I have never been on a hike so physically exhausting and yet so rewarding. I would not have appreciated Machu Picchu as much as I did if I hadn't hiked a marathon first.
It was somewhat spiritual to walk the same steps that the Incas did 500 years ago. Although there were some hurdles massive, MASSIVE climbs, wet mattresses, wet shoes and socks, 4 hours of sleep on one night. I got the real experience of Machu Picchu.
That being said, it's something done once in a lifetime Seriously, just once. And never again. My body is going to take weeks to recover.