8:25AM. It departs from Poroy train station which was around 20 minutes taxi ride from Intro Hostels Cusco and cost 35 PEN (around US $10). 

This is what the Vistadome class looks like. 

   
   

We pretty much left on time. The 3 1/2 hours train ride was just astonishing. It was beautiful! I just can’t find the right words to describe how amazing this experience is.    

    
    
    
   
Below is the famous insane SkyLodge where I would’ve stayed if only I could afford it.

  

I think PeruRail could’ve served better and more portion of food. Yeah, this is the only snacks you get for the price you pay. 

   
 

Overall, the train ride was absolutely worth it. Something I will never, ever forget. 

My dream Peru! 

The main reason I came to South America is because I wanted to go to the site of an ancient Inca city, high in the Andes of Peru—Machu Picchu. 

I originally applied for my company’s branch in Peru but they sent me to Colombia instead. At least, I was closer to my dream! 

I have been shopping for plane ticket to Peru since I arrived in Colombia in June and on September 13th I finally purchased it through VivaColombia for US $275. I booked it in time for my 29th birthday! 

On October 24th, I finally flew from Bogota, Colombia to Lima, Peru. I couldn’t believe it! It’s now my third day in Peru and I still can’t believe it. 

I feel blessed and I am so thankful for this opportunity. It sure will be the best birthday ever! 

I will post more of my 29th Peru Birthday Adventure soon. 😍😍😍

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá is a catholic church built within the tunnels of salt mine 200 meters underground. This is one of the most popular tourist destination in Colombia. 

My dear friend Nelson and I decided to visit this place one weekend. We took a bus to Zipa from portal norte trasmilenio station. The bus terminal is inside the transmilenio station so that made it convenient for us. The fare was COP 4,500 ($ 1.50) per person one way which was ridiculously cheap! According to my map it’s about 30km from portal norte and it took us about an hour to reach the town of Zipaquirá. 

We had to walk about 5 minutes from where the bus dropped us off then we saw a shuttle which takes tourists to the salt mine which is at about 5 minutes ride. It costs COP 29,000 including the entrance ticket and you can hop on and off  of this shuttle all day. It will also save you time getting in line at the ticket booth so I’d say it’s worth.

  
  
It was packed due to the long weekend. The good thing was there were only couple other people in line for English speaking tour guide. 

  

The tour started at 12nn. We had an amazing tour guide. The tour all over was astounding. It was breathtaking inside and out. The history was extremely compelling. 

   
    
   
There are stores inside mostly for souvenirs. There is a coffee shop as well and  a theater. I got myself a miner helmet keychain for COP 8,000. 

  
It was such an amazing experience. This place is definitely worth a visit.