Since there aren’t any nonstop flights to Machu Picchu — the Incas were advanced, but not enough to build airports (dammit!) — we had to get there from Cusco by traversing Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Incas thought the Andes was the perfect place to build a capital city. Of course, they were hopped up on coca leaves most of the time.
Lima is an amazing, chaotic city with a rich and tragic heritage that I’d highly recommend visiting.