When to go to Machu Picchu and for how long?

Old Dec 6th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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When to go to Machu Picchu and for how long?


We're thinking of going to Machu Picchu and surrounding areas in May 2008. Is mid May a good time to go? And for how long? 2 weeks?

Trying to use our airline miles. Beside Lima, should we try to fly in / out from another city?
Which one? Maybe we can get an open jaw ticket w/ the miles.

Please recommend route and any advice on Machu Picchu.

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Old Dec 7th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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There's lots of info here - suggest you do a Peru search and read some past trip reports and itinerary suggestions. (You can find my own trip report by typing Karen and Julie in the search box.)
In two weeks, you can see quite a bit. The typical itinerary includes
flying into Lima then heading to Cusco and the Sacred Valley area. I'd stay first in the Sacred Valley (loved Ollantaytambo) to adjust to the altitude, which is lower than in Cusco. After 2-3 days seeing Sacred Valley sites, take the train to Machu Picchu. You can do it as a day trip, but most here recommend an overnight (some suggest two nights - but one was ample for us). Then back to Cuscso for 2-3 days. After that, take the bus/train/fly to Puno for an overnight homestay on one of the islands in Lake Titicaca. From there, go to Arequipa/Colca Canyon for 2-3 days (we didn't have time for that). Finish back in Lima with a city tour and a flight over the Nazca Lines (alternatively, you could start with this). With that, you've filled your two weeks. We only did through Puno/Lake Titicaca because of time, but would have loved to do the rest of it, too - maybe someday! Others might suggest a different itinerary, but what I've mentioned hits the highlights. If you want to hike the Inca trail, you need to get booking (literally!)
Regarding where to fly into/out of, Lima's defintely the best option - for both ways unless you're planning to go to another country. But Peru alone can give you a great two weeks - no need to seek an open jaw flight.
Peru's wonderful. You'll have a great time.
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Old Dec 7th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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I think May is the ideal month. The rains have ended, but the high-season has not kicked in.

Realistically, you have to fly to Lima and then connect to Cusco. Cusco receives international flights only a couple of times a week from Bolivia. Passing through Lima is your only real choice.
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Old Dec 7th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Thanks, all, for the very information responses. I'll dig more into Peru info.

Is it feasible to do both Galapagos Island and Machu Picchu in ~ 2 weeks? We might be able to get an open jaw ticket like that. Thanks!
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Old Dec 8th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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I just got back from a 2 week trip to Peru. I spent the first week in the Amazon at 3 Explorama Lodges. The Amazon was amazing and the Explorama Lodges are great. Then spent the second week in the Andes and Machu Picchu. I spent one night in Aguas Calliente, but 2 nights would have been nice. That would have allowed me to do both of the great hikes there, as well as explore Machu Picchu. I also spent a couple of days in the Sacred Valley and a couple of days in Cusco. I'm not a big fan of Cusco, next time I will spend more time in Sacred Valley. It was a great trip - Peru is an amazingly diverse country. You'll have a great time.
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