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Can I arrive in Aguas Caliente at some time other than late morning?

Can I arrive in Aguas Caliente at some time other than late morning?

Old Aug 29th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Can I arrive in Aguas Caliente at some time other than late morning?

I want to visit Machu Picchu for a few hours, but either in the early morning or the evening. Thus, I do not want to take an all-day excursion from Cusco that requires me to visit Machu Picchu during the 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM rush. MY TIME IS VERY LIMITED in Peru, so don't advise me to "just spend an extra day because it's worth it". I want to avoid having to arrive in Aguas Calientes mid-morning because it would require me to wait until early the following morning to visit the site to avoid the mid-day rush. Can someone tell me 1) if any trains, buses, taxis, etc. depart Cusco or the Sacred Valley that arrive in Macchu Picchu in the afternoon or the evening, and/or depart from Machu Picchu in the early morning or evening? 2) what are the hours of the day visitors are allowed to visit Machu Picchu on site?
sierraadventure is offline  
Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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There are buses leaving every 15 minutes or so. You shouldn't have any trouble.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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The ruins are open 6 a.m.-5:30 p.m. There are no evening hours.

Train is the only way to get to Aguas Calientes. No buses or taxis. Go to Peru Rail's website for the complete train schedule:

www.perurail.com

Go to "Journey Planner" and scroll down for the schedules. You'll see the schedules for "Cusco-MP," which do limit you to the standard midday visit if you don't stay overnight. If you look at the "Sacred Valley-MP" schedules, you have a little more flexibility, but you'd have to board and disembark out in Urubamba or Ollantaytambo. You still wouldn't get what you're looking for without staying overnight in Aguas Calientes.

There is a train that arrives in AC from Ollantaytambo at 4:15 p.m., but you're not going to find the shuttle bus running up to the ruins that late in the day. (Even if you could, you'd have less than an hour to spend at the ruins.)

So you stay overnight and go the next morning. The first shuttle up leaves at 6:30 and gets you up there a little before 7. There's a Vistadome train (the nicer one) that goes back to Ollantaytambo at 8:30. Figure a half-hour to get down the hill and another half-hour in advance of the train's departure that you need to be at the AC station. You'd still have less than an hour to spend at the ruins.

There is a 9:05 Backpacker train leaving from AC and going to Ollantaytambo that would give you a little more time. Those trains run April 1-October 31.

Anyway, look at the Peru Rail website and see if you can assemble something.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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There are no roads past Ollantaytambo and the only way to Aguas Caliente is by train, helicopter or hiking the Inca trail.
I think what MikeT must mean are the buses from AC up to the Machu Picchu site. These go up every half hour.

For the train schedule see
http://www.orient-express.com/web/tp...r_a2a_home.jsp

For the helicopter see
http://www.inkaterra.com/machu_picch...rer/index.html

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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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There is no road connecting Cusco to Machu Picchu, so aside from walking the Inca Trail, you have to take the train. You might want to check the Peru Rail website to see if there are any afternoon departures from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu.

http://www.orient-express.com/web/tp...r_a2a_home.jsp

Machu Picchu itself opens up at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Buses leave Aguas Caliente for Machu Picchu a bit before 6 a.m., and as noted, depart about every 15 minutes during the day.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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RBCal - hah, it looks like we posted the same thing at the same time. I thought they had closed down the helicopter due to damage it was causing at the ruins?
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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The helicopter service started up again just about a month ago.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 07:23 PM
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my mistake. Sorry
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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You know, you don't say what month you're going. I've been to MP four times, all at different times of the year. I find that mid-day crush this time of year to be a bit overwhelming, but from November-February (except over the Christmas holidays), it's not too bad. There are still a lot of people, but it's nothing like June-August.

But you go when you can go, and the all-day excursion from Cusco is an efficient way to visit if your time is limited. So there are a lot of people. The site is large enough that you're not shoulder to shoulder with other visitors, even in July. Nor will you have to jockey for position to take photos. There's a lot of room up there.
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