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How to avoid backtracking (as opposed to backpacking) Cusco, SV, MP

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We are planning the to visit Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu in May this year and are trying to find the best way to schedule activities to avoid backtracking whenever possible. We prefer to travel independently but understand that for some activities (Inca Trail) you have to join an organized tour. We had hoped to spend a day in Cusco sightseeing on our own and then a day travelling through the Sacred Valley (Pisac ruins, market, etc.). We would like to do the Sacred Valley on our own as well, but haven't quite figured out the logistics yet (local bus? hire taxi for the day? or just give up an join a SV tour?).

One issue with an organized SV tour is that they bring you back to Cusco and we had thought it would be better to spend the night in Ollantaytambo or Urubamba and then continue on to Machu Picchu on day three. We had hoped we could join a tour that would catch the train in Ollantayambo and disembark at KM 104 for the one day hike into Machu Picchu. However, all the tours we have found so far, seem to want to put you on the train in Cusco (backtracking again).

Am I missing something or making this harder than it has to be? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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