The mystery of Machu Picchu is best captured on a day with fog and swirling clouds. These conditions mostly occur in the rainy season which is from November to March. It is also possible to get these scenes in the two transitional months of April and September. In the latter half of both these months, Machu Picchu is fog covered and rainy early in the morning. The heat of the rising sun warms the ruins and over the course of several hours there is a transition from an ambiance of mystery to one of partly cloudy skies punctuated by golden rays.
This shot was taken in late September. When the fog began to break we headed to the point where the trail to the Sun Gate intersects the agricultural terraces. We set up and patiently waited for the right moment for the right combination of clouds and light. After about 45 minutes, we were rewarded with the scene you see above.