Rachel and Mckay

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Machu Picchu, Peru

How We Met

Mckay friended me on Facebook on Christmas day, 2012. We had a lot of mutual Facebook friends and we both thought the other was super cute. A few days later on New Year’s Day, 2013, he messaged me and said “Hey, how are you? :)” After talking for a few days, we were soon smitten with each other. He was going to college in Utah at the time but is from my same hometown, San Clemente. He drove home a couple weeks after we began talking to meet me. We’ve been together ever since!

How He Asked

I knew he had the ring–in November, I accidentally asked one random question pertaining to it and he spilled the beans. He had had it for a month and had so clearly been struggling to keep it a secret. I told him not to tell me any more details because I didn’t want to ruin my own surprise. I had no idea how he was going to do it…but there were a few big things that I knew were coming up: Christmas, our five year anniversary at the end of January and our big trip to Peru with my family at the end of December. Mckay and I LOVE Christmas, so I thought maybe it would be then. Or our five year anniversary, because that was going to be a big deal. But my then-boyfriend was too responsible to bring an expensive engagement ring to Peru, I thought. Mckay is THE most responsible person I know, and I thought he would be too nervous about losing the ring or getting it stolen in a foreign country. So I ruled Peru out of the engagement possibilities.

But Christmas came and went, and there was no proposal. A few days later, Mckay and I and my other five family members all packed up and headed to Peru. Things did not go smoothly for the entire trip–planes got canceled, car reservations were ruined, boats broke down, we got terribly lost, we got a flat tire, we got pulled over by the police for not having our headlights on at 3 p.m., some of us got injured and more. But on New Year’s day, January 1, 2018, during our day trip to Machu Picchu, everything was perfect. It was the only day during the trip that everything ran smoothly. We arrived in Aguas Calientes, a small town at the base of Machu Picchu that parallels both sides of a river. We then took a bus up the narrow and winding road to the very top of the mountain where Machu Picchu sits. It was absolutely gorgeous. After a two hour tour around the ruins, we had some free time to do some exploring of our own. Little did I know, Mckay, my parents and my brother, Ryan, had some plans. My two other siblings, Connor and Caitlin, had no idea that the proposal was happening. But Mckay had asked my parents for their blessing about a month prior and he had also asked Ryan to film the proposal.

It had been raining intermittently all day, and as we trekked up the hill to the famous view spot that we did not want to miss, it was pouring. Mckay held my hand as we hiked through the trees. We were all soaking wet and smiling. We finally reached the view spot; it was breathtaking. We could see all of the ruins down below, with the misty mountains behind. However, we realized that Ryan and my mom were missing. Mckay took off back down the mountain to find them, which I thought was odd. In any other normal circumstance, he would have let my dad do it. A few minutes later, he returned with my mom and Ryan in tow. They had gotten lost and didn’t know which way we had gone up the path. Mckay was not happy; his moment had been ruined. But he couldn’t propose without my mom and Ryan there. I was pretty confused because I was just trying to enjoy the view but everyone seemed all stressed out. Mckay muttered to all of us to keep hiking because a big crowd of people had invaded our area. He took off and left me behind.

Pretty much none of my family members were talking to me at this point and I thought it was so strange. Ryan and Mckay were walking far ahead, my parents were far behind and my other two siblings were walking together quietly. I just decided that I would enjoy the moment alone. Whatever! We kept climbing higher and higher until we finally rounded a corner with an even better view. It was gorgeous and totally secluded. I stood under my umbrella and looked out, mesmerized. And then Mckay finally spoke. “Ok honey, come over here.” I walked over and he came under the umbrella with me. He started telling me that he loved me and that I was his best friend, and he had this big, silly smile on his face. “Ok, so you know what I’m about to do,” he said. “I had this whole speech planned and I was going to say this sentence to you in Spanish, but now I’ve totally forgotten it all. But I love you, you’re my best friend, and…” He got down on his knee, pulled out the ring box, opened it, and asked me to marry him. In the rain, in front of my whole family, at one of the Seven Wonders of the World. And I said yes!

Rachel and Mckay's Engagement in Machu Picchu, Peru

Moments after the proposal, it stopped raining and we got to take a bunch of amazing pictures. I realized that exactly five years prior, January 1, 2013, was the day that Mckay first sent me a message on Facebook, which led to us eventually dating a few weeks later. It was the most magical day!