Sydney Hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Of all of the Sydney hikes that I’ve done, this one was one of my favorites for a few reasons. It’s outside of the city and feels remote; it is on the shorter side (only about one hour each way); and it has cliffs, beach, and dirt trails. The trail ends at gorgeous Marley beach, which has loads of hilly grasslands for picnics.

Sydney hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZero

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

I completed this hike on a wintery Saturday, when the sky was full of clouds and the wind current was moderate. I carried along my new 28L CabinZero backpack – it was the perfect size for our picnic, a couple liters of water, and a few layers of warmer clothes.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZeroSydney Hikes Marley Beach

My favorite hiking lunch lately is wraps – they are super easy to bring along and so easy to make on the trail. This time, I brought some wholemeal pitas, beetroot spread (it’s kind of like a beetroot hummus), greens, and tomatoes. I like to bring a liter of coconut water as well for extra hydration.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Cabinzero picnic

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Picnic

The trail is relatively flat, with very few ascents and descents. We took the fire trail, which was very rocky, to get to the beach. However, there is a man-made walking trail that starts at Bundeena and would be much easier to walk on.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

On the day we went, there were a lot of strong winds. Definitely pack a windbreaker and put your hair up securely, if it’s long. See Exhibit A here:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

And Exhibit B:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

This hike is located in the Royal National Park, which is about a half hour drive south of Sydney CBD. To get here, you will need a car. Parking in the National Park is $12 per day.

To get the most out of your trip to Royal National Park, also check out the hike to the Figure 8 pools!


Funky Pies: Vegan Pies in Sydney

After being in Australia for eight months and never trying a classic Australian meat pie, I was so excited to find a vegan version of this Aussie dish. I never thought I would find vegan pies in Australia. Even better, Funky Pies is located right up the street from Bondi beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney.

Funky Pies: Vegan Pies in Sydney

Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

When I arrived at Funky Pies, I could not believe the vegan selection they had. The whole place is vegan, and they offer a wide variety of pies, but also vegan desserts like candy bars, ice cream, loads of healthy drinks (kombucha, I’m looking at you), and you can even get frozen pies to take home! Walking in to Funky Pies is like walking into an Australian vegan heaven. The assortment of pies is incredible.

Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Though there are loads of choices, we picked right away. I went for the Funky Chunky, and my friend went for the Tuscan Mushroom. We chose one of each side (the options are mash, peas and gravy or salad) and split the lot.Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

My favorite was the funky chunky. The tuscan mushroom was amazing as well, but I could seriously eat 5 of those funky chunky pies! My friend couldn’t choose a favorite – they were both too good! All in all, this was one seriously satisfying meal. Funky Pies Vegan Sydney

We left the restaurant full, happy, and ready for some more Bondi beach walking.

Check out Funky Pies website, or visit the shop at 144 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi.



Best Beaches In Sydney

Since being in Sydney, it’s been my mission to find and photograph the most beautiful beaches that this city has to offer. These are the best beaches in Sydney, Australia.

Best Beaches in Sydney

Best Beaches in Sydney

  1. Bondi Beach

Bondi is one of the most well-known beaches in Sydney – there is even a TV show filmed here! It’s beautiful. Make sure to get a photo of the Icebergs club while you’re around (check out the beautiful insta photos of the icebergs club). Bondi is surrounded by quaint little restaurants and cafes. Most noteworthy, Bondi offers a really great hiking path, heading through Bronte to Coogee beach. Best Beaches in SydneyBondi is also a great place for vegans – check out Speedo’s Cafe for their epic vegan burger, or head over to Funky Pies for an epic Aussie pie, vegan-style. Because of the incredible vegan options here, stop by around meal time.

2. Manly Beach

Manly is Bondi’s little sibling. This beach is surrounded by any shop you’d want to visit, including lots of big name Australian and worldwide brands. The beach is long and boasts lots of restaurants and tourist shops just across the street. Best Beaches in Sydney

3. Coogee Beach

Coogee is the beach you go to for a relaxing, chill afternoon. First of all, it’s surrounded by a park (great spot for a picnic), a few coffee shops, and some great cafes. It’s not quite as busy as the other beaches; therefore, it makes it a great spot for a relaxed Sunday session. Best Beaches in Sydney

4. Bronte Beach

Located between Coogee and Bondi beaches, Bronte beach seems like a hidden gem. It’s on the smaller side of Sydney beaches. This one is located in a little cove, surrounded by cliffs on both sides. In addition to the adorable location, this one is a perfect beach for families. Best Beaches in Sydney

5. Burning Palms Beach

While Bondi is a major tourist attraction, Burning Palms is a bit of a secret. Located in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney CBD, you’ll need to take a 45-min hike to find the beach. Hike a bit past the beach, and you’ll stumble upon the insta-famous Figure 8 pool. Just watch the tide warnings – a high tide means that you’ll be in a danger zone.

Best Beaches in Sydney Best Beaches in Sydney

6. Palm Beach

Head to Palm beach to gaze in awe at the sparkling water, flanked by the Barrenjoey lighthouse and the bay. The Australian soap opera Home and Away is filmed here. Take a hike to the top of the lighthouse for some unforgettable views of the ocean meeting the bay (and get all the instagrams).

Best Beaches in SydneyBest Beaches in SydneyBest Beaches in Sydney

As a result of my time searching for the best beaches in Sydney, I’ve drank more coffee, eaten at more vegan restaurants, and even ran into some cheeky garage sales and a celebrity!

Best Beaches in Sydney

Tell me in the comments – what is your favorite beach in the world?

The Best Bagels In Sydney

As an American, I love bagels. I grew up eating bagels like the Aussies grew up throwing down vegemite. After a year and a half of travel, I’ve had my moments where all I wanted was a solid, well-made, boiled-to-perfection, American-style bagel. This is a story of my quest for the best bagels in Sydney.

Best Bagels in Sydney

Luckily, this weekend I came across everything I’ve ever desired. I stumbled upon Brooklyn Hide, a new york bagel shop. Brooklyn Hide is located in Surry Hills, which is just south of the Sydney city center and a very cute suburb to spend the day in. best bagels in sydney

best bagels in sydney

I ordered up a soy cappuccino and the Greenwich bagel – the only vegan one on the menu. Mine came with pickled veggies and hummus. It was amazing, and I would definitely recommend it.

best bagels in sydney

My friend ordered a Tribeca bagel – it comes with with cream cheese and smoked salmon {#notvegan}.

best bagels in sydney

best bagels in sydney

The ambiance of this place is super cute {#chillvibes} and the bagels are top notch. The coffee is also really well made, and they do latte art. I would highly recommend a visit to Brooklyn Hide if you’re craving a good classic bagel! They are open for breakfast and lunch, and if you stop in for lunch, you could even grab a beer, wine, or cider with your bagel. Brunch, anyone? best bagels in sydney

The Breakdown
  • Coffees are $3.50 each, plus $.50 each for soy (but they use the best soymilk in Australia – Bonsoy – so totally worth it)
  • All sandwich-style bagels are the same price – $11.50
  • Brooklyn Hide does more than just bagels – try a wrap, salad, or muesli
  • Check out the Brooklyn Hide website for more information.
The Menu

This place has options! If you aren’t feeling a whole sandwich-style bagel, try a bagel with spread (I’m looking at you, avocado), or go for muesli, granola, or a fancy salad. The beverage menu is abundant, the coffee is amazing, and the bagels are truly top-notch.

best bagels sydney brooklyn hide menu

best bagels in sydney

Brooklyn Hide has amazing bagels. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to fulfill all of their carb filled dreams, or just looking for a little slice of some American goodness with an Aussie twist.

If you liked this post, check out my list of the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne!


The Best Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia

Your flights and hotel are booked, and now you’re wondering what you should do in Melbourne – worry not, little grasshopper! Amanda Round the Globe has you covered 😉

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

The Best Things to Do In Melbourne

After living in Melbourne for a few months (most of my time here being unemployed), I have experienced quite a bit of the city. Here are the absolute best things to do in Melbourne, Australia – whether you have a few days or a few weeks, try to fit in as much of this as you can. Melbourne is one of my favorite places in the world and you don’t want to miss any of these!

Twelve Apostles, Australia

1.The Great Ocean Road

Even if you only have a few days in Melbourne, make sure you spend at least one of those driving down the Great Ocean Road, all the way to the Twelve Apostles. It’s my favorite thing I’ve done in Melbourne so far. The scenic drive down will take about 4 hours along the coast, but you can take the inland highway and make it back in about 3 hours.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Day Trip from Melbourne

I’d recommend packing snacks, plenty of water, coffee, and a lunch to go. I ate in the car, got my groove on to the radio, and stopped along the coast only to take some photos. We also stopped for a quick coffee break at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, which has a full breakfast/lunch menu if you’re so inclined (and a lot of chocolate).

2. Eat all the Vegan Foods

I’ve been eating out extensively, all in the name of research, to curate this epic list of the best vegan restaurants in Melbourne. Check it out and let me know your favorite! Pro tip: about half of them are in Fitzroy, so head there first.

Burrito Bowl Urban Projuice Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

Red Sparrow Pizza Pizzeria Melbourne

Red Lentil Dal Sister of Soul Best Vegan Restaurants Melbourne

3. Tram it to St Kilda

St Kilda is an eccentric little suburb – it has a full on beach vibe, an adorable little pier (if you stay until sunrise you can see the penguins roll in), and loads of cute restaurants and shops. Pack a jacket, cause it gets windy, and check out my favorite restaurant in St Kilda.

St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Australia

4. Cruise the City by Bike

Cruise through the city by bike for a more local perspective! Did you know that you can rent these adorable blue bikes at one of fifty stations throughout the city? Rides under 30 mins are free, and subscriptions start at just $3 per day.

Melbourne Things to Do Bike Share

5. Go to Hipster Paradise aka Fitzroy

Fitzroy may be home of the hipsters, but it’s also a heavenly place for any vegan or trendy millennial. The Fitz is full of vegan restaurants, vintage shops, record and book stores, and Australia’s largest Cruelty Free shop.

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

My go-to Fitzroy stops are Smith and Deli, Vegie Bar, the Cruelty Free Shop, and Yong Green Foods. Don’t forget to grab a doughnut from Doughnut Time to take home for later (or scarf it down on the tram).

6. Take Advantage of the Insane Amount of Op Shops

Op Shops (short for Opportunity Shops, basically a second hand store), are rampant in Australia. They are everywhere, and they are amazing. I have scored some major designer branded clothes for extremely cheap in some of these stores. If you’re in need of new clothes, check out the op shops around the city.

7. Photograph the City

Melbourne is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been to. The Yarra River, the parks spread through the city, the street graffiti; bring your camera and take it all in. Melbourne is truly one of the most instagrammable cities in the world. [This view is from the Eureka Skydeck, 88 stories up in the air]. Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne, Australia

8. The Touristy Spots

Of course, check out the spots that every tourist must see: go to Hosier Lane for street art, walk down DeGraves Street for a coffee and cupcake, and have a glass of wine on the edge of the Yarra River.

Street Art Melbourne

Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia

9. Brighton Beach Houses

Take a trip down the coast, a bit past St Kilda, to check out the beach huts lining Brighton Beach. There are about 100 of them!

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

10. Edgars Mission

Take a trip to visit some rescued animals at Edgars Mission!

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

Edgars Mission Melbourne

11. Lentil As Anything; Abbotsford Convent

Lentil as Anything is a fantastic vegetarian, pay-as-you-feel restaurant. The Abbotsford location is nestled into a convent, surrounded by a massive farm. Take a friend and spend the day surrounded by animals, nature, and amazing food.

Best Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

12. Check out the View From the Shrine Of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance is just outside of the city on St Kilda Road. Walk up to the top (for free!) for a stunning view of the city.

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

13. Shop in Melbourne’s Famous Royal Arcade

Take a stroll through the famous malls in Melbourne. The Royal Arcade is one of my favorites.

Best Things To Do Melbourne Australia

Melbourne is an amazing city and  there is so much to do. Let me know in the comments what your top places in Melbourne are!

Sydney Hikes: Bondi to Coogee Beach

One of the most famous of Sydney hikes, the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk was high on my list of treks to take. After the hike to Bradley’s Head, I was excited to see the views of the more coastal Sydney hikes. The total distance of the Bondi Coogee walk is 6 km, or 3.5 miles. If you’re not interested in a 1.5 – 2 hour walk, some people take the shorter route and just do Bondi beach to Bronte beach.

Coogee Beach

I decided to take the long way in reverse, starting from Coogee Beach, so that I could experience the dramatic reveal of Bondi.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

10 am. I quickly made my way to the first coffee shop I found ( #priorities ) and picked up a coffee. I stopped in this adorable little pavilion, and ordered up my favorite, a soy cappuccino.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

When you head up the hill from Coogee, you’ll get epic, cliff-side views of the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Along the way, you’ll discover countless hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

The path even leads through a cemetery overlooking the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bronte Beach

Soon after the cemetery, you’ll come to Bronte Beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

It’s the perfect stopping point for a swim!

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

After a stop off at Bronte Beach, take the rest of the trail just over the hill to Bondi. This way, you’ll run into even more hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bondi Beach

Soon you’ll run into Bondi Beach, and the reveal is truly epic.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Check out the Bondi Icebergs Club, then head down to the beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

If you’re tired from the walk, head into Speedo’s Cafe (on the north side of the beach) for a vegan burger and green juice! It really hits the spot 😉

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

I highly recommend the Bondi Coogee Beach walk – it’s a must-do when you visit Sydney! See the Sydney Coastal walks website for all the details of this walk (toilet stops, water stations, etc). Also make sure to check out the Bradley’s Head walk – it has a great view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Let me know in the comments:

  • Have you ever done this walk?
  • Would you try it out?




Bradley’s Head: Sydney Hiking

One of my favorite things about Sydney is the great hiking. One sunny Saturday, I took the trek along the harbor from Chowder Bay to Bradley’s Head. I started out at Clifton Gardens, the park inside of Chowder Bay.

Chowder Bay

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Here, I found the tiniest coffee shop I’ve ever seen. The coffee shop is inside an old military bunker, and the patio outside makes for great scenery to sip on a hot cup of coffee.

Bradley's Head Hike Sydney

After I was all fueled up on my {favorite aussie coffee} soy cappuccino, I headed up the trail toward Bradley’s Head.

The Trek

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

The path is meant to take about an hour; it’s 2.5 km long. It’s one of the most beautiful walking paths I’ve found in Sydney. Stroll through the dense vegetation with harbor views to your left – the views on this walk are breathtaking!

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Bradley’s Head

At Bradley’s head, see a massive lighthouse, plus the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House!

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

Once you get to Bradley’s Head, sit and have a picnic on the grass (if you packed one); the park is very cute. Or walk a few more meters to the ferry terminal at Taronga Zoo and take the ferry to the city. The ferry is super fun and I highly recommend it; Sydney has very cute ferries and the scenery isn’t bad, either.

Bradley's Head Hike SydneyBradley's Head Hike Sydney

This is a great way to spend a sunny Sydney day – get your runners on, pack some water and snacks, and get outside! Just don’t forget your camera 🙂

Check out the hike I did the following weekend: the Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach coastal trek!



Day Trips From Melbourne: Edgars Mission

Looking for something to do in Melbourne? Edgars Mission is an incredible and uber popular animal sanctuary just under an hours drive from Melbourne. Rescued farm animals are taken to Edgars Mission to be rehabilitated and live happy, full lives. Edgars Mission is completely not-for-profit, and they run free tours of the farm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The only catch is that you have to book it! Check out their website to schedule a tour.

Edgars Mission, Melbourne, Australia

I had been dying to go to Edgars Mission since I arrived in Melbourne in September 2016. Today, my dreams came true, and I finally made it there!

Edgars Mission is a bit outside of the city, which means that transportation is often a bit of a thing. My friend Renae and I borrowed a car from a friend, and with a bit of money each for petrol, we headed out to the countryside.

Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

We pulled up to the gates and immediately were so excited. We took the 10 AM tour, and though it looked like it may rain, the storm clouds subsided and we ended up with a lovely partly sunny day!

Chickens Edgars Mission Melbourne Australia
                                                                   making friends

Edgars Mission Melbourne

We kicked off the tour with an introduction to the chicken pen. We learned a bit about chickens and then got to feed them!

Chickens Edgars Mission Melbourne Australia

Next, we moved on to the piglets. The pen next to the chickens housed three baby pigs and their momma pig – the three babies were so sweet, running around the pen to see everyone.

Piglets Edgars Mission Melbourne

Edgars Mission Australia

Piglets Edgars Mission Melbourne

It took me awhile to get my fair share of these adorable little babes – but eventually we moved on to the sheep.

Lamb Edgars Mission Melbourne

The sheep were so cute and so soft! I tried to hug them all.

Lamb Edgars Mission Melbourne

We walked past a massive cow next, named Hansel. We got to feed him over the fence; he would wrap his tongue around his little snack, leaving slobber everywhere.

Hansel Cow Edgars Mission Melbourne

Hansel Cow Edgars Mission Melbourne

Renae got an extra slobbery one.

We fed some goats next, and then headed to one of my favorites: ALPACAS. I love alpacas, especially after seeing them in Machu Picchu.

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

Alpaca Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary Melbourne Australia

We had such a great time at Edgars Mission. Next time, I’d pack a {vegan} picnic and stick around for lunch after the tour. There are picnic tables at the farm entrance.

I highly recommend adding Edgars Mission to your trip to Melbourne – it was so refreshing to get out of the city, pet some animals, and get a little dirt on my sneakers.

If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?

Lentil As Anything: A Pay-As-You-Feel, Melbourne Vegan Restaurant

Are you looking for a good, inexpensive vegan restaurant in Melbourne? Lentil As Anything is a sustainable, all vegetarian (sometimes totally vegan) restaurant with locations throughout Melbourne. I live in the Northern suburbs, so I like to frequent their Thornbury location.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Located directly at tram stop 36 on route 86, Lentil As Anything (Thornbury branch) is an entirely vegan, non-profit, pay as you feel restaurant.

Pay-as-you-feel restaurants are picking up traction in Melbourne. This means that anyone can come in and eat a meal, whether you can afford to eat or not. If you can’t afford to pay for your meal, you don’t have to. If you can afford to pay for your meal, it’s good karma to do so – and pay it forward, if you can.

I like to go in, get a coffee and a meal, and throw $20 into the donation basket – this covers my meal and a meal for someone who can’t afford it.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Each Lentils location is unique in it’s own way – some of them have buffets, and some of them have servers. The Thornbury location has servers, who come take your order. This time, I opted for the winter lentil pie (on the bottom of the photo, with a lil pastry puff), and my friend got a winter curry with a daal wrap. I also got a soy latte, because… coffee.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

Lentil as Anything consistently delivers amazing, high quality, healthy and tasty vegan food. Every time I leave, I have ideas for what I want to make next time I cook at home. It amazes me how much good this place does.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

If you’re in Melbourne for a while, consider volunteering at Lentil As Anything! Other ways you can support are by donating goods or just spreading the word about this incredible restaurant via social media.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

I’ve been to a few Lentils locations now, and though I’ll usually go to the closest, I would highly recommend taking a day trip out to Abbotsford and visiting the Lentils location there. They are located right next to a farm, where you can pet goats, sheep, and cows, if you’re lucky. The Abbotsford location also has a great outdoor area – a perfect place to go on a sunny Melbourne day.

Lentil As Anything Thornbury, Vegan Melbourne

I love Lentil As Anything and would highly recommend it to anyone spending time in Melbourne! For more vegan restaurant suggestions, check out my favorite vegan restaurants in Melbourne.

Getting To Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Incas

Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world – and for good reason. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

I visited Machu Picchu in May 2016; it was the end of my first trip to South America. I started off by spending a few days in Cusco, the adorable little city that acts as the hub for tourists to acclimate to the elevation before going to Machu Picchu, which is located in Aguas Calientes.

Top Destinations for First Time Travelers

I stayed in Cusco for five days before heading to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu. I didn’t think I had any problems acclimating to the elevation, until I took a flight of stairs to get to my hostel dorm. It was a bit tough to get up, but I’m not sure if that is from the elevation or the shape I am in 😉

I booked a tour from a local tour company to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu, which cost $200 USD and included the following:

  • Transport by van to the railway to get to Aguas Calientes (there is a 3 hour drive before a 30 mins train ride), and back to Cusco
  • Hotel room for one night (one room, two twin beds, shared with my brother)
  • Lunch, Dinner on day one; Breakfast on day 2
  • Tour guide for your exploration of Machu Picchu
  • Ticket entry to Machu Picchu

This tour did NOT include the following:

  • train service from Hidroelectrico to Aguas Calientes (a 30 min, $30 train ride, or about 3-4 hour hike)
  • the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (a 10 min, $18 bus ride, or 1 hour hike)

We left on this tour early in the morning on Day 1. We met at the city center, hopped in a taxi van, and were driven about 3 hours out of Cusco to Hidroelectrico. We had a pit stop to use the restroom and grab a coffee/lunch/snack if we needed it. We drove a bit more and then had another stop off for lunch, at an open concept, local restaurant surrounded by mountains.

We arrived in Hidroelectrico (where the road ends) at about 2:30 PM. My brother and I were interested in a little hike, so we strapped our backpacks on and began the trek along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes with the rest of our group.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

The hike had some beautiful views, and took us about 3 hours to get to Aguas Calientes. We trekked up the mountain into the city just as the sun was about to set. We were assigned a room at the hotel, had a briefing with the tour guide, and then went to sleep, as we had an early morning.

Getting To Machu Picchu

We woke up at 4 am the next day to head up to Machu Picchu. My brother and I had purchased round trip tickets for the bus to get up to Machu Picchu the night before. Another option is to hike up the mountain; it’s a very steep, 1 hour hike, which you’ll have to begin at 4 am. I’m not a morning person, so bus tickets were worth the $36 round trip to me. Pro Tip: if you are in decent shape before going to Machu Picchu, you can save a pretty penny on transport by hiking.

We got in to Machu Picchu early in the morning and walked through the ruins with a guide. It was so foggy, but the guide said it could clear up before we left.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

After our guided tour, which was very informative, we had a couple hours to wander. The llamas were all over the place. I actually had to jump out of the way while walking up some stairs to avoid getting stampeded by a llama!

Getting To Machu Picchu

Getting To Machu Picchu

We walked up to the top of the mountain for the best view – but it was still a bit foggy.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Overall, it was a great trip. If you’d like to see Machu Picchu, I’d highly recommend going sooner rather than later. The tour guide mentioned that the tourism at Machu Picchu is causing some erosion of the mountain – meaning that it could be shut down to tourists as soon as two years from now!

Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu: 

  • Save money by hiking versus taking expensive transport
  • Bring food into Machu Picchu – there is one restaurant there and it’s very expensive
  • Don’t overpack – this will make it easier to hike and get around in general
  • I would recommend not booking a tour, or booking a 3+ day tour, to get the most amount of time at Machu Picchu (I was only at Machu Picchu for about 4 hours total; not very much time considering how long it took to get there)
  • Bring water
  • Wear layers, as it gets very cool and windy
  • Bring an umbrella and rain poncho even if you don’t go during the rainy season
  • If you have time, spend a couple days in Aguas Calientes. It’s a cute little town and full of natural beauty – take a soak in the hot springs or take a hike outside of the town to see waterfalls

Machu Picchu