I use the word picturesque ironically. A picture Cannot do justice to the unlimited number of unbelievable views and scenes that you encounter throughout the four day trek to Machu Picchu.
You can hear from anyone that takes the bus from Aguas Calientes how outstanding Machu Picchu itself is. The trek offers a much more intimate experience where you have the opportunity to challenge yourself and feel like you earned the right to see the sites before you.
My personal highlight was on the third day, the night before reaching Machu Picchu, where the end of the day found us overlooking the Urbamba Valley from an Inca Ruin.
We got to look back in admiration at the 'Dead Woman Pass' the summit of the previous day at the highest point we reached on the trek.