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Photo Essay: Machu Picchu

by Robert Kittilson | 1 February 2010 10 Comments

For the last four months we’ve heard nothing but complaints about the amount of people at Machu Picchu. So when Mom and Dad wanted to go, we decided just to rent it out for ourselves. It really wasn’t difficult at all, since everyone in the Peruvian government is a fan of KnK Explore. Thanks to everyone out there who helped make this possible!

Machu Picchu viewed from above through low lying clouds, near the trail to the Inca Bridge.


Amazing terraces head down into the Jungle and the River Urubamba, at Machu Picchu.


Into the sun on one of Machu Picchu's many terraces.

We arrived early via our private helicopter, thus bypassing all the protesters and lines of tourists who were unable to enter the site. The roar of the helicopter and the soft blanket of morning fog blocked out their screams of anger as they banged on the gates.

Looking through multiple doorways near the 'common district' in Machu Picchu.


Tops of houses in the 'common district', Machu Picchu.


Looking west out a window of Inca design in Machu Picchu, strong design helps this place stand the test of time.

We wandered through the residential area, snapping photos vacant of people wherever we pleased. We noticed that it had started to rain downhill, on the protesters, but for us it was a beautiful, clear day.

Rocks not yet 'restored' overlook the Urubamba Valley on Machu Picchu's lower eastern terraces.


The inside of a house that once could have been two stories tall.


A Inca eyelet above a doorway in Machu Picchu.

What beautiful architecture and construction! To appreciate it, one must truly experience it alone.

Through a Inca doorway onto the Sun Temple.


A large rock carved for ceremonial purposes at Machu Picchu Peru.


Steps and terraces leading down to the Jungle and River Urubamba on the western side of Machu Picchu.

What a wonderful day we had, picnicking in the empty ruins with only llamas as company. As the day came to a close we hailed our private pilot, who flew us past the drenched, screaming protesters to our private resort. Hope you enjoyed the day, Mom and Dad. We worked hard to make it a flawless one! And by the way, the bill for the helicopter and resort are in the mail.

Remains of channels and fountains carved from stone, in Machu Picchu.


The beautiful peaks of the 'common district' shine through the clouds early in the morning on Machu Picchu.

Love, Jessie and Robert.

Click below for the…
Machu Picchu Slide Show

Written by Robert Kittilson

I am an Ex-Bike Messenger turned freelance photographer that loves: Bicycles, Fútbol and Beer or any food that tastes good. See all posts by


  • Kyle said:

    Must be nice. You can let me know when you get another one of these private tours hooked up and I’ll be right on down. Maybe it’ll snow on everyone else next time.

  • Jessie Kwak said:

    Snow would have been nice. We’ll definitely arrange some for next time….

  • T-roy said:

    Nice photos… but ya got to tell us how you got the pic when ya did without all the people. Either your good in Photoshop or were patient enough to wait and get that shot in that 1 sec window.

  • Jessie Kwak said:

    Rob is infinitely patient when it comes to waiting for the perfect shot. Also, we were there pretty early in the day, before the site started to fill up too much.

    We were contemplating making a Photoshop filter that would automatically transform people into llamas, but neither of us are computer programmers. It would be a pretty awesome feature, though!

  • Matthew said:

    Looks amazing! We’re planning a trip to Peru and plan on using Karikuy, http://www.karikuy.org, for our next trip.
    They seem to handle socially conscious tourism in a very responsible way.

  • Jessie Kwak said:

    Thanks for the tip about Karikuy, Matthew. I’ve been following them on Twitter for a bit, and although I don’t have any personal experience with them, they seem like a cool organization. You’ll have to let us know more when you get back from your trip.

  • Leslie said:

    We, too, were at Machu Picchu in February – last year, though. We found that it was possible to get many photos sans tourists. Glad we were there last year, and not now, though!

  • vegar said:

    hm.. this must be some kind of ironic joke I’m not getting. You RENTED Macchu Picchu? Feeling antipathy rising….

  • vegar said:

    oh.. Very nice pix though. Thanks.

  • Thomas Williams said:

    my sister is a computer programmer and she earns lots of buxx from it’-‘