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Machu Picchu from Cusco-can this be done as a daytrip?

Machu Picchu from Cusco-can this be done as a daytrip?

Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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Machu Picchu from Cusco-can this be done as a daytrip?

Hello,
I am just wanting to try to find a way to get to Machu from Cusco as it seems a lot of the guidebooks recommend staying somewhere other than Cusco when visiting the ruins. I'd prefer to stay in Cusco throughout, if possible. Although, my wife and I aren't big fans of organized tours, I would consider one if anyone has one they could recommend from Cusco. Approximate prices for the tours would be appreciated, as well.

Thanks
cch1 is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi cch1,

most travel companies try to get people to stay near machu picchu because a one day trip back and forth from cusco only gives you a couple hours at the ruins. as well, visiting the sacred valley on the way to machu picchu gives one the chance to see a number of really cool attractions, markets, local artists. budget pricing for such a trip including hotels, tours, machu picchu, and train is something like 280$ a person for 3 days: one night in the sacred valley, one in aguas calientes.

you can however take the train early in the morning from cusco, arrive in aguas calientes station about 10am. there you take a bus for a 20 minute ride up the mountain to the ruins. you then return by bus in time to catch the train back to cusco about 3pm, arriving in cusco 6-7 pm.

although they advertise overland through the sacred valley and then by short train trip to machu picchu or staying in aguas calientes, the site www.peruperu.com can help you with a day trip just to machu picchu if that is what yo want to do!

happy trails,
davarian
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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I found the MP daytrip just fine. The ruins are were, for us, a big yawn.

BTW, if the "market" some are talking about is the one we got hauled off to, I would post this word of caution.

It was a lovely plaza somewhere on the high plateua and dozens of women in very traditional dress were conducting business as they doubtless had for decades.

However, among them plodded the "Eddie Bauer Set," craning their necks, giggling, handling stuff, unable to speak a word of Spanish. I found it EXTREMELY uncomfortable and I am no stranger to exotica.

I would strongly counsel against it if you have any sense of the awful displacement of values one can sometimes run up against in foreign travel.
Poppa is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 08:23 PM
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I recommend you to contact www.peru-explorer.com
I had very good experience with them. Cusco and MP together is at least a 3 day trip staying one night in Aguascalientes, the town next below from the archaeological site. The Hotel Pueblo is beautiful. You would enjoy it. From Aguascalientes you take a mini bus that takes you to the site in 25 minutes. You may want to visit the top of the Huayna Pichu hill (which is the typical hill that appears in all pictures of MP. It takes about an hour to get there and itīs not very difficult. The view of MP and the mountains surrounding the site just at the clouds level, is memorable.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Hello,
We just got back from Cuzco and MP. You can go for just one day to MP, but we wouldn't recommend it. If you are going for the "yep there it is", and a quick run through the place, then a day trip is do-able. Trains arrive around 10 and you are up top by 11, then head back down the hill around 3 to catch the 4pm train back to Cuzco. Train fares were around $60 bucks round trip, another $10 for the round trip bus up to MP. I can't remeber what the entrance was ($10-20?). This is why we were glad to spend the night in agua calientes: MP is very crowded during the day with day tripers. We spent the first day exploring the ruins, spent the night, then got on the 6:30 am bus to catch the sunrise and the clouds parting over MP. Only a few of us were there, as well as some people coming off the Inca trail. After getting some great pictures in the early morining, we climbed Huayna Pichu for another amazing view. Get a good guide book to the ruins, it will give you a much better appreciation of the site. We enjoyed MP best before and after the crowds. It really seems to take on a different feeling. The second reason for staying in Agua Calientes is that the main source of income for the people of this town is tourism. Unfortunately, many tourists arrive with the get in and get out mentality, and never support the local enconomy. Granted there isn't great nightlife in the town, but we found some nice local-run restuarants, and got the chance to interact with many lovely local peoople who really seemed to appreciate that we had stayed. It is amazing the real character of places seems to emerge once the crowds head home. Tourists bring a considerable burden in terms of trash, and their sheer numbers on visiting MP, so consider contributing to the local economy. Plus MP is better without the crowds. Also, I don't think you really need a tour. It is easy to purchase the train ticket at any number of agencies in the main square in Cuzco, you can then purchase the bus tickets to MP right in Aguas Calientes (a 10 second walk from train to buses) If you are interested, you can hire a guide there as well. Have a lovely time. Sandy
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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I would say no as even though logisticaly it can be done, the pleasure of experiencing Machu Picchu would be horribly compromised. There is a wonderful hotel in Aqua Calientes at the base of the mountain--The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel--which is a very special, lovely experience. If you go to my website you will see pictures which will encourage you. www.janeandken.com I think you will enjoy your trip more if you do not stay the entire time in Cusco. Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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You can see MP in a day trip from Cusco, but I wouldn't recommend it either. Stay overnight in Agua Caliente. There are many hotels at various prices. See MP the day you arrive on the train. Then stay overnight and take the bus from Agua Caliente early (very!) the next morning to see the sun rise over the Andes and MP. An experience you will not forget! Be aware that there are no services at MP, only before you enter at the base. Take some snacks or a lunch. Enjoy. MP is wonderful...truly wonderful!!
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Old Feb 11th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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Anyone who thinks the ruins were a big yawn must have experienced it the worst way possible, as a day trip with the hordes of tourists who swarm it from 10 am to 3 pm. In my opinion, the only way to see it is to hike the Inca trail and come upon it at sunrise through the Sun Gate. The effort in just hiking the trail will give you an appreciation for the amount of effort and skill it took to build Machu Picchu by the Incas.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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To SandyD1 <We just got back from Cuzco and MP.>

Were you there in January? Please tell me what the weather was like and the dates that you were there.

Thanks,
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 05:45 AM
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We just returned and although I truly enjoyed my night at the Pueblo Lodge, a one day trip is possible. It is just so beautiful to be in the at part of the Selva, that one should absorb a bit more than run through it.
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