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Help with short Sacred Valley itinerary

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We have five nights to spend in the Sacred Valley in late January. We're thinking of three nights in Ollantaytambo and two in Cuzco, but nothing is set yet except the arrival and departure dates.

We'd like to get a better idea of how much time to spend in each town, where to stay, what fair prices would be for taxis and tours, sights we should see (or skip) and in what order, etc.

Our rough itinerary (with questions) is below:

Monday -- AM flight from Quito to Cuzco, taxi to Ollantaytambo.
No hotel yet. Recommendations appreciated.

Tuesday -- Train to Machu Picchu
Do I need to buy train and MP tickets in advance?

Wednesday -- Ollantaytambo ruins & Pisac
What is the best way to hire a taxi or tour to visit Pisac (and Chinchero, Moray and Maras on Thursday)? Can we do this through our hotel in Ollantaytambo, or is it better to arrange a guide in advance? Approximate cost of each option?
Can we buy the boleto turistico at the Ollantaytambo ruins?

Thursday -- Taxi/tour to Cuzco, visiting Chinchero, Moray and Maras on the way.
We're considering the Terra Andina Hotel in Cuzco.

Friday -- Cuzco
Suggestions for what to see/do here?

Saturday -- Fly Cuzco --> Lima --> USA
We have a long (10+ hours) layover in Lima. One idea is to take a taxi to Parque Kennedy and catch the Mirabus city tour, then find a restaurant for dinner, then return to the airport for a midnight flight. Another is to book a city tour that provides airport pickup and dropoff, if those exist. What should we expect to pay for the taxis and/or tours?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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    I stayed at the Rio Sagrado in the Sacred Valley. It's higher end - but spectacular.

    You could spend a whole day at Pisac...shopping and seeing the ruins. We did Pisac shopping, then headed to the Ollantaytambo ruins...I felt like we didn't have enough time at Pisac.

    I would buy Machu Picchu tickets in advance as they only sell 2500 per day.

    I didn't go to Moray/Maras, but wish I had.

    In Cusco, we stayed at the Monesterio - high end and fabulous. You can go to the Inca church, the other main church in the square...and then more Inca ruins..Sacsayhuaman - which are fascinating!

    Also, you might consider MP - 2 days...1st day hike to the Sun Gate - which is where people come in from the Inca trail...then take guided tour...then the next day, go to MP Early - first bus - climb Wayna Picchu - then explore MP on your own....We stayed at the Sumac in Aguas Calientes...very nice.

    Hope this helps!

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    "Also, you might consider MP - 2 days..."
    Two shots at this highlight makes sense, especially in rainy season.

    I liked these hotels:

    Casa Andina Koricancha in Cuzso, about a 12 minute walk from Cuszo’s Plaza de Armas.

    Pakaritampu Hotel, beautiful grounds with humming birds and other birdlife, in Ollantaytambo. Very nice.

    El Mapi in Aguas Calientes. Copied from my report.
    Inkaterra’s El Mapi,“designed to cater to budget-minded travelers,” and to be ecologically friendly, opened 1 April 2012. It was about $200/night less than Inkaterra’s Pueblo Hotel. I thought El Mapi was very fancy and extremely nice, serving delicious, several-course meals and a complimentary welcome Pisco Sour or lemonade at the classy bar. It has hot springs on the premises, and terrycloth robes for “spring wear.” (I passed on each). Though described as budget, the cost is a couple hundred US dollars.

    El Mapi is even more conveniently located for the bus and the train station than its well-known sister hotel, Inkaterra Pueblo, and there’s less uphill walking required. Another bonus is that El Mapi guests are invited to ascend several blocks to visit the Pueblo Hotel and enjoy the vast gardens, orchids, and jungle riverfront, which attract hummingbirds and other species. So El Mapi guests don’t miss out on these magnificent grounds, they’re just not out your door.


    Have a great trip.

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